October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the very existence of this ‘holiday’ affirms it is more important than ever to make sure your digital data is secure. To help get you on the right track, we’ve put together a quick security checklist of five simple, but impactful, steps you can take to better protect yourself today. 

1) Update your Operating System.
Updates and patches for your Operating System and applications are made available almost daily.  In many cases, these updates and security fixes are essential to keep your computer healthy and your data safe. If you find it tiresome keeping on top of these important updates, turn on Auto-Update.

2) Download, Activate and Keep Antivirus, Anti-malware and Firewall Software Up to Date.

Antivirus, anti-malware and firewall software can protect your device and data from malicious activity in the form of corrupted files, attack code and processes. Don’t forget to install, activate and keep these essential security features up to date.

3) Pay Attention to Passwords.
Strong password hygiene is worth emphasizing and repeating. Don’t use the same password for everything; use unique combinations of 8-14 uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and non alphanumeric characters. You must also make sure to keep your passwords somewhere safe. Storing them digitally in an encrypted password protector is often a good choice, but you can always write them down in a book the old-fashioned way.

4) Backup your Important Files.
Determine what’s mission critical, and create and keep multiple backups of your most important data, just in case. Store the files in the cloud via a trusted service provider; on secure flash drives or external hard drives; or using physical media like DVDs. If the unthinkable happens and your primary machine is corrupted, lost, or stolen, you’ll be glad you did.

5) Do not click on suspicious links or open questionable attachments received via email.

Even if (you think) an email comes from someone that you know, use caution. Phishing and email scams are a persistent method of computer infection. Always double check the sender’s email address, attachment filenames and extensions for abnormalities. If it doesn’t feel genuine, it probably isn’t.

Have you already taken these precautions? Do you travel with your laptop often? Absolute Home & Office can provide an extra layer of security and control by enabling you to Locate your machine on a map, Lock or Delete it’s contents remotely or, in the case of an actual theft, communicate with authorities to Recover it. Absolute Home & Office Premium is available for 33% off until October 31st.