Stop ignoring those pesky update notifications.
Operating system and software updates boost security and performance—and take nearly zero effort to install, says Wendy Woodward, director of NUIT Technology Support Services. Spend the two minutes each month to give your computer the mini-upgrade it needs.
Use antivirus software.
Set long, complex passwords for all accounts and devices.
And keep them secret, even from your closest friends. Duh.
Avoid accessing personal information at cafes and on other public Wi-Fi networks.
If you must check your bank account balance at Unicorn Cafe, load the Northwestern virtual private network, which creates a secure “tunnel” for your computer, hiding all browsing activity and password entries from spies, Woodward says. Installation is a breeze, and the NUIT website takes you through the process step by step.
Illegal downloading isn't worth it. Just pay the $1.29.
Downloaded music files might seem harmless, but they sometimes contain embedded viruses that could invade your computer, wiping out your bank account or deleting that final paper you labored over for days, Woodward says. Don’t be cheap: Free music isn’t worth the risk.