Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Essentials of Computer Security

We rely on our computers for just about everything these days, from paying bills to staying in communication with our friends and loved ones. But the worldwide web can be a dangerous place, filled with people who would like to hack your machine and gain access to your information, such as passwords, accounts, and security. The key to avoiding these online crimes is to know the essentials of computer security. If anything ever does happen, get it to your computer repair shop right away for help fixing it. Here are four computer essentials for everyone to stay safe online.


Firewalls are a small piece of hardware or software that blocks certain types of information from entering your system. The term “firewall” comes from the auto industry, where it is a literal term as a wall between the engine and the passengers to protect people in the event the engine catches fire. In the computer world, while it will likely not do much if your computer is on fire, it is a wall between you and the security threats. You can set it to protect against specific threats or file types, especially those you know that will be dangerous.

Virus Scanning Software

The next step is to have an up-to-date virus scanning software installed on your computer. There are several to choose from these days, but most have the same basic features: protection from spyware, malware, adware, and viruses that could harm your machine, or worse. Even with a firewall, some computer viruses will manage to get in, so an updated virus scanning software is essential to catching them early before they can do damage. If something does happen, take it in to Computerfix Salt Lake City for a thorough review.

Updated Security Software

Yes, software companies are always coming up with new, updated versions of their operating systems and software that require you to update those programs on your computer, which can be hard, but it’s critical that you do. Within every system there are “holes” that computer hackers can find and exploit to take advantage of the machine. Computer companies have teams working nonstop to identify these holes and fix them before a hacker finds them; however, sometimes it cannot be avoided and you will have to use your security software to scan and eliminate the threat.

Spyware and Malware Scanners

Your computer is a treasure trove of information for advertisers and companies alike. However most people believe that what they do on their computer, including online, should remain private. When spyware or malware is installed on your machine inadvertently, it silently collects data about what you do, your shopping habits, your internet browsing, and more. Often this information is sold in transactions to a third party, intended for nefarious uses. The most common way your system will become infected with adware, spyware, or malware is through “free” software downloads, which are often the packages for installing spyware on your computer. If you can avoid it, try not to download any free software to your computer, or if you must, be sure to run your virus scanner afterward to avoid any major spyware or malware problems. These programs can also cause you computer to slow down and run poorly, which can be an early sign of the problem.

In addition to all these important computer security essentials, it’s important to back up your machine at least once a month (so you don’t lose important files in the event something does go wrong), and set strong passwords for all your online and offline accounts so they are hard to hack.

No comments:

Post a Comment