System Security

System security is a very important issue these days to many people, and it has become a multi-billion dollar industry. From online-banking, gaming, regular browsing, to online chat, anybody who is connected to the internet should have a basic understanding of the importance imvolved in having a secure system.

System Security can be improved using the following methods:

  • Install Antivirus Software
  • Set up a login system locally
  • Use Windows Update to keep your OS secure

Install Antivirus Software

Anti-viruses are the next layer of defense for your system, they are often able to seek out malicious software and local activity and prevent if from infecting or otherwise tampering with your system. However, you must keep your anti-virus' virus definitions up-to-date in order for it to stop the newest threats, which grow each day. Grisoft's AVG Antivirus is a good example of such, and it is free! Norton, McAfee, and other shareware firewalls are not free, and although some of them better than many free programs, I personally find AVG antivirus sufficient, because it will prevent you from running infected files by accident, and will find infected files efficiently. I believe it loads up without being logged in to the computer on most, if not all Windows OS's.

Set up a login system locally

Having a logon name and password on your computer will prevent many people who manage to penetrate your firewall or other security from logging on and doing any damage. They are also good to keep little brothers or sisters from downloading and installing various "cute-spyware" programs such as Bonzi-Buddy, designed to be downloaded by children where they are then able to return your sensitive information out on the internet. Just make sure you don't forget your password, because I won't tell you here how to get around logging in onto home computers, incase you read this and try to damage somebody else's computers, hehe. It can cost you big bucks to get your computer taken in to get around a forgotten password, and most online services have limited ability to help you change or retrieve a forgotten password, or one that was guessed and changed by someone else, trying to take over your account.

Use Windows Update to keep your OS secure

Firewalls and most antiviruses can only protect you as good as the operating system you're running, and few home users have the privilege of running Windows XP Pro, 2000 Professionan Edition, or Advanced Server 2003. Keeping your Operating up-to-date will help the other security measures to function on your system.

Be skeptical of free programs you are able to download off the internet

Some individuals/organizations will incorporate many spyware programs that can potentially violate your personal rights to privacy, they can track your internet usage habits, shopping habits, or even more serious things, such as receive your passwords, credit card numbers, etc, and transmit them to a website, or use some sort of other means to compromise your security in order to cause any other unwanted intrusions on your system. Be skeptical of freeware programs, try not to download software from websites that you do not trust, or from companies you have not heard of before, or have not researched to some extent. Some individuals or organizations will "spoof" their identities or comapny names to look very similar to corporations most people would otherwise trust. This is where your anti-virus software, firewall software, and spyware removal software can come in handy. Scanning each program for viruses before installing, tracking its internet usage once installed, and running a spyware scanner such as SpyBot - Search & Destroy (download available at their homepage: homepage at your computer periodically, or after installing such software is a very effective and easy way to assure your computer is secure.

See my Internet Security page for more security information.

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