Sunday, November 30, 2014

Safeguarding Your Computer Data

Perhaps there is an extra software program with a program that you have purchased, included. Or maybe you find a free download online. You may be tempted just because to install the programs you or because you think you could use at a later date. But even if the source and the software are legitimate, it can hidden risks. And if other people use your computer, there are additional risks.
These risks are especially important if you use your computer to your personal finance (banking, tax, online bill payment, etc.), store sensitive personal data, manage or perform work-related activities outside the office. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

How can you protect both your personal and work-related data?
Operation and maintenance of anti-virus software and a firewall - Protect yourself against viruses and Trojan horses to steal or alter the data on your computer and leave you vulnerable by can be anti-virus software and a firewall (see Anti virus software and firewalls understanding for more information). Be sure to keep your virus definitions up to date.

Regularly scan your computer for spyware - Spyware or adware hidden in software programs that can affect the performance of your computer and give attackers access to your data. Use a legitimate anti-spyware program to scan your computer and remove these files (see Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware for more information). Many anti-virus products have integrated spyware detection.

Keep software up to date - Install software patches so that attackers do not use known problems or vulnerabilities (Understanding Patches for more information). Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should turn it on.

Evaluate the settings of your software - The default settings of most software enable all available functions. However, attackers may be able to take advantage of this functionality to access the computer. It is particularly important to the settings for software that connects to the Internet (browsers, email clients, etc.) to be reviewed. Enter the highest level of security available that still gives you the functionality you need.

Avoid unused software programs - Do not clutter with unnecessary software programs on the computer. If you install on your computer, you do not have to uninstall it. In addition to consume system resources, these programs can vulnerabilities that, if not patched, an attacker may contain access to your computer.

Consider creating separate user accounts - If there are other people using the computer, you may be worried that someone else accidentally access, modify and / or delete your files. Most operating systems (including Windows XP and Vista, Mac OS X and Linux) gives you the option of a different user account for each user, and you can control the amount of access and access rights for each account set. You may also have to maintain separate accounts for your work and personal purposes. While this approach does not completely isolate each area, it offers some additional protection. However, it will not protect your computer against vulnerabilities that give an attacker administrative privileges. Ideally, you will have a separate computer for work and personal use; These offer a different kind of protection.

Establish guidelines for computer use - If there are multiple people using the computer, especially children, make sure they understand how the computer and the Internet safe to use. Set limits and guidelines will help to protect your data (see Keeping Children Safe Online for more information).

Use encrypt passwords and sensitive files - add passwords and other security features, protective coatings, when used appropriately (see selection and protection of passwords and adding to the passwords for more information). By encrypting files, make sure that unauthorized persons can be displayed even when accessing it physically no data. You can also change the options for disk encryption, also consider the a thief prevents your laptop without a password. If you use encryption, it is important to remember your passwords and passphrases; If you forget or lose them, you can lose your data.

Follow company policies for the handling and storage of work-related information - When you use the computer for work-related purposes, make sure that all company policies for the handling and storage of the information coming. This policy was probably founded to protect proprietary information and customer data, but also to protect you and the company from liability. Although it is not explicitly stated in your policy, you should avoid that other people, including family members, to contain a computer company data.
Not simply deleting a file completely erase - Dispose of sensitive information correctly. To ensure that an attacker can not access these files, make sure you delete sensitive files sufficient

Understanding Firewalls

What must firewalls?
Firewalls provide protection against outside attackers by shielding your computer or network from malicious or unnecessary Internet traffic. Firewalls can be configured to block data from certain locations, and allows relevant and necessary data (see Denial-of-service attacks and understanding Hidden Threats: Rootkits and Botnets for more information). They are especially important for users who rely "always on" connections such as cable or DSL modem.
What type of firewall is the best?
Firewalls are offered in two forms: hardware (external) and software (internal). While both have their advantages and disadvantages, the decision to use a firewall is far more important than deciding which type you use.
Hardware - Typically called network firewalls, these external devices from your computer or network and your cable or DSL modem positioned. Many vendors and some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer devices called "routers" that the firewall functions. Hardware-based firewalls are particularly useful for protecting multiple computers, but also a high level of protection for a single computer. If you only have one computer behind the firewall, or if you are sure that all other computers on the network up to date on patches and free of viruses, worms or other malicious code, you can use the extra protection need a software firewall. Hardware-based firewalls have the advantage of being separate devices running their own operating systems, so that they, an additional line of defense against attacks Their big disadvantage is the cost, but many products for less than $ 100 are available (and there are even some for less than $ 50).
Software - Some operating systems include a built-in firewall; if you are experiencing is the case, consider making it, even if you have an external firewall to another layer of protection. If you do not have a built-in firewall, you can use a software firewall for relatively little or no cost from your computer to store, software vendors or get ISP. Because of the risks associated with software downloaded from the Internet on an unprotected computer, it is best to install the firewall from a CD or DVD. If you do download software from the Internet, make sure it is a reputable, secure Web site (see Web Site Certificates for more information). Although on a software firewall alone provides some protection, recognize that the firewall on the same computer as the information you are trying to protect the firewall trap opportunity malicious traffic before it enters your system are disabled.
How do you know what configuration settings to apply?
Most commercially available firewall products, both hardware- and software-based, come configured in a manner that is acceptable safe for most users. Since each firewall is different, you have to read and the documentation that comes with it to determine whether the default settings for the firewall are sufficient for your needs to understand. You get to be by your firewall manufacturer or your Internet service provider (either by technical support personnel or a website) for further assistance. Even alerts about current viruses or worms (such as the US-CERT Cyber Security Alerts) sometimes information about restrictions can be implemented through the firewall.
Unfortunately, while correctly firewalls can be effectively block some attacks, not a false sense of security. Although they offer some protection, no firewalls do not guarantee that your computer will not be attacked. In particular, a firewall offers little or no protection against viruses, you can run the infected program on your computer to do as many e-mail viruses to work. Using a firewall in combination with other protective measures (such as anti-virus software and "safe" computing practices) will strengthen your resistance to attacks.


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