10 Tips to Secure PC..
TIP # 1: (Keep your software up to date.)
The first line of defense in keeping your computer as secure as possible is through regular software updates and routine system maintenance to help avoid data loss, new viruses, and other potential risks. The top two software applications you need to keep updated are your operating system (ex. Microsoft Windows) and your anti-virus solution.
For Microsoft Windows, we recommend that you run Windows Update or the new Microsoft Update. If you are using Windows XP, Windows 2000 SP3 or higher, or Windows Server 2003, we recommend that you activate Automatic Updates. The Automatic Updates feature in Windows notifies you when critical updates are available for your computer. Automatic Updates also allows you to specify the schedule that Windows follows to install updates on your computer.
For the new Microsoft Update, please visit http:!!update. microsoft. com/Microsoftupd ate
To turn on Automatic Updates, on Windows XP go START -> Control Panel -> Automatic Updates
TIP # 2: (Use a Firewall.)
When someone on the internet or on a network tries to connect to your computer, we call that attempt an “unsolicited request.” When your computer gets an unsolicited request, a Firewall application could block the connection. If you run a program such as an instant messaging program or a multiplayer network game that needs to receive information from the Internet or a network, the firewall asks if you want to block or unblock (allow) the connection.
If you are running Windows XP with Service Pack 2, you can take advantage of Windows Firewall which is a protective boundary that monitors and restricts information that travels between your computer and a network or the Internet. This provides a line of defense against someone who might try to access your computer from outside the Windows Firewall without your permission. If you are using Windows XP and have not yet upgraded to Service Pack 2, Windows Firewall was previously known as Internet Connection Firewall or ICF
You do not have to use Windows Firewall, you can install and run any firewall that you choose available through other software vendors. Evaluate the features of other firewalls and then decide which firewall best meets your needs. If you choose to install and run another firewall, turn off Windows Firewall.
TIP # 3: (Use anti-virus software.)
This can detect many, but not all, forms of malicious software before they have a chance to affect your computer.
Antivirus software is a program that either comes installed on your computer or that you purchase and install yourself. It helps protect your computer against most viruses, worms, Trojan. and other unwanted invaders that can make your computer “sick.” Viruses, worms, and the like often perform malicious acts, such as deleting files, accessing personal data, or using your computer to attack other computers.
You can help keep your computer healthy by using antivirus software. Remember to update your antivirus software regularly. These updates are generally available through a subscription from your antivirus vendor.
Microsoft currently does not offer an anti-virus solution. There are a number of software companies that offer anti-virus applications.
TIP # 4: (Use an Anti-spyware application. )
Spyware is a general term used for software that performs certain tasks, such as collecting personal information or changing the configuration of your computer without your appropriate consent and control. Spyware can significantly slow down your computer, make unwanted changes to key settings, and be difficult to remove.
Anti-spyware software helps protect your computer from spyware and other potentially unwanted software by detecting and removing known spyware programs. It can be scheduled to scan your computer at times that are convenient for you.
A variety of tools that detect and remove unwanted software from your computer are available at no charge
Microsoft offers Windows AntiSpyware which can help protect your PC from spyware and other potentially unwanted software This is available from
http://www.microsof t..com/antispywar e for FREE for all users of Genuine Windows software.
TIP # 5: (Upgrade to Windows XP Service Pack 2)
If you are using Windows XP, we highly recommend that you upgrade to Service Pack 2. Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains a collection of new technologies designed to help keep your PC and your personal information more secure. These new technologies include the Windows Security Center, Windows Firewall, Internet Explorer Pop-up Blocker, and more.
More details on the many features of Windows XP SP2 and how to take advantage of these can be found here:
http:l/www.microsof t.com/windowsxp/ sp2/howto/ default .mspx
TIP # 6: (Create a “strong” password.)
The purpose of having a logon process is to establish who you are. Once the operating system or website knows who you are, it can grant or deny requests for services. If a bad guy learns your username and password. he can log on as you. In fact, as far as the operating system is concerned, he is you.
Sometimes we use simple passwords so it will be easy for us to remember them. Usual passwords include your name, name of your spouse or child, your birthday, your pet’s name, your ID number. The problem with these passwords is that anyone who knows you could probably figure out your password given enough time. That is why these are also called “weak” passwords.
A strong password is where you create a more complex password using other symbols on the keyboard and use other words which would be harder to guess. Remember that lowercase letters are different from upper case letters. For example… for password” it could be’P@s$wOrD” .
Finally, try to adopt a”Pass Phrase” instead. It could be easier to remember, yet more difficult to guess. For example, “MyBirthdaylsOnNov2 2 1979”. Just let your imagination fly!
Tip # 7: (Keep your passwords safe.)
Your password is as important as your ATM PIN, or your front door key. You need to guard it well, and make sure nobody else gets hold of it.
As much as possible. memorize your password and do not write it down Some people not only wnte their passwords down, they put it in prominent places like on a small sheet taped to computer monitor. By doing so, you defeat the purpose of having a password.
Remember not to give out your password to ANYONE. It is also smart to change your password regularly.
Most people use the same password for all of their internet accounts. This is something we don’t advise you to do. Just imagine what would happen if someone got hold of your password for one of your accounts? He or she would have access to all of your internet accounts.
TIP # 8: (Be suspicious of bogus E-Mail.)
Anyone, anywhere in the world, can register for an ISP account. and Internet email protocols allow anyone to send a message that appears to be from any other person. Don’t assume an email from “Tito Boy” or “Manang Gloria” was actually sent from someone you know, and don’t assume that an unsolicited message from
user@hotmail. com was really sent by that account.
If an e-mail has a very small attachment and the message of the e-mail is practically empty. Just delete it. If the attachment is a ZIP file but it looks too small to contain a photo or document, just delete it. Despite who it seems to come from, chances are it is probably a virus.
TIP # 9: (Be suspicious of scams)
Scams are a popular way of getting your personal information. The most common scams are fake login pages and forged emails that ask for your password, credit card number, or other sensitive information. Ignore anything you see that strikes you as questionable or suspicious.
If any e-mail asks for your usemame or password, do not respond or reply to these e-mail messages. Always confirm a transaction through your Bank. The intemet is also full of “get rich quick” scams. Just remember that if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. If you received e-mail from anyone claiming they will share with you millions of dollars if you help them out or follow a few simple instructions, this almost always is a scam in which you will gain nothing and could put you in financial or physical risk.
TIP # 10: (Stay Informed)
This booklet contains only a few out of dozens of possible tips geared at keeping your computer environment safe and secure.
Education and awareness are out best line of defense in the battle against cyber security threats and fraud. Be sure to drop by Microsoft Philippines’ Security website at:
http://www.microsof t..com/philippine s/security
for updates, bulletins, links, and tips on keeping your PC environment safe and secure.
At the site, you can also sign up for our free, monthly e-mail newsletter that’s packed with valuable information to help you protect your home and work computer. This newsletter provides practical security tips for you, your family, and your officemates, useful resources and links.