Securing a Safe New Year

It’s a new year, and I’ve just rebuilt my computer. Running a Tablet PC as a primary machine is an exercise in restraint. I don’t want to have anything that isn’t absolutely necessary, but, one of the things that IS necessary is security. Why? I’m so glad you asked!

Because “stuff” happens. Think it won’t happen to you? Tell that to my clients who have experienced:

  • Virus attacks that have wiped out the business machine.
  • Worm/back door trojan that unleashed delete sequences on their main hard drive.
  • A pipe that broke in the ceiling over a desk and literally flooded and shorted out the machine.
  • Hard drive failure (mechanical) – replaced by the computer manufacturer, but that didn’t help with the data.
  • Fire that did enough smoke damage to render the computer useless.
  • Power surge that wiped out a computer with all the data it contained.
  • A laptop stolen when on a business trip.

And you also have the possibility of major disasters that are weather-related, floods, fires, etc.

When you are looking at your own computer security and data security, you should ensure:

  • A user that uses a strong password (letters AND numbers).
  • A computer that doesn’t run an administrator account as a default.
  • A business machine that isn’t used by other members of the family (in particular teenagers, IMHO).
  • An anti-virus that works flawlessly.
  • A firewall that protects you from the outside without making you crazy when you are networking inside.
  • A selection of spyware detection/removal tools that work well together.

Be sure that your maintenance is done on a regular basis and that you also do a weekly backup (at a minimum). You should also secure your critical data (no less often than once a month) on a removable drive and store it offsite. Then, if something happens to your home office or your computer, you will still be able to serve your clients!