Extra Protection and Freebies
Apart from the usual security suite that you install on your PC to prevent viruses and spys, there are also many other protections in which you can take. In fact, there is nearly infinite number of small little freebies and programs that will enhance your safety. If there are ‘infinite’ of those freebies and security enhancements, then choosing the right ones can be quite a confusing chore to do. Also, you need to consider if the program is worth installing. If it doesn’t do much, then do no install it because you should try and keep your PC as clean as possible.
Supervision and control – To be able to supervise and have control is very important. This is critical if your children own a computer or regularly surfs the web. For these kinds of purposes, I recommend Windows Live Family Safety. Here is what this service will do:
– Ban certain websites and filter what they view.
– Know who your child has been emailing to, IM and blogging.
– Filter out their search results
– Track their usage data plus more
– Note: You and your children will need a Windows Live ID each. To sign up please click HERE.
Pop-up blocker and phishing filter – Both of these should come standard with your web browser. To be sure, you should use the latest version of any web browser. I recommend using Firefox or Internet Explorer. Both of these have a pop-up blocker and a phishing filter. In addition, some free toolbars offer a phishing filter.
Firewall – Having a strong firewall is essential. This will block unwanted installation of programs that might harm your computer. Basically, it will shield you against weird stuff and the world wide network.
Email Attachments and fake emails – Be careful when opening an email attachment from someone you do not know. You never know, one click on the attachment or link could lead you to serious trouble. In addition, learn to depict fake emails. If you are a little suspicious of an email, do not open it. For example, I recently received a fake PayPal email saying that I had to respond to them in 24 hours or my account would be canceled. Take a look at the email below:
Your PayPal Account Information Have Problems.
If your problems could not be resolved your account will be closed for a period of 24 hours, after this period your account will be closed. Click on the link below. If nothing happens when you click on the link (or if you use AOL), copy and paste the link into the address bar of your web browser. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/=login-run=P1-789-019-853
Problem ID Number: PP-34-103-876
How I knew that it was fake? 1) PayPal would never email me address me as ‘Member’, they would use my name. 2)It is totally absurd that in 24 hours my account will be closed. 3)I have done nothing that will cause this problem. 4)The email was caught in the Spam folder. — And to the person who sent this fake email to me, I would like to say ‘good try but you were not good enough, think I am dumb enough to be tricked by your little tricks? Think again, we are not as dumb as you!’
Don’t go to bad sites – This is one of the most important rule. Just don’t visit a bad site!! Do you understand?
Backups – Having copies and backups of your data will prevent you from loosing your work and data. You can either do backups with a portable hard drive or use an online backup service. But remember, if you do not have a fast internet connection, then do not use online backups. However, if you plan to use a online backup service, try out Mozy, Carbonite or Box.net.
Updates – Remember to update your computer’s software also its operating system (Windows Update). Please note that updates are there for a reason, not just to eat up your internet usage data! To prevent forgetting to do Windows Updates, set it to auto mode. For other software that you have, the update option is usually in the ‘Help’ button in the main menu.
Personal note: I use and recommend Windows Vista. It by far the best Windows Operating system and safer. For a great Vista Security guide please click HERE
For a useful list of 100 network security tools click HERE
And this concludes the Security Guide series. I hope you learnt something from the guide. The next series will be about Using online services such as Backups, file storage and sharing. So stay tuned!
If there is anything that you think is worth mentioning or I have left out, please leave a comment or send me an email. I would really appreciate it.