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Viruses, Spyware, and Malware

Nowadays, computers and Internet play a major role in daily life. With the increasing use of computers, there has been a rise in security threats such as viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, etc. Computer users are suffering losses due to malicious programs which easily install themselves from the Internet or other sources, and multiply by downloading other infected software. These malware are categorized as virus, spyware, and Trojans, just to name a few. Each of these programs harm your computer in different ways.

A virus is a program created with the intent of damaging important system files, corrupting the software, and causing various  kinds of errors. A virus can infect other computers as it spreads through the Internet, CDs, DVDs, pen drives, etc. The common symptoms of a virus infected computer include slow system performance, frequent occurrence of blue screen error, and hanging of applications.

Spyware is a type of program that infects your computer and starts collecting confidential information stored on the system. A very common spyware program is the keylogger which records keystrokes while a user is typing on the keyboard. There are other spyware which will trace your actions and browsing behavior on the Internet.

It is necessary for users to take security measures to ensure computer protection. You can install an effective antivirus and antispyware on your computer. Users should periodically perform a full system scan for the detection and removal of malware. The virus definitions should be updated regularly so that the security software is able to detect the latest security threats.

Computer security

The modern world is almost completely based on the world of technology. Almost all fields of the modern life are completely based on the usage of latest technology. However, it is important to understand the amount of risk that is involved with the virtual world. Technology has opened the gateways for cyber crime in a huge way. There are several hackers which have managed to find the key to the extremely vital and confidential information that is passed through the virtual network, from one Internet protocol to another. This factor forced the introduction of e-mail encryption gateways. The basic idea is to provide the required degree of safety to the mails that are being sent and received. There are several extremely confidential data that are being sent. This data needs to be protected correctly from the hackers. It is extremely important to understand that antivirus programs are not enough for the complete protection of the system. It is important to protect the system as well as the entire network from any unwanted activity.

The modern world has tagged the computer as the most essential tool. The machine is used in almost everything. However, it is important for the users to understand that, they must secure their machines correctly as well. The advanced form of technology has enhanced the mode of cyber crime as well. There are several spam websites, phishing sites, virus attacks which the world has started to experience. There are various types of impacts which can take place if the machine faces a virus attack. It is thus, extremely important to secure the machine which is so very crucial in the current world.

There are several ways to secure the computer. You can use firewalls and antivirus programs for computer security. However, the important thing to note in this regard is that, most of these modes have money involved in them. The users would be greatly helped with a free mode of securing the machine. There are several websites which allow the users to check their machines with the latest programs at completely free of cost. It is important for the users to find these websites. The search engine would list out all the related websites in the correct order of priority.

Things You Can Use to Protect Your Computers From Hackers

Computers can easily be affected by malicious programs and are open to several kinds of security vulnerabilities. In this post I will discuss some very important computer security aspects which should always be kept in mind and adhered to.

Firewall: Firewall is one of the best ways to keep your computer protected from outside world. As the name suggests, it works exactly like a wall of fire and does not let the outside infections, intrusions come inside your computer. However, since new infections and hacking techniques are coming into existence day by day, so it is very important that you keep the firewall updated so that it easily detects and stops such attacks.

Antivirus: An antivirus is an application which has only one purpose, and that is to detect and remove virus infections. It offers several levels of protection for keeping your computer safe and sound. If it is enabled and resident in the memory, it scans the incoming data and checks if it has traces of virus infections or not. If found it straight away intimates you about the same so that the transfer of such data can be stopped. Many antiviruses automatically block such infected data from entering your computer. Another task of an antivirus software is to scan the entire hard drive from time to time and look for any infected file which could have come in to the computer system by external means like CD, Flash drive, e-mail attachment etc. But in order for an antivirus to work properly, it is very important to keep it updated with the virus definitions, otherwise your security software would not be able to detect the infections.

Antispyware: Spyware has the capability of seriously harming data or stealing confidential information. Spyware silently spies the data entered by you and can even steal your bank and other financial information. This kind of program can attach itself with any legitimate system file so that they start when the system starts and always stay resident in the memory spying your activities. One should always install a good quality antispyware on their computers and should also keep the same updated regularly.

Password: Users should always keep strong passwords for their Windows accounts, e-mails, financial sites, and almost everywhere. Your passwords should not contain your name because it is very easy to guess. The password should always contain some numbers and special characters. A password comprising of few numbers and some special characters makes it very difficult to be cracked. As a calculation a 14 character long password which consists of both lower-case and upper-case alphabets, numbers, and some special characters will require several years in getting decoded.

Locking the computer: ‘Windows logo’ key and ‘L’ is the shortcut for locking the computer and one should always remember it, rather make it a habit. Never ever leave your system open, because if you do so it will be very easy for anyone to access your information without leaving any traces. If you tend to forget locking the computer then set it in the screensaver of your computer with a timeout of 1 minute.

How to Set Windows 7 Firewall Rules

Windows 7 has this really effective built-in firewall that protects your computer from the latest security threats. If you don’t know how to configure the firewall settings on your Windows 7 computer, then this article would really help you in setting the firewall rules according to your needs for your greatest security.

