There are several little bad habits we can all fall into while using our PCs that can have results ranging from merely annoying to seriously risky. Are you guilty of any of these five?

Habit #1: Blind Clicking

Blindly accepting the default “yes” during an install can result in unwanted browser extensions and annoying add-ons and can even change your default browser. Thoughtlessly clicking to accept firewall permissions defeats the purpose of having a firewall and could put your system at risk.

What to Do Instead:

Take the time to read the pop-up, uncheck the box for additional software and be aware of what you’re allowing onto your system.


Habit #2: Weak Passwords

Experts recommend using unique passwords for each site we log into, ensuring each one contains at least eight characters consisting of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters. Weak and guessable passwords can allow hackers access to your sensitive personal information.

What to Do Instead:

If all those account passwords are too much to remember, you may want to consider using a password manager.


Habit #3: Not Keeping Your System Updated

System updates provide software patches and driver and feature updates that help secure our system. Anti-virus and firewall software requires frequent updates to cover new malware attacks. Manually updating your operating system periodically (or, worse, whenever you think of it) can have some damaging consequences.

What to Do Instead:

Many updaters such as Windows Update and Lenovo Solutions Center can be configured to run automatically at a time when we’re not using our PC.


Habit #4: Foregoing Anti-Virus and Firewall

Anti-virus software and a firewall are a one-two punch for system security. Together they provide protection for incoming data and monitor Internet activity on your system. Not using anti-virus or firewall protection presents a huge security risk.

What to Do Instead:

Find an antivirus and firewall solution that’s right for you (and stick with it). Many antivirus and firewall providers offer free versions, although they may be limited compared to their paid counterparts.


Habit #5: No Backup

Many of us have collections of documents, photos, music and more that would be irreplaceable should something happen to our systems. Having no backup is similar to trapeze artists performing without a safety net.

What to Do Instead:

Backup software options can perform scheduled backups of both your files and your entire system. Off-line storage of data (such as documents, photos and music) can be done via CD/DVD or external storage. Cloud storage options are also available, making data accessible from any device and any where an Internet connection is available. Full system backups are insurance against hardware failures or serious malware attacks such as ransomeware.


Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

This wisdom holds true today. A few minutes of preparation spent securing your device can save hours of frustration and loss of irreplaceable data.