How do I secure my Windows PC?

There are many security preventive measures that you can take to decrease the likelihood of running into problems with your Windows-based computer.

The average user doesn’t think much about problems that can arise with a computer until a problem actually occurs in the system. Once a security failure happens, repairs can be both costly and time-consuming. Security is not just about having an antivirus program. There are many security measures you can apply to your Windows PC to decrease the likelihood of running into problems with your Windows-based computer. Read on to learn more about updating your operating system, using antivirus and anti-spyware software, firewalls and how to protect data.

Operating System Updates

software

One of the best ways to increase security of your Windows-based PC is to keep the operating system (OS) up to date. Always download and installed the latest patches and service updates for your operating system because these updates will fix known bugs and security exploits. To keep your operating system up-to-date, it also means installing the latest version of Windows. Patches are important downloads but when you run new versions of the Microsoft Windows, the operating system will have improved security over previous versions. For example if you are running Windows XP or Vista, plan to upgrade to Windows 7.

Antivirus Protection

Any Windows PC can easily be infected with a virus, Trojan horse, worm, spyware, rootkit, blended threat or pop-ups. It is important to keep these types of malicious infections from your Windows-based PC. The most common way to address these concerns is to install and use antivirus and anti-spyware software. These tips will help keep your Windows PC secure:

1. Install an antivirus program that automatically scans for viruses when the system boots.
2. Update the software daily to ensure your Windows PC is protected against the latest threats.
3. Do not download any files from the Internet unless you are certain the source is virus-free.
4. Never open e-mail attachments from people you don’t know; and don’t open any file attachment that ends in ‘.exe.
5. All downloaded files should be scanned by your anti-virus application before you run or install it.

Use a Firewall

A firewall can help prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. On a Windows PC a firewall will prevent malicious programs that get onto your computer from transferring personal data over the Internet.

RECOMMENDED READING: Learn more about hard ware and software firewalls in this Webopedia Quick Reference article.

Lock Down Your Wireless

Changing the default SSID or disabling SSID broadcasting are two of the most popular ways to help secure a wireless network, but by no means do they provide adequate security. Learn how to use encryption, VPNs, and basic laptop and PC security to keep your network and computers safe in this free internet.com ebook.


Congratulations! You now understand how to better secure your Windows PC!

This article was originally published on April 20, 2011

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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