Five new year’s resolutions for your computer systems

Five new years resolutions for your computer systems

Recent research has found 80% of people fail to meet their New Year’s resolutions, with most quitting by 19 January. So now that you’ve got those out of the way, let’s talk about some resolutions for this year you could realistically achieve.

Here are five new year’s resolutions for your computer systems:

  1. Multi-factor authentication
    In the past year we have noticed a significant increase in the number of hacking attempts to gain access to secured information both ourselves and our clients. We have concluded that multi-factor authentication (MFA) is now a critical aspect of your cybersecurity to protect against hackers. This includes activating MFA on your email, website, financial management software, banking and other critical services. Since its introduction, MFA has become less intrusive in that you can whitelist common IP addresses such as your workplace and home so you only have to go through the authentication process if you are working offsite.
  2. Passwords
    We all know they’re important but it’s so easy to forget about changing them and it’s hard to remember new passwords. There are two options here. Firstly, there have been recent changes around what the definition of constitutes a strong password. The biggest change is that the longer the password, the stronger it is, because difficulty of cracking a password goes up exponentially with each letter. A second option is to use a password manager, which stores your passwords for you so you no longer need to remember them. The other big advantage is that it can enable you to easily see whether one requires changing, whether it has been compromised or is in use across multiple websites.
  3. Windows 10
    If you’re still using Windows 7, act as soon as possible as it is no longer supported by Microsoft and you are now vulnerable. as no further software/security updates or technical support are being available. Due to this, it is possible that security risks will arise from the continued use of Windows 7. Windows 8.1 users have until 10 January 2023 until it goes out of support.
  4. Cloud services
    Using cloud services such as Office 365 gives you access to the latest tools in the Microsoft Office suite and can help make your business more productive by making communication and collaboration easier, allowing remote access and reducing downtime. You can easily scale as your business needs grow and take advantage of products and services previously only available to larger businesses.
  5. Cyber Insurance
    Protecting your environment from hackers is a bit like protecting your home from intruders: you can take reasonable precautions, but if Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger want to break in they’ll probably find a way. In these situations, cyber insurance can protect you from potential losses incurred. Just be wary because like health insurance, there are a lot of junk policies out there which don’t offer any real protection.

Much like a business coach helping you implement new practices in your business, or your personal trainer keep you accountable for undertaking regular exercise, it is important to find an ICT partner that can assist in support you in implementing and maintaining these resolutions. If CyberGuru can assist in any way, please contact us.

Ask CyberGuru: Should I update my computer’s hardware drivers?

Ask CyberGuru: Should I update my computer’s hardware drivers?

Ask CyberGuru

In the latest Ask CyberGuru we are asked, “I have recently purchased a new computer. When I bought it, I received a notification telling me to update my graphics card driver. I know that it is important to install important Windows and software updates when they become available, but do I need to also update the computer’s hardware drivers?

Firstly, for those who aren’t aware, “drivers” is a word used regularly in computer terminology. Drivers provide the ability for your computer’s hardware, such as your graphics, network or other component to talk to Windows.

Depending on the manufacturer and model of your computer, there are specifically designed programs to notify you when hardware driver updates are available. Previously, to obtain updated drivers from what was provided with your computer originally, you would use Windows Update or access the relevant manufacturer or the individual component manufacturer’s website.

To answer your question if you need to update your computer’s hardware drivers, it really depends on your need to have the hardware driver up-to-date. We suggest that only if you have a need for the updated graphics card drivers, for instance, if you are experiencing an issue, such as a flickering display, or if your computer is used for entertainment or games, it may be necessary to update the graphics card driver. However, increasingly, updated drivers are also made available as “beta” to help you test it out before it becomes final update. We don’t suggest these, because as the classic (but often true) saying goes, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. Sometimes new drivers can introduce further problems.

We hope this answers your question!