In this article we will cover 5 layers to having proper computer network security for your small business or home network. Keep in mind that no one layer is enough, however each plays a vital role individually. The general rule is the more layers in your security defense, the harder it will be for hackers to compromise your computers. The key way in which malware attacks occur is the Internet (while browsing websites and checking email). Protecting your computer from hackers is a must in this world of persistent threats. These are the most important layers.
- Install Antivirus & Anti-Spyware Software
- Install a good Firewall
- Use Strong Passwords
- Check and Modify your browsers Security Settings
- Become an informed computer user
1) Install Antivirus and Anti-Spyware Software:
Antivirus software helps protect and prevent the computer from running unauthorized code or software threats in real time. These threats include viruses, keyloggers and trojans. Threats can infect and then slow down the speed of your computer. They can also delete and access personal information without you being aware. Most advanced antivirus programs provide software and virus signature updates, which further helps to protect the PC from newly created viruses. Antivirus software may also include advanced features such as; email protection, an alternative computer firewall, blocking of pop-ups and identity theft protection. Finally, some AV software can be locally managed and some can be centrally managed (for example, by your IT Company).
Anti-Spyware software is solely dedicated to combat spyware. Similar to antivirus software, anti-spyware software offers real time protection. It scans all the incoming information and helps in blocking the threat once they are detected. Spyware is a software program that collects personal information without approval and redirects it to a third party. Spyware is designed in such a way that they are not easy to be removed.
2) Install a good Firewall:
A firewall acts like a computer / network security guard. It decides what is unauthorized and not authorized to come in through the Internet. There are of two types of firewalls: a hardware firewall, a device you place on your computer network and a software firewall, for example the one included with Microsoft Windows on your computer. Not all hardware firewalls are equal. The entry level, mid range and advanced models differ greatly in features and protection. You get what you pay for as the more expensive models do provide greater protection. As far as your computer firewall, it is best to always keep it on permanently. While it is on, it will make you aware of unauthorized attempts to access your system. Both firewall types do play separate roles in securing your computer network and must be setup properly and kept updated to provide the most effective protection.
3) Use Strong Passwords:
Hackers use computer software tools to crack easy passwords. They can usually do this very quickly. A simple line of defense in system security is to use strong complex passwords on all devices and important websites. Strong complex passwords are difficult for the hackers to figure out. The general rule is to always use a password that are at least 8 characters in length and include a combination of numbers and letters. Passwords should also contain both upper and lower case letters and a special character to be strong. In addition, changing passwords periodically and using a unique one for each device is recommended. Strong passwords that change periodically act like a better lock on your door.
4) Check and Modify your browsers Security Settings:
Browsers like (Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge) have security and privacy settings. These should be should be reviewed and set in such a way that makes your personal computer more secure. For example, it is best to block popups, because if you don’t you may get infected with spyware.
5) Become an informed computer user
Knowing what to do and not do is another critical part of security. If one of the layers above allows a malicious threat through, will you allow it to run? For example, if you get a popup or email will you click the link? Will you recognize a spam email from a legitimate one and open it? Becoming an informed computer user can greatly improve your security. Keep up with reading our blog for more information and important topics.
If you have any questions on computer security or you would like us to manage your antivirus software, firewall or computer network security please call us at (732) 702-5400. Pro-Tech can assist you with planning, implementation, as well as other services. Please see our website homepage for other services we offer.