Make sure your computer system a "clean machine" for hardware and software efficiency

Clearly, if you want your business computing system to meet your serious business needs, you must adhere to some serious standards in both your hardware and software.

When it comes to your business computing system, we call it a “clean machine.” There are a few things to consider here.

First, be safe and keep your security software current and up-to-date. You’d be amazed at how many people buy legitimate, mixed-business software (including but not limited to antivirus) for their business computer system and then leave it out of date. You will find that using the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the absolute best way to protect yourself from viruses, various malware and other online threats.

They have spent good money on these products and bought them precisely to fulfill specific business needs and functions. Do you now have someone responsible for tracking the status of your products? Both software and hardware can become obsolete and this must be considered extremely important. One person must be responsible. Set a schedule and stick to it.

Next would be the absolute importance of software updates. Make sure someone (like you maybe) is responsible enough to keep tabs on everyone. It wouldn’t make economic sense to buy high-quality enterprise software and then not keep up with updates.

One thing to watch out for here: Make sure these updates come from the software company itself, not your local neighborhood hacker. This is a common way to break into a company’s computer system and is another reason why this needs to be monitored by a very responsible person. No exceptions.

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One way you can do that is by using the automatic updates that some software companies offer. This way the updates come at the right time as intended in the software. If this is available, use it, but again make sure it’s from there.

You might think that no one can do any real harm even if it breaks into your particular computer system. I hope you remember how hackers break into systems like Target. They got into one of their contractors’ computers and used it to get into Targets. Don’t take any chances here. Adhesion is alive and well.

Another thing that’s so easily overlooked for people unaccustomed to computer security is to always, always, always protect any of your devices that are connected to the internet. It’s not just your computer that’s at risk. Besides your computers, you have to deal with smartphones, gaming systems and other internet-enabled devices. When they connect to your system, they also need your serious protection against viruses and various malware. Also watch out for employees using their own devices to get information from your system. You’re connected to your business computer system, right? A common thing now.

Another thing to keep in mind is to watch your plugs and scanners. Many people don’t know, but your USBs as well as other external devices can be infected with viruses and other malware. (I know I use the term “malware” a lot. It’s just a contraction of the words “malicious software”.) You can and should use your security software to scan them. Don’t know how?

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There’s no shame in not knowing something. The sin is in staying that way when by learning some you can use that knowledge to protect your business and reputation. Watch and learn from a knowledgeable software retailer, and I don’t mean Walmart.

Nobody will protect you but you. If you don’t keep an eye on every aspect of your company’s IT system, no one else will and you will be left out in the cold.

don’t let it happen

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