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Protect Your PC: Part Two
By Dan Ronco
Last edited: Sunday, May 25, 2008
Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2008

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More commom sense suggestions to protect your PC on the internet




A few weeks earlier I published an article describing common sense methods to protect your PC from viruses and spyware. Well, that’s a good start, but a few additional steps will make your PC even more secure. Once again, these are straight-forward techniques that just about any PC user can employ.

In addition to keeping your AV software up to date, keep all your Windows software current with the latest updates. It’s easy, just go into your control panel and set Windows Update on automatic. Microsoft will download and install appropriate updates for your PC.

Many airports, bookstores and other establishments provide wireless internet connections. These WIFI hotspots provide a convenient way to go online, but there are security issues. It’s relatively easy for a hacker to get into your PC and steal sensitive information. In particular, if your PC contains financial information, login passwords, social security numbers and the like, don’t use an internet connection at a hotspot.

Don’t employ the same password for all your logins. Every bank or financial institution should be given a unique, complex (random sequence of letters and numbers) password. All low priority accounts ( no major problem if stolen by a hacker) can be set with an identical, easy to remember password. In between accounts may be set up on one general purpose password, but make it complex.

Stay away from porn sites, they’re riddled with viruses. Yeah, I know boys will be boys, but make sure your AV software has the latest updates. Those peer to peer sites are risky, too.

Don’t open or install a program from the internet or a disk unless you know and trust the supplier. In any case, make sure your AV software is up to date.

Never click on a popup that you did not request. Close it, but make sure your AV and anti-spyware software are up to date. Are you seeing a trend here?

Never open an email attachment, unless you know and trust the sender.

If your computer slows drastically, gets bombarded with popups, or acts strangely, break your internet connection and run a scan for viruses and spyware.

Those are the issues that come to mind. If you follow the suggestions here and in my previous article, you will significantly reduce the risks of working on the internet.

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