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Computer Security Made Easy

Apr 21, 2008
As more and more people begin to use the internet, be it for communication, online banking, investment or shopping, the potential danger of hackers and malicious attackers increase. While some may simply be after information for phishing or identity resale purposes, others are more dangerous, looking for computers to use to launch attacks such as the infamous Denial of Service or other viruses or trojans at other unknowing targets. The list below contains some easy, cheap methods to make your computer secure. While there are other ways to do so, following the ten steps below will help you begin to protect your computer and your private information.

1. Backup your files and store them in a safe place away from your computer

2. Frequently patch and update your operating system, anti-virus, web browser and internet protection in order to prevent hackers from taking advantage of loopholes in software. You can update your windows operating system quickly at www.windowsupdate.microsoft.com by using the update wizard. Microsoft Office updates can also be found at www.officeupdate.microsoft.com

3. Install a proper firewall. With both a proper hardware and software firewall, most viruses, worms, trojans, malicious programs and adware are removed before they cause any major trouble or damage. It is important to update your firewall regularly as well.

4. Configure your browser and email settings for best security. Programs like ActiveX and Java are most commonly used by hackers to plant malicious programs into your system. Cookies can also be used to track your internet surfing in order to build an online profile of you. A good way to overcome these problems is to configure your internet browser to "high" security settings. At minimum, set your security settings to "high" for the internet and "medium" for your trusted sites zone.

5. Automatically update your antivirus software and internet security softwares. This allows you to receive the most current versions to prevent your computer security from being compromised.

6. Only run email attachments from people you know. And even then, only when you know what you are openning. Often, hackers can use a compromised email address to spam viruses or worms to infect other people. It is not enough to recognise the email address but rather you need to recognise the attachment.

7. Do not run unknown .exe programs. This is the most dangerous thing to do as they often contain trojan horse scripts waiting to infect other computers.

8. Disable hidden filename extensions. This allows you to identify and spot any unknown filenames or programs that may be running on your computer. The Windows default option hides filename extensions so you will have to disable this option.

9. Disconnect your computer from the internet and switch it off when not in use. This prevents a hacker from attacking your computer as it is not hooked up to a network.

10. Make a boot disk on a CD before your computer experiences a hostile breach of security. This allows you to recover the data and your system operations after a successful attack on your computer.
About the Author
Learn how to protect your computer for free at: Secure Computer Articles . Find more articles like this at: Articles
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