“Your Info Guide to Beefing Up Your Personal Computer’s
Safety From Malicious Threats!”
As usual let’s start with the Table of Contents :
Protecting Your Computer’s System 5
Fighting Spam 6
Spyware & Adware 8
Phishing & Identity Theft 12
Computer Viruses… And Anti-Viruses 18
Protection You Can Afford 22
Protecting Your Computer’s System
Today, more and more people are using their computers for everything from
communication to online banking and investing to shopping.
As we do these things on a more regular basis, we open ourselves up to potential
hackers, attackers and crackers. While some may be looking to phish your personal
information and identity for resale, others simply just want to use your computer as a
platform from which to attack other unknowing targets.
Below are a few easy, cost-effective steps you can take to make your computer more
secure to begin with:
1. Always make backups of important information and store in a safe place
separate from your computer.
2. Update and patch your operating system, web browser and software
frequently. If you have a Windows operating system, start by going to
www.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and running the update wizard. This
program will help you find the latest patches for your Windows computer.
Also go to www.officeupdate.microsoft.com and locate possible patches for
your Office programs.
3. Install a firewall. Without a good firewall, viruses, worms, Trojans, malware
and adware can all easily access your computer from the Internet.
Consideration should be given to the benefits and differences between
hardware and software based firewall programs.
4. Review your browser and email settings for optimum security. Why
plant malicious programs into your computers. While cookies are relatively
harmless in terms of security concerns, they do still track your movements on
the Internet to build a profile of you. At a minimum set your security setting for
the “Internet zone” to High, and your “trusted sites zone” to Medium Low.
5. Install anti-virus software and set for automatic updates so that you
receive the most current versions.
6. Do not open unknown email attachments. It is simply not enough that you
may recognize the address from which it originates because many viruses
can spread from a familiar address.
7. Do not run programs from unknown origins. Also, do not send these
types of programs to friends and coworkers because they contain funny or
amusing stories or jokes. They may contain a Trojans horse waiting to infect
8. Disable hidden filename extensions. By default, the Windows operating
system is set to “hide file extensions for known file types”. Disable this option
so that file extensions display in Windows. Some file extensions will, by
default, continue to remain hidden, but you are more likely to see any unusual
file extensions that do not belong.
9. Turn off your computer and disconnect from the network when not
using the computer. A hacker cannot attack your computer when you are
disconnected from the network or the computer is off.
10. Consider making a boot disk on a floppy disk in case your computer is
damaged or compromised by a malicious program. Obviously, you need
to take this step before you experience a hostile breach of your system.
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