Easy steps to prevent cyber threats, viruses

Internet users can get a fresh start with their online life by keeping all machines clean, purging their online files, enhancing security features and ensuring that their online reputation shines, says the Better Business Bureau and the National Cyber Security Alliance.

“Seasonal changes always have an impact on our lives ‒ whether it's the biannual changing of our clocks or swapping our skis for a baseball glove. It has also become the time to declutter and start anew,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA's executive director. “Our lives have become increasingly connected and, with multiple devices, we accumulate digital clutter that needs attention.”

You'll want to make sure your devices are constantly updated for security and software updates, said Ashton Smith, an IT Specialist for Ribbit Computers in Wichita. Many software programs have automatic updates to make this easier on the computer.

Smiths said people should get rid of unused programs on their cell phones and computers.

“For phones, a lot of people download applications and then they never use them again. They sit on the phone and they constantly run in the background,” he said.

“You download a program. You don't use it anymore,” Smith continued. “It sits up and takes up space on a computer. Sometimes it automatically starts up with the computer when they don't need to. You can clean those out, but definitely getting rid of things you don't use anymore is a better way to go with it. It just keeps your computer running a little smoother.”

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