If you are a digital designer with old-school roots, you might think keeping your tools up-to-date refers to maintaining a sharp pencil and a fresh pad of paper. That’s a good start. But in the digital world, being up-to-date means a lot more than that.
Taking a strictly utilitarian approach to your work computer can be detrimental to your business. The, ‘if it an’t broke, don’t fix it,’ attitude only gets you so far in the digital world. The bad guys are not waiting till your system is broke. They are proactively trying to break it. They are proactively doing everything they can to break it. You have to do everything you can to protect your digital assets. That means taking active measures before things get broken.
One of the simplest things a non-technical person can do to protect themselves is to keep their system up-to-date. Sometimes, that means balancing the benefits of a comfortable workflow against the inconvenience of learning something new. But your comfort is meaningless if your work becomes compromised. Updating your system is not always painless. but it is always worth it. Here are a few good starting points:
Hire a Service to Do It for You
Depending on the size of your business, maintaining your own computer system may not be a reasonable do-it-yourself type of job. Just because you are the lord of PhotoShop doesn’t mean you are proficient at keeping your system in tip-top condition.
Canadian tech companies know a thing or two about keeping systems safe and secure. Scouting out the best IT companies in Ottawa would be a pretty good place to start. If you need tech support for servers, desktops, and mobile devices, there are plenty of companies that can provide it. Don’t let your lack of skills be an excuse for an out-of-date and insecure system. Hire someone to do it for you.
Update Your Desktop OS
It is shocking how many people never update their operating system from the one that came with the computer at the time of purchase. Even then, they do not keep their system up-to-date. According to info packets.com, the up-to-date Windows PCs number less than a third. That is a staggering number of systems completely vulnerable to yesterday’s attacks.
Microsoft hopes to change all that with Windows 10. One of its biggest features is that the system will keep itself updated with all the latest patches, whether or not the user wants to do so. Microsoft wants to do more than simply make your machine safe through updates. They want to make the whole Windows ecosystem safe. They can only do that by eliminating the low-hanging fruit of unpatched systems running vulnerable versions of the operating system, serving as bot nets used for villainy the world over.
If you are still running anything with XP in the name, it is definitely time to update. It is also time to let go of the Windows 7 comfort zone. If you have important digital assets, there are much bigger issues at stake.
Update Your Password Strategy
The fact that no human knows, or is likely to guess your password is utterly meaningless. Humans are using computers to do the heavy lifting. If you are not using a strong password, a simple computer can do the job in seconds. Using your grandmother’s maiden name slightly misspelled, is not a good strategy.
Its time for you to look into a good password manager. There are many to choose from. The basic feature of all of them is that you only have to remember one, strong password, and the software does the rest. They tend to work across devices and over the web. Your digital assets are worth more than the nickname you had for your science teacher spelled backwards.
Keeping up-to-date is not just about having the latest and greatest hardware. It is about keeping your system in top working order amidst an ever-changing digital landscape.