8 Critical Steps to Better Internet Security
By Leo Notenboom
The internet is not for the faint of heart. Threats to your privacy and security seem to lurk around every corner. Leo outlines 8 steps you should follow to fight back.–PC Pitstop
Viruses and spyware and worms … oh my!
The very concept of “internet safety” is almost an oxymoron these days.
It seems like not a day goes by that we don’t hear about some new kind of threat aimed at wreaking havoc across machines connected to the internet.
Anti-Microsoft sentiment coupled with the massive installed base make Microsoft products, and particularly Microsoft Windows, an irresistible target for hackers and “script kiddies.” In recent years, products like Adobe Reader, Java, Flash, Firefox, and more have come under attack as their popularity has increased. Even Macs are no longer invulnerable.
Here are some things you can (and should) do to stay safe.
1. Use a firewall
If you’re connected to the internet through a router, then you already have a type of hardware firewall that prevents random networking-based external threats from reaching your computers.
If you’re using a dial-up internet connection, a firewall may not be as important, although it doesn’t hurt to have one. A software firewall may be your only option.
2. Scan for viruses
Sometimes, typically via email or other means, viruses are able to cross the firewall and end up on your computer anyway.
A virus scanner will locate and remove them from your hard disk. A real-time virus scanner will notice them as they arrive, even before they hit the disk, but at the cost of slowing down your machine a little, and occasionally even interfering with other operations.
Important: Because new viruses are arriving every day, it is critical to keep your virus definitions up-to-date. Be sure to enable the scanning software’s automatic-update feature and have it do so every day.
This excerpt appears with permission from Leo Notenboom.