Computer Security: The Essential Components for A Safe Computer

By: Sara Chambers

These days, computers are almost as common in households as telephones. Computers themselves do not cause any threat to individual security. When connected with networks and the chaos that is the World Wide Web, computers have become the tools that identity thieves and hackers use to extrapolate this chaos. In order to establish computer security, software companies have created devices to ward off the hazards and hassles of viruses, spyware, pop-ups and spam.

The first of these creations is anti-virus software. There are two main companies that offer this software: McAfee and Norton. These programs work to scan the files on your computer and check them for attributes that are in viruses or are often linked with viruses. These traits or attributes are often called virus definitions and need to be downloaded on a relatively regular basis. In addition to the files on your computer, files on CDs, floppy discs and e-mails can and should be filed. There is no question on this one: anti-virus software is vital to computer security.

Next on the list is spyware scanning software. Spyware occurs when certain websites run programs in the back ground of your computer while gleaning information from it. The information can be as benign as tracking what type of websites you look at, to actually acquiring passwords. Regardless of the type of spyware, it can slow your computer to a crawl and needs to be removed from your computer. Two popular software options are Spy Sweeper and Ad-ware.

Last, but certainly not least are pop-up blockers and span filters. Not only are pop-ups and spam annoying, but these often contain the spyware scanning software explained above. In addition, they can slow your computer down incredibly. And when you are angry at your computer, your computer is not secure!

In addition to these software items, there are a few more tricks you can use to keep your computer and your information . Password secure everything you can, and when you create the passwords, don't make them easy. Do not use your name, your birthday or your social security number. And, if you are on an unsecured wireless network, do not check your bank statements. These networks allow several people on them at one time. Remember, hackers are smart. You have to be smarter!

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