If you’re the proud owner of a Windows PC, you must protect your computer from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, hackers and thieves. Both harmful software and opportunistic individuals can harm your equipment, so it’s wise to asset tag your PC and safeguard your property – here’s how.
Install reputable antivirus software
One of the best ways to keep your computer secure is by installing reputable antivirus software. This means buying an internet security suite or downloading a recommended product from a well-known source. Never upload anything you don’t recognise onto your system as you could infect your computer with contaminated files. Unfortunately there are fake antivirus products that will actually install malware onto your PC – so be aware. You could save yourself a lot of money by making sensible decisions from the start.
Use Microsoft Security Essentials
If you’re not sure which software to download, why not take a look a Microsoft Security Essentials? It’s free to download and guards against viruses, spyware and other nasty computer bugs that can invade your privacy. This innovative program also provides real-time protection for your home PC and is simple and easy to install. It helps safeguard your computer and does not require you to make regular updates. What’s more, Microsoft Security Essentials is also available for small businesses with up to ten PCs. If your business has more than ten computers you can use Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 which improves both endpoint management and security.
Upgrade to Windows 7
If you haven’t already, upgrade to Windows 7 or keep an eye out for Windows 8 (which will be available soon)! It’s available to buy online and comes with Windows Firewall already installed. This piece of software acts as a barrier between your home computer and the public internet and helps keep your computer safe. Like all firewalls, it monitors incoming and outgoing files and protects your system from intruders. Without a security system of this kind people can steal financial information, send junk mail from your email address, track your web surfing habits and destroy programs on your PC. The great think about Windows Firewall, is that you can personalise the type of protection you want to receive for each of your networks and can switch between profiles with ease.
Surf the web safely
To protect your PC you must browse the web safely. Never download free screensavers, wallpaper, games or toolbars, unless you know they’re 100 per cent safe. Many of these freebies have viruses and can put your computer at risk. Stay away from illegal webpages and those that encourage piracy because your computer can be affected just by visiting one page – this is known as a drive-by. You must also remember to delete emails from unfamiliar addresses and avoid clicking on links to unsecure pages. Be aware that emails with viruses often have a catchy subject line such as “view this hysterical video today” – but if you click, you’re at risk.
As well as downloading the right software and surfing the web sensibly, it’s also wise to protect your actual computer – after all, what good is Windows 7 if you haven’t got a monitor? Security labels known as asset labels can be bought from reputable stores and help deter thieves. They show that your equipment is accounted for a leave a horrible mark when removed – making them hard to resell. Place the asset tag at the front of your computer and warn burglars to leave your things alone.
Take good care of your PC and enjoy socialising with friends and reading fun emails – safely!