Easy Pc Security

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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When it comes to maintaining a secure PC, some of the most effective protective measures are also the easiest. In fact, some of the most efficient security measures are based on nothing more than using common sense, and staying alert. Although software and hardware-based security tools are also vital for providing a safe computer environment, your habits and actions are the foundation of easy PC security.

Many users neglect even the most rudimentary PC security measures due to their refusal to believe they could be the target of cyber-crime. The days of cyber-crime being a problem only for the corporate sector are long past. Thanks to high speed Internet connections that keep home computers online all the time, private PC owners are increasingly likely to be the subject of a cyber-crime attempt. Some users mistakenly assume they're safe because they don't know of anyone who would specifically select them to be the target of cyber crime. However, the majority of cyber-crime victims are chosen at random, thanks to hacking programs that scour the Internet, blindly attempting to infiltrate thousands of systems in the hopes of breaching just one.

What Is Easy PC Security?

For example, "brute force" hacking tools hammer thousands of email and Internet accounts with a barrage of prospective passwords pulled from a lengthy dictionary file. These programs might try a few thousand possible passwords for an equally large amount of user names before managing to hack an account. Once your account is infiltrated, the hacker can use his newfound access to plant a virus, or even a backdoor program on your system, allowing him to control your computer from a remote location, as well as monitor all of your activity, including sensitive financial transactions. One simple way to protect yourself and your PC against password-theft at the hands of a brute force program is to create a password that combines numbers and letters, or is otherwise not a "real" word. If your password isn't an actual word, there is no chance of it being in a dictionary file, which nullifies the effectiveness of brute force hacking.

Another basic, though often overlooked, PC security tip is to exercise extreme caution when dealing with email or unfamiliar websites. An increasingly popular Internet scam called "phishing" involves duping victims into providing sensitive information with a false email and a counterfeit site. Phishers build a website that is identical to an existing site for a popular business, such as a bank or Internet service provider. They then send out emails that look as though they're from the existing business. For example, a phisher might send you an email that appears to be from your bank, requesting that visit their site to correct a problem with your account. The email will contain a link to a counterfeit site that looks exactly like your bank's site. You will be asked to confirm something, such as your account number, credit card number, or password, by entering it into the site, At this point your data is transmitted to the phisher, who can use it to access your account via the real site. If you ever suspect you might be in a similar situation, there's an easy way to verify the site's authenticity. Simply check the site's URL, which will be visible in the address bar at the top of your browser. If the official bank site is www.nationalbank.com, a bogus site will usually have a slightly different name, such aswww.national_bank.com, orwww.nationalbank.net. Though exceedingly simple, this type of security precaution can easily be neglected by users who believe that computer crime can't ever affect them.


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