According to me computer security is a process which involves steps and measures that prevent theft and corruption of digital information through illegal / unauthorized access and effects of natural disaster.
Gone are the days when we could use our computers without antivirus programs. I remember while doing my Bachelors, whenever I formatted my computer, I used it online for weeks without installing an anti virus and never had a problem.
Things have really changed drastically and it is hardly possible to find a machine not connected to the internet. These days every machine is either directly connected to internet through a modem or you are connected to the internet through your network which connects to the internet through a router. This change in the trend has made it highly important to take preventive measures to secure your computer in the hostile environment of the internet in which having access to any node on the internet has really become very much possible these days.
Security attacks can be through various ways, a person can get unauthorized access to your information by exploiting the vulnerabilities in your physical machine, the physical network you are connected to, or through a web application which is hosted on your machine.
For my friends who are unaware of what an exploit is and what vulnerability means, let me define both for you. Your operating system, web browsers or other day to day programs are made after complex engineering and millions of lines of code. Often unavoidably errors creep up which lead to security threats in one or the other way. These security threats are basically known as vulnerabilities. On the other hand an exploit is a code or malware which takes advantage of the vulnerability to gain illegal access to the information, take control of the machine or damage the hardware / software of the victim machine. So in simple terms, we can conclude vulnerability plus exploit can lead to hacking or computer security being comprised.
Let’s look at certain practices that can make us reasonably secure:
- Backup your data and information regularly: First and foremost you should backup your important data and information which you cannot afford to lose in any condition. Keeping illegal access aside , natural disaster can take place anytime without sending any prior notice
- Use strong passwords: I strongly suggest everyone to use strong password which include numbers, alphabets and special characters. Second and most importantly your passwords should not be meaningful such as your date of birth or telephone number. Whenever you install any program , don’t forget to change the default passwords
- Use Anti virus and Internet Security Programs: Make a habit of installing anti virus and internet security programs as soon as you install operating system. You should ensure the anti virus definitions are also up to date. You can choose the Automatic update as ON that will ensure your anti virus always keeps the definition up to date. People avoid installing anti virus as at times they make your computer processing slower, I suggest installing Kaspersky as it is an extremely light weighted and doesn’t affect your processing time at all.
- Keep your Operating System and Browsers Updated: Make a habit of installing the latest patches for operating system , browsers and other day to day programs as it helps overcoming the vulnerabilities if any in the previous version or releases.
- Personal Firewall: Always ensure you have a personal firewall enabled in your machine which will stop other computers, networks and sites from connecting to your machine and gaining illegal access to your data and information. By default disable access for all and then make your own access list in which define the programs which are allowed access according to your requirement.
- Use Anti Spy ware Programs : Make a habit of installing anti spy ware programs which will keep your machine safe from spy ware programs which download themselves automatically in your machine (From websites) and then secretly transfer important information such as passwords , credit card and others to the attacker.
- Email Usage: We should be extremely careful when it comes to email usage these days. The following things should be taken care of :
- Never save your email or any other passwords in the browser , even if it is a machine that is only used by you. There are programs which can give access to all browser saved passwords , So never save passwords in the browser
- Never use your email from public computers. If done, then immediately change your password when you have access to your own machine.
- Don’t download attachments unless you are expecting them
- Downloading of Software Programs : Always download software programs from trusted sites only
So folks, the above are just a very few and basic steps that can keep us secure at a very basic level. Keep visiting our blog and we will step by step address further issues from basic to advance that will help us secure our selves 99 percent. I don’t say 100 percent as we are 100 percent secure only when we switch off our computer machines, this is what I have gained from my experience in the industry in the past few years.
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