Protecting your computer has never been easier, which is just as well when we think about what it needs to be protected from.
How does a computer become infected?
Most of the time it’s a combination of two things, inadequate protection, plus lack of user awareness, for example imagine if you receive an email from a friend with a file attached, would you open it? Most people would, after all it’s a friend, but what if your friend’s computer is infected with a some type of malware, and the malware has just emailed itself to everyone in his email address book? Chances are you have just infected your computer.
People opening files attached from emails or messenger chat sessions are the number one way a computer becomes infected.
Other ways include downloading files from the internet; clicking on seemingly innocent looking web pages (most resemble antivirus software) hackers planting files.
Just about all of these can be stopped via user awareness and having adequate protection in place.
A Computer Needs to be Protected From
- Viruses and other malware
Viruses and other Malware
Having a good protection application in place is essential today, if you browse the web, chat or receive email it’s just a matter of time before a virus will attempt to infect your computer, products such as Norton offer complete pc protection, or you can opt for products such as Microsoft Security Essentials which is free, or AVG, Avast which offer free versions.
Using an operating system such as Windows 7 offers user account control, so if any application tries to run on your computer it will notify you and ask for protection to run, this is a very good way to ensure nothing nasty gets installed.
Protecting Your Computer Against Hackers
A hacker is someone who attempts to connect to your computer, a hackers motives can never be described as good, after all it’s a bit like someone breaking into your house.
A hackers motives could simply be the thrill of being able to do this or something more malicious such as infecting your computer, or attempting to obtain private information.
To protect against hacking firstly we need to use a firewall which offers good intrusion protection, Windows has a built in firewall which is turned on as a default.
Your router should have a firewall as well which means you have two of them which add another layer of protection for you.
The next precaution is passwords, it never ceases to amaze how many people have no password security with their user account, even worse is when the Administrator account has no password or the Guest account is enabled and has administrator rights.
You can have all the best security software in the world but if you have no passwords then it’s a bit like leaving the front door open.
You need to ensure that the guest account is disabled, and any other accounts have passwords, good passwords, by this I mean using non standard characters, for example the password computer would be relatively easy to hack, but change it around to Com9ut@r would make it almost impossible to hack.
Finally Microsoft offers monthly Windows security updates, it’s an important way to help protect a computer so these should be installed, your computer should download these automatically and then advise you of this.
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