Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The 3 Best Tips for Computer Security

In this article, I will explain 3 ways to diminish the risk of viruses getting on a computer. Malicious software may come from a variety of source; not only from the Internet. A common type gets installed on the computer through a USB key. The owner of the device might not even know about it, as it is possible for a user to send a virus to his/her USB memory stick without knowing it. Actions can be taken to lower the risks.

The first step towards a secure computer is to install a firewall and an anti-virus. It is very important to have both because they each have different tasks. A firewall will watch the data that is transferred between a computer and the world wide web and will notify the user, or take action, if it detects something abnormal. It may also keep an eye on what is happening between the different applications and services of the computer. For example, if a program tries to access the registry, a crucial part of a Windows operating system, the firewall can detect it, block it and advise the user.

An Anti-virus has other tasks. It checks the computer for any data that might constitute or be the result of a virus, a spybot, a trojan, etc. Instead of only blocking the actions, they will detect the problem and, if possible, remove it. It is important to schedule periodic scans, without what the software might be useless. All this might seem costly, but there are some free alternatives that do a similar job, if not sometimes better, than paid ones. I have used and personally recommend the following: For the antivirus, Avast is one of the good free ones you'll find. For the firewall, I'd suggest Comodo personnal firewall.

The second most important step is to keep your system updated. Operating systems and web browsers often have protocols in place to prevent viruses and hackers to access the computer. Anti-viruses and firewalls also have lists of data they have to block and delete. Unfortunately, malicious software evolve everyday and new ones emerge, not waiting for the old ones to go away. Most of the time, it's possible to set up automatic updates. If it's not the case for the software you are using, be sure to do it manually every now and then. An out-of-date anti-virus is almost as useless as not having any.

The final step is to back-up your data. The softwares mentioned above are not perfect and a day might come when something you don't want finds its way to your system. Having a second copy of your data is also good in the case of a hard drive technical problem. If a lot of files are created and work is done on a computer on a daily basis, it can be useful to have an automatic backup plan that takes action everyday. That may be a lot of hassle, so I'd suggest doing a weekly back-up of your data. A lot of software do recursive back-ups, meaning that they only copy the files and folders that have been created since the last time. To find the right software for you, you can check on Wikipedia. It has a list of both free and paid options.

As soon as these are set in place on a new computer, the risks of a destructive loss are greatly reduced. A good way to help the situation is by surfing the web with carefulness. Ignore sites that tell you that your computer has problem and that you need to download there special anti-virus to get rid of it. Try to also avoid warez, keygen and all other illegal-software related websites.

Source : Ezine


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