Computer Security - How To Stay Safe In A World Of Hackers
Consider the latest "Die Hard". Some teenagers, few masterminds and trillions of dollars being siphoned off the federal fund that has been deposited against people's social security benefits. Do not think that it is a simple cinematic flick! Today hackers are so sophisticated that they can actually bring a law abiding citizen down on the streets. With the advent of technology making life easier for most of us, getting to shop from the comfort of our homes or transfer money from the safety of our living rooms, the fact remains that the nameless faceless cyber world is dotted with criminal minded people whose sole intention is to rob you off your identity, get access to all your important details and use those for their own benefits. How do you fight that?
Install an anti-virus. An anti-virus protects your computer from malicious viruses that tend to lodge themselves deep into your hard drive and copy all your data and transfer those to servers where you would not want your confidential information to be a hacker's server. If someone sends you a virus intentionally or unintentionally, the anti-virus detects the virus and destroys it. Keep your anti-virus up-to-date. Set your anti-virus such that there is a weekly scan scheduled for all the hard drives in your computer.
Install a firewall: A firewall will always keep a check on the information that is exchanged between your computer and other computers every time that you are logged on to the internet. That way you will be protected from any unwanted code or application getting downloaded on to your PC inadvertently. Any data that do not meet the security requirement set by the program developer will be barred from entering your computer by the firewall. Always keep your firewall updated as well.
Do not store personal information in your computer. Information like your social security number, credit card number, pins, bank account numbers, telephone numbers, addresses, etc.
Do not click on links that look suspicious. Most spam mails have links that should be avoided. These can lead to downloading of applications that may erase your hard drive.
Always scan all attachments using your antivirus before opening it or running it or installing it on your computer.
Do not exchange personal information in chat rooms, through mails or instant messages. Divulge your credit card details or social security details only to secured sources or through secured websites.
Do not buy pirated products, software or programs. These may send messages over the internet when you are working with the particular software.
Do not download executable files to your PC from unknown sources. Be extremely cautious while exchanging information over the internet.
Keeping the above points in mind will help you in keeping your computer secure. Although every day a number of Trojan viruses or worms are coded and let loose over the internet, we must always do the best that we can in order to ensure security. A computer is an expensive device. A simple insecure download can render the whole machine useless.