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Mar 24

Keeping Your PC Safe


Spyware, viruses, malware, identify theft … these are some of the concerns the current-day computer user needs to be concerned about. Assuming we are making use of the internet (and who isn’t this day and age), we need to take certain precautions to keep our computers, and ourselves for that matter, safe!

These tips will help whether you put them to use at work or at home:

· Use anti-virus software. Sometimes, anti-virus software will come installed on your computer. Other times, such software needs to be installed. Do some research on various anti-virus programs, and make sure one is installed on your PC. Make sure it’s up to date!

· Don’t open emails or attachments from unknown sources. If you don’t know the sender, it’s best to simply not open the e-mail. Realize that e-mail accounts can be hacked, so if you receive a suspicious-looking or unexpected e-mail from an e-mail address you know, it could still be dangerous.

· Use firewall protection. Firewalls create a wall between your PC and the outside world. Firewalls come in hardware and software form. Firewalls help ensure that unauthorized people cannot get access to your PC while you’re on-line.

· Use tough passwords. Resist the temptation to use passwords that may be easy to figure out. For instance, your name, maiden name, date of birth, etc. Mix upper case, lower case, numbers and characters.

· Disconnect from the internet when not using it. This will help further protect you from an on-line attack.

· Evaluate your PC security on a regular basis. Is your anti-virus software up-to-date? Is your operating system up-to-date?

· Back up your computer. Always back up your computer on a regular basis. There are good auxiliary hard drives on the market with software that automatically backs up your computer at certain intervals. You may also want to copy certain files, photos, etc. onto a small thumb-drive.

· Get help if you need it. Not a “computer person?” Ask a friend or co-worker with some PC expertise for help! Your local computer repair business can also help with keeping your computer protected!

By Eric Bartholomew, CPC, BAT, TSS, Inc.