Computer Advice Centre Newsletter - August 2009

Internet Security Part 1

How safe are you?

"I think I've got a virus. I cannot access any of my photographs, my music, my emails or my homework. Have I lost all my data permanently?"
I can hear the worry in his voice, and, surprisingly, it's the type of call we receive more often than you would think. We all know we should have up-to-date Antivirus software on our computers, but if you are like most of us, until we actually become infected by a virus, we tend to disregard virus threats, thinking that it only affects other people's computers.
If this causes you to stop and think about just how safe your computer really is, then you should find this series of Computer Advice Centre Newsletters on Internet Security, extremely valuable.

Initially it might seem that it is an overwhelming task to keep you computer safe from all the latest threats. Our newspapers are full of alarming stories of Viruses, Spyware, Trojans, Worms, Adware, Hackers, Browser Hijackers, etc. Your friends and colleagues probably enthusiastically promote their particular favourite security packages, but how confident are you that it is the best solution for your particular situation, and budget?

This series of Computer Advice Centre Internet Security newsletters provides you with practical advice on how to protect your computer from Internet threats, without getting too bogged down with unnecessary technical jargon. By the time you have finished these Newsletters, we hope you will feel confident that, from now on, viruses really will only affect other people's computers, and not yours.

If you do not wish to receive these Newsletters, please click on the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this document.

If your PC has slowed down to a snail's pace and you have time to not only make a cup of tea, but cook a full English breakfast, while you wait for it to finish starting up, you would benefit from our Computer Rejuvenation packages. We analyse what you need, and what you don't need, to run every time you start your PC. We optimise your computer resources, such as RAM memory, and your Hard Drive, and fine tune Windows for maximum performance. This 30.00 service has saved many of our customers from needlessly buying a new PC because of the frustrations of working on a slow computer. Just give us a call and book your Computer Rejuvenation package.
Which Internet Security software should I use?

The most important decision you make regarding the protection of your computer, is choosing which Internet Security software package to use. Some of the more popular suppliers of commercial Internet Security software are Norton, Kaspersky, Zone Alarm, and McAfee. Although there are free Internet Security packages, these do not offer the levels of protection offered by commercial packages, and are therefore not recommended.

Most of these suppliers offer more than one package, starting with a basic Antivirus package, moving up to more complete packages which offer higher levels of protection, and other security functions.

Independent reviews of Internet Security packages regularly rate the suppliers listed above, in their top choices, and recommend the packages that offer more than just the basic antivirus options. Norton Internet Security, Kaspersky Internet Security, ZoneAlarm Internet Security and McAfee Internet Security frequently appear at the top of the reviews.

Useful buying tip 1

Many of these packages offer the ability to install on up to 3 computers within the family, thereby spreading the cost over 3 PCs.

Check on the packaging before buying, as many also offer just single user versions.

These packages protect you against Viruses, Spyware, Trojans, Personal Identity theft, Spam, Phishing Emails, and include a Firewall.

These suppliers continuously improve their products and it is anticipated that they will continue to lead the field for the foreseeable future, so should you choose any one of these developers products, you should feel confident of experiencing solid Internet Security now and in the future.

Computer Advice Centre supplies all of these packages, and offers a discount price for subscribers to this Newsletter.

Please contact us for the latest prices.

At the moment, there are approximately 30 new viruses being released each day. The packages mentioned above automatically update their virus definition tables regularly during the first year of buying it, to ensure you are fully protected from even the most recent virus.

After 1 year, you will need to renew your package and buy another year's worth of updates, to ensure you are still adequately covered. This is where some people become exposed to new viruses. If you let your security software lapse before you renew it, you will be vulnerable to viruses, so you must renew on, or before your existing package expires.
Now that you have a good Internet Security Package installed on your PC, is there anything else you require?
Useful buying tip 2

You are normally given the option to renew these packages on-line, and you then use your credit card to purchase and download the latest version of the security software. We suggest you may prefer to contact Computer Advice Centre to purchase a physical replacement package. This is because you will then have an installation CD.

The reason you may prefer this option is that if you purchase the update on a CD, you will have the installation CD ready to re-install, should anything happen to your PC during the following 12 months.

However, if you have downloaded it from the Internet, it can be difficult to arrange to download it again from the suppliers web site, should anything happen to your PC within the following 12 months.

Yes, The following Newsletters examine additional, important issues that will help keep you, and your families, safe on the Internet.

The next newsletter, Computer Advice Centre Internet Security Part 2 covers the potential dangers associated with Emails, including topics on Spam, Phishing Emails, Spoof Emails and Email attachments.

Following that, Computer Advice Centre Internet Security Part 3 deals with Microsoft and Windows updates, Web browser vulnerability, Passwords, Pop-ups and Wireless Networks security, Backup of your data and physical security of your computer.

The final newsletter in this series, the Computer Advice Centre Internet Security Part 4 newsletter will discuss, how to keep your children safe on the Internet, including Parental control, Internet Filter software. Instant messaging, You Tube, BeBo, Music download sites etc.
Word Definition List
    Adware
  • Programs that are downloaded and installed without user's consent or bound with other software to conduct commercial advertisement propaganda through pop-ups or other ways.
    Attachment
  • A file attached to an Email
    Browser hijacker
  • A browser hijacker is a type of spyware that allows the hacker to spy on the infected PC's browsing activity, to deliver pop-up ads, to reset the browser homepage, and to redirect the browser to other unexpected sites.
    Cookie
  • A file used to identify users when they visit or return to a web site. Cookies are very useful but also raise privacy concerns when used to track people across more than one site.
    Encryption
  • Encryption is the scrambling of data so that it becomes difficult to unscramble and interpret.
    Firewall
  • Software that screens all incoming and outgoing Internet traffic, protecting you against hackers and malicious software, and letting you control which programs can access the Internet.
    Hacker
  • Someone who tries to attack or break into networks without permission.
    Keylogger
  • Keyloggers are malicious programs that record the key strokes a user types on their PC, including instant message and email text, email addresses, web sites visited, passwords, credit card and account numbers, addresses, and other private data.
    Malicious software
  • The general term used to describe any harmful software. It includes, Adware,Viruses Spyware, Worms, and Trojan Horses.
    Malware
  • Any malicious software, including viruses and spyware.
    Microsoft update
  • Microsoft  update is a service provided by Microsoft that provides updates for the Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Office and other Microsoft products.
    Phishing
  • Using fraudulent Email messages that copy the look and feel of legitimate business to trick you into giving out personal information, like passwords and credit card numbers.
    Pop-up
  • An advert that appears in a separate window on top of your web browser.
    Pop-up blocker
  • A program that helps to prevent unsolicited windows from appearing on your screen; these windows usually contain advertisements.
    Spam
  • Obnoxious and/or offensive Emails that fill up your inbox.
    Spam filter
  • A piece of software that attempts to identify and block incoming spam Emails.
    Spyware
  • Any software that, without your explicit consent, shares information about you via the Internet.
    Trojan horse
  • A virus that masquerades as a legitimate program but actually has malicious intent.
    Virus
  • Any malicious program designed to spread itself from computer to computer.
    Web Browser
  • A browser is a software application that is used to locate and display Web pages. The most popular browsers are Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox, Google's Chrome, Opera and Apple's Safari.
    Worm
  • A type of virus that spreads without human intervention.
    Wireless Security
  • The encryption of data transmitted wirelessly between computers and a wireless Router on a wireless network.
    Windows update
  • Windows update is a service provided by Microsoft that provides updates for the Microsoft Windows operating system and its installed components.

End of the Internet Security Newsletter Part 1

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