If you slipped past COVID-related scams so far, count your lucky stars. Scams skyrocketed during the pandemic. According to AARP, the poor souls who fell for these phishing scams lost $309.4 million — that’s an average loss of $306 per person.
One of the ways cybercriminals steal your cash is by slithering into your PC. That’s why you should boost your computer’s defenses. How long has it been since you took a step back and thought about your PC’s security?
Whether it’s been a day or a year, you’ll find these three tips helpful. Step into 2021 on the right foot, thanks to our sponsor Solve iQ. Quick tech help is just a phone call away with its team of experts. More on that later. For now, take this first protective step.
1. Making sure your OS, drivers and firmware are up to date
Step one: Make sure your PC is running on the latest operating system. If you’re still running Windows 7, you’re in serious danger of being hacked. Here’s why you need to upgrade ASAP.
So, what if you already have Windows 10? In that case, you’ll want to make sure you keep it up to date. Here’s how to check for updates:
- Go to Settings
- Select Update & Security
- Tap on Check for updates to see if there are any available updates
Now, take a look at your drivers. These programs send messages between your operating system and your disk drive, video card, printer, keyboard and other peripherals. Drivers are a critical piece of your computer’s security.
When you update your PC to the latest operating system, that usually means your drivers updated, too, but it never hurts to double-check.
To manually update or reinstall a driver, follow these steps:
- First, hit the Windows icon at the bottom left of your screen. In the search box on the taskbar, type Device Manager and select Device Manager when it pops up.
- Select a category to see the names of devices, then right-click (or press and hold) the one you’d like to update. For example, if you use your fingerprint ID or an eyeball scan to access your computer, update the Biometric devices.
- Double-click on the driver and a new window will pop up. Then, tap Update Driver. The steps will look like this:
Tap OK to make sure your driver is updated.
Last step: Update your router. That’s your home’s gateway to the internet. Everything that flows from the web into your network must first pass through your router — think of it as a medieval drawbridge that can bring both trade goods and invading armies.
Turn router updates into a habit. This makes sure you’ll enjoy optimal performance and enhanced security. Tap or click here for a step-by-step guide on updating your router’s settings, plus other ways to boot hackers from your network.
Be warned: All these updates take time and you need to know where to look. If you want to save yourself time and get this done immediately, Solve iQ is super helpful. It automatically scans for all driver updates to ensure your PC is optimized 100% of the time.
In the meantime, make sure to take this second step. This is critical for protecting your PC!
2. Make sure Windows Defender is enabled
When you download Windows 10, you automatically get the Windows Defender antivirus software. This program works behind the scenes, performing background scans, automatically scanning downloads, opening programs and so on. It’s bloatware-free and it requires fewer system resources than most antivirus programs.
But what if it isn’t running? Here’s how to double-check.
- Go to Settings
- Tap Update & Security
- Select Windows Defender
- Make sure Real-Time Protection is enabled
Want even more security? Solve iQ‘s DNS protection and PageBoost browser extension keep you protected from deceptive bloated apps and malware while improving your online privacy.
Now, here’s a final step you can’t forget.
3. Set a stronger password
All right, be honest. Do you enter a password every time you turn on your laptop or desktop computer? If not, it’s time to set up a password. We get it, you want to get to your computer quickly. You don’t want to remember yet another long password.
But your PC has all of your private data, and it probably has passwords autosaved. If someone broke in, they would have the keys to the kingdom. That’s why you need a strong code to outsmart anyone trying to break in.
Use a password with multiple characters, symbols and numbers. Whatever you do, don’t use “1234” or a password with your birthday or other important dates. Those are incredibly easy to guess.
If you’re feeling stumped, here’s a fun resource for you to check out. A team of researchers created a password strength meter that’s powered by an artificial neural network. Test your skills at creating a strong password here.
Look for that sweet spot: You want a password that’s easy to remember but also tough to crack.
Basically, protecting your PC takes a lot of time, effort and brainpower. There are so many threats lurking in cyberspace that it can get mentally exhausting. Instead of wasting hours scrolling through your settings and manually protecting yourself, you can sign up for Solve iQ and solve your issues in a snap.
With Solve iQ, you’re getting a team of IT pros protecting your PC
Sometimes, you just need a helping hand. That’s why you should talk to a professional who can walk you through any tangled problem you come across. With Solve iQ, you get 24/7 access to a highly-trained team of digital helpers.
Sure, you can call Kim — but what if you need help now? For just $9.99 a month, you get unlimited access to a qualified team of professionals who can walk you through any tech problem. Whether your laptop camera is buggy or your keyboard is acting up, its team can help you with any problem.
As Kim says, “Calling up Solve iQ is the next best thing to having me come to your home!” Visit SolveiQKim.com today so you can spend less time worrying about your PC’s safety. Now, it will be safe in the hands of a qualified team wholly dedicated to protecting your digital life.