Monday, September 10, 2012

Keeping Your Computer Safe

         Nowadays computers and other forms of hi-tech devices are a part of our everyday life. We use computers to maintain databases of highly confidential information and we use many different kinds of technology to communicate and investigate.  Unfortunately, a part of our hi-tech world dedicates itself to targeting computers and other technologies to gain sensitive information about a company or to break the law. There are various ways to keep the technologies we use safe and everyone that uses these devices should be aware of how to keep their equipment safe guarded from intrusion and sabotage.  The loss of information from one computer or using communications equipment that has been tampered with can cost a company millions of dollars.


The easiest way to catch a breach in computer security is to observe the day-to-day operations of the client you work for and question anything out of the ordinary.  It is the job of a security guard to protect property and life and therefore you are doing your due diligence by questioning any suspicious activity. Keep yourself up-to-date on company policies that deal with computer security. If you know it’s against company policy for company owned computers to leave the premises, it is your duty to stop any individuals from doing so without special permission. Keep track of where computers and other technological equipment is stored. If there is a computer lab on-site that is usually locked when it’s not in-use and you notice the door ajar, report it.


Another angle to consider is that if something goes missing on your shift, or you did not report something that ought to have been reported, you could be seen as complicit in the incident.  It is in your best interest, and your clients’ best interest, to make sure computer security remains intact and that technological devices are not tampered with.


The following are three defenses against technological security breaches:


                Make sure that any personal accounts you have are password protected. Use a password that would not too obvious and use numbers and capitalized letters within your password. It’s common sense to never give out your personal passwords to anyone but also make sure you never give out a password for a communal work station that another person is not entitled to. Just because you can use a certain computer or just because you have the passcode for a locked door doesn’t mean everyone should have it. If you are entrusted with a password, or any other sensitive information, always consider it as top secret information.


                Despite all the programs that exist which are designed to harm your computer, there are also many programs you can use to protect your computer. Anti-virus and Anti-malware software protects your computer from hackers whose intention is to put a program onto your computer that would destroy your files and operating systems. There are also Firewalls that you can download that prevent hackers from sneaking into your computer remotely to grab information such as banking records. You should always use Anti-virus software and a Firewall to protect you whenever you are connected to the internet. You should also be sure to keep your version of the software as up-to-date as possible.


                To protect the information stored on a disk, USB drive or in an e-mail you can have it encrypted. When a disk or an e-mail has been encrypted, it is turned into a code that is not decipherable. Encrypted data can be deciphered by either using specific deciphering software or by using a password.


                Always remember that technology is not just a fancy toy. It’s a device designed to fulfil a purpose and it is your responsibility to safeguard both the device and whatever it was designed to do. The use of technology in the workplace should only be on an as needed basis. If using a specific device is not a part of your duties, don’t use it; even if it’s not locked away. Whatever you use, you are responsible for. 


Posted by Chanelle Boudreau at 12:00 AM

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