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Steps to Secure Computer

Steps to Secure Computer


These days, almost everything is done over the INTERNET via computers
or laptops. Computers have become a part daily routine. It would be
stupid to think living without computers at this age. With a lot of
benefits which we are getting from computers there are also certain
risks related to it.

A lot of your personal information is stored on your computer or
laptop. Its difficult to access this information unless a person has a
physical or network access to your computer. You are bound to leave your
computer or laptop unattended some time or the other.

Steps to Secure Computer

Steps to Secure Computer

Most computers are connected to Internet almost all the time, so
there is a real danger of network intrusion. For these reasons, its a
good idea to secure your computer or laptop to prevent theft of your
personal information and data. Here are 10 steps to secure your
computer.

Choose a Secure Operating System OR Secure Your Current Operating System

If you are buying a new computer or laptop, try to buy a non-windows
based computer. This is because most available threats are focused on
Windows operating system, since its the most popular operating system
available today. Its best to select Linux or Unix which do come
pre-installed on many models of computers and laptops. You can also
choose a Mac, since its operating system is based on Unix.

If you are not very comfortable with Linux or Unix based computer,
and you must use Windows operating system, you should make sure that its
secure. Always use the latest version of Windows OS with latest
security patches installed. Also, make sure to keep Windows updates and
network protection on.

The steps to secure your computer that follow, also cover some of the
tips to secure the computer on operating system level, irrespective of
whether you are using Windows, Linux or Unix.

Password Protect Your Computer

The very first thing you should do immediately is setting up a
password so that only you, and the person who knows the password, can
operate your computer. This is the basic step of security since this
will prevent others from accessing your computer both physically and
over the network.

Use Strong Password

Its not sufficient to setup a password, the password must be very strong.

ALSO READ: Secure Your Accounts Against Cybercrime

Make sure that it is not easy to predict. It should not be your name,
your mobile number or anything which anyone can easily guess. For
example, if you have set the name of your daughter as your password, it
can be easily cracked. A person can see the name of your family members
on Facebook and then use their names as passwords on your computer. This is a basic social engineering tactic.

Also, never use a dictionary word for password as most attackers will
run a brute force tool on your computer to try each dictionary word as
password. This process can be completed in minutes with modern
computing.

Generally, you should try to use a password that contains both
characters and numbers and also some special characters like @, # etc.

Also, try to keep a pattern in the password so that you can remember
it easily. Its not a good idea to choose a very strong password and then
write it down on a paper, which can be easily accessed by others.

Use an Antivirus Software

One of the easiest ways to secure your computer an laptop is by installing an Antivirus software. If you are using an antivirus software,
you are one a safe side since it will prevent you from running a
malicious file on your computer. Most modern Antivirus software like Bitdefender Internet Security 2014
also monitor your computer files and network traffic all the time to
find and prevent any suspicious activities on your computer.

Setup a Firewall

Setting up a firewall will also help you in securing your computer
from attackers. Firewall acts as an intermediate or protector between
your computer and the entire internet. So if any hacker is trying to
enter in your network, firewall will prevent that attack and will stop
the connection which was coming to you. There are many antivirus
software which have built in firewall, or you can purchase a special
firewall program for better security.

Keep Software Updated

Make sure that all the software you have on your computer are
up-to-date. Never use an older version of a software. Most software
companies and developers release new versions of their products only to
patch the security holes in them. So, if you are using an older version
of software, then your computer is vulnerable to attacks.

Download from Trusted Sources

If you are using internet for downloading files and other things then
make sure that you download from trusted sources. For example, if you
are downloading torrents from un-trusted sources then its highly
probable that there will be a virus attached with a torrent. Its also a
good idea to first read the comments to find out what other users have
to say about a product that you want to download.

Use a Good Web Browser

Web Browsers can also leak out your information to the hackers. There
are cookies present in the web browsers where there are login details
of the website where you have logged in. Make sure that you are using a
good web browser which is safe and is trusted by people. Some of the
most preferred and safest web browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Google
Chrome.

Never Open Compressed or Unknown Attachment Files in Email

If you have received an email from untrusted source and it has an
attachment with it, then never open this attachment. Its best to simply
delete this email. Opening compressed or unknown attachment files that
arrive in email is one of the major reasons how computers get hacked or
get infected with malicious programs like viruses and worms.

Secure your Wi-Fi Router

If you are using a Wi-Fi router for accessing internet over a
wireless connection then we suggest that you secure the router by using a
password on that router. Adding a password to the router will only
allow the people who know your password to access the internet and will
prevent hackers from getting into your internet network. Again make sure
that the password which you are using is very strong.

Never leave your Computer Unattended

If you are not using your computer you should simply turn it off. If
you want to go somewhere for some time, then just log off from the
computer. This way if you are not present in front of your computer no
one else can operate it (since its password protected).

Anyone who gets a chance to access your computer when you are not
near it can manually install programs to steal your private information.

For example, if someone can install a keylogger on your computer while
you are away. Keyloggers capture every key log which a user types and
will send it using the internet in the form of an email to the attacker.
So if a keylogger is installed when you were not present there, all
your data might get logged and might be delivered to the hacker. Its
best to never leave your computer unattended.

If you follow the steps to secure your computer listed above, you can rest assured that your computer or laptop is safe.

Gurjit Singh is Microsoft Certified IT Professional. He likes to write about Computer Network, WordPress, Blogging Tips, SEO, Make Money Online, Computer Tips and Creating Tech Tutorials.
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