Quick Tips

Quick Tip: Keeping a Clean Machine

Monday, October 8, 2018

So you’ve finished all your cleaning duties at home, but have you thought about cleaning your computer?

We aren’t talking about taking some canned air to your keyboard and wiping down your screen! (But feel free to do that, too.) We’re talking about doing a deep cleanse of your internet activity to ensure your personal information is secure.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Windstream is celebrating this month by giving you the tips and tools you need to keep you and your family protected. We’re kicking it off today with some suggestions on updating your cybersecurity measures and keeping a clean machine.

1. Update Your Security Software

Make sure your security software is up-to-date, so it can protect your information from the newest forms of viruses and malware. If you haven’t already, go ahead and turn on automatic updates.

2. Review Logins for Email, Social and Other Accounts

These days, many accounts allow you to see where you are currently logged in, from the city to the device. Check all of the logins — keep in mind, you may see a different city or device if you were traveling — and if you find a sketchy one, remove it from the list. You may also want to change all your online passwords online afterward, and make them strong!

3. Review Your Extensions, Applications and Software Programs for Your Browser, Social Accounts and Computer

Extensions are mini-software programs that essentially extend your web browser with features and other services, such as Google Calendar or 1Password, a password manager program. Look at downloadable software programs or extensions, and take note if there are any that you or your family did not download. Delete them, and scan your computer for viruses and malware.

4. Update Parental Controls Tied to Your Kinetic Internet

If you’re using parental control software to check in on your children’s Kinetic internet use, update it so that it is age-appropriate. Learn more about different parental control programs to protect your kids online.

5. Clear Out Your Browsing Data

You can erase your browsing history, cached images and files along with website data with the click of a few buttons.

6. Get Rid of Unnecessary Files and Back Up Important Ones

Eliminate files or programs that you no longer need. If they are documents that contain sensitive information, simply putting them in the trash bin and clearing it out will not delete it permanently. How do you do that? Popular Science has a tutorial.

And for those confidential documents that you’re keeping, make sure to back them up should anything happen to your computer. Whatever backup method you choose, remember to safely secure it as well.

Now, go on and put some of these practices to the test! And if you’re already a Windstream customer, rest a little easier with one of our three security packages, which each include personal identity theft protection and credit-score access through CreditGuard.