Its getting to be that time of year again when we try to avoid the rush of doing our holiday shopping bu going online and shopping from the convenience of our homes. Here are some useful tips to help keep your holidays cheerful and avoid being targeted by hackers.
This security measure is often overlooked because people do not think that this is a risk but actually it is. Anyone who has access to the computer can try and find out the password of your computer. With certain programs it is possible to crack your password in no time.
Another thing to remember if you get a call from someone claiming to be a technician with an ISP or another tech company stating they have detected a problem and you have not initiated contact with that company It is a scam. They are trying to get you to give up your information willingly. Simply HANG UP!
A few things to keep in mind when checking your email is to never open attachments that you receive in your inbox. If you receive a attachment from your friends, check with them to make sure that they did send it to you before you open it and use your antivirus software to scan incoming e-mail before opening it. Email Attachments are the leading cause of computer infections!
Make backups of all-important data
Making regular backups and testing of the backups of all the data is very important because you never know when you will have a hard drive failure and have no chance of getting the data back unless you send it to people who Specialize in data recovery and that can be very expensive.
All passwords should be tested with a password cracker to ensure that users are not using easy to guess passwords such as their kids names, favorite hobby, last name or their pets. They should be changed often. When choosing a password try using a pass phrase with lower and upper case letters and symbols ( #@^&*).
Set up a User account and use that instead of the administrator account. These accounts should have some security settings that prevent programs from being installed the user account should be used for everyday tasks such as checking e-mail, surfing the web etc there is less chance of messing something up when you use a user account.
Use guest accounts often for the guests. Guest accounts have tighter security than the user accounts and should be deleted when the guest is done using the system and with the account.
Make sure that the definitions of your anti-virus program is always up to date and do full system scans every week and scan downloaded files before opening them.
It is important to use a firewall if your computer is connected to the Internet with broadband, DSL, Isdn or a dial-up connection. Dial-up users usually dont need to run a firewall but running one will make your computer a bit more secure when you are on line.
Routers are hardware devices that not only allow you to share a internet connection with more than one computers, it may also have firewalls that can be used to block internal users access to the Internet. When setting up the router, you need to make sure to change the default password and the login name to prevent people from changing the settings on your router.
Whichever operating system you use, you should have the latest patches and security fixes installed to prevent your computer from being compromised when you connect to the Internet. A computer that has no updates installed on it will be got the virus faster than a computer with the patches.
Internet Browsers / Add-son
This is probably one of the biggest concerns when it comes to security. Make sure your browser and that the add-ons and extensions you install is up to date. If you no longer need the add-on simply remove it.