Digital Lifestyle - Protecting Yourself Online
The majority of us are using the personal computer on a daily basis. You have to be very careful in how you use and maintain your computer to protect your privacy. If you have noticed that your computer is running much slower than normal or when it was new, you are probably infected with some type of virus or malware. Virus and malware complications are not only slowing down your computer, but are opening up your home to strangers. One says...but yes, I have a virus program. This is not enough today to protect you as many "bugs" may run right through these programs regardless of brand. This will be the first article in a series of many that will address computer safety online.
We will cover several ways to clean up your computer and protect it against future threats. First...understand that anytime you are online, you are on a two way connection. ICU-UCME. You can block certain areas, but your tracks remain and cannot fully be erased.
We will cover a few of the more important issues you may use immediately.
Always protect and never share your password.
Create a password that has letters, numbers and a character or two.
Hackers love to hijack your email account or break into your
banking information. Identity Theft is a very real primary concern
and potential damages to financial, property, mental and
physical health and safety. Never use any word out of a dictionary
as hackers use programs that once they have your username (ie: like
your email address) all they need to do is run a program that will
run through every word and combinations of words in the dictionary
to break into your account and then create a lot of trouble for you.
Action: Create a password like
or preferably longer.
Action: If you have setup a Home Wireless network, be sure to password protect your network. This is very important as many have been visited by Law Enforcement at all hours and sometimes arrested when someone was using their home network to hack, send pornography or steal passwords without the owner having any knowledge.
How to Clean Up any Virus Issues
Computer viruses have impacted a significant number of computers
worldwide over the past few years. There are over 10,000 known
computer viruses. Over 200 new viruses are being discovered every
month. A computer virus is a (hidden) program, which invades your
computer; much like a biological virus invades a living cell. A
computer virus contains code that has the potential to cause damage
and/or perform unwanted/unauthorized functions.
Action: If you already have a good virus program like Norton, McAfee, AVG or Avast, run it now. After it completes the routine and your PC is clean, update the program and scan again. Again..over 200 new viruses are being discovered every month. If you have not updated in months, you are at risk.
Avast Virus Protection - (Free Version)
How to Clean Up any Malware Issues
Spyware and malware (malicious software) are nasty programs that someone (hacker) sneaks onto your computer.
Malware is like a virus, but more directly criminal in intent.
What they do ranges from really annoying, like feeding you a steady stream of advertisements, to very dangerous, like stealing your account numbers, user names and/or passwords as you type them in, something called keylogging. Malware can redirect your browser to a phishing site when you try to go to your bank site, or even let someone remotely hijack your computer. Criminals create networks of hijacked PCs—botnets to send spam or shop with stolen credit cards for example.
Action: Download Malwarebytes or Advanced System Care (Free Version)
Download here: hthttp://www.iobit.com/advancedsystemcareper.html
Advanced System Care by IOBIT Detects and analyzes Windows security environment. Scans and removes spyware and adware using up-to-date definition files. Prevents spyware, hackers and hijackers from installing malicious programs on your computer. Erases and updates your PC's activity histories.
Clean Up any Junk and Tracking Cookies and History
Cleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download. Run it and it will erase all the unwanted junk placed on your PC by websites. There is also an option to erase files using a method using a standard higher than the NSA standard used by the government.
This is the main feature of the program, which will allow you to optimize your system by removing unused and temporary files.
(It's important to point out that it does this without removing any files you'll still need!)
This is a more advanced feature which analyzes your computer's registry and fixes any problems that exist. (The registry is where Windows stores system settings.)
This section allows you to view and manage Installed Programs, check the applications that run at Start Up and also manage and remove System Restore points.
The Options section handles all the settings for how CCleaner runs.
Failure to use your PC properly and keep it maintained using
these programs can compromise:
•Personal Identifying Information (dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, photographs)
•Financial information- Banking, Investments
•Health and Medical Information
•Home and personal security routines (when home, when not home, vacations, protection systems)
•Private, personal matters