8 Hacker-Thwarting Home Computer Security Tips

Keeping your family and home secure and safe is important to all of us.  Most of us today have a home computer system that we use for lots of important every day things.  We want our computer to run well and be ready when we need it. 

Whether your home computer gets stolen or not, it needs to be kept safe from all the “bad guys” in the world.  We are going to assume that you log on to the internet for things like social media i.e. Facebook; personal banking i.e. paying bills; surfing and downloading i.e. movies and music. 

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Here are a few free things you can do to your computer to ensure a safer environment.

  1. Use Antivirus software

norton antivirus

If your computer comes with an antivirus software such as ?, you’re lucky.  Just make sure it is activated.  You might not think you need this service but your computer can be infected just by visiting a website.  Check out Norton Antivirus for your PC or download Webroot for your Apple.

2. Enable User Account Control (UAC)

This is another layer of protection that prevent malicious software from doing things to your system without your permission.  Keep it ON so in the event that some change needs to be made before a program with operate, your UAC will ask you for your permission.

3.  Firewalls

Usually your Firewall has already been looked after for you but check to make sure it has been configured properly.  This sounds confusing but it really isn’t.  The Firewall will block worms like Blaster that try to get into your applications and foul things up badly.   These unwanted “worms” are a type of “malware” that can cause you lots of trouble.  Find your control panel and then system securities to located the computer’s Firewall.

4.  Uninstall Java

Java is a programming language that works with your Web Browser i.e. Safari.  It is just information that allows your computer to communicate with the World Wide Web (AKA the internet).  Most modern computers today don’t have to worry about the security holes in your browser so there is no reason to have this Java language feature running.  You are wasting energy and time so turn it off.  If it is needed, your computer will tell you.  Look in your Control Panel for the Java controls.

5.  Update Software

Security issues are everywhere in the software we constantly use, which is always asking for us to update.  Safari, Chrome, Explorer, Firefox, Office, Reader etc. etc. all constantly start to show security flaws over time that hackers use to cause problems for people.  As the software gets older, hackers find ways of hacking these quickly outdated pieces of software that many of us still use.

It is very important to update your software on a regular basis, especially your browser plug-ins.  The quickest way to do this is to set your updates to automatic, although you may not want to as not all updates are desirable.  Updates can make your machine run faster as well, so this is another pro of updates.  Oh, and this goes for phones too, which are just mini computers.

6.  Care About Downloads

Do you download, install, and run programs?  Of course you do.  Use the official websites for the software you need.  If you need VLC, use the VLC website to get it.  If an email or ad is presented to you offering a package that sounds exactly what you need, delete it and go to the official home page.  Malware is found in all kinds of formats used by all the competition.  Be smart about your shopping and avoid pirating and cracked software.  Hackers are great at changing parts of the program codes which will cause you major problems.  Nothing in life is free.

7. Don’t Go Phishing

Just ask dishonest people call your phone and ask you for private information in order to “phish” money out of your bank account, you will receive emails and notices everywhere on your computer sent by the same dishonest people.  This is called “phishing”.  Don’t go there!  Delete! Delete! Delete! and don’t even open the file.

8.  Password Mix up

It seems like every place you visit on the ‘Net needs a password.  How will you remember them all?  Why not use the name of your pet for them all. NOT A GOOD IDEA!  Attackers are out there scanning the Net for your password and user id.  There are even digit robots working 24/7 looking for your confidential information.  The solution is easy.  Mix up your passwords.  Use familiar words, numbers, and capitals.  Try not to repeat any passwords just in case the hackers find one of yours.  The others will be safe.  Keep a record of these passwords and not on your computer.  Hide them in a secret location that only you know about but of course make the location easy for you to access if need be.  Change them up periodically too!

Watch this now ….  “Safe Web Surfing:  Top Tips for Kids and Teens Online”.

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