Being safe online has been one of the biggest problems which have been bothering internet users all over the world. While there are many users who think that if they don’t have an internet connection, they are safe and they don’t need to be concerned about the safety of their resources stored in computer. But that is really wrong. You don’t actually need to be connected to internet to get affected by virus or other malwares which can cause problems for your computer.
Virus or malware attacks can happen online or offline and you need to careful about that. Again if you are using a Windows PC then the chances to get attacked are more compared to linux or Apple Mac, because most of the virus or malware programs are written by taking Windows machines specifically.
So in this post I will try to give you some tips about how to make your computer more secure. Read them and share it with your friends and family.
1. Get a good antivirus & antispyware software and keep it up-to-date.
Good antivirus software installed in your system is one of the primary things to do, which I think most of the users know. Antispyware software most probably come along with the antivirus, if not you can get one separate. Even if you have a good antivirus and antispyware program, if you don’t keep it up-to-date then it is nearly the same as not having one.
Also don’t be overconfident and have more than one antivirus/antispyware installed at same time. It may look like you are double secure, but soon it will start to give you the worst nightmares.
2. Firewall is nearly as important too.
Firewall will help to keep your computer safe from unauthorised incoming access from outsiders, while allowing specific outgoing connections. Using a bidirectional firewall will be enough to perform the task of keeping your computer safe. There are lots of good firewalls available in the market. Latest OS like Vista, Mac, Windows 7 comes with preinstalled firewall. If you are using some old OS like Windows XP you can get some third party firewall software like Zone Alarm, F-Secure etc.
3. Use a router and enable firewall
Even if you are having a network of computer or a single one. Router can be of a great help for you not only to route your traffic but also to secure your machine by hiding your ports when hackers search for open ports. For this your router must support NAT (Network Address Translation). Also having SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) feature for the router will help keep track of the network activity so that illegitimate activities can be traced.
4. Take control of what runs in your computer
You must always make sure that your computer is not running any software that is not initiated or which doesn’t come under your knowledge. One tips for making sure this point is to disable ‘autorun’ & ‘autoplay’. People get confused between autorun and autoplay often.
• Autorun enables a CD or DVD to run automatically when insterted, by that way allowing the CD or DVD to install unwanted software or rootkits. Here is how to disable autorun.
• Autoplay on the other hand is the feature which asks you what to do when you connect a flash storage device or while using a CD. Read how to disable autoplay
• Another way is to use the ‘Ctrl+Alt+Del’. Windows normally run a lot of background tasks which you may not know, but to see what is running, shoot up the task manager with the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Del and look under the processes tabs, you can see all the process which are running as you are reading this post.
5. Scan and protect your files both in PC or MAC.
Downloading .exe, .bat, .scr files from a website or from your email may be unavoidable sometimes, depending on your needs. Even in an urgent condition make sure it is not a virus program by scanning it with your antivirus software. If you don’t have an antivirus installed you can still scan your file against virus, check out this post. Sometimes you may have received .doc or .xls files too via mail, which may contain macro based virus program. Make sure it is from a good/known source. It is better not to accept if it is from an unknown source.
Another thing to make sure is that even if you use MAC you are not full proofed against viruses. Majority of virus programs are targeted toward Windows OS, but that does not mean that you are 100% safe with MAC. There are some viruses which are targeted against MAC too. So be careful and be safe.
So that were some basic safety tips for you, I hope you enjoyed it. Look forward for the next part of ‘how to be safe online.’