Personal Computer (PC) is used by you for various purposes to perform various tasks. You can use your PC for browsing the study material, take online classes, chat with your friends etc. 

Guidelines for securing your PC

Whether you’re using your computer at home or travelling with your notebook PC, the following are basic guidelines for securing your PC.

You can remain safe from hackers/attackers if you keep your PC  secure. Some common ways to keep your PC secure are:

  • Update and Secure OS
  • Install antivirus
  • Enable computer firewall
  • Use strong passwords for your PC
  • Prefer VPN for accessing your PC remotely
  • Schedule Malware and virus scans for full PC
  • Enable automatic Software updates and anti-virus updates
  • Allow Auto scan of external devices connected like hard disk drivers, USB drives etc.,
  • Connect to Secured wireless network
  • Protect/limit the physical access to your computer

Operating System (OS) Security

Operating System is the important program that runs on the computer. It performs basic tasks like recognizing the input from the keyboard, controlling various files and directories in the hard disk and also various peripheral devices like printers, scanners etc.. It will control all these tasks in such a way that they do not interfere with one another but at the same time it is our responsibility for securing the system by not allowing the unauthorized users to access the system and insecure applications running in the system.

Update OS

  • Install latest patches that are available for operating system. You need to update them regularly to prevent malware coming into your computer.
  • Enable automatic updates for your OS or you can also update manually going to website like Microsoft and check for your OS updates that are available, but this is not a preferred way. If you have good Internet, prefer automatic updates for OS.

Need for securing the Operating System (OS)

The security of the operating system (OS) running on various PCs  plays an important role in the security of the network as a whole. Not updating one system in the network may affect the security of the other systems in the network.

Today we have a highly sophisticated OS with lots of features, but it may be vulnerable if they are not administered, configured and monitored properly. Sometimes updating the OS with latest patches may lead to interoperability issues with other Operating Systems. Hence proper care should be taken while updating the OS.

Install an antivirus product and keep it up-to-date

Viruses, worms and other malware are the most prolific problems on the internet today. Installing a good antivirus software will not only detect, prevent and remove viruses and worms from system, but also it will protect your system from viruses & their transmission, block spam and ads, acts as defense against hackers & data thieves, ensures protection from removable devices, protects your data and files, protect PC from spyware & phishing attacks, limit access to unauthorized websites.

However, any antivirus product is good as long as you keep it up-to-date and regularly scan your system.

Enable Computer Firewall

Like antivirus products, Firewall products are designed to protect your system from Internet threats like hackers, viruses, and worms by filtering out any suspicious communications sent to your computer.

A firewall is a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules. They establish a barrier or line of defense  between controlled and secured internal networks that can be trusted and unsecured /untrusted outside networks, such as the Internet.  It can be either be a hardware or software, or both.

Use Strong Passwords

Passwords control access to files, programs, computers, hard drives and networks. They also deny access to unauthorized users. Poorly chosen passwords make it easier to break into your computer systems and expose to malicious attacks. In general, set up passwords that are difficult to crack and never share it with others.

VPN for accessing your PC remotely

A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks. Usage of VPN can increase privacy and security by preventing disclosure of private information, as they allow only authenticated remote access using tunneling protocols and encryption techniques.

Scheduled Malware and virus scans

Scheduling Virus scans at regular intervals on your system is crucial in keeping the system and its software safe from possible invisible threats that can infect the system and can cause potential damage. Therefore it is not only important to install an Antivirus software, but it is even more essential to keep it updated and schedule regular scans of system.

Automatic Software updates

Updating the Software is critical as they can protect your systems from harmful attacks and security loopholes existing in the older versions. Updating your software enables security fixes, helps include new and enhanced features. It can also improve the performance and stability of software removing outdated features. While downloading a software read others reviews first to make sure its safe to install in first place.

Secured Wireless Networks

A wireless network is a computer network that uses wireless data connections between network nodes. A wireless network connects an Internet access point, such as a cable from your Internet Service Provider, to a (wireless) router in order to allow multiple devices to connect to the network.

Ensure that your Personal computer is connected to known Wireless network and it is secured by using strong  encryption like, WPA2.

Protecting/limiting the physical access to your computer

Limiting or restricting the physical access to  computer is the first security measure possible. Allowing physical access to your computer can instantly open up ways to hack a system. As Michael Meyers notes "the best network software security measures can be rendered useless if you fail to physically protect your systems".

 

Reference : Wikipedia

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