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The best way to safeguard your computers, mobile devices and information from hackers is secure pc software. Hackers (also called cybercriminals) attack your device or computer for a variety of reasons, including stealing, altering and deleting information you consider important. Unlike other thieves, who typically have legitimate uses for the stolen goods hackers have ulterior motives. They are more interested in unauthorized access to your sensitive data, often before you even realize there’s been a problem.

The three main steps to protect your PC software include passwords, firewalls and virus protection. If you follow these top practices, it is less likely that your computer will be compromised by hackers or malware (software which encrypts information and demands payment for its unlocking).

Change the name of your administrator account. Be sure to choose a strong password that contains lower and uppercase numerals, letters and computer symbols. Avoid using a password that is short like 1234 as hackers are able to use automated tools to break passwords that are easy to guess in just a few minutes.

Update your operating system and other programs. The majority of software updates include security patches to help guard against hackers. Install all patches and enable automatic updates whenever they become available to minimize the amount of time you’re at risk to intruders.

If you own a laptop or any other portable device that is not being used, ensure that the drive is encrypted. This is particularly important for UF students. You can enable encryption in Windows by going to Settings > Update & Security > Device encryption. This will secure your entire internal drive and most external drives, like SD cards.


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