|10 tips to computer security
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Go into the control panel to find the
security settings, says Jennifer Leach, a consumer
education specialist with the Federal Trade Commission.
The higher you set your security, the more you are going to screen out, dangerous and harmless. According to Leach, medium to medium-high is fine for most people.
"If you're extremely cautious and you want to set it high, your friends might start telling you you're not getting their e-mails or you might see Web pages aren't loading. I think if you set them pretty low, a lot of stuff's going to creep through," she says.
3. Up the 'anti' with software
Next, up the anti -- antivirus
These can be packaged separately or together. Spyware
is software installed surreptitiously by outsiders
on your computer that stealthily collects information
as you navigate the Internet. Only some spyware is
actually malicious; the spyware that marketers use
is sometimes called adware.
are pervasive and pernicious. More than 90 percent
of all viral attacks go after the consumer, according
to David Miner, senior director of Financial Services
Industry Solutions at Symantec. "One out of every
233 e-mails that comes in is going to carry some kind
of malicious code. With odds like that stacked against
you, you can't afford to go out without protection."
Immediately download or activate antivirus and antispyware software, he advises.
"Often the way computers are sold
these days, it comes bundled with software with a
free 30- or 90-day trial. If you don't already have
other antivirus software, you should click it on --
you can shop during the free trial period, but you
should make sure that you have something running before
you start surfing the Web," says Dan Salsburg,
assistant director in the Division of Marketing Practices
at OnGuard Online.
"If your computer doesn't come
with anything, you can try free shareware while you
are deciding. Look to something like Zone Alarm, Ad-Aware,
or Spybot Search & Destroy," suggests Miner.
4. Run scans to stay current
Unlike fashion, keeping up with computer security trends is easy. Just set automatic updates and let them run.
"Having the best security system in the world doesn't do you any good unless you keep it current," Miner says.
From the time the computer is boxed until you bring it home and plug it in, a lot can change: Either new threats arise or security flaws are detected in the software, so it is important to get the updates immediately.
"New attacks are being created
daily," warns Miner. Set your protection updates
to run regularly: daily is best. Then run your full
system scans regularly against viruses and spyware.
5. Take wireless precautions
Even if you're a giving person, you can't afford to share your wireless connection with the neighbors. Letting people piggyback on your connection sucks up bandwidth, slowing you down. Worse: They could potentially see everything on your computer.
|-- Posted: April 21, 2008