Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recommendations for Home Computer Security

Task 1 – Install and use an Anti-Virus Program
A virus is a program that runs on your computer system without your permission. This means that when the virus runs, somebody else is using your computer possessions. A virus may also be destroying your files or disclosing them to others who aren't otherwise allowed to see them. An anti-virus program attempts to stop this from happening.

Task 2 – Keep your system Patched
Programs that need to be patched are weak spots through which intruders can more easily gain access to your computer possessions. Patching attempts to eliminate this kind of access. To protect your possessions, you need to keep all of the software you've purchased patched with all of the patches provided by the vendors who write that software. Vendors will tell you where to find and how to patch the software you have purchased from them.

Task 3 - Use Care When Reading Email with Attachments
Email attachments that you were not expecting are usually viruses, so the comments from Task 1 also apply here. Whether they are viruses or not, they are most often programs that run on your computer system without your permission. By using care, you are attempting to stop running unwanted programs on your computer system.

Task 4 – Install and Use a Firewall Program
A firewall program attempts to keep outside access out and limits inside access to outside resources. That is, it works like your locked front door that keeps unwanted people out and your toddler in. If intruders can't get to your computer resources, they can't use them for their purposes.

Task 5- Make Backups of Important Files and Folders
If a file or folder is destroyed accidentally, by an intruder, or in some other way, then a backup provides another copy. You are keeping what is yours by having more than one copy.

Task 6- Use Strong Passwords
These days, most of computer access users’ login selecting a strong password makes it harder for intruders to access your computer resources, because those passwords are harder to guess.

Task 7 - Use Care When Downloading and Installing Programs
The Internet is a powerful resource for finding and using the work of others to enhance your computing resources. Programs are one example.
However, not all programs on the Internet are what they say they are. Some programs are viruses like those described in Task 1, while others are like the email attachments described in Task 3.

By taking care before downloading and installing these programs, you are trying to improve the chances that these programs are what they say they are, will do to your computer resources what you want them to do, and will do nothing more.

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