Security For Computer Users
There is a lot of discussion these days about your computer and your privacy or, personal security. Over the next several Tips we are going to cover many aspects of computer security to assist you in battening down the hatches on your online activity.
Our access to information and entertainment, credit and financial services, products from every corner of the world ( even to our work) is greater than earlier generations could ever have imagined.
While the Internet helps make our lives richer and more convenient, it also provides a gateway to our personal information, our homes, families and work sites, our security and safety. Viruses, hackers and worms have become the stuff of headlines, with results that can range from mere headaches to complete havoc and financial ruin.
Identity theft is the fastest-growing white-collar crime in North America. It occurs when someone steals your personally identifying information, like your SIN, birth date or mother's maiden name, to open new charge accounts, order merchandise or borrow money. Consumers targeted by identity thieves usually don't know they've been victimized. But when the fraudsters fail to pay the bills or repay the loans, collection agencies begin pursuing the you to cover debts you didn't even know you had.
The good news is that securing your computer is largely a matter of routine maintenance. Using strong passwords, installing personal firewalls, and regularly running updated anti virus software can go a long way toward protecting your computer, your information, and your peace of mind from thieves who try to steal personal information to commit a crime.
Update your Anti Virus Software
This is one area that is either overlooked, ignored or put off, many times until it is too late. When you purchased your computer it may or may not have come with an Anti Virus software program like Norton or McAfee. If it did it likely entitled you to a 3 or 6 month trial period. Once it expires the security of your online activity deteriorates by the minute. Anti Virus software relies on up to date information (virus definitions) to keep out intruders. Annual subscription rates are range from $40 to $75 depending on the features that you purchase. It's small piece of mind for pennies a day. For your convenience you can click on one of the logos to view what's available from each company.
There are also free anti virus programs out there. The most popular one is AVG Anti Virus (they also have more comprehensive versions for sale). If budget is an issue at this point then by all means, download this program (click on the logo to the right). The one thing to note is that you are not protected to the same degree as you would be by purchasing an annual subscription from any company.
We are often asked; "is one better than the other". The simple answer is no, they all do an effective job. Companies bundle various features to hit different price points so review them and choose one that looks right for your needs.
This is the season when you cannot find enough time to do everything so feel free to put these on the back burner and return when you have a few moments
Online shopping is a very viable alternative to hopping in the car and driving (an hour or so) to the big box stores. Next I will send a tip on Online Shopping so you can save some time and protect yourself when doing so.
As always, should you have any questions about your computer, do not hesitate in picking up the phone or writing... better to contact me and be sure.
Tom @ Tata Computers