Prolonging the Life of Your Technology: A Guide to Cybersecurity and Network Security
By: Matthew O'Donnell, Information Technology Support Analyst
In our increasingly tech-dependent world, ensuring the longevity and reliability of our devices has become paramount. Whether you're managing personal gadgets or overseeing technology at work, here are some tips to help you extend the life of your technology, Cybersecurity and network security.
1. Selective Updates: Not All Updates Are Created Equal One of the first things to remember is that not all updates are created equal when it comes to updates. While security patches for devices like phones, tablets, computers, and Internet-based devices should be processed immediately to prevent vulnerabilities and corruption, it's essential to exercise caution regarding newly released features, system upgrades (like the latest operating system), or beta programs. It's a good practice to embrace these updates on devices that are optional for daily use. For example, your phone or your family's home computer can wait until later releases when any bugs are typically addressed. Software updates to applications are generally safe to process since they shouldn't interfere with the overall functionality of your device. Moreover, most computer manufacturers include software to update drivers for hardware components like graphics cards. It's a good practice to check for these updates monthly, as any necessary corrections are usually addressed by that time.
2. The Importance of Regular Reboots Regular reboots are crucial for maintaining the health and performance of your devices. Leaving your computer on indefinitely without rebooting is akin to the situation in the movie "The Four Feathers," where Heath Ledger's character was forced to walk in an endless circle. Your computer deserves better! Regular reboots help clear out temporary files, refresh the system, and improve overall performance. Regular updates and patches are typically sent weekly for work computers, and some of these updates may require a restart to be fully processed. Embrace the mantra, "Woot woot, reboot." Frequent reboots can also reduce overall startup times, so consider rebooting at least weekly, if not daily.
3. The Art of Secure Passwords A solid and secure password is your first defense against cyber threats. While "Password" might seem safe (with some sarcasm), it's one of the worst choices you can make. Instead, develop a random system for creating passwords that make sense to you but remain obscure to others. Opt for phrases instead of single words, and include numbers and symbols in a way that's easy for you to remember but challenging for others to guess. Ensure your passwords contain a mix of UPPERCASE LETTERS, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Additionally, consider embracing Multifactor Authentication (MFA). While entering six digits every time you access your accounts may seem like a minor inconvenience, it's a small price to pay for the enhanced security it offers. MFA can protect your personal and professional data, preventing the devastating consequences of ransomware attacks and other security breaches that could cost you and others their jobs.
4. Exercise Caution Online Finally, one of the most critical aspects of maintaining technology is practicing caution online. Be skeptical of random emails or text messages about disabled accounts or threats of retaliation. Clicking on suspicious links can lead to malware, identity theft, and potentially catastrophic consequences. Always verify the source and legitimacy of such communications before taking any action. In the ever-evolving digital landscape, our technology is more than a tool; it's an extension of our lives and work. By implementing these practices, you're not only extending the life of your devices but also ensuring their reliability and safeguarding your digital world. As we navigate the boundless potential of technology, remember that a secure, updated, and well-maintained digital presence empowers you to explore the limitless opportunities the digital frontier offers. Stay safe, stay secure.