Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday, ate great food, spent quality time with family and friends, and received the latest and greatest technology gifts that Santa could bring.
The little child in all of us loves that feeling of getting new toys and playing with them as soon as we can get them out of the box. But try to exert some adult patience on your inner child regarding your technology gifts. Here’s why.
Whether you received a new computer, tablet, or phone or treated yourself during those great end-of-year sales, this is the perfect opportunity to start on the right foot instead of playing catch-up.
Before using a new device, ensure your home network is secured. Locate your router in the center of your home and change the default settings to a unique username and password. Additionally, set up a guest network for smart devices and visitors.
The next step is to secure your new devices themselves. First, be sure to enable auto-lock with a unique password or PIN (or use biometrics if available). Review the privacy settings and adjust them if necessary. Install an anti-virus tool and set it to check for updates on a regular basis automatically.
When possible, use multi-factor authentication for accounts you access. This is the most important thing you can do and is a good habit to develop for both personal and business devices. Additionally, use a password manager to store all your passwords (so you are not tempted to reuse passwords).
Even though it is a new device, an update will likely be available. Check for the operating system and software updates and set it to check for updates on a regular basis automatically.
Check to see what apps are already pre-loaded onto your device. Uninstall any that you will not use. Review the permissions on any apps and update the security settings if needed. Be sure to turn off Bluetooth and location services when your devices are not in use. Lastly, be sure to use a camera cover for installed cameras on your laptop.
New devices are great fun and make life easier. But to loosely borrow a quote from “Spiderman”, ‘with new devices comes great responsibility’.