In spite of what we see on Hollywood movies or television shows, hacking into a computer or a home Internet network isn’t that hard, so long as both are left unprotected. So, if hackers can make it through, how much more for those nasty computer viruses?
Don’t be surprised to learn how easy it is for hackers or computer viruses to enter a computer network and into your computer. Many computer networks are practically defenseless to intruders because they are allowed to be in that state. Users are often completely unaware of the dangers they can encounter if they don’t properly secure their network.
With the right tools and knowledge, you can minimize the chances of having your security compromised by computer viruses.
Generally, a home network is a system composed of two devices connected to each other and to the Internet. Computers running on Windows operating system are more at risk from virus attacks than Mac computers. This is to be expected since Windows dominates the market and is a much bigger target for exploitation. It would be a good idea to have an online virus removal service at hand for extreme emergencies.
First, you need to activate your firewall. You can either run a firewall application or purchase a physical firewall device. Most firewalls have security settings so choose the most restrictive settings because these are the safest.
Second, when using a wireless router, change the default username, set a new password, and enable encryption. Never leave a wireless network unprotected at this stage. Use either Wireless Encryption (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), though the latter is more secure.
Third, and your most important line of defense, is anti-virus software. No matter how careful we are surfing the web, something will eventually slip by. An anti-virus program helps keep your computer safe. It helps isolate and neutralize malware. Likewise, in order for anti-virus alerts to remain effective, you need to keep it up to date. Most programs have auto-update features since your computer is regularly connected to the Internet.
Fourth, other useful applications to combine with your anti-virus software are anti-spyware and anti-adware programs. Some anti-virus software are sold with these already included. Take advantage of this all-in-one package. Be sure to run your protective software at least once a week to keep your system safe. Also, be sure to install updates and patches for your operating system when they become available. These patches help seal up vulnerabilities on your computer.
Should something penetrate this far into your defenses, there are companies that offer superb online virus removal service to get rid of stubborn viruses, worms, malware, and adware not recognized by your protection program.
Image Credit: Stuart Miles.