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5 ways to keep your PC secure

3. Use Edge’s SmartScreen Filter

Have you tried Microsoft's Edge web browser yet? It is Microsoft's most secure and modern browser yet. One of its built-in features that can protect your system from potential threats is called the SmartScreen Filter.

Edge's SmartScreen Filter automatically detects and blocks harmful files and dangerous websites that are flagged by Microsoft as unsafe.

As you browse, this filter will analyze the content and data of your browsing activity and compare it to Microsoft's dynamic list of reported dangerous sites and files. You will get a warning and a notification that the website or file was blocked for safety reasons.

Here's how to check if your Edge SmartFilter is on:

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge then click on the three dots in the upper-right corner to open the Menu.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on "View advanced settings."
  4. Scroll down and check if "Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen Filter" is on.

 

4. Use good passwords

Here's another tip that won't surprise you - always use strong and unique passwords for all your accounts.

Whether your passwords are too short, too simple or have been used time and time again, these mistakes can put your private information at risk.

Good passwords are at least eight characters that mix capital letters, numerals and special characters. You can even take it a step further by creating passwords that are made up of unique passphrases with 16 characters or more (for example, "ilovefreshsashimituna").

Never include any personally identifying information like your birthdate or home address. Remember to use a different password for each service too.

Click here to read more about the common mistakes people make with their passwords.

5. Don’t fall for phishing scams

Cybercriminals are constantly improving their techniques and coming up with new ways to trick innocent computer users. Phishing is commonly an email scam, but it can also happen through social media, text messages and regular old phone calls.

To protect yourself from these phishing attempts, you need to be extra cautious with links. 

If you get an email or notification from a site that you find suspicious, don't click on its links. It's better to type the website's address directly into a browser than clicking on a link.

Double check the URL too. Before you ever click on a link, hover over it with your mouse to see where it is going to take you. If the destination isn't what the link claims, do not click on it. Scammers will also try and slip a fast one by misspelling a domain name on purpose to fool you so always double check the URL spelling.

When available, you should be using multi-level or two-factor authentication. This is when you have at least two forms of verification, such as a password and a security question before you log into any sensitive accounts.

Bonus: Have a backup in the cloud

Gadget disasters can strike anytime. We sometimes take for granted how our computers, tablets and phones seem to work all the time ... until they don't.

And it's not just software issues and malware threats that we need to watch out for, natural calamities like floods, fire and storms can wipe out all our data in a flash.

This is why a quick and reliable backup in the cloud is a must if you have tons of data you want to protect. We recommend our sponsor IDrive. You can backup multiple gadgets with a single account, even your social media accounts!

Ready for a better backup? Switch to IDrive today to save 50% on all your backup needs and get 2TB of storage for less than $35!

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