The Ultimate Computer Security 101 Checklist

March 03, 2015

The Ultimate Computer Security 101 Checklist

By John DeWolf

Computer security can be complicated and intimidating for the average user out there. As an IT Admin, it’s up to you to assist users and explain the why - why you need a strong password, why backing up your data is important, why you should never connect to Wi-Fi without a password, etc. In our latest eBook, “The IT Admin’s Checklist For Complete Office-Wide Computer Security” we walk through what today’s admins can (and should) teach users to keep them safe.

Pulled directly from the eBook is a helpful, easy to use checklist that an IT admin can pass along to their end users, helping them improve their computer security. Check out the computer security checklist below and get your users on board with better computer security!


  • Never share your password with anyone, ever
  • Use a passphrase (a short sentence that’s easy to remember) instead of a password
  • Combine your passphrase with two-factor authentication


  • Never respond to an email from strangers
  • Don’t open any attachments that you haven’t scanned first
  • Don’t open any links you haven’t checked (hint, hover over the link to ensure it’s really going where it’s supposed to go)
  • Always back up your email


  • Only install from safe sources (hint, the vendor’s download site or your browser’s add-in store)
  • Look for the lock and ensure you see the icon before entering your personal information into a website
  • Save and sync selectively when asked “Would you like to store this password?” The best answer is NO.
  • If you log in then you should also log out - always
  • Clear and back up everything


  • Always use a lock screen - every smartphone and tablet have one. Use it.
  • Nobody should ever borrow your smartphone
  • Don’t respond to a text from a stranger
  • Don’t answer calls from strange phone numbers - it’s better to screen these calls. Let voicemail handle it.
  • Back up everything


  • Use an active security suite, aka an antivirus program to protect your system from viruses such as malware, spyware, and network attacks
  • Update your software - keep your operating system, security suite, and programs up-to-date
  • Leave it? Lock it. Don’t leave your system logged in and unattended
  • Don’t share your system with anyone unless specifically told by your IT team
  • Back up your data


  • Never connect to Wi-Fi that you don’t own
  • Don’t connect to Wi-Fi without a password
  • Always use a firewall
  • Always use SSL in your web browser


  • Don’t talk to strangers online
  • Only give out data on the phone calls that you started
  • Watch your back - literally. Be aware of your surroundings when in public and logged on to your computer
  • Everybody you just met is a stranger, no matter what they claim to “know” - the best advice for online and in person as well.
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