Keeping your computer secure – part 1

Article by Richard Churchill – First Published September 2009

If there is one topic that worries most computer users it is viruses (and other nasties) that get on to your computer, uninvited and reek havoc. But what can you do to protect yourself? You need security, some friendly programs that keep an eye on your computer and keep the malicious programs out.

Over the next two months I’ll explain what you are up against and what you can do to protect yourself. What is involved in computer security? Well, computer security is much like home security. You have to get the right locks on the doors, windows with secure latches and a good alarm system; once you have your locks in place, and know how to use them you can get on with life. The key is getting the right ‘locks’.

For your computer you need three components in your security software to be safe. The first element you need is a “Firewall”. This is a fancy name for a piece of software that monitors what is coming in and out. If your computer were an office, the firewall would be the security guard sat at the entrance checking everyone as they pass.

Next you have “Mal-ware” protection. You may not have heard of this as it is often referred to by its parts: “Anti-virus”,”Anti-spyware” and “Anti-Adware”. These elements are just three faces of the same problem: software you don’t want getting into your computer and attempting to take it over, steal your personal information and convince you to buy things you don’t want. To return to our office, the anti-virus and anti-spyware are the teams of security guards patrolling the offices looking for people who are up to no good.

Lastly you have “threat prevention” software. This looks at the software running on your computer, and tries to work out if it is going to cause a problem and stops it before it gets a chance. In our example office this would be the CCTV controller using their cameras to find any dubious looking individuals. Next time I’ll discuss what makes a good piece of computer security software and what else you can do to keep your computer safe.

Please read and enjoy the articles, I will be adding an article a month so remember to check back each month for the new edition.

Going further

If you are fortunate enought to live in Bristol or South Gloucestershire and wold like help with your computer why not give us a call? You can call us on 01454 616365 or use our contact form and we will call you back.