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The Expert, No Nonsense Tips On Keeping Your’s PC and Online Identity Secure – IV

Hello!

Hope that your PC’s and you all are doing great.

As this blog is primarily aimed for keeping PC’s fit, it’s my duty to wish good for PC’s first and then for you people icon smile The Expert, No Nonsense Tips On Keeping Yours PC and Online Identity Secure   IV (includes me too).

You can really understand the above statement if your business runs on your PC, like me. And, thus making your PC secure from growing online and offline threats is really critical. This is the reason that I am writing so much on this topic of Keeping your PC secure and have reached part IV.

I pay my bills online, transfer money using Electronic Funds Transfer and payment processors, download files from Net (email attachments, freeware, bought SW, tutorials, guides, ebooks etc.), check emails and do lot of surfing everyday. I also have files that contain important personal and business details stored on my PC. With so much reliance on my PC for my personal and business activities, can I afford to get my data stolen by someone online or offline? No!. I hope that you also answered same as me. So, this fourth post on "The Expert No Nonsense Tips on Keeping Your’s PC and Online Identity Secure" is going to help you in knowing some more tips for making your’s computer security and online privacy strong.

The previous three posts of this series can be checked at the following URL’s (latest first):

http://www.pctipstricks.com/?p=31 (Part III) http://www.pctipstricks.com/?p=30 (Part II) http://www.pctipstricks.com/?p=29 (Part I)

Oh, I have written so much and am still continuing icon smile The Expert, No Nonsense Tips On Keeping Yours PC and Online Identity Secure   IV Great! Well, to be frank, the blog is new and there are not much sources of encouragement for my sincere efforts, except from some of the commenter’s and me – owner of this blog.

Coming back, in case, you want a summary of the points covered in the above three posts on Keeping your PC Secure, these are given next (in the order of the above URL’s, IIIrd, IInd and Ist):

  • Using An Antivirus Software
  • Using An Antispyware Software
  • Using A Firewall
  • Always Keeping Operating System Patched and Updated
  • Configuring CMOS Supervisor or Setup Password in Security/Password Section of CMOS
  • Disabling All Other Boot Devices Except Hard Disk Or The Ones Required
  • Configuring A Screen Saver That Requires Password
  • Disabling Sharing Of Hard Disk/s And Keeping Them Password Secure When Their Sharing Is Done
  • Installing A Physical Locking Mechanism For PC
  • Configuring Boot Password or User Password in CMOS Security/Password menu
  • Using An Entry Level Biometric Fingerprint Scanner For Authentication (Use an additional method too for backup if biometric method fails)
  • Using Windows Password To Login To Your Network

It’s an exhaustive list! The reason for going into such detail is that I want to cover every tip – minor or major, as I have always found security of my PC to be on the top of my priority list and want my readers also to pay attention towards their computer’s security.

Ok, so some more tips on maintaining your PC security are:

Don’t Use File Sharing, i.e., P2P Programs

The chances of your PC getting infected by viruses, trojans and being spied by spyware are really more if you are downloading file using any of the file sharing or P2P (Peer to Peer) programs such as Kazaa, edonkey, Bearshare and Limewire etc. The hackers and crackers very well understand the greed of the users looking for free paid software. They make the popular cracked versions of these system and application software, music, movies etc. available from their PC’s, but they are coded with spyware and viruses to cause damage to your privacy and files. To test, I have myself checked some of the P2P networks and found both the P2P program and the files being downloaded are highly risky to the computer. The files were either spyware or infected with viruses and trojans; thankfully they were detected by my antivirus and antispyware programs.

Instead of downloading free but infected software from P2P, the better idea would be to find a freeware version of a similar program or go for a paid one if the free version is not available.

In case, you still decide to install P2P software, then kindly watch out for your PC’s drives and folders being shared. The shared folder mustn’t contain any of your confidential files. Explore your P2P program and you will easily find the drives and folders of your PC being shared (a check sign).

Never Open Any email Attachments From Unknown Senders

Well, I don’t need to explain much on this as I am sure that you all understand the reason behind this tip. Once my known friend (his email address was known to me and was there in my address book) sent me an attachment and when I opened it, it showed that all my files are being deleted, along with their names. I couldn’t do anything to stop it as it was so quick and unexpected. Thankfully, at the end, I saw that it was just a program that showed the files as being deleted but really didn’t do anything on my PC.

