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Computer Security and Backup

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Information about Computer Security and Options and tips for backing up your important information

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Computer Security and Backup

  1. 1. ==== ====For more information about computer security and backup go to:www.FIX-MY-COMPUTER-PROBLEMS.COM==== ====Before you begin reading this article, there is something that it is critical to understand. Simply put,there is no such thing as a completely secure web browser or operating system. While any of themajor security suites and associated products will greatly reduce your exposure to security risks,they are not silver bullets that will stop everything that may come your way. Any product thatclaims to eliminate 100 percent of your security risks should be looked at very carefully.Now that we have the ground rule out of the way, lets consider security suites and computersecurity. There are a variety of means by which the security of a computer can be breached.Among the most common threats are crackers, phishing, Trojans, viruses, and worms. Potentialsecurity risks can also be introduced through spyware, malware, or email attachments, andsomething called port scanning.Dshield.org, a Florida-based non-profit company, provides "platform for users of firewalls to shareintrusion information". What they do is work with software vendors to allow for a common reportingplatform of port scanning activity detected by software. Port scanning is when software scansanother computer system looking for open ports to connect to. Port scanning is often a prelude toother types of attacks, and is used by many viruses and worms to propagate themselves.Among the more interesting items reported by DShield is the "survival time". What this means ishow long an unpatched computer will be able to "survive" online before being attacked. Over thecourse of the past year, the survival time for an unpatched Windows system is approximately 100minutes. If you have an unpatched Windows system, you can expect it to be attacked in about anhour an a half. Clearly, you need to take matters into your own hands to protect the security ofyour computer systems.There are some simple steps you can take to quickly and easily protect your computer.1. Never run unfamiliar programs on your computer. While it may seem to be common sense,many of the most widely-spread attacks have involved spyware and email attachment worms. Therule is simple: Dont open the attachment if you dont recognize the sender.2. Never allow others to have unmoderated physical access to your computer. If you havesensitive or confidential information on your computer, if you allow others physical access to thesystem, they may either inadvertently or intentionally breach the security of the computer.3. Always use strong passwords. Be sure none of your passwords are easy to guess. Manypeople use the names of pets or children, or anniversaries or birthdays. Given how manypasswords seem to be needed, another common mistake is for someone to use the samepassword for everything from their picture-sharing website to their online brokerage. By using only
  2. 2. one password, if one system is compromised, all systems you have access to can becompromised. Also, if you absolutely must write your password down, never leave it attached tothe computer. I recently saw the proprietor of a small business peering under her keyboard to loginto her computer.4. Be sure to keep your operating system and all installed applications up to current patch levels.Most security experts share the opinion that almost all network-based security attacks would stopif users kept their computers up to date with patches and current security fixes. Almost all of usforget to do this regularly. New Trojans, worms, and viruses are being distributed and createdevery day. Almost all of them are trying to exploit newly-discovered weaknesses in operatingsystems and applications.5. Backup backup backup! It cant be said enough that it is vitally important to keep regularbackups of any and all important data. Even if your system is kept secure from worms, viruses,and Trojans, it is still vulnerable to fire, theft, flooding, hardware failure, and any number of otherthings that can destroy your most valuable data. Given the ease and availability of CD and DVDburners, there are no excuses for not keeping your data backed up.For most people, enabling auto-updates, using safe email practices, and using a password-protected screensaver provides adequate security. If you would rather take some additionalmeasures to improve the security of your computer, you should consider purchasing acomprehensive security suite.While there are many packages out there, you should start with asking yourself some basicquestions: Are you the only user, or are there multiple users? If there are multiple users, are any ofthem children? Do you need to password-protect individual files, your desktop, or someonesinternet access? How much are you willing to spend? What kind of system are you running?Once you are able to answer those questions, you can begin to research which of the availablesecurity suites is best able to meet your needs. Consumer Reports, ZDNet.com, and PC Magazineare just a few of the very informative websites available that offer information and insight intosecurity suites.There are many different security suites available today. Be sure to conduct your researchcarefully to find the one that best meets your needs. Listed below are some of the more popularchoices, along with what PC World had to say about them.1. Symantec Norton Internet Security 2006. Symantecs suite produced top-tier malware detectionand cleanup scores, but it would benefit from a more streamlined interface and fewer pop-upalerts.2. McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006. The excellent malware detection and cleanup scores ofMcAfees full-featured suite make up for its terrible installation routine.3. Panda Platinum 2006 Internet Security. Panda has superior heuristics, a top-notch firewall, andspeedy on-demand scanning, but its interface needs better organization.4. F-Secure Internet Security 2006. This suites five scanning engines--including one for rootkits--
  3. 3. produced excellent malware detection scores but the slowest scan speed.5. Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2006. Trend Micros interface, speed, and features(including an antiphishing toolbar) were better than its malware detection scores.Mike Tetreault is an accomplished developer and systems architect. He is also the managingprincipal of Macrocosmic Technologies and its PrivacyOnTheGo product line which offers asolution to the security and privacy issues faced by people who use multiple or public computers.To ensure your precious information is backed up securely, go here: http://bit.ly/backupsecurelyTo learn 5 secrets that computer experts dont want you to know (because they want to chargeyou exhorbitant rates to fix it) go to my blog: http://www.FIX-MY-COMPUTER-PROBLEMS.COMArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mike_Tetreault==== ====For more information about computer security and backup go to:www.FIX-MY-COMPUTER-PROBLEMS.COM==== ====

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