Security is an integral part of computer ownership. While you would like to believe that your computer is absolutely safe from unwanted intrusions, need to be ever vigilant against the growing list of security threats. Malicious entities would love to steal your personal identity. Companies prey on your natural paranoia, duping you into buying their bogus products. There are several steps which you can take to prevent attacks.Internet Security Tips

  1. Set up a firewall – Firewalls are the first line of defense against digital intruders. Your firewall can be hardware based or software based. It is preferable to have both forms of security in place. Firewalls control the flow of information from the internet to your computer and vice versa. Use both hardware and software firewalls to protect yourself.
  2. Regularly update your browser – A cat and mouse game is played between virus creators and browser developers. Known security holes are patched when a company issues an update to its browser, leaving the virus makers to find new holes. By regularly updating your browser, you are eliminating threats from certain types of malware.
  3. Install antivirus software – There are many free antivirus applications on the market. Choose antivirus software like Avira Antivir or Malwarebytes’ Anti Malware to protect your computer from harm. These will detect, quarantine, and remove viruses which infect your system. Scan your computer for viruses, malware and adware at least once a week.
  4. Install a Safe Browsing Tool – I highly recommend downloading the WOT (Web of Trust) add-on for IE and/or Firefox. The WOT add-on warns you about risky sites before you click. If you search a lot, this add-on can keep you out of harms way of the dangers on the internet.
  5. Run an adware scan – Run Adaware to shield your computer from Trojans, KeyLoggers, unlawful registry entries, and malware. This program excels at isolating and eliminating adware from computers.
  6. Backup your computer – While the measures you take are highly effective, viruses are still a factor. Keep your information safe by regularly backing up your computer. Put your sensitive data in multiple locations like USB drives or external hard drives. Email private documents to yourself. You don’t want to lose information.
  7. Treat attachments as threats – Viruses can infest your system through email attachments. Email accounts can be hijacked and used to send out mail. You might believe that your friend has sent you an attachment, but if there is any doubt as to its origin, don’t open it.
  8. Scams – Scammers tug at your heartstrings and prey on your needs. You need ten million dollars? You have to pay administrative fees. When you receive email from unknown individuals, be on your guard for scams. Erase the email and ask questions later.
  9. Phishing – A phishing expedition is one which attempts to steal your personal identity and passwords. You might receive a legitimate looking email from your banking institution, asking you to confirm personal information. Banks and other financial institutions will never ask you to confirm your passwords and addresses in this manner.
  10. Use strong passwords – Use letters and numbers in your passwords. Make sure they are at least 8 characters long, the longer the better. Your passwords should not contain identifiable words. Install new passwords monthly.
  11. Script blocking software – Advertisements on a site may be harmful. There may be viruses attached to the innocent looking pop-up. By installing script blocking software, you are placing the control in your hands. Many sites will not work properly with the blocking software in place, but you can easily change the configuration to allow for trusted sites.
  12. Use common sense – Your computer’s safety is in your hands. If you do not trust a site, leave it. If you don’t believe that a friend sent an email, call your friend. Go with your gut feeling.

Protect yourself from internet security threats by updating your browser, installing antivirus software and being wary. The measures you take today will prevent tomorrow’s hassles.

James Adams currently writes for a specialist office supplies online store providing office furniture to businesses based in the UK. He writes on a wide range of topics including workspace management and improving business processes for increased efficiency.