Essential Steps to Secure Your Computer

A Little Bit of History

There are ways to secure your computer from virus attacks, spyware and stuffs but what are the most efficient and effective ways to do it?

I believe, it very much relies on the users themselves rather than the sharing of information or the internet.

The attitude and responsibility in using or viewing the information is important to keep your computer safe from attack.

However, no matter how careful you are, there are still possibilities that your computer will be attacked.

Luckily, there are tools for you to assist you in making the right decision or even before you could make a decision.

Backup

I personally lost a lot of important files due to viruses a few years back but from there, I learnt.

Maybe it is hard for those who are less familiar in IT to learn to backup things or to keep things safe, but that is the way it is.

I have articles about ISO images for backup and restore your hard drive but I would rate it as an intermediate computer article.

Thus, the easiest way is to copy them into CDs or DVDs and copy the files into an external drive.

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Spyware and Malware

All this while, I have managed to remove any spyware and malware without any problems.

The most common problem is always the pop up windows.

A normal scan with most of the free tools out there such as Spybot and Lavasoft Adware would be able to remove them.

I have always talked about Windows Defender which I find it quite useful in the beginning.

It was able to catch some spywares trying to install automatically previously.

However, I did not receive any alert since I changed my own policy of managing user account. I will explain below.

Antivirus

Viruses are dangerous. My computer had been infected quite a lot of times.

Fortunately, the last time I dealt with a virus was two years ago; my previous workplace computer.

In the end, I won without the need to format the computer.

It was a virus made by an Indonesian guy where everytime I logged in to my computer, it will run Internet Explorer automatically and direct it to his website; which was not very nice to visit.

Even if I deleted my user account and created a new one, the virus was still there.

In other words, it will affect every user accounts that were created from the machine.

I proceeded with the easiest way, which is googling for information.

I found ways from McAfee and Symantec which provided a tool to scan the hard drive.

I ran the tool from another machine and scanned my computer through the network and finally, removed the virus.

McAfee VirusScan

I believe this is one of the best antivirus scanners out there.

Whenever, it detected a suspicious file, it will prompt for action.

Most of the time, it will delete the infected file, which is why I have said that some tools react before you can decide.

Hence, you are not given the chance to run the infected file once detected by McAfee VirusScan.

Some corporate companies provide free antivirus tools for their staffs and I got mine free from my ex-company.

Since I installed it, it has protected my computer well. Visit the up coming post: how to hack viber

AVG is one of the best free antivirus out there.

It is constantly updated and lots of people are recommending it.

McAfee SiteAdvisor

This is a freeware provided by McAfee for browsers, both Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Extra functionalities such as email protection and protected mode are available at $19.99 and get discounts when purchase licenses for more computers.

The reason of having SiteAdvisor installed in browsers is to alert the users in order to identify which websites are safe to visit.

There are three colors to indicate; green, yellow, and red.

Basically, green means that the websites contain downloads which are free of spyware, adware and other potentially unwanted programs.

In addition, all the links from the website are safe to browse.

Red indicates that the websites contain a lot of dangerous downloads and the links within are not safe to browse. Yellow sits between green and red.

SiteAdvisor works rather different for IE and Firefox.

In Firefox, the SiteAdvisor indicator sits at the bottom of the browser and displays the color for the website that you are visiting.

In IE, when you run a Google search, each of the links will be identified by SiteAdvisor.

It claims that the ratings are based on a series of automated safety tests of websites as well as feedbacks from the visitors.

You can always click on the indicator to view details about the websites that you are visiting.

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User Accounts

One of the example about the virus that I had dealt before was the infected user account.

Imagine that your documents, pictures and desktops are full of important files and you have yet to backup them.

Once infected, you are not able to retrieve your files because all the files are infected.

You will count yourself lucky if you were able to clean the virus.

However, in my case, I had to delete my user account.

As I always said, the files are not safe if saved in the folders provided in a user account.

To secure your files, you can create a folder in the root directory and manage the security settings so that you are the one who has the access.

Most of the spyware and adware are installed automatically when you install software or visit a website.

In order to prevent the automatic installation, we should never use an administrator account for our daily tasks.

An administrator account has the ability to access and install anything in a computer.

Thus, I always create a limited or restricted user account to do my daily tasks and browsing.

If you are using Windows Vista, there will always be a UAC that prompts for user account and password that has the abilities to install software or delete restricted files.

However, in Windows XP, it will deny immediately.

However, you can easily install software by right-click the installer file and choose Run As Administrator and you will get the similar UAC prompt as Windows Vista.

It may seem difficult or uncomfortable when you use limited user account but that will prevent your computer from being installed with unwanted software.

Verdict

To protect a computer is an easy task yet difficult to maintain.

In my opinion, running a backup frequently and using a limited user account are enough to keep your PC clean.

Even without antivirus software, your computer can still be virus free as long as you take precaution steps especially when you are accessing the World Wide Web.

Nevertheless, prevention is better than cure.

Tools are there for us to use and to advise us to take appropriate action.

The responsibilities fall back to us, the users. Conclusion?

We must not blame the computer or the software tools, we blame ourselves.

About the Author Calvin S. Snelling