So, never open an attachment from an unknown sender as it might have something to destruct files on your PC.

Monitor processes of your Operating System

How can monitoring of processes help you? It’s simple. In case your system has spyware or virus etc., then there will be a background process that will be running and residing in your computer memory. If you monitor the processes of your computer regularly, you can easily see an unusual process. You can then take action to stop it and then remove the program or clean the system with an antivirus or antispyware to make your PC secure.

In case, you don’t understand about a process from its description in Task Manager, then google it with its name. Some examples of genuine Microsoft processes running on my Microsoft Vista Business Edition PC presently (should be there on your Windows PC too) are given next:

explorer.exe, lsass.exe (Microsoft Local Security Authority service), services.exe (part of Microsoft OS that starts or stops a service), svchost (an essential part of Microsoft OS that help in executing of DLL files), winlogon.exe (Manages user logon and logoff) and many more.

To see processes, press Ctrl+Alt+Del and then click on – Task Manager (in Windows XP) and Start Task Manager in Windows Vista.

A site that can help you in identifying of the genuine and damage causing processes for your Windows OS is:

http://www.tasklist.org

Microsoft Vista Processes In Task Manager The Expert, No Nonsense Tips On Keeping Yours PC and Online Identity Secure   IV

Screenshot Showing Windows Vista Processes in Task Manager

Use Antiphishing Toolbar

Phishing is a variant of fishing – throwing a bait, and hoping that someone will fall a prey by entering critical details and financial information. The most common way of phishing is through an email threatening a customer to click on a link, login and update his/her details otherwise the user account will be locked. The idea of these phishing emails is to take the user to a fake site and get the username, password and other confidential details of the user. Some of the phishing emails that I remember receiving are from bank (Wachovia), payment processor (Paypal) and eBay instructing that some unsuccessful attempts have been made to access my account and I must login and update my information quickly to avoid getting my account blocked. Well, I allowed them to block my account that never existed with them icon smile The Expert, No Nonsense Tips On Keeping Yours PC and Online Identity Secure   IV It’s very easy to spot phishing emails as they are very poorly written (have spelling and grammar mistakes) and clearly points to a different site when mouse is hovered on the hyperlink in the phishing email.

One of the freeware and popular antiphishing toolbar that can help new users in spotting the phishing (fraud) sites is Netcraft antiphishing toolbar.

Its brief description is available at:

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/Browser-Tweak/Netcraft-Toolbar.shtml

To download, use the URL:

http://toolbar.netcraft.com/install/Netcraft%20Toolbar.msi

Being aware of the phishing attempts and not clicking on the fraudulent links will definitely help you in keeping your financial identity and information secure.

My sincere attempts in writing these posts on Keeping your PC and online identity secure is to help you in protecting your online privacy and damage to PC’s data by theft and corruption of files.

Now, after writing so much in these four posts of this series, I hope that you will definitely make your computer more secure by using at least some of the major PC security tips – installing antivirus, antispyware and firewall etc. The decision of choosing which of these security tips are major and minor is up to you (depending on your work environment and importance of data).

Let me know your feedback about these tips.

Take care,

Your friend,

Rajesh Mago Note: For receiving future posts of this blog, click at either the RSS icon or the text: feed icon32x32 The Expert, No Nonsense Tips On Keeping Yours PC and Online Identity Secure   IVSubscribe in a reader Or/And, To subscribe by email, click on the following link: Subscribe to PC tips and tricks by Email

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    Tags: free advice on making your computer defense more strong, how to make your PC more secure, implementing stronger computer security, protecting computer from data stealers and hackers, tips for keeping your online privacy secure, tips for making your computer secure

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 at 12:09 am and is filed under Security. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    2 Responses to “The Expert, No Nonsense Tips On Keeping Your’s PC and Online Identity Secure – IV”

    Mittu December 11th, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Blogwalking ..
    nice posting i found here,.. thanks for the info

    Public Speaking February 23rd, 2009 at 3:31 am

    Hey I just did find your blog. Good Stuff! Don

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