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Monthly Archives: March 2014

The importance of installing antivirus software and firewalls on your system

These days everyone is connected to the Internet, from checking mails to browsing sites, and online shopping connecting to remote networks and offices to corporate networks. Internet’s phenomenal growth has unfortunately given rise to numerous cyber threats that has resulted in companies losing an average of $3 million in annual revenue. Regardless of whether the system is used for personal or professional purposes, it is imperative to protect it. The two most important legs of protection are antivirus and firewalls. The following reasons illustrate the importance of installing both the software.

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An anti-virus software is the primary defense system against any online or offline threats. It scans, locates, and removes unwanted applications such as Trojans, worms, spyware, spam, and viruses from the computer. These malicious threats can steal sensitive information, delete or destroy valuable data, or install an unneeded software on the system. An antivirus protection prevents loss of personal and critical data, improves system speed,  and prevents identity theft.

Anti virus application is vital for a system to function efficiently. It completely scans the entire operating system, mails, and downloaded files and detects malicious programs and suspicious sites.  Computers are a costly investment, therefore, system scans  are  imperative to ensure their functionality. Additionally, virus removal software updates virus definitions on a regular basis thereby not allowing any viruses go undetected.

An anti-virus program is pretty straightforward, but what about a firewall? Nearly 65% of users have it in their computers but may not be aware of its functionality. A firewall is a trusted machine (hardware ) or a piece of software (personal) sitting between a computer and cyber space. It monitors  incoming traffic and  outgoing traffic (credit/debit card information, SSN)  and determines which traffic is to be allowed and which is to be refused or blocked. In simple words, firewall acts a barrier blocking unwanted traffic and allowing only appropriate network traffic to pass.

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When a system is connected to the Internet, numerous data are sent and received in the form small units called packets.  A firewall screens these packets to check if they meet certain requirements set by specific  rules thereby allowing or blocking data. This way, hackers will not be able to get inside the  system and steal sensitive information such as passwords and bank account number. In addition, the software prevents unauthorized access to a computer and also, makes the system invisible when an user  is online, preventing attempted intrusions.

Many of today’s sophisticated firewalls include a special feature, which continually updates the known and good malicious programs. This way, the number of questions pertinent to the Internet access is reduced and therefore, system security is always up-to-date.

Firewalls protect a system from unauthorized entry but are not capable of removing malware from an already infected system. Therefore, the software should be in conjunction with other prudent measures (such as anti-virus software , anti-spyware, updated operating system) to fortify a system’s resistance against threats. While an antivirus program is a great tool helping in keeping the computer safe, adding a firewall will maximize the protection.

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Internet security- The best ways to protect your private information on internet

Online privacy is almost on the verge of extinction leaving users at risk from online snoopers. With Internet being used every second for various purposes, Internet security is fast becoming a serious concern for individuals and businesses. Personal information such as email address, social security number, credit/debit card details, phone number, and bank account number is of great financial value to legitimate businesses and shady individuals. Hackers want to steal money from you while companies want to sell you their products and services. With hackers becoming more sophisticated in their methods these days, the need to protect private information has become cardinal.

There are several ways to protect your personal information on the Internet. First and foremost is to install a powerful and trusted Internet security program. This will prevent cyber criminals from hacking your system. Do not fill personal information on social media sites. With Twitter and Facebook on the popularity peak, online hackers can easily gain access to your personal information. Use just one credit card for online shopping. Before entering your credit card details, read complete security protocols of the website. Go ahead with the transaction only if the website is legitimate.  Avoid debit cards as they give hackers immediate access to your bank account.

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Another form of Internet security threats are pop-up advertisements and spam mails. Do not click on links that come without a personal note, even if it comes from ‘people’ known to you. Just delete it. Use your social security number only for banking transactions. Identity thieves can hack your system in no time if they know the last four digits of your SSN and birth place. Beware of websites that offer prize or reward in exchange for your personal details. There is a high probability that hackers use the information for their criminal agenda. Change passwords often and use different passwords for online accounts. Set up an alternative email address to secure your primary mail account. If your email is spammed or compromised, close it and open a new one.

People shop, hunt for jobs, carry out official tasks, socialize, and do much more on the Internet making them more vulnerable to Internet security threats. The more convenience and opportunities Internet offers, the more dangerous it has become. Therefore, taking necessary precautions to protect private information ensures that your privacy is both protected and respected.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Internet Security

 

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