Internet security is simple to implement—if you know what you’re doing. But if you don’t know where to start, it can be almost impossible to fully secure your computer—that’s why we’ve broken it down to three easy-to-follow steps:
Internet Security #1: Close The Front Door
Your computer doesn’t have a front door, but it does have thousands of ports. These ports are the way other computers connect to your computer over the Internet.
The problem with ports—just like the problem with a front door—is that anything can come through it when you’re not paying attention. Hackers can connect to your computer through your open ports and use flaws in your software to take over your computer.
Securing your front door is easy—you install a lock and keep the door locked whenever you don’t want anyone to enter. Securing your ports is easy too—you install a firewall which blocks any unexpected connection attempts.
Recent versions of Windows ship with a firewall, so you don’t need to buy any software (although there are more advanced firewalls). Just make sure you keep your firewall enabled at all times.
Internet Security #2: Watch What You Eat
Do you have a relative or friend who likes to cook but who doesn’t always follow good food safety guidelines? I do, and I cringe whenever I eat one of his meals knowing that I could end up in the hospital the next day.
Unfortunately, many people on the Internet don’t use Internet security, so the documents and files you receive from them are a lot like that possibly tainted food I get from my friend. It could be innocuous—or it could be infected with a virus that will harm your computer.
To protect yourself, you need a program on your computer which scans all incoming files for possible viruses. It’s kind of like cutting open a steak to make sure it cooked fully through. These programs are anti-virus programs, and most of them cost a little bit of money each month to keep current—but it’s money well spent on Internet security.
Internet Security #3: Don’t Click Email Links
One of the wonderful things about email is that it’s free to send letters—but that also means it’s free for scam artists to send you letters.
A favorite trick of the average cyber security terrorist is to send you an email asking you to log in to one of your accounts using the provided link—but that link points to a special website where they can read your login information so they can empty your account or make purchases under your name.
There’s a real easy way to foil their attempts—never click a link in an email to an account which requires you to log in. Instead, type the website address directly into your Web browser. For example, whenever I want to log into my PayPal account, I type www.paypal.com into my Web browser directly to ensure my Internet security.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Mitz Pantic from http://tips4pc.com wrote this article. She knows how important internet security is and believes that education is the first step to staying safe.