Keeping your personal computer and other online gadgets safe and secure is a combination of technology and common sense. Heeding the threat first is much better than finding an expensive fix later on. If applied to the real world:

  • Don’t drive in bad neighborhoods / Don’t click suspicious links or enter suspicious websites.
  • If you don’t secure your home, intruders will enter / If you don’t secure your computer, intruders will enter.
  • Preparing for a threat reduces your vulnerability.

Keep Your Firewall On

This is your first line of defense. The firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to gain access to crash it, steal information or passwords and sensitive information. Software firewalls are widely recommended for single computers.

Install and Keep Your Anti-virus and Malware Software Updated

Anti-virus and malware software are designed to prevent malicious software programs from entering your computer. If it detects a malicious code, like a virus or a worm, it works to disarm or remove it. Viruses can infect computers very quickly. Most types of anti-virus software can be set up to update automatically.

Be Careful What You Click or Download

Carelessly downloading e-mail attachments or website links that are suspicious by nature can circumvent even the most vigilant anti-virus software. Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know, and be wary of forwarded attachments from people you do know. They may have unwittingly advanced malicious code.

Turn Off the Computer When Not In Use

With the spread of high-speed Internet, many opt to leave their computers on and ready for action. The disadvantage of this is that being “always on” renders computers more susceptible to intruders. Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs an intruder’s connection, be it spyware or malware that employs your computer’s resources to reach out to other unwitting users.

Stop and Think Before You Connect

  • Automated software updates are a good defense against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet because smartphones and tablets are also web-enabled devices that need protection.
  • Plug and scan USBs and other external devices. Use your security software to scan them.
  • Protect your financial and banking information especially when shopping. Check to be sure the site is security-enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.
  • Back up all valuable work, personal data, financial records, and other important data needed for transactions and information.

Whatever reason you use your computer, be it for work or personal needs, it’s only practical that we protect it as best as we can. After all, the computer has become almost our main asset.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 10:09:55 PM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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