IT'S TIME TO GO THROUGH THE COMPUTER SECURITY CHECKLIST
I know I had them off to one side of the blog, but they got lost in the transition when Blogger changed formats, so it's a good time to drill them into your head again before I forget.
BRIAN'S COMPUTER SECURITY TIPS
- Unless needed for an online game or special program, uninstall JAVA
- If you want to keep JAVA (and all of it's risks) keep up with the updates
- Update Adobe Flash (very important) and Reader as updates become available
- Always update from the vendors website. Adobe and Java have update links on their homepages
- BUY an anti-virus product. You'll have a better chance of blocking something with one you paid for vs. a free anti-virus product.
- I recommend Norton Internet Security, Norton 360, and Trendmicro Titanium
- When Microsoft sends updates down to your PC - INSTALL THEM.
- If you use Microsoft Outlook (not Outlook Express), close the preview/reading pane
- If you don't have Malwarebytes on your PC, download it from a reliable source and install it. I use downloads at cnet.com
- If you do have Malwarebytes installed, update and run a quick scan at least twice a month, and a full scan every other month.
- Don't upgrade from pop-up windows telling you an upgrade is available and to "Click here" to install it. I'm repeating myself, but it's worthwhile - upgrade from the vendor website.
You may never have noticed it before, but they should be there. If you hover the mouse over the colored square a little box like the one in the picture pops up. The rule of thumb is: GREEN = They've gone to that link, and checked the links on that site and it's safe. ORANGE = They've gone to that link, and checked out the links on that site and they found the website okay, but, some of the links were questionable (avoid ORANGE). Last but not least, RED = STAY AWAY!!
- If you do get infected, turn off your computer and call for help. Leave it off until someone arrives.
- Keep backups. Some Trojans that have come out this year are very destructive and corrupt photo, music, document, PDF, and other files.
- Use an online backup for your photos and music. I use Carbonite.
- Even if you are just a "Home User", password protect your login account.
- If you have children or teens and everyone uses the same PC, make their account profiles "Limited", so they can't install anything.
- Don't give them your password because you're too lazy to get off the Lazy Boy and log into the PC to download a game or other program they just bought.
- Don't use a word for password. Use phrases, sentences, etc. [Example: itrainsinspainbutmostlyintheplains
- Use alpha/numeric swaps. i or L = 1; o = 0; s = $. [Example, using the phrase above: itrainsinspainbutmostlyintheplains becomes - 1tra1n$1n$pa1nbutm0$t1y1nthep1a1n$
- Don't use the same password for every site you go to. Buy a notepad and write them down, or if using the Norton product, take advantage of their password "Vault" [ed. - I do both. I write them in a notepad and also use the Norton password vault.]
- If you setup your wireless router yourself, change the SSID from it's default (netgear, d-link, cisco, etc.) so a casual neighborhood hacker won't know what you're using.
- Avoid using your last name for an SSID choice [Example: TheAndersons] use a pets name, or maybe your favorite movie title.
- Change the default wireless router administrator login [and write all of this down, including your wireless key]
I've offered enough suggestions this time around [probably too much and you're seeing white spots in your eyes] to help you remain as secure as possible. Surf the web cautiously, and be safe -