How can you protect your computer?
There are three main threats to your computer as follows:
- attempts to destroy your data
- attempts to steal your data
- attempts to utilise your computing power
With the complexity of the computing environment software suppliers will find weaknesses in their software either through proactive work by themselves or as a result of an attack by a virus.
To try to reduce the likelihood of this the common recommendations are as follows:
- Keep your operating system and web browser up to date. Manufacturers will issue patches/fixes to correct any identified security problems. Visit their website to check if any of these have been issued. This process in most cases can be automated removing the need for you to remember to do this.
- Use personal firewall software to prevent access to your computer when you're on the internet
- Use anti-virus software on your computer, and keep it up to date
- Do not download any software if you aren't sure of its source - including websites which prompt you to click 'yes' or 'OK' to run a program or install a browser plug-in
- Be extremley cautious with unexpected email attachments, particularly those that contain a file ending .exe, .pif or .vbs. Emails are a common way to spread viruses, so if in doubt delete it immediately, after all it can be resent.
- Be very careful when using a computer other than your own. Programs can be installed on computers to collect all usernames and passwords entered on them.
For more information go to www.getsafeonline.org .