How to secure your Computer and Laptop

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Today, more and more people are using their computers for everything from communication to online banking and from investing to shopping. As we do these things more regularly, we open ourselves up to potential hackers, attackers, and cracker players. While some are looking to phish your personal information and identity for resale, others simply want to use your computer as a platform from which to attack other unintentional targets.

Below are some easy, cost-effective steps:
  • Always back up important information and store it in a safe place away from your computer.
  • Regularly Update and patch your operating system, web browser, and software frequently. If you have a Windows operating system, visit www.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and start running the Update Wizard. This program will help you find the latest patches for your PC. Also, visit www.officeupdate.microsoft.com to locate possible patches for your Office programs.
  • Install Firewall. if you don’t have a good firewall, viruses, worms, Trojans, malware, and adware can all easily access your computer from the Internet. The benefits and differences between hardware and software-based firewall programs should be considered.

  • Continuously Review your browser and email settings for optimal security. Why should you do this? Active-X and JavaScript are often used by hackers to install malicious programs on your computer. While cookies are relatively harmless in terms of security concerns, they still track your activities on the Internet to build your profile. At least set your security setting for “Internet Zone” to High and your “Trusted Sites Zone” to Medium-Low.
  • Install antivirus software and set it for automatic updates so that you get the latest versions.
  • Do not open unknown email attachments. It is not enough that you can identify the address from which it originated as many viruses can spread from a familiar address.
  • Do not run programs from unknown origins. Also, don’t send these types of programs to friends and coworkers because they contain funny or amusing stories or jokes. They may contain a Trojan horse waiting to infect the computer.
  • Disable hidden file name extensions. By default, the Operating system of the window “Hide file extensions for known file types”. Disable this option so that the file extension is displayed in Windows. Some file extensions will, by default, be hidden, but you’re more likely to see any unusual file extensions that aren’t related.
  • Turn off your computer and disconnect from the network when you are not using the computer. A hacker cannot attack your computer when you are disconnected from the network or the computer is turned off.
  • If your computer is damaged or compromised by a malicious program, consider creating a boot disk on a floppy disk. Obviously, you need to take

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