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How to protect your computers this summer

Mark Dalton - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Top tips to protect your IT systems this summer.

Summer can be a more relaxed time as people are looking forward to, or returning from, holiday. It can also be a busy time for many businesses as people are away. This can mean that people are less vigilant so reminding staff of basic security precautions is advisable:

  • Look out for suspicious emails with attachments that could contain viruses, even if they are from people you know.
  • Do not download programs from websites.

  • Ensure anti virus software is up to date and that software updates are run as these often address security weaknesses. Our IT dashboard can monitor the status of every device in your business and advise which ones require updating.

Physical security is also important at this time of year: 
  • Holidays can cause routines to change and holiday cover can mean that you see more unfamiliar faces. Reception staff should still maintain the same level of vigilance – as we proved to one client it only takes a few minutes to plug in a device and get access to a company’s computer network.

The summer weather can also cause particular challenges:

  • Computers can suffer in the heat so make sure that PCs, laptops and servers aren’t situated in direct sunlight and they have sufficient space around them for air to circulate. Dust can also accumulate inside machines so routine preventative maintenance is always a good idea to improve your PCs’ performance and prevent unnecessary breakdowns.
  • Storms can also cause flash floods so if you are in an area at risk, plan the way your IT system is set up to avoid the risk of flood damage to equipment. 

While staff are away on holiday:

  • If staff are taking devices away with them on holiday they need to be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid heat damage and away from water and sand as these can have devastating effects. You should ensure that data is encrypted and that adequate insurance is in place should the worse happen.

  • Summer can also be a time for thunderstorms which can wreak havoc on IT systems. Although little can be done to protect from a direct lightning strike, a surge protector or ideally an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) help protect against variations in electricity supply and, in the event of a Power cut, having a UPS will allow enough time to back up data and switch off equipment safely.

  • We all enjoy sharing our holiday snaps over social media – but again beware sharing precise details about dates of departure and return as this information can be used maliciously by some. Ensuring you have the right privacy and location settings on your social media accounts too is also sensible to make sure only the people you want to see the things you share have access to it.

Want more guidance on Staying Safe Online? Download our guide here. Or for more information on our IT monitoring system, preventative maintenance or ensuring your IT systems are set up correctly just get in touch.

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