PC computer security checklist

These guides will help you give your computer a routine health check to keep it secure online.

Over time, security loop-holes can be found in your computer’s operating system and the software that runs on it. These holes need closing to keep your system and personal information safe.

Use the checklist every 3 months or if a issue occurs which makes you concerned about your computer’s security – for example, if your anti-virus detects malware on your machine.

These guides were published in 2012 and are currently being updated after the launch of Windows 10. NetSafe will issue new guides that also cover mobile devices.

Following the seven point checklist will set you on the path to improving the security of your computer. There are also other steps you can take including:

  • setting up a login with strong password for every computer user (PC/Mac)
  • using a non admin level login for everyday web browsing (PC/Mac)
  • scanning the machine with the free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware tool if you suspect your PC may be infected (PC)
  • disabling automatic login and requiring a password (Mac)
  • using FileVault disk encryption, backing up on iCloud and using Find My iPhone if your lose your computer (Mac)

Remember:
If you aren’t that confident dealing with technology it may be worth asking a friend or family member for help with the checklist to ensure you don’t lose anything you have stored on the computer. Or consider supporting your local computer technician by paying for their expert advice.

NetSafe recommends backing up important data on a regular basis. This is especially important if you intend to upgrade your operating system or wish to reformat or wipe a computer before installing a new operating system.