Network security, in its most basic form, is defined as anything you can do to protect your network and its data from threats and managing who accesses the network.
Many people are under the impression that you have to be an IT expert in order to protect a network successfully, but this could not be any further from the truth.
Here are the top four steps you can take to improve your network security right now:
Upgrade Your Operating System To 64-Bit
If you’re currently using the 32-bit version of Windows, now is the time to upgrade to 64-bit. The reason why you should upgrade is because 64-bit is able to handle a significantly larger amount of RAM (random access memory) than 32-bit can.
As of now, Windows 10 64-bit is the best operating system you can use for optimal network security. If you’re still using Windows 7 and especially if you’re using a system as old as XP, you need to make the upgrade sooner rather than later.
Use Microsoft Office 2010 Or Newer
Many people and small businesses continue to use Microsoft Office 2003 or 2007 because of a “don’t fix anything that’s not broken” approach.
While that’s certainly great advice to follow in life, it’s actually not the best advice to follow when it comes to computer applications.
Office 2003 in particular utilizes a binary file format that is much more vulnerable to malicious code than Office 2010, which comes with a Protected View system that will open up possibly malicious files in Read Only mode.
Keep Administrator Accounts To A Minimum
The very first account that you open up on a Windows PC system will be an administrator account, even if it’s not labeled as such.
The problem here is that most people will continue to use this account for any activities they do on their computer, which leaves them at much greater risk for malware (especially while accessing e-mail or using search engines).
To avoid this problem, create a separate standard user account that you will use for your everyday computing activities. You don’t want to delete your original administrator account, but you will want to relegate yourself to using it only when it’s absolutely necessary (such as when installing new software or hardware).
Keep All Of Your Programs Updated
Most programs will remind you when they need to be updated, but others will not, which means you will need to make it a part of your weekly routine to scan your installed programs and see which ones need updating.
Always update your programs and software when you are notified to or when you see they need to be, because even if you don’t particularly care about the new features the updates come with, they will also come with critical security updates to increase protection of your network.
Improving Your Network Security
While there are certainly many more steps you can take to ensure that your network is properly protected and managed, the four we have covered in this article are the most basic ones that virtually anybody can do.