Scary Mistakes on your Computer (Halloween Edition)

It’s that time of year when the kids start thinking about their Halloween costumes, and decorative ghouls and goblins start adorning the front yards of homes in our region. For some, it may be easy to get spooked about dark nights, the full moon, and mystical things. For others, Halloween is not what scares them. Instead, what raises the hairs on some peoples’ necks may be common computer mistakes. Let’s take a look at the scariest mistakes you can make on your computer.

Opening Email Attachments 

Most people know that emails can contain viruses, malware, or even ransomware. Opening an attachment without examining the contents and the sender is one of the most common methods of getting infected. Be extremely cautious and skeptical of all email attachments you receive including any email attachments you receive from friends, family, and co-workers. One of the most common tactics that people with malicious intent will use to send viruses is from people you know in order to gain a false sense of trust. 

Not Backing Up Data 

While this is not something an employee usually has control over, the IT department or consulting team should set up a regular system or protocols for backing up data. The location to where the data is backed up doesn’t really matter as much as the fact that it is backed up. Some companies use the cloud, while others use a server on-site. Ask your IT specialist what your backup procedures are so you can be a part of the solution. 

Surfing Questionable Sites 

Sure, we all surf the internet during our lunch break or while we are waiting for something to download. Be sure you are visiting reputable sites because, oftentimes, innocuous sites are those which contain spyware that will insert itself on to your computer. It is best to stick to known sites or search Google first since they tend to list more reputable sites first.

Using UnSecure WiFi

Traveling for work is common in today’s mobile world. Be sure you question the legitimacy of the network, regardless of if you are logging in at an airport, hotel, or coffee shop. If you must access your system via an open or free WiFi connection, be sure to use a VPN, or virtual private network, which effectively encrypts all of your data that passes through the network. Without this safeguard, all of your logins and passwords will be up for grabs to others who are using the network and have the knowledge or intent. 

Using an Easy Password 

It’s hard to believe that we are in 2019 and users are still creating passwords that are easy to crack. Remember to use a wide variety of passwords for all your different accounts including uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters. If you have trouble remembering all the different accounts and log in credentials try using a password manager so you will not fall victim to having all the passwords identical in all of your logins. That’s a good way to have all of your bank accounts and personal data accessed by someone with malicious intent. 

Sometimes it’s fun to get spooked and scared witless, unless, of course, it is on your computer. If your business is having issues with common security mistakes, call Spectra Networks at 978.219.9752 or visit our website