|Easy Ways to Protect Your Computer Data
The Writer, July, 2007
by Susan T. Lennon
As writers, our creative lives – and often our livelihoods – reside on our PCs and Macs. But most of us lack the time, knowledge and confidence to protect ourselves from threats and to prevent disastrous data loss. Here a few tips to keep your computer from crashing, thanks to Jeremy Kaplan, executive editor of PC Magazine, and Wade Callison, vice president of program management for Sereniti, Inc.
Viruses and worms can bring your computer to a standstill, and Macs are in just as much jeopardy as Windows-based PCs. New threats appear daily, so you need to run a reputable program that supplies automatic: updates, e.g., McAfee or Symantec. If you think your computer's infected, try a free online scan with McAfee FreeScan, Symantec Security Check or Trend Micro's HouseCall.
Spyware invades your computer; it installs programs without your knowledge, steals your information, and compromises your security and privacy. Adware, while not malevolent, is a maddening feature of some legitimate free software. Both can bring your computer to its knees. Visit the Anti-Spyware Software Review Web site to learn about product recommendations.
Do you enjoy accessing the Internet on your wireless laptop at Starbucks or Barnes & Noble? Beware! That Wi-Fi Internet connection is not secure; anyone with a little know-how can access files in your "shared" folders and see what you're surfing on a nonencrypted Web page. Double your defenses with both hardware and software firewall solutions. Compare products and learn more at the Home PC Firewall Guide Web site.
And, unless your router is securely configured, the same holds true for your wireless home network. Run the Windows XP Wireless Network Setup Wizard or Mac Network Setup Assistant to secure it. Finally, test your Internet vulnerability for free with Gibson Research Corporation's ShieldsUP! or Iolo Technologies' System Mechanic.
To really simplify the process, try an all-in-one backup/router/secure computing/subscription product like NetTrooper by Sereniti, Inc.
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