Computer security on the Internet – action plan in 6 steps

Stop hesitating! You’ve probably thought about how to improve your computer’s Internet security, but for one reason or another you’ve kept putting it off. Time to get serious and take some positive action. These 6 steps are just what you need to get started.

Step 1: Identify potential threats

In order to create an effective plan of action, it is important that you identify potential threats. This includes not only how illegally your sensitive information on your computer could be accessed without your knowledge, but also where the threats can come from. Generally, we think of the nameless hackers lurking in cyberspace, just waiting for an opportunity to invade our computer and wreak havoc. While this may be the most common threat, there are also more familiar people around you such as casual friends, business associates, friends of friends, or even family members’ employees who, if given the opportunity, could gain access to your computer and steal some confidential information such as bank account numbers, credit card information and other private data. The point here is that you should take steps to ensure computer security from potential threats both within your sphere of influence and beyond.

Step 2: Lock computer

One of the simplest steps, and one of the most overlooked by most users, is to simply lock the computer when not in use. Whether you use your computer at home or even your business computer at work, you should never leave your computer running unattended for any length of time without having a locking system. Most computer operating systems like Windows have this feature enabled when you first start your computer, but often users leave their computer running unattended, meaning anyone can sit down and access it. Therefore, it is important to have another layer of security to protect your confidential files when your computer system is actually running. This means you have both a good password to protect your computer from unauthorized access and different passwords to protect files you want to keep private. For the best protection, use a combination of letters and numbers, both uppercase and lowercase. Never use everyday things like birthdays, children’s or pet names, phone numbers, etc. as these are simply too risky if the computer hacker knows you personally.

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Step 3: Disconnect

No computer internet security software or firewall system can be relied upon to be 100% secure under all circumstances, day in and day out. With new forms of malware such as viruses being invented every day, there is always a chance, perhaps very small, that your current computer security could be compromised. There is a 100% online threats solution that is rarely considered by most computer users, which is actually free and very easy to do. Simply disconnect your Internet connection from your modem when you are not using your computer. This physical disruption of the path from the Internet to your computer solves every type of online threat that currently exists.

Step 4: Onboard Security

It’s amazing how many computer users these days still ignoring the need for quality computer protection in the form of reputable computer internet security software. They’re either completely naive and believing the “this will never happen to me” myth, or they’re playing cheap and assuming that the basic anti-malware and spyware protection and firewall provided with their operating system is good enough. Others go a step further and download free PC internet security software, thinking it’s just as good as the paid version. Hi? There’s a reason it’s free! When it comes to computer internet security, you generally get what you pay for, or you don’t pay for. This is not to say that the basic security settings of your operating system and some e-mail programs, web browsers and applications should be ignored! These should be enabled to further protect your computer from outside threats.

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Step 5: Prepare for the unexpected

With all the concerns about hackers breaking into your computer physically or online, people often overlook the less sensational threats to their computer system such as power surges or spikes and hardware malfunctions. Any of these can destroy or corrupt important files and even render your built-in security unusable. Therefore, it is advisable to use a quality surge protector that protects against unexpected power surges that could burn out your computer components and damage your hard drive with your data files. If you’re really concerned about these kinds of dangers, you can use battery system backups, which automatically protect against power surges and blackouts, and allow you to save data and shut down your computer normally to avoid file corruption.

Step 6: Back up important data

Anyone familiar with computers knows or has heard at least one story of someone who lost everything in an instant when their computer’s hard drive suddenly and without warning crashed! Not regularly backing up important data files that contain sensitive personal information or even information that holds sentimental value to you and your family is like playing a game of Russian Roulette. It’s only a matter of time before that happens as computer hard drives aren’t built to last. Sometimes a good computer technician can still access a failed hard drive and save the contents to another hard drive, and sometimes not. Can you afford to take this chance? External hard drives or “Zip drives” are very affordable these days and can store massive amounts of information, in most cases the entire contents of your hard drive, offering a simple solution as well as the peace of mind that you have your important data stored elsewhere, in case your hard drive fails. Just remember to back up regularly! Depending on the value of our data and how often changes are made to it, you may need to backup monthly, weekly or even daily.

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There is no better time than now to take the necessary steps to create an action plan to improve your computer’s Internet security. Tomorrow may be too late!

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