Computer Security 101 – Protecting Your Computer From Viruses & Malware

Protecting Your Computer
As technology takes on a greater role in everyday life, computer security becomes more important. This article will cover basic security tips, including the use of Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender in Win 8, UAC and firewalls. Good browsing habits are covered as well, providing users with a good start to more secure browsing.

Are you one of many Internet users facing the ever-present fear that a computer virus will find its way onto your computer? These new age monsters have the potential to steal your confidential information, disable your machine’s basic functions and harass you with unsafe pop-up advertisements. Thankfully, as these nasty pieces of software spread and grow, the computer security community actively works to answer them. Through a few fairly simple steps, you can secure your computer against these threats and browse the Internet without fear.

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The first step that anyone should take is a good anti-virus security package. For the moment, this is a fairly easy step. Any computer with a verified copy of Windows can download Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender in Win 8 for free. Most casual users will find that this free program will cover all their needs. It’s a quick and easy download and installation from Microsoft.com, and it will keep itself automatically updated as long as you stay online. These updates are vital, because they contain new virus definitions that allow the scanners to keep up with the latest trends. If you ever receive an alert that an update has failed, you should manually attempt it again through the marked tab.

Microsoft Security Essentials  or Windows Defender in Win 8 is also quite useful because it comes with real-time protection, which does exactly what it says tin. If any malicious program attempts to install itself onto your computer, it will set off an alert and try to stop the infection. Note that you shouldn’t be complacent just because you have real-time protection in place. Viruses can still slip through the cracks. Regular quick scans should be done at least once a week, with a full scan every three months.
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Keep UAC enabled and Keep windows up-to-date ,Everyday security habits are equally important for protecting your computer from infection. Be conscious of the user account control (UAC) warnings you receive with Windows Vista ,Windows 7 or Windows 8, and do not disable them. They may be annoying, but leaving the warnings enabled helps prevent uninvited programs from making drastic changes. If a program that you don’t recognize tries to run, then stop it and carry out a scan immediately. This advice holds true for your firewall too. Don’t grant access just because a program asks for it. Check the name and make sure that it is a program that you trust.

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Finally, you’ll want to be careful with your actual browsing habits , phishing email  and downloads ,Don’t ever trust your anti-virus tools to stop every threat that you may face. Type in web addresses carefully and double check them. Common misspellings of popular domain names can be bought by unscrupulous people and turned into trap websites. On that note, be careful with all websites. While you obviously want to be careful about going to a new website, old favorites can fall to malware infections too. Infected advertisements can easily corrupt a trusted website. Don’t ignore a warning just because you personally like the website. Report the infection to the webmaster, if their contact information is available, and do not go back for at least day to give them time to fix the problem.
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With these basic tools in hand, you are well on your way to being a better browser. While there are always risks with browsing the Internet, it’s possible to make yourself fairly safe. Just prepare yourself, stay alert and make use of the tools that are available.