Guide To Computer Security

Guide To Computer Security

Since you are reading this article, you are already connected to the Internet. You are most likely already thinking about security on your computer or network. Every day seems to bring new threats to your computer, and it can seem pretty daunting, but the critical thing is to have a common sense approach and to take a few basic precautions and steps.

Many great tools are available now to help, and you don’t have to break the bank to get them because they are free. Here Below are some areas to take a look at:

BACKUPS

Securing your information starts here by backing up your data. You will need some or all of the security tools listed below, but you cannot guarantee 100% that you will not have a problem. Hardware failure does happen in some cases, so backup your data. One easy way to keep your important files is to burn them onto a CD, DVD, and USB flash drive.

ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE

An absolute must-have antivirus. Alright, you already knew that, but I cannot stress too strongly the importance of having a good, up-to-date antivirus software program installed on your computer. With new threats and Viruses arriving every day, it’s essential to maintain automatic update subscriptions and download virus definition updates as soon as they become available. Many good antivirus software programs are available, both free and low cost. I did not recommend going for paid software. You never know when you will need to call a helpdesk, and that’s usually the difference between the free stuff and the stuff you pay for. Norton, McAfee, AVG, and many others all sell antivirus software that’s affordable at a low price.

FIREWALL

A firewall is always recommended to help protect against unauthorized access to your personal computer. For a small number of personal computers, a software firewall is often the best and is the easiest to work with if you are not an IT expert. However, don’t discount hardware firewalls, especially if you have a network with a lot of devices connected to it. Whatever you do, do not rely on the Network Address Translation or packet filter built into your personal computer, your ADSL, or Cable router. It almost certainly will not be enough. If you are buying a particular company’s Antivirus software program, it’s worth considering buying their integrated AV and firewall software package if they have one. If they don’t, you may try someone from another company. It may save you money and be easier to configure, maintain, and time.

ANTI-SPYWARE SOFTWARE

If you spend a lot of time browsing the Internet and let’s face it, who does not? Then spyware is going to find its way onto your computer. A lot of it is not particularly nasty. Still, the horrible stuff can send personal and vital information like passwords, bank details, or credit card numbers to people you don’t want to have access to your data. At the very least, it can slow down your personal computer, and since you did not ask for it in the first place, then you should get rid of it.

Some signs that you can know you have a Spyware infection are:

1. You get pop-up ads while you are on the Internet.

2. Your default homepage or other settings in your browser suddenly change especially if you cannot change them back to your taste.

3. Your personal computer is slow. There could be other reasons for this, but it’s worth checking for spyware software.

There is some good free antivirus software available from Lavasoft called AdAware. Microsoft also has its free tool for all Windows users, which is called Windows Defender. Among the paid-for Anti Spyware software, Webroot’s Spy Sweeper regularly picks up awards from computer magazines and more.

PASSWORDS

More and more people are now accessing secure websites for shopping, banking, etc., offering you take sensible precautions. It’s a great way to shop.

If you have been shopping online, you will be used to dealing with secure websites. Whatever methods these websites use to secure their servers or encrypt your traffic, if they are accessed by passwords, then you share some of the responsibility for the security of your transactions. Below are a few tips on how to keep unauthorized users from accessing your account’s passwords:

1. Be creative with your passwords. Don’t use an easy-to-guess password that many people know about you or can find out. Use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and special characters again, be creative. Using a one instead of the letter A is no use if it still spells out an easy-to-guess word.

2. Make sure to use different passwords for different accounts you create. If you always use the same one and it’s compromised, then someone will have access to all your understanding.

3. Don’t write passwords down on paper or post-it notes. That’s a hacker’s favorite way to find passwords. If they have physical access to your office, that will be easy for thrum to access your password.

4. Don’t allow Web browsers to remember your passwords on shared machines or in office areas. If you log into a machine that other users have access to, then never use Windows or Web browser mechanisms that remember your password.

Having different passwords to many other accounts does make it more difficult to remember them, and this mustn’t lead you into bad habits. So what can you do?

You could look at getting some password management program software. Norton has a password manager, but other good options are Web Replay from Deskperience or PC Password Manager XP from CPLab.

WHERE TO NOW?

You don’t have to go out and buy every piece of antivirus security software right away—priorities one or two to start with. I did suggest Antivirus and Firewall software begin with. Also, download trial versions so you can be sure you are happy with them before you part with your hard-earned cash. Be very careful on the Internet, but don’t let it spoil your day off.

Computer Security Threats and Solutions

When it comes to personal computer security, most of us live in a bubble of heavenly ignorance. We might be watchful and never open email attachments from people we don’t know, we might take care to make sure an eCommerce website is secure before entering our credit card information, or we might even go so far as to install a standard firewall on our personal computers. Unfortunately, much of the common sense advice we follow regarding Internet computer security does little to combat rampant cybercrime.

Federal Trade Commission

Even the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, a governmental agency that is created to help consumers, had to issue a press release stating that consumers, including corporate and banking executives, appear to be targets of a bogus email allegedly sent by the Federal Trade Commission but actually sent by third parties hoping to install software on computers.

There is little doubt that spyware, malware, software, and insidious virus attacks make any computer with Internet access more susceptible. But, because not all Internet security breaches are apparent immediately, people are often unaware that their seemingly hassle-free computing is anything but. The Federal Trade Commission offers seven guidelines to help consumer surf the Internet safely:

* Protect your personal information. For example, when shopping on an e-commerce website, ensure that the web page where you enter your personal information is secure, as designated by HTTPS before the URL. It’s imperative to stop identity theft before it starts his work.

* Know before you click on a site. For example, many cybercriminals take off legitimate businesses or send phishing email or link that asks you to click a hyperlink. Check out online merchants and never click on emailed hyperlinks unless you are confident of the source of the email.

* Update antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall software regularly. Hackers and others who engage in cybercrime seem to always plan ahead of the good guys. If your computer protection is out of date, you are defenseless.

* Use a Web browser and OS operating system security features. Make sure your web browser settings give you optimal privacy and security. Ensure you update your operating system regularly to take advantage of security patches, and your personal information will be secure.

* Safeguard your passwords. For example, create a unique password for each website you visit and keep them in a secure place, not writing them down. Use letter, number, and symbol upper and lower alphabet combinations to outsmart automated password detection programs.

* Always back up your data. If your computer does get infected by a virus or a worm, your files may be goners. Make sure to regularly back up any critical files and store them securely in your flash drive.

* Prepare for emergencies. If incredible goes wrong, such as your personal computer being hacked or infected with a virus, or if you accidentally reveal personal information, know what courses of action you should take to find a solution to the situation and prevent further problems.

Computer Security Free Solution

Protecting your personal computer from all of the threats in cyberspace can seem like a full-time job. Thankfully, some companies make it their own business to offer individuals and business owners the most technologically advanced computer security solutions available. Most of these services provide PC maintenance, complete system optimization, problem diagnosis and repair, and many more, installation assistance, and a complete balance of efficiently managed computer security services. Typically, you pay a small monthly subscription fee and, in turn, can surf the Internet knowing that your computer is locked down and that you will never again have to stay side by side with the latest computer security software or lug your computer down to a high-priced repair center.

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