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Friday, April 18, 2008

7 Tips for Improving Your Internet Security

Here are 7 tips you should take to heart for the security of your computer and the data it contains.

1. Always make backups of your documents and other important information stored on your computer. There is always the chance that malware can damage your operating system beyond repair. Take heed. It's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Keep your Windows operating system updated with the latest security patches from Microsoft. Windows is the most popular operating system on the planet, and consequently it is the favorite target of hackers. Also locate and install patches for your Office programs.

3. Install a software or hardware computer firewall. There are no excuses for neglecting this one. If you are using Windows XP it's built in. Go to the Security Center and make sure it's enabled. If you do not have a firewall, viruses, worms, trojans, malware and adware can all easily enter your computer via the Internet.

4. Install an antivirus program and use it! Your computer is under a constant threat while online. Make sure you have the automatic update feature enabled, and schedule it to update virus definitions on a daily basis. You can also schedule scans with most antivirus software. I have mine set to scan every night.

5. Turn off your computer and disconnect it from the internet if you are not using it. Hackers can't attack your computer if it's off line.

6. Refrain from opening e-mail attachments. Don't do it even if you recognize the sender. I use the delete button judiciously.

7. Don't run programs from unknown origins. Be especially careful with P2P sites, shareware software, and freeware applications.

Follow these tips and your computer will run longer and have fewer problems.

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