Protect and Secure Your Computer Life By: Janet L. Hall
Cyberterrorists are no longer considered isolated problems. Big and small companies, organizations, and even personal computers get targeted every day. It’s a worldwide problem. Viruses that run through your computers, stealing your data and sending fake emails to friends and business associates. Hackers that go after anyone with a computer, just for thrill of it, to see if they can. Computer owners neglecting to perform backups and sadly losing their "life" when a virus attacks or their computer crashes. Surfing Internet, all while leaving “almost” invisible trails of where you’ve been.
To maintain a balance of protection from outside world, and yourself, there are at least four important things EVERY computer owner should have or do. Do you know what they are, and are you protecting and securing your important or sensitive data?
1. Virus Scan/Protection 2. Personal Firewall 3. Backups 4. Cleaning out your Cache, History, and Cookies
According to mcAfee.com, on Sept. 26, 2001, top 10 viruses had infected 117,427 computers and 962,767 files had been infected worldwide in past 24 hours.
Usually a virus is sent via email, in email or as an attachment. The sender is usually unaware they have sent you a virus. They don't know they have a virus, they don't know a virus has attacked their address book and is sending out emails to everyone listed in their book, along with a virus.
Whether someone you know or don't know sends a virus to you, take these precautions:
6 VIRUS Precautions:
1. If you don’t know sender, don’t open attachment. 2. Request information in attachment to be re- sent and inside an email. 3. Purchase a virus scanner! 4. Make sure your virus scanner is turned on (enabled) to scan incoming emails and downloads. 5. Update your virus scanner regularly, especially when you hear about a new virus running rampant. 6. Scan your computer (Virus Scan) daily or weekly (start your scan before dinner, a meeting, or before you take a shower. This way your computer time isn't interrupted).
Every time we turn on our computers our data is at risk. Whether your computer is used for business or personal, your data, and your computer life are at RISK!
For last five years or more my computer went unprotected from hackers and intruders. My writings, business information, database, and all other things that go along with running a business had been left wide open and vulnerable for any hacker to "have a look see," steal, or destroy.
Why didn't I have one and why don't you?
Maybe you are thinking way I use to think. I didn't think anyone would want my stuff or even bother me, after all, I'm just a small business owner. But I soon discovered that didn't matter. I received 12 alerts of "someone" trying to access my computer evening I purchased and installed my firewall! And I promise you, that was NOT a fluke! Every time I turn on my computer my firewall sends me alerts that some cyberterrorist hacker is trying to access my computer.
So what's on your computer that you don't want anyone to have access to or lose?
Also, check with your employer and web hosting company to see if they have a firewall installed.
It can never be mentioned enough, do backups regularly! By way, when was last time you performed a backup of your, "I'll just die if I lose this stuff!" but NEVER take time to back it up?
I'm going to give you a couple of new tips I've discovered since writing, "B is for Backups" (http://www.overhall.com/mar00.htm ).
3 NEW Tips for FAST Backups and Protection:
1. Purchase a Portable Firewire: A Firewire is basically a high transfer external hard drive that you can back your data up to and then take it off site, put in trunk of your car, at a family or friends home. I do not use one but I know people that do. You might need to speak to your computer tech person or get a high school kid to help you out on what to buy and install. 2. Install a Second Hard Drive: I recently installed a second hard drive on my computer. I left all my programs on my C drive and put "My Docs" on my new drive. Now I don't waste time by backing up everything. I can quickly backup "My Docs" and I only need to backup Programs when I update or install a new program. 3. On-the-road Backups: Faking a backup until you make it back to your office or home. Tom Antion, of antion.com, gave me this neat trick for when you're on road using your laptop. Instead of doing a backup of “NEW” files to a disk, he just sends his important data he needs and wouldn't want to lose to his AOL email address, where it will live "safely" on AOL’s servers until he gets back to his office. You can do this yourself by getting a free email account at yahoo, hotmail, or any of other various places you can get a free account. This way your important stuff "lives" on their server until you can get back home and back it up.