Tech Talk

Seven Tips for Protecting Information on Mac and Windows

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Image credit: Bankofmalware

With the recent increase in cybercriminal activity such as the Flashback outbreak and a similar Java Applet malware, Symantec’s Nigel Tan, Principal Consultant for Asia South Region encourages the public to step up their security and shares a few tips with us. While Macs were usually safe from such issues in previous years, Nigel warns that cybercriminal activities may increase on these machines due to its popularity.
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Nigel Tan, Principal Consultant for Asia South Region, Symantec, shares with us his seven tips for protecting information on the Mac and Windows, particularly important to businesses of any size.

Complete Information Protection for SMBs

What should small business owners be doing to protect their information from the latest threats to Mac and Windows machines? The answer is a combination of technology and policy.

  • Deploy reliable security solutions throughout the organisation – on Mac and Windows endpoints. Today’s security solutions do more than just prevent viruses. They scan files regularly for unusual changes in file size, programs that match the software’s database of known malware, suspicious e-mail attachments and other warning signs. It’s the most important step small businesses can take toward keeping computers clean of malware.
  • Keep applications updated with the latest patches. New viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other malware are born daily, and variations of them can slip by software that is not current.
  • Develop security policies and educate employees about Internet safety, security and the latest threats. Train employees to be wary of email attachments, links from unknown sources, and unusual software update requests. Most infections can be prevented by adhering to organisational policy and exercising caution.
  • Enforce strong password policies. Maintaining strong passwords will help you protect the data stored on a laptop if a device is lost or hacked. Strong passwords have eight characters or more and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (e.g., # $ % ! ?). Have employees change their passwords on a regular basis, at least every 90 days.
  • Implement encryption technologies on desktops, laptops and removable media. With encryption, confidential information is protected from unauthorized access, providing strong security for intellectual property, customer and partner data.
  • Backup and recovery is a critical component of complete information protection to keep small business desktops, servers and applications running smoothly in case of disruption – whether it’s a flood, an earthquake, a virus or a system failure.
  • Regularly check the defences to be sure everything is working properly.

If you are concerned that they may be infected with Flashback, Symantec has provided a free detection and removal tool for download at this link.

By Brian Chan

Former Lecturer. Gamer. Idea Generator. Tournament Organizer. Loves Kairosoft games. Lived in a box twice in Recettear. Never turns down a Catan challenge. Cheats in Monopoly. Broke Skyrim. Sucks at Dance Central. Plays a fem Shep. Heavy bow-gunner in MH3p. Completed Persona 2 Portable 4 times. Well, he's just too damn free.