Security Software Basics
Install virus protection software. That means three things:
having it on your computer in the first place, checking daily
for new virus signature updates, and then actually scanning
all the files on your computer periodically. Update your anti-virus
software daily or weekly and schedule a regular scan. Make
sure all family members know what to do if the home computer
Locate Anti-Virus Software - http://www.monitoring-software.net/
Install Firewall Software:
Firewalls act as a gatekeepers between your computer or network
and the Internet. They are essential for those who keep their
computers online through the popular DSL and cable modem connections,
but they are also valuable for those who still dial in. Protect
your computer from Internet intruders. Use firewalls. Firewalls
are usually software product but can also be hardware solutions.
Choose passwords or Personal Identification Numbers (PINs)
that are difficult for others to guess. Use both letters and
numbers and a combination of lower- and upper-case letters
if the passwords are case-sensitive. Use a different password
for each of your Internet accounts.
Passwords should not be names, or words (from any language).
Hackers who try to obtain passwords for accounts that don't
belong to them (called crackers) use large dictionaries filled
with these kinds of passwords. In order to protect yourself
against these people, simply don't use common words!
Change these passwords frequently. Don't keep your password
where someone can see it. If it can possibly be avoided, don't
write it down at all. There are ways to create passwords that
are both secure and easy to remember. Remember that your password
unlocks your online identity. Don't leave yourself logged
in when your machine is unattended. Everything that is done
with your account can and will be attributed to you. It's
best that you keep your password somewhat esoteric. Do not
use the same password for different systems.
More on Passwords - http://www.password-software
Back up your computer data on disks or CDs regularly. Retain
the only copies of those files on removable media and store
the media in a safe place. Use accessories such as rewriteable
CD drives and zip disks for copies of your important files
- they're easy to use and relatively cheap.
Be alert for fraudulent (sometimes called "phishing") emails.
They may appear to come from a reputable business or a trusted
friend but are actually designed to trick you into downloading
a virus to your computer or directing you to a Web site to
disclose sensitive or personal information. An ounce of prevention
is worth a pound of cure, educate all system users to be alert
for phishing scams.
Practice Safe Computing:
Protect shared files and folders. Set the permissions on the
share to "read-only." This means that no one will be able
to copy, delete, modify, or rename your files. Set-up login
accounts and file permissions, so only authorised users can
access the system. Unix and Windows NT/2000 have these security
functions built in. If you run Windows 95/98/Me, you can buy
products to provide this protection.
Configure the access restrictions to individual files or
folders, so other users can only access the files you want
them to. Understand and use the security features provided
by your PC software, such as those included in many operating
systems, browsers and word processing systems. The safest
option is to set your computer to ignore Java and ActiveX
programming languages. Otherwise set your browser to ask you
each time it is about to run Java and ActiveX code.
Depending on what you know about the site, you will at least
have the choice to run it, or not. If information privacy
is imperative you should also consider using a file- or disk-encryption
system on the sensitive files.
About the Author:
Francesca Black develops educational material for
http://www.security-port.com and http://www.security-protection.net
a top resource for locating security related RSS feeds.