If you keep track of the news, it seems that every week brings a slew of more threats to your computer and privacy from viruses, worms, spyware, and other malicious code! However, you do not have to be at the mercy of the lowlife that would try and screw up your computer and/or invade your privacy.
So below are some simple things that you can do to protect yourself.
1. Make sure that your operating system is updated with all patches. In Windows, you do that my clicking Windows Update. In a Mac, click the little Apple in the upper left hand corner and click (I think) Check for Updates. In Linux, follow the instructions for whatever version of Linux you use.
2. Make sure that your anti-virus software is UP TO DATE. Just having is installed will not do squat for you. You have to update the program and its virus definitions regularly (like every other day!!). If you do not have Anti-Virus protections, there are several excellent FREE products. AVG Anti-Virus Free , AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic , and ClamWin Antivirus are all excellent products. I run a complete scan of my computer at least once a week. Since it can take a while, I do it before going to bed, or you can also have it set so that is scans at a predetermined time of your choosing. Also, some of the above will scan your incoming email and some will not. However, most of the commercial products (like from Symantec and McAfee) will scan your incoming email.
3. Make sure that you have some type of Anti-Spyware product installed. Windows Defender is an excellent product from Microsoft, Spybot Search and Destroy , and Ad-Aware SE are my personal favorites. Like anti-virus software, you must update the program frequently and run complete scans on your system. I do mine at least once per week.
4. Install and use a Firewall. The Windows firewall sucks and only protects against incoming traffic. You need protection in both directions. You can have a hardware firewall (like you get with a router, or other standalone product) or a software firewall. I recommend BOTH. At the very least, run a software firewall. ZoneAlarm Free is a terrific product and if you want a few more features, try the Pro version.
5. Last but not least, don't use MS Internet Explorer (MSIE) to browse the web! I like MSIE, but it sucks for security. Consider getting Mozilla Firefox! It is a superior product in all respects and much more secure!
"A man with a gun is a citizen. A man without a gun is a subject."
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."Gerald Ford in a Presidential address to a joint session of Congress (12 August 1974)
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”Gen. George S. Patton Jr.