Winter...the official start of this flu and cold season. Though, technically speaking, things got started a little early. Close to a million computers, mostly home PC users, have been infected.
Our computers are our business. We keep in touch with clients and customers via email, do extensive online research, and transmit important files electronically.
We all know what to do to protect our bodies. There are a few basic approaches, and even free precautions we can take to protect our businesses.
Adopting the following six checkpoints will help keep your computer healthy and your business uninterrupted.
Use a Firewall
In its simplest level a firewall is a software security system that acts as a barrier between your personal computer and the external world (the internet) by monitoring all incoming network traffic. A more advanced firewall will also monitor outgoing traffic. You use your computer will determine whether basic or advanced firewall protection is needed.
What a firewall does is make your computer invisible while on the net. If you can't be seen by hackers, they can't attack you.
Windows XP has this software installed. In case you have XP and want to enable the firewall, directions are on the Microsoft site.
Firewall software can be bought. McAfee and Zone Alarm are two very popular products. Zone Alarm has a free downloadable firewall, basic version, available on their site, http://www.zonealarm.com.
Before installing a firewall, then you could be interested in learning the vulnerability of your computer. This is something which may be checked at no cost and in only a couple of minutes. Go to the Web Site of Gibson Research Corporation, [http://www.grc.com], and under Hot Spots, click on Shields UP. It requires just a bit of scrolling to get to but is well worth the additional seconds. Your PC is scanned and its vulnerability rated.
Antivirus software is the"shot" after the outbreak. This program safeguards your computer. Most PCs come with antivirus software already installed. A few of the more popular versions are Norton, PCCillin and McAfee. Norton antivirus is my personal choice. Apart from the basic functionalities it has got a auto virus definitions updation feature. If the user's of norton antivirus face any issues they can contact the customer support team on Norton support phone number or write to them using the official mail. If you have it pre installed or have purchased it, great. Please make certain to keep it updated with the most recent virus definitions. That is very important because these definitions are formed in response. Please think about getting it, if you do not have this coverage.
You'll be automatically notified when new virus definitions can be found once this program is installed on your own pc. It is a matter of a few clicks to download the new definitions.
You will be notified if your antivirus program is about to perish. The program has to be updated. The initial purchase, renewal, updates and installation can all be done online.
Why am I getting all of these pop ups? Certain websites that you visit or free software (shareware) that you download, and also, in some instances, hardware purchased from major manufacturers will also install tracking devices on your computer (spyware). Spyware is annoying but not illegal.
An online search will reveal the many choices available for spyware elimination software. The main issue is to get one and use it. Spybot and PestPatrol are popular choices.
I really like Spybot Search and Destroy. Aside from the fact it is free, once spyware is identified, the program will offer a comprehensive description of precisely what it is. This is helpful just in case it identifies something that you don't need to eliminate.
How often do you copy? What would you backup? What media do you backup ?
Most of us know the importance of backing up our information yet so a lot people don't get it done. There might be a slew of reasons why it is not done but the 1 reason possibly a business saver if your computer system is corrupted for any reason.
Should you just happen to be using Windows XP Professional, the backup procedure is quite easy. For users of XP Home Edition, it's somewhat more involved. Complete instructions are on the Microsoft site.
Typically, data files are what the majority of men and women will need to back up and having well organized files will surely simplify the procedure.
When you backup to disk, zip disk, DVD, writeable CDs, external file drive or utilize one of those services that are internet, it's crucial to get in the habit of backing up on a regular basis.
Weekly Updates of Windows
As soon as your computer is switched on, windows users are automatically notified of current updates for your Windows operating system. With only a couple clicks your operating system is upgraded.
However, when certain patches become available for your particular applications software (XP, 2000, NT, etc), as was/is the case with the recent worm viruses, a visit to Microsoft's website is essential.
Once there, Microsoft will scan your computer, tell you what updates are available, and you have the choice of installing them. You will need your installation CDs to complete the download.
With the recent run of viruses and it's essential to check for these updates weekly on the Microsoft site and do the automatic updates.
Be Careful of Email Attachments
Email is such a widely recognized method of communicating, which hasn't gone unnoticed by hackers who use email.
For this last checkpoint, your due diligence is the only application.
Always delete any email from unknown senders and be very careful of any attachments. As We've seen, hackers can quite easily access Outlook address books to spread viruses.