Every day there seems to be a new story in the news about computer viruses, and how they have infiltrated people’s machines. Even Apple Macintosh’s are not immune, as the recent KeRanger hack story has demonstrated. When the first computer virus appeared over 30 years ago, it was more about pranking people or sabotage but nowadays, the attacks are stealthier and tend to be about making money – for example a hacker may encrypt your files and ask for a sum of money as ransom. Or they may contact your company and threaten to launch an attack which will prevent your customers from being able to access your website unless your company pays them a large sum of money. The scary thing is that many people won’t even notice when malware appears on their PC – it will creep in and lurk in the background until you log onto your bank account, where it will record your security information without you knowing, forward this to a hacker, and then delete itself so you never find it.

Although all this may sound scary, in reality it is quite simple to protect yourself from most security threats with the help of a company who offer IT Support in Oxford. Agnito, for example, work closely with a company called Sophos who are a security software and hardware company. Sophos knows how to keep all aspects of your computer system safe, and in this post we will share some of the things they suggest to keep your emails safe from hackers and malware.

  1. Install and Use Antivirus Software

Sounds simple doesn’t it but you would be amazed at how many people don’t do this. If you are a business user, it is especially important to install antivirus or endpoint security software onto all your computers and servers, and make sure that you keep them up to date! Malware is being developed all the time and this can spread through your company very quickly, so the best thing to do is to work with your IT Company in Oxford to create an infrastructure that can update every device within your company quickly, efficiently and on short notice.

  1. Block Executable File Types From Being Downloaded

It is highly unlikely that your business needs to receive executable files by email or to download them from the internet, and it is these types of files that tend to carry Malware. Your IT Support Company can work with you to ensure that these types of files are blocked from your system, which should give you better security from the outset.

  1. Ensure all Devices Have a Firewall Installed

All devices that are connected to your network, be it a PC, phone, tablet, etc. need to have a firewall installed. Many people think that because their network is closed, a firewall isn’t necessary, but we have experience of worms entering closed networks through USB drives, CDs, and mobile devices. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

  1. Use Automatic Patch Updating

Staying up to date with software patching is a good idea, as many software patches close loopholes that may have previously made you vulnerable to security issues. If your devices run on Windows, then it is fairly easy to set these up to run automatically, which is one less thing for you to worry about.

  1. Back Up, Back Up, and Back Up!

We cannot stress the importance of backing up your data enough. Regularly backing up your data, ensuring the backup was successful, and storing the backup somewhere safe, are essential tasks that you cannot ignore. This means that even if malware somehow manages to infect your devices, you can quickly restore any data or lost programmes and get back to work. Agnito IT Support in Oxford offers a comprehensive cloud backup service that is physically secure and ensures that your data is encrypted.

  1. Have A Clear Company Policy on Virus Warnings and Chain Letters

We’ve all seen those emails that claim to contain really useful information or offer you some kind of reward for doing so. Your employees need to be really clear that if they happen to receive one of these or a virus warning – even if it comes from a credible source – it should not be distributed around the company.

For more information about email security and our other IT Support services, please call Agnito on 01865 524524 or email us at info@agnito.co.uk