There is a lot of talk lately about web security. From the debates surrounding government surveillance to the risks of hacking, there are plenty of things to keep track of. Companies certainly have an interest in protecting their intellectual property, but the general public can help protect themselves through some inexpensive strategies. Think about all the free wifi networks you connect to throughout your day or all the places you use card information. Those add up when life gets busy, especially if you do online shopping. VPN services and some proactive identity management can offer a good baseline for securing your money, privacy, and security.
Start with the basics. Keep up on your accounting and utilize bank services. Websites and apps offer easy ways to check the status of your account so you’ll be the first to know when an unusual charge comes through. Keep you password as secure as possible by using combinations of letters, numbers, symbols, and upper/lower cases. According to research for the FTC, people don’t need to change their passwords frequently as long as they choose less predictable sequences and have variation from site to site. Another way to protect your accounts is to use a wallet that protects against RFID theft. This will keep your card information secure from a person using radio signals to remotely transmit your data.
There is an increasing threat of digital attacks as more systems and professions rely on the internet. The ransomware infection in the city of Baltimore is just one example of how far hackers can go as even systems with protections fall victim to an intense cyber attack. So, what is a VPN and how can it help? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a channel designed as a secure way for parties to communicate with each other. Think back to those public Wifi networks you connect to. Anyone with some minor technical knowledge can see your traffic online and potentially steal information. These protections are not an end all be all for internet activity though. Service providers and the VPN provider still have access to your traffic history. There are also many different companies to choose for a VPN which can mean variations in quality.
“The decision on which one to use is very important, however, like websites, they each have their own policies and practices with regard to how they handle your data. When choosing one, be sure to look at the practices and policies around each of the following three areas: Privacy, Security, and Geographical Blocking,” according to IT Chronicles.
Understanding the risk associated with the absence of these protections is vital. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself safe, especially from virtual threats. The more you educate yourself on different digital issues, the better chance you have at defending your future.
Choosing a new computer can be daunting. However, when you have the right advice, it can be a simple process. First, understand what your needs are. What will you use your computer for? Whether it’s for business use, communicating with friends, streaming, gaming, editing photos, or something else, CDM can help you find the device you need. Your primary use is the biggest determinant of which type of computer to purchase. With that in mind, here are a few more tips for choosing the right machine for you. After you have an idea of what you want, call us!
Laptop or Desktop?
Today, laptops are very common: many users choose them for their portability, allowing them to work or surf the web away from their desks. Laptops are especially a good choice for students, as they can bring them back and forth from school and home with ease. They also are a great option for people who travel often and want to stay connected!
However, there are still some strong advantages for desktops. From a financial standpoint, they are generally less expensive to purchase, repair, and update than laptops. They also typically feature a larger screen than laptops, making them a strong choice for people who work with photos, videos, or design. The large screen also may appeal to older generations who are accustomed to it and prefer seeing things on a larger scale.
Operating system: Windows or Mac?
Deciding between a Window or Mac operating system is largely a personal preference. Some users are diehard Mac fans, while others are loyal to Windows. In choosing between them, consider what you’re familiar with. If you’ve only worked with Windows devices, are you willing to learn an entirely new operating system?
The other biggest determinant is what other devices you already own. If you use an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or other Apple product, you may enjoy how those devices can interact with a Mac operating system. Various apps will sync under your Apple ID and allow you to access the same content across devices. For example, if you save something in Notes on your iPhone, that content will appear on your Mac. On the other hand, Windows computers, tablets, and Xbox products all operate on the same system (Windows 10), which creates a more streamlined experience.
Processors impact how fast a computer operates. The main types are the Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 or i9. The Core i3 is the least expensive option, but is also the least powerful. However, if you’re looking to spend under $500 on a computer and only need basic computing abilities (like having a few web tabs open, sending emails, typing, etc.), the Core i3 would be a great choice for you.
Core i5 processors are a balance between moderate price and performance. They will provide decent speed and be efficient enough for the average computer user, especially if you’re on a budget. However, if you have a larger budget and want the fastest, most powerful option, a Core i7 processor or above will take very little time loading and will allow you to work quickly.
The memory of a computer is measured in gigabytes (GB). Standard computers feature eight GB of storage, which is plenty for most users. The only reason you would need more is if you frequently run multiple large applications at the same time. People who use their computers for streaming and gaming may opt for 16 GB options.
Of course, your budget is an important factor for your decision. If you’re working on a tight budget, you can still purchase a computer to surf the web, use email, and other simple needs. Today, inexpensive computers are advanced enough to run common tasks. However, if you can spend slightly more, a computer at a mid-price will be dependable if you’re looking to get work done.
If you’re confused about which computer is right for you, you have a resource: CDM! We are here to help you choose the right product for your needs and to supply you with it. Or, if you’re wondering about whether to repair your current computer or purchase a new machine, stop by and talk to our computer experts. We are here to tailor technology to you!