Data Protection — 08 February 2013

George Otte, Founder and President of Geeks on Site computer repair, says:

Although the Internet greatly enhances a computer, it also has the ability of rendering it useless. Whereas a computer user may consider restricting internet use for fears of computer harm, safe and conscious navigation is recommended.  Updating your Internet Browser greatly determines the vulnerability of a computer when a user is online. The following information provides helpful tips to keep your computer safe from harm’s way.

Update your Browser.

Like everything else in the computer world, website technology is developed at exponential rates. The demand for the ‘newer and better’, causes companies to create new tools that allow a better user experience. These tools are generated with state of the art technology that demands newer implementations by browsers. Browser developers work hard to satisfy these demands, as they would otherwise lose grounds to rival companies. This race often causes software imperfections which can make a browser vulnerable to hackers and viruses. Since malware is also constantly being updated, browser developers create security patches updates in an attempt to protect their users. Major web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari usually notify users of these updates and may even update their browsers automatically. Updating your browser allows you to protect yourself against updated malware.


Viruses and malware to avoid.

A virus is software designed to damage your system’s functional components. Malware is software designed to spy and copy valuable information off your browser or hard disk drive.  Some malware may even be designed to hijack and take control over your computer. Among these two categories of ill-intentioned software are:

  • Key Logger- collects critical keyboard stroke information and sends it to hackers.
  • Root Kit -extracts information and in the process, affects system functionality. It may delete or corrupt system drivers.
  • Flaw Exploits – copies login and browsing information. May also delete or corrupt system drivers.
  • Denial of Service – prevents the user from accessing the Internet by consuming all network access resources and demands monetary ransom for the repair.

Ways to Protect your Browser.

There are many ways to protect your computer from malware:
  • Smart online behavior: avoid suspicious websites and dubious links.
  • Avoid downloads from third party sites: Always download software from their mother sites.
  • Delete Spam Email: Do not open junk mail or click on links from unknown senders.
  • Close Pop Ups: Pop ups usually contain malware, ready to be downloaded upon that innocent click.
  • Avoid using foreign storage media: your friend or coworker may be a careless user and has hidden viruses in their flash memory stick. Buy, use, and protect your own. Avoid lending it.
  • Install only One Antivirus Program: update it and run its system scan periodically.  It’s important to install only one antivirus program because running two might cause a conflict and render them both ineffective. Make sure your antivirus has antimalware software (a.k.a. antispyware). Make sure there’s only one antimalware program installed on your computer to avoid threatening conflicts.
  • Activate your Firewall: If your system does not use a third party software firewall, the original Windows firewall should be activated. Firewalls monitor all accesses to a computer.
  • Spam Filters sort your emails: A good spam filter will automatically prevent emails containing viruses and malware from entering your inbox.

There are many threats on line but there are many more ways to protect yourself from them.
Protecting your computer from malware is not difficult if you’re careful. Update your browser, plug-ins and antiviruses from their mother sources constantly. Keep an eye out for suspicious websites and links, and you should be able to navigate the internet freely and safely!

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