7 Day Malware Prevention Challenge
Can you complete the 7 Day Challenge?
- Day 1: Password Complexity
- Day 2: Install Anti-Virus
- Day 3: Install a Firewall
- Day 4: Program Updates
- Day 5: File Organization
- Day 6: Data Backups
- Day 7: Employee Education
Day 1: Password Complexity
How To Memorize Complex Passwords
Most of us likely use the same password for multiple online accounts, if not all. While this approach may be convenient, it does put all your eggs in one basket. If one of your online accounts gets hacked, the hacker could attempt to log in to your other accounts using the same login credentials. You do not want to be in this situation!
Therefore, it’s good practice to not only update your passwords periodically, but also reach a certain of complexity. Unfortunately, our brains are not capable of memorizing complex passwords. Most of us, at least.
An Easy Way To Memorize Your Next Complex Password
Here are a few ways create your own complex password that is easy to remember.
1. Simple Math
Craft your password reflecting a simple math equation.
2. Platform Name + 4 Digit Prefix or Suffix
This option would be convenient for the user with many online accounts. Include the company name followed by a 4-digit suffix.
In this example, the user’s 4-digit suffix is 5866.
3. Dates of Big Events
Wedding dates, first dates, a sports teams championship, etc are great complex passwords that are easy to remember.
It’s that easy! Go ahead and update your passwords to something complex but simple enough for you to remember.
Day 2: Install Anti-virus Software
What is Anti-Virus Software?
Anti-virus software is a program designed to prevent, detect, and remove computer viruses or malware. We have seen an increase in ransomware attacks where hackers hold sensitive data ransom. This can put a small business in a bind. We encourage every workstation has anti-virus installed to prevent or remove any malware hibernating deep in your computer.
How to Install Anti-Virus – 4 Steps
1. Shop Around For An Anti-Virus Program
A simple Google search for “Anti-virus Software” will return many results. There are several common free anti-virus programs such as Avast or Norton. We recommend Eset to our clients as it has robust features and proactive monitoring. Do your due diligence in finding the firewall that fits your needs and business.
2. Install Anti-Virus
After purchasing or downloading the anti-virus program, open the installer and follow the instructions for installation.
3. Restart Computer
After installation, you will likely need to restart your computer.
4. Run Scans
Once your computer has rebooted, click on the anti-virus icon to open the program. It should say there is a scan available. Click ‘Run Scan’.
5. Remove Any Detected Malware
After the scan is complete, you may see a list of detected files that appear malicious. The program will give you the option to delete these malicious files.
6. Scheduled or Manual Scans
Most anti-virus software allow for scheduled or automatic scans that run in the background at pre-determined intervals. Alternatively, you may scan your computer manually by opening the anti-virus program and initiate the scan.
Congratulations, your computer now has anti-virus solutions against malware! If you need anti-virus solutions for your business or organization, give us a call at (973) 882-4644 for a free IT strategy meeting.
Day 3: Install a Firewall
What is Firewall?
A firewall is a program that shields your computer from hackers or malware trying to gain information from your business or employees. Implementing a firewall is standard practice for all businesses and recommended for all workstations.
How to Install and Secure Your Firewall – 4 Steps
1. Shop Around For A Secure Firewall
A simple Google search for “Secure Firewalls” will return many results. Do your due diligence in finding the firewall that fits your needs and business. We recommend Sonicwall, as we integrate their firewall with our clients’ network security goals.
2. Install Firewall
After purchasing the firewall, simply download their software. After opening the program, follow their instructions on installation. It should be pretty straight forward.
3. Restart Computer
After installation, you will likely need to restart your computer.
4. Run Available Scans
Once your computer has rebooted, click on their icon to open the program. It should indicate that your firewall is on and shielding you from hackers and malware. If the program asks to run any scans, click ‘Run Scan’.
Your computer and network should now be secure! If you need firewall for a complex network, please schedule a free IT strategy meeting.
Day 4: Program Updates
How To Update Programs and Software
If you haven’t updated your programs in a while, chances are you are using outdated versions. This may risk vulnerabilities in your system. It’s good practice to keep your software up to date.
On Windows PC
1. Open Start Menu
2. Click ‘All Programs’
3. Click ‘Windows Update’
4. Click ‘Check for Updates’
5. Once Windows is done checking for updates, click the “Install” button.
6. After updates are done installing, restart your computer.
Third-party software and web browsers such as Firefox or Chrome may update on their own. Oftentimes they will notify you of available updates. Simply visit the program’s settings and look for “Check for Updates” option.
For more complex updating questions, or if you’re unsure how to update your business network, schedule a free IT strategy meeting.
Day 5: File Organization
Organize Your Files
One issue we see often is how cluttered a computer is with sensitive and important documents saved on the desktop or in the ‘Downloads’ folder. While it’s convenient in the short term to leave your saved file in the default download folder, you will quickly accumulate files, causing longer navigation times and more clutter.
The best way to organize your files may be different for each user and his or her goals. For example, a college student may have folders for different topics than those of the small business owner. Therefore, we’ve gathered a list of methods for organizing your saved documents.
3 Methods To Organize Your Files
1. By Work/Education Folders
Create new folders by departments or class.
Examples for Business Owners:
Folder 1 = Accounting
Folder 2 = Legal
Folder 3 = HR
Examples for Students:
Folder 1 = English 101
Folder 2 = Biology 204
Folder 3 = Computer Science 400
Once these folders are created, drag and drop files into their respective folders. This should decrease some of the clutter and make it faster for you to navigate.
2. By Year
This option would be convenient if you don’t want to go through each file and determine in which folder it belongs.
Once these folders are created, simply sort by date and drag and drop the files into their respective years. This should decrease some of the clutter and make it faster for you to navigate.
Day 6: Data Backups
How To Backup Your Data
Backing up your data is an absolute must for your business. If you don’t backup your data, and your system crashes without a way to retrieve or restore your data, you are in for a big headache. We recommend backing up your data AT LEAST once per day. Databases should be updated at least twice per day.
There are two steps to data backup: Backup Software and Storage.
There are countless backup solutions available online. Some are better than others, depending on your needs and your network. We use Veeam, which is mainly geared toward backing up virtual machines.
Once you backup your data, you’ll need storage device to hold it, rather than storing your backups on a server. Network storage devices are popular storage mediums. There are also cloud services that allow you to backup your data to the cloud.
Every Business is Different
Different backup solutions may work better for your business than others. There is no one universal solution. As long as your data is backed up and stored, you have a better chance of surviving a ransomware attack or system crash.
Day 7: Employee Education
How to Educate Employees on Technology
Training employees on embracing new technology can be a challenge. Employees may already have a method in place, and new changes may be a bit overwhelming.
Nevertheless, as technology continues to improve, so must the education behind it. Proper utilization of your business technology will increase not just productivity, but also profitability.
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