Complementary leaflet – Home Computer Security

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Complementary leaflet – Home Computer Security

  1. 1. OPMAS Complementary leaflet – Home Computer Security Home Computer Information -. This information does not apply to computers within the NHS Trusts, your IT department will manage security within the workplace, and therefore the products/information below should not be applied to computers in the workplace environment. Many people now have a connection to the Internet from their home computer. With the popularity of broadband connections in those regions where broadband is available, the importance of ensuring that your computer is safe from either viruses or other malicious internet activity becomes even more important. In order to reduce the risk, it’s recommended that Internet users undertake a variety of precautions, that often include the following elements; Firewall product, Anti-virus product, Anti-Spyware product. All of these products protect your computer, but they do so in different ways, hence the need for multiple protection (you only need one product of each type installed). Commercial products such as Norton, Mcafee and Sophos will provide protection, often as an all-in-one solution, but at a cost, that may be prohibitive for some. If your computer was purchased with a security suite pre-installed, you need to ensure that these products are up to date. If your initial subscription to these products has expired, then you may either wish to renew your subscription, or uninstall these products and replace them with alternatives. Remember that before you make any changes to your computer, ensure that valuable information is backed up, and that the system is running correctly. If you believe that your computer already has a virus, please refer to your preferred antivirus vendor for information. Commercial Products (often all in one solutions) Symantec / Norton: www.symantec.com McAfee: www.mcafee.com Sophos: www.sophos.com If you cant afford these products there are a number of free alternatives. Some free alternative products have a reduced feature set, or require you to periodically click on an update button rather than automatically update themselves, others seem to possess very similar functionality to the commercial products. Firewall Products (Free) Later versions of Windows have a firewall built into the operating system, if you use this then please ensure you have the latest service packs and updates from Microsoft installed on your system. (http://www.update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us ) Comodo Firewall: http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/ Zone Alarm (free) http://www.zonealarm.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp?dc=56pus&ctry=GB&lang=en Free Antivirus AVG Free Edition http://free.grisoft.com/doc/download-free-anti-virus/us/frt/0 Avast! Antivirus http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html Comodo AntiVirus http://www.antivirus.comodo.com/ Free Anti Spyware AVG Anti-Spyware Edition, http://free.grisoft.com/doc/20/us/frt/0 Ad-Aware, http://www.lavasoftusa.com/products/ad_aware_free.php Spybot Search and Destroy http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html With a selection of the above products installed (you only need one of each installed), and your operating system updated with the latest patches and security releases, you are in a good position to explore the wealth of information and communities available on the Internet. Some of the above products are also available for alternative systems such as Linux or Apple. The enclosed information is for reference only, and does not constitute professional advice.

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