Computer Security Tips

These days you can’t be too careful – and I know that is such a cliche phrase.  However it is true.  The more we do on our computers – shopping, banking, communicating, and watching TV – the more risk we are at in our day to day life in terms of how much information is on there for thieves to take.  Computer hacking is becoming more and more of a threat.  It feels like every few months my credit card gets “stolen” somehow, whether over the internet or through physical means such as a card “skimmer”.

The best way to protect yourself and your data is to ensure that you follow some “best practices” that I will lay out in this blog post.

First of all you’ll want to ensure that you have an antivirus software tool installed on your computer, and that you also have an antimalware tool as well.  These programs are similar, but they often cover you from different threats.  Viruses and worms are slightly different from malware.  Sometimes Norton does not pick up malware such as toolbars, ransomware, and other such programs.  I use Spyhunter 4 for my computer, but there are also options such as Malwarebytes as well as Eset.  I would suggest doing a bit of reading to select the one that you think best fits your lifestyle.

Another thing that you will want to do is to ensure that ALL of your software is up to date.  That includes your operating system as well as your internet browser.  Usually the updates include security patches, and if you’re using an old version you could be vulnerable to threats that exploit security holes in those versions.  If you have the option, allow your software to automatically update itself so you don’t forget.  I used to delay updating my software and it definitely left me open to attacks.

Once you do all that you’ll want to ensure that you avoid certain internet “bad neighborhoods”.  You might be disappointed but not surprised to find out that your favorite adult, gambling, and download sites are breeding grounds for malware as well as viruses and spyware.  You will want to avoid these sites.  If you really want to use them you might want to consider buying a separate netbook or computer to visit them, and do not do any banking or store any important information on that device.

Lastly, you’ll definitely want to ensure that you’re backing up your computer on a consistent basis.  If you have a recent backup you’ll be able to wipe your computer and restore if you get a virus or malware, or if you’re hit with ransomware.  This is the most important thing that you’re probably not doing.  I know most people just don’t keep up with backing up their computer.  However with a program like Backblaze you can set it up once and forget about it, and it will continue to back up all of your info for you.  That program saved my butt one time when my hard drive broke, and it was worth every penny.

Top Picks For Our Favorite PC Games

Every year, the PC games get better— visually, anyway. But finding a game that’s truly awesome, with great action, fascinating concepts, or a unique storyline, is increasingly tough. If you’re wondering what you’ve missed so far in 2015, here’s a lineup of some top contenders in the PC gaming world.

Kerbal Space Program

First up— the incredible game that has PC gamers in a frenzy. It’s the surprisingly fun, oh-so-addictive “Kerbal Space Program.” You’ve got story mode and sandbox mode, and between the two you have nearly everything you could want in a game. Experiment, build, calculate, and try again—and then surprise yourself at how much you’ve learned about aerospace physics along the way.

Love those dungeon crawlers? Check out “Crypt of the Necrodancer,” a fun little fantasy game that is reminiscent of early Zelda titles. The music takes on a major role here, since you cannot make a move or complete an action unless you get in the groove and synchronize with the beat.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

In the past, you could expect plenty of “dead space” in the major open-world games. Not so with “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.” This game takes the open-world genre to a whole new level. You connect with the characters and the quests more personally, and the world you travel through seems more real, more alive, and more important. Explore, enjoy, and experience one of the best adventures available on the PC gaming scene.

Book of Unwritten Tales 2

If you like the point-and-click style of story-driven games, “Book of Unwritten Tales 2” is the game for you. Blend a cool fairytale with some chuckle-inducing references to pop culture, and you have a humorous, entertaining adventure. Sure, some of the characters are a little cliche, but they’re also warmly familiar, reminding you of some of your favorite games, movies, books, and TV shows. Get it, play it, love it.

Verdun

This one’s for those historical geeks who love a realistic experience, nitty-gritty detail, and slow-building suspense. “Verdun” takes some liberties with history, but offers a serious real-world feel for gamers who like that kind of atmosphere in their shooter games. Once you’re into it, you feel as if you’re there, inching your way across a trench-covered No Man’s Land towards your objective.

Grand Theft Auto

It arrived on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2013, but now it’s available for PC as well. Grand Theft Auto offers incredible graphics, pulse-pounding action, and the Rockstar Editor, which allows gamers to create their own objects and machines. If you have the hardware to run it in its top form, Grand Theft Auto might just knock your socks off.