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Computer Instruction - Home Computer Security

Aug 23, 2007
You finally figure out all of the plugs and wires and get the system up and running. You make your way through the setup screens and are finally completely ready to go. You cannot wait to connect to the internet. You pause as you vaguely remember computer-savvy friends talking about viruses and malware. Maybe you should have gotten the computer instruction after all.

Fortunately, home computer security is actually quite simple. Professional computer instruction is not really necessary in order to secure your home computer system. All that you really need is a basic understanding of how home computer security works.

Malware can be loosely defined as any software that has an intentional negative impact on your computer's performance. Particularly nasty viruses may replicate or mutate over time and may send copies of themselves to your friends and family via your email address book. Some viruses can seriously damage your entire operating system, forcing you to lose all of your stored information. Spyware is another form of malware. Spyware tracks your computer usage for any of a number of reasons. Some spyware follows your online shopping habits in order to create personalized popups and other content. More malicious spyware logs your keystrokes in order to steal your passwords or other sensitive information.

Although this all sounds quite scary, fighting back is easier than you might imagine and no computer instruction is necessary. Before you ever log onto the internet, your computer should be fully protected by an antivirus program. Two of the biggest names in antivirus software are Norton and McAfee. These definitely are not the only choices. The name brand is not nearly as important as the features and functionality. You want to find an antivirus program that will continuously monitor your system for threats and scan all files prior to uploading or downloading. You also want a program that will allow you to schedule automatic full system scans on a timeline that works for you. The program should also automatically update from time to time, as new viruses are released daily.

You will also want to look into computer firewalls. The firewall serves as the first line of internet protection, monitoring program access to the internet and blocking or granting permission as required. The included Windows firewall is excellent and will be sufficient for many users. However, if you want more features and customization opportunities, you might want to invest in third party PC security software that includes a firewall. The user's manual will give you details on how to customize and use your firewall so that it works best for you.

Antispyware software is easy to find. This software is often bundled into a package with antivirus and firewall PC security software. If not, antispyware programs can be downloaded from the internet. The purpose of antispyware software is to scan your system for possible spyware and remove the offending items.

It is generally best for those who are new to home computer security issues to purchase a PC security software bundle from a major manufacturer. Personalized computer instruction can help you decide among individual components, but simply buying a package will give you peace of mind.
About the Author
Denise Nuttall owns the "Home Business Resource Directory" where you can find everything you'll ever need to start, run and grow a home business at: Online Turnkey Business Opportunities and Ideas
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