by Diane Hodgdon of Hudson Valley HelpDesk, Inc.
Is your computer safe? The Internet is a big open field. You have access to the world, but on the flip side, the world has access to you. Hackers have programs that automatically scan the Internet for computers connected via cable or DSL connection without a firewall. Once they find one, they access your computer, download vicious programs, and can even use your computer to send viruses to your friends and other computers, all without your knowledge.
If you own a computer that has access to the Internet and e-mail, then you could be exposed to a malicious spyware program, virus, worm, or hacker. Every day we get customers coming in who are experiencing problems due to these threats, and it’s only getting worse.
5 Simple Steps to Keep Your Computer Safe:
1. Always keep an up-to-date anti-virus software running.
2. Use an alternative e-mail program other than Outlook Express. Outlook Express is notorious for security holes. If you don’t have the latest security updates, hackers can send you e-mails with viruses that automatically open and install themselves without you even opening the e-mail and its attachments.
3. Never open suspicious looking e-mails or attachments. This goes without saying because most viruses are replicated via e-mail. If it looks suspicious, delete it!
4. Stop using peer to peer file sharing sites and downloading “cute” programs. As a rule of thumb, the “cuter” the program, the more dangerous it is. Think of it like “cyber candy”. Hackers use these programs as bait to get you to download their destructive programs. These are guaranteed ways of contracting malicious viruses, spyware, and malware. Also, peer to peer file sharing sites like KaZaa are mine fields of malicious programs. NEVER access those sites or download their programs.
5. Set up a firewall. A firewall is simply a device that acts as a buffer between you and the big, wild world of the Internet to keep your computer safe. Many users will get a DSL or cable Internet connection and plug it into their computer with no firewall in between.
If your computer and the files on it are important to you, get serious about protecting them! Log on to hvhd.com for more information about a FREE Problem Prevention Audit. We’ll check your network’s current security against hacker attacks, theft, worms, viruses, even employee sabotage!