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basic Tips for Protecting a Home Computer

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Author Topic: basic Tips for Protecting a Home Computer  (Read 782 times)
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« on: January 11, 2007, 09:45:03 am »

Botnet programs and other malicious software largely take aim at PCs running the Microsoft Windows operating system, because Windowsí ubiquity makes it fertile ground for network-based attacks.

Using a non-Windows-based PC may be one defense against these programs, known as malware; in addition, anti-malware programs and antivirus utilities for the PC are available from several vendors. Windows users should use the Windows Update feature.

Microsoft itself entered the computer-security business last year and now offers a free malware-removal tool for download from its Web site. The company says the program removes about two million pieces of malware each month, of which 200,000, or about 10 percent, are botnet infections.

Like Windows, Microsoftís Internet Explorer browser is also a large, convenient target for code-writing vandals. Alternative browsers, like Firefox and Opera, may insulate users. Microsoftís most recent browser release, Internet Explorer 7, is said to offer significantly improved defenses.

Adding software to your browser like Noscript, a plug-in utility, can limit the ability of remote programs to run potentially damaging programs on your PC.

Security experts also offer these tips:

∂Donít share your computer (on which you pay your bills) with your children (who download games).

∂Use a firewall program that warns you about outgoing connections that botnets make to communicate with control software.

∂Donít use the same password on more than one financial site.

∂Donít let your browser store your password for such sites.

∂Donít buy anything offered by a spammer.

∂Donít click if someone offers you something too good to be true. It is.

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