Top 10 Security Tips For your PC
You’ll probably never hear them on David Letterman’s Top 10 list, but we’ve scoured the Web for the best, Top 10 Computer Security and Anti-Virus tips for both home/office users and small-to-medium-sized businesses.
Enjoy our Top 10 Computer Security Tips, the following are summaries those generally regarded as the most valuable:
- Use plain old common sense. When in doubt, err of the side of safety. Delete email attachments from people you don’t know (WITHOUT opening them!). Beware especially aware of tempting animations on unprofessional-looking sites. Keep an eye out for strange links or attachments in Instant Messaging (IM) programs—they just might contain malicious code.
- Still use floppies? Scan them before use. This tip is especially critical if you use floppy disks to transfer files between PCs. Always scan them for viruses and other threats before transferring their contents to any computer.
- Label floppies—and don’t share. Even well meaning associates can unwittingly transmit viruses, worms, Trojan horses or worse. Label your disks clearly, and “neither a borrower nor lender be.” Use alternate methods for sharing files.
- Never boot from floppy disks. This is one of the most common ways viruses can be transmitted. Always remember to remove inserted floppies before shutting down any PC; otherwise, it will automatically attempt to boot from what may already be a virus-laden disk.
- Avoid downloading files of which you’re unsure. Be on the lookout for files such as freeware, screensavers, games or other executable programs. Internet news groups and web sites may be full of potential threats, so be sure to scan all downloads before running them. It may be helpful to download files to a “Scan” folder and then scan the entire folder’s contents.
- Frequently update your anti-virus software. Even the best anti-virus software isn’t much help unless you keep it updated. New PC threats emerge daily—even hourly—and variations can often be engineered to slip by previous software versions. Most anti-virus software allows easy online updating.
- Protect system startups. Make sure to configure anti-virus software to launch automatically and run constantly, ensuring that you’re always protected.
- Scan incoming email/attachments. Again, you must scan each attached file from email or IM messages—even those from trusted sources. Most PC security software automatically performs this function.
- Don’t automatically open email/attachments. This may seem redundant, but it’s important. Make sure your email application doesn’t automatically open messages (Check the program’s Options or Preferences menus).
- Install professional anti-virus software — and keep virus definitions up to date. Proper anti-virus and other PC security applications can scan files for unusual changes and other warning signs. This is by far the most important step you can take to keep PCs as safe and secure as possible.