Setup passwords on your Windows accounts
By securing your windows account with a password, only you have access to that account this way no one will be able to access your personal data or files. In windows 8 there are two types of accounts either a local account (which is the same as earlier versions of windows) or a Microsoft account (which is one you have registered online). A Microsoft account is more flexible in terms of usage and accessibility as it allows you to access your files, photos, music and other essentials from anywhere.
Backup your files online or on a storage device
If you have important files, documents, photos it is advisable that you keep regular backups of this type of material via free online backup facilities such as; IDrive, SkyDrive, Spideroak and many more. Or an alternative solution is purchasing memory drives, portable hard drives or media cards. Using the online backup facilities allows you to access your files, sync anywhere in the world!
Use antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-malware and firewall software
To stay safe whilst using the internet or for any 3rd party activities you plan to do on your machine, it is highly recommended for any user to install internet security software, even from the simplest tasks of surfing the internet, opening emails, accessing files on storage devices. Your machine is likely to be infected by such malicious software.
There are many tools available on the internet and free internet security software such as avast, Malwarebytes, Window defender and many more
Make online transactions only on websites that are HTTPS
Whenever you visit a website, in normal circumstances when there is no purchasing involved you will either see ‘http://’ or the websites address without anything in front of it. However when you are purchasing an item or service where you have to enter credit card details, it is very important that at the top where the URL of the website is there must be either ‘https://’ or a padlock which is normally green. This means that this transaction is secured and encrypted, if you do not see this, it is recommended to avoid this type of transaction as it is not safe.
Don’t trust links you receive in emails from unknown sources.
You will often receive junk emails if you have subscribed to certain websites or your email address is picked up by bots online, some of these messages might ask you to update your banking details, or to change your password for a specific service, whenever you see this type of message it is most likely a form of ‘phishing’ do not trust all of them and always check if they are coming from the legitimate source, one way to find this out is when you roll your mouse over the link, you will see the URL of the source or the URL will show a different address to the legitimate source, if you see a different URL do not click it. This is someone trying to steal your login details.
Keep your windows and drivers updated frequently
If your system and drivers are updated frequently it will minimise the risks of external attacks and your machine from slowing down or not working. In windows there is a built in function called windows update which will keep your windows updated automatically if set to automatic updates, if not you will need to manually open this and check for updates.