Secure your PC.

The following are generic tips and recomended links on how to help you protect your PC:

Note: All cross-links to web site are included as a service for the reader. Cross-links to web site do not constitute an endorsement or approval of their content, or of the organizations responsible for that content.

1. Install Firewall software On your home and networked computers to prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to your computer system to use files, obtain personal information or to destroy computer data. This is especially important on computers that use a broadband connection to access the Internet (Cable modems or DSL). Since your Internet connection is on when your computer is on, the risk for malicious activity to your computer increases. Popular sources for firewall software are:

2. Install and Run an Anti-Virus program On your computer on a regular, frequent basis to prevent computer viruses or worms from entering your computer system. Purchase programs that automatically upgrade your virus protection on a regular basis such as the following:

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3. Don't share access to your computer with strangers. Disable the 'File and Printer Sharing' capabilities on your computer to prevent anyone on the Internet from browsing or deleting your computer files. Check your computer's User Guide for instructions specific to your setup, or go online to the manufacturer for instructions.

4. Regularly check your computer Manufacturer's (hardware/operating system) Web site for "security patches" and "security updates" to your system or browser to insure your computer system has the latest security upgrades installed.

5. Learn about computer infections And be aware of the latest computer viruses , worms , Trojan Horses and other malicious programs designed to damage your computer or steal your personal information.

Spyware (Malware), Adware, and snoopware all belong to a group of malicious software called malware, which can be disruptive, invasive and potentially damaging to your computer. Adware and spyware secretly monitor your online surfing and shopping habits or collect your personal and confidential information and report it back to the intruder, who stands to profit in some way from the data it collects. You can pick up these annoying and potentially threatening programs unknowingly when you download online music, install free software that has malware bundled with it.

If your computer has slowed down to a noticeable degree, if your browser's homepage keeps changing or if you are seeing an increasing number of popup windows, you are most likely infected with some type of malware.

Also beware of the web pop-up windows that say, "protect your computer, download me." In almost all cases these are actually some form of malware rather than anti-spyware. To make sure you are downloading authentic anti-spyware, check with reputable sites such as the following:

Also check out these sites for additional information:


6. Don't open e-mail Or e-mail attachments from unknown sources. Scan e-mail through your anti-virus software first.

7. Ensure your wireless home network Is secure (encryption with password).

8. Protect your password. Use Alphanumeric passwords that are not associated with your SSN, your name , or your family names.



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