The Smartest Ways to Secure and Protect your PC
With wide spread proliferation of computers and the internet, how users interact and secure their data has changed dramatically; as a matter of fact the current trends will push the bar further for users trying to keep their data secured on a day-to-day basis.
Industry experts believe that with wide variety of hacking tools now available to black hat hackers, it has now becomes increasingly easy for them to employ various methods of attack on any application running on any PC/Tablet/Handheld by leveraging exploits such as viruses, Trojan horses, self-replication worms, key loggers, root kits, malware or any other kind of attack vector; thereby allowing them to compromise anyone’s personal data or to undertake any other malicious activity deemed illegal by law.
It is thus very important to safeguard one’s information assets with multiple layer of defense, by following industry standard best practices and undertaking appropriate measure.
The question now arises though, as to how a regular home or office user can go about safeguarding his or her data or the information held in their devices and enjoy peace of mind. Well the answer lies in following and applying few; but very important precautionary measures, followed by regularly fine tuning their applications and the devices running them.
If it sounds overwhelming, it’s not! And can be undertaken by anyone without requiring them to be technically inclined; although being said that they should be able to undertake basic computing tasks. If it still feels complicated; then there are those tech support services out there which can come to anyone’s rescue and do the job remotely for them.
Best way to secure a PC
But before getting started, it’s important to recognize that the best way to secure a PC and safeguard one’s information asset, requires locking down its various operational layers one-by-one. Identifying is simple, a sneak peak of a user’s day-to-day PC usage reveals that application usage occupies the top spot and thus should be safeguarded first.
IT industry experts as well as industry best practices thus recommends that the OS should be secured first, followed by all the applications installed on top of it. Although being said that other layers, such as those governing a PC’s hardware and its physical security should be secured as well.
System and Security
To begin with one of the first precautionary measures everyone should undertake is to patch the OS with the latest updates, service pack and hot fixes. If the OS type and version belongs to any of the latest incarnation of Windows, post Windows XP, then the easiest way to update it would be through Windows Update; easily accessible through the “System and Security” section in the control panel.
File and Print Sharing
Moving forward the next step would invariably be; to uncheck/disable “File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks” and all other options, except “Internet Protocol Version 4 or 6” listed under “Local Area/Wireless Connection Properties. Doing so would substantially reduce a PC’s exposure to various attack vectors, such as viruses and malwares from the internet.
The above process should be immediately followed by installing a third party host based firewall or by enabling the in-built Windows based firewall, thereby further strengthening a PC ability to thwart any other attack vector.
Doing so is as simple as selecting the “System and Security” section in the control panel under any version of Windows and selecting the appropriate option to enable it and if it’s already enabled; just leave it as it is! This is always the case, if the OS installation is new and the default configuration is in place.
Install best Antivirus software
Last but not least; one of the most important aspects of securing a PC is to immunize it with a industry standard antivirus software, before undertaking any activity online. In simplistic terms, if a user care to follow just one advice; it would be to install antivirus software.
Doing so would invariable cast an effective defensive shield on a PC, thereby securing its application and all the information or data contained in it from prying eyes.There are number of Antivirus software available on the web but we suggest to go with Bitdefender. Bitdefender antivirus solutions provide proactive protection from all kind of threats. Also it provide features like device anti-theft, firewall, parental controls, online storage and sync, social network protection and more!
Although being said that it is worth mentioning that installing antivirus software won’t protect a PC from all the attack vectors, until unless proactive actions are taken to keep it up to date, such as regularly updating its scanning engine and its virus definition database.
Once all the above preliminary precautionary measures are taken, it is important to update and patch all the other application installed on a PC, which can be easily accomplished by regularly visiting their product update web pages for updates, service pack and hot fixes or scheduling them to automatically do the job during a users non PC usage hours.
Notable application which should be placed under such proactive process would be web browsers and their plug-ins, office productivity suite such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint or any other application which may require updating.
Once the OS and all the application running on top of it are patched, it’s important to undertake certain other necessary steps to ensure a PC’s security in the long run and to begin with the first step for everyone should be to adapt themselves to safe surfing habits, such as avoiding sites, which prompts the user to download a tool bar or asks the user to buy a product by falsely informing/claiming them that their PC might be infected with viruses or may require tuning.
In essence these prompts are nothing but part and parcel of a type of malware, more primarily known as adware. Words of caution-just stay steer clear of them!
Other actionable precautionary measure would be to avoid installing unsecure apps from various Internet based vendors offering lucrative deals; clicking pop-ups; using peer-to-peer (P2P) network programs; responding to SPAM and unsolicited emails; as well opening e-mail attachments.
It’s important to remember that precautionary security measures, such as those outlined above would invariably deliver productive hours in the long term, thereby allowing a user to enjoy their time on other important things.
If any of the tips or measures suggested above may seems daunting or if additional assistance is required in accomplishing any of the above; feel free to navigate to one of the best tech support services out there for any query you may have or would like to evaluate a personal firewall or antivirus software.