How to Protect Your Computer and Internet Connection

by Rohit Khurana on July 27, 2011

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In the age of the Internet, protecting your computer requires more offensive behaviour to ensure that your information is safe. Internet users must protect their computer from viruses, spyware, random crashes and numerous other occurrences. There are some safety measures that all computer owners should take to ensure their computer’s safety.

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Protect against Viruses

Most people have invested in a virus scanner for their computer. Some scanners require a nominal fee and others are free. High Speed Internet often offer a free download or access to a virus scanner to protect the computer from Trojans, worms or other infections on the computer.

For the software to work, users must update the software as often as the company sends updates. As new viruses are discovered, the software company will send updates to block new viruses. Obtain virus blocking software to protect from programs that will delete files or make your computer run slowly.

Try Spyware Protection

Spyware is a malicious piece of code that will record every website visited, passwords and key strokes on the computer. People that plant spyware on your computer may use the information to engage in criminal activity or to block your interaction with other people. In some instances, the information is sold to companies for marketing purposes or to give criminals access to your online bank account. This invasion of privacy may cause the computer to run slowly.

Always Use a Firewall

Firewall use is important when using a computer in public places. This may also be important when using the wireless Internet at home. The firewall may act like a wall between your computer and other computers on the same Internet connection. The firewall will prevent any unwanted information transfer from one computer to the next.

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Firewalls protect our information from hackers. If you use wireless Internet in public locations, you will often see that the firewall is disabled. If this happens, enable the firewall for it to be effective. If the Internet will not work with the firewall being enabled, then either use with caution or recognize that the business may be lifting your information for their selfish gain.

Some operating systems, such as Windows XP, have their own built-in firewall. Free firewall software is also available on the Internet. Try websites, such as http://www.zonelabs.com or http://smb.sygate.com/, for free access to firewall software.

I Have All Three, Am I Safe Now?

The short answer is, “No.” Anti-virus protection, spyware protection and firewall software will only protect against known viruses and spyware. If the hacker is smart enough to develop a virus, Trojan or worm that will infiltrate the current system, then he or she may be able to penetrate the current code and compromise your computer. Users should remain vigilant with updates to prevent attacks.

Users may take preventative actions to avoid being preyed upon by hackers. For instance, do not open any attachments from any sources that are not trusted or known by you personally. A hacker could activate a Trojan to lift information from your computer if he or she convinces you, the recipient, to activate the code through a link, download or button.

The actual download may be transparent to the user, until the computer begins to run slowly. Then, the user may suspect that someone has compromised their information and seek help. Hopefully, the damage will be repairable.

Often, the source of the attacks is not traceable, because the hacker is smart enough to route the attack through numerous servers before actually arriving at the intended source. Hackers, therefore, are difficult to prosecute. Remain vigilant to avoid hackers.

This is a guest article written by Spencer Hogg who writes for the website Broadband Expert where High speed internet service providers can be compared to find the best deal for you.

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