8 Tips For Securing Your Home Computer

Security is something that everyone has to stay up with nowadays with all the credit card fraud and identity fraud in the news. There are many things that you can do to help keep your computer and your self safe. Follow these 8 steps and you will be better protected against security threats.

Turn off unnecessary processes
  • There are a lot of programs that run in the background of your computer and some of those programs open up ports that can allow a hacker into your computer. By shutting down these programs that are most of the time unnecessary we can eliminate the amount of ports we have open on a computer.
Install Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware
  • This one is an absolute necessity for anyone who has a computer that is connected to the internet. An up to date anti-virus anti-malware program can be bought just about anywhere including online. One popular option is Symantec which has a full featured program to cover everything. Some other third party software also works well. Adware Bot and Spy No More - Anti Spyware
Turn on Windows Firewall or install a personal firewall

  • As was mentioned in tip number 1 we have ports open on our computer that can possibly allow a hacker in. Windows firewall (which comes free with windows) can block these types of ports. You can also purchase a third party firewall program that will help block these ports. There are many third party companies that provide excellent firewall programs. Firewall Gold
Have a router between you and the internet
  • Some ISP (internet service providers) such as cable allow you to plug into their modem and it gives your computer a public IP address. By installing a router between your ISP modem and your computer you can not only share your internet connection but you are also protecting yourself by not publishing your IP address to the internet.
  • A simple router is pretty inexpensive depending on the features that you get with it like wireless. Places like Best Buy and Global Computers have these routers.
Disable the computer guest account
  • The guest account for windows XP Professional is disabled by default but it is always a good idea to check and make sure.
Keep computer up to date with the latest Windows updates and anti-virus definition updates.
  • Windows workstations need to be constantly update in order to keep them secure. You can go to Windows Updates and get free Microsoft Windows updates.
  • Virus definition updates need to be purchased from the company
Backup important data
  • Backuping up data is not really a security item to keep your computer secure but more to keep you secure. Should your computer happen to be hacked or just crash if your data is backed up you will not lose your data.
Only download and install trusted software
  • One of the most common ways computers get viruses and malware is from software downloaded off of the internet. Certain programs downloaded from unknown sources contain viruses embedded within the program.
  • The best way to protect yourself against this is to not download software unless it is from a site that is totally trusted.
By following these eight steps you can significantly decrease your risk at being hacked or infected by a virus. The most important thing is to use common sense and you will stay protected.
Mike Walton has been in the technology field for over 8 years and has 6+ years in hospitality technolgy. Mike has experience with Microsoft Windows Server 2000, 2003, Windows 98, XP, and Vista, Networking, Cisco Equipment, PCI DSS, and many more. Mike Walton is also the founder of MikeNet PC Free Articles and Videos. [http://www.mikenetpc.com]

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