Available Security Options

There are a lot of security options available for you that would allow you to modify your firewall settings for your maximum security for your computer. The numbered steps below will describe different firewall settings that you can use for your advantage.

  1. From the Start menu, open the Control Panel window and then click on the System and Security” link. This will now show the available security options that you can use for your system. To set the rules for the built-in firewall for Windows 7, click on the “Windows Firewall” link. A window will now appear which would show the different firewall options. These are available for both private (home or work) and public networks. The default setting for the firewall option for both these types of networks is ON. On the left pane of this window are important firewall options like “Change notification settings”, “Turn Windows Firewall off or on”, “Allow a certain program or a particular feature through the firewall of Windows”, “Turn the Windows firewall off or on”, and “Advanced settings”.
  2. When a new program tries to access the internet, Windows 7 has a notification feature to ensure that these programs are allowed for internet access. As these notifications may get a little annoying, there is an option to turn off this feature without compromising the security of your computer. To do this, click on the option “Change Notification settings” as described from step one. If you have another firewall installed on your computer, you can also turn off Windows 7 firewall on the same window.
  3. The link “Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall” allows the user to choose which programs can access the internet. Upon clicking this link, a list of programs that are allowed to connect to the internet will be displayed. You can add a new program to the list by clicking on “Allow another program” and then selecting the new program then clicking the “Add” button.
  4. The “Advanced Settings” link will allow you to do advanced customizations for your Windows 7 firewall. This is where you can define Inbound rules. Outbound rules, and Connection security rules and monitoring according to your needs. If you want to set your computer to the default firewall settings, clicking on the “Restore defaults” link will do the trick. It is however not advised to click this link if a lot of customizations in your firewall have been made.

From what you can see in the numbered steps above, we can really say that Windows 7 provides a lot of options that would help retain maximum security for your computer. These options are pretty easy to configure by following the steps above and would keep your computer safety at its highest level of security.

How to Configure Windows Vista Firewall On and Off Feature

If you are on Windows Vista and connected to the network and / or if you are downloading new software or simply connecting to the Internet, it is not new that Windows Vista’s build in Firewall interrupts and does not allow you to function normally while working. Windows Vista had very advanced security features and is designed to help you protect the computer to be safe form dangerous spyware and third party access especially when you are online. If you are facing difficulties with some programs try to switch off the firewall and you can easily turn it back on when you up and running with the program.

Turning the firewall off – Option 1

If your are facing intermitted connectivity to the internet or it is prolonged interruption, then first step you can take is to try switching off Windows Vista’s firewall. There are several ways to turn of the Windows Vista Firewall; here I will list the easiest and the common way.

  • Click on the Start button either on the desktop and / or the keyboard key with the windows flag.
  • On the pop up menu select Network. This will open a new window for Network and Sharing Center. Another way to open this window is by double clicking on the two flashing computer monitors on the end of the taskbar, which shows the Internet connectivity.
  • Here in the new window you can see the option, which says “Turn Windows Firewall On or Off”. Click on the Turn Windows Firewall Off option.
  • Once you click Apply you will, get a warning pop-up message, click OK on that you will have successful turned off the firewall.

Turning the firewall off – Option 2

If you cannot find the Network option once you have clicked on the Start key or cannot seem to locate the two flashing monitors on the taskbar, do not fret. You can access the firewall settings in Windows Vista from the Control Panel. From the Control Panel, select Security and then choose Windows Firewall. There you can directly access the turn off feature in firewall. You can choose to turn off the firewall by first clicking apply and then OK to the warning message. At all times ensure you are in the administrative mode, and you will be asked to key in the password, if you have a system admin password set for the computer. If you are in a network you need to get the network administrator to turn off the firewall in Windows Vista for you.

Turning the firewall back ON.

Turning the firewall back on is easy and is recommended, because the firewall feature although at times stops you from browsing, it is intended to save your computer and your files from any thirty part interference, when you are online. You can turn the Firewall in the same way you turned it off by accessing the Control Panel and Security and clicking the option to Turn Windows Firewall On.

It is the matter of letting the Windows Vista firewall adjusts with how you work on the computer.

How to Turn ON or OFF a Firewall in Windows XP Service Pack 2

A firewall is a software that is configured with a set of rules that will determine the flow of data to your computer from the Internet. Some major organizations use firewall to block certain data that is confidential to that organization. It serves as an application for security of digital information in such major organizations which is stored on the computer. Firewall is essential even for individuals in general. A hacker can easily get access to your computer through the internet if you do not have a firewall. The other danger of not having a firewall is that your computer can get affected with virus. SO it is of utmost importance that one should have a firewall in their computer.

How to turn ON the firewall

 

To turn on the firewall of your computer that is to enable it you should follow the following process. First of all click on the Start Menu. Once you do this then click Run. A window will pop up. In this window type Firewall.cpl and click on the button OK. A new window will pop up. In this window select the tab General. After this select ON and the last step to turn your firewall on is to click OK.

Incase you do not find any of the tab available it means that your computer might have a policy against running a firewall. It might also be possible that your computer might be running a third party firewall. In such a situation it will be highly recommended that you contact your system administrator.

How to turn OFF the firewall

 

The following process is to be followed when you want to turn off your firewall, that is disable your firewall. A word of caution before you disable your firewall – You should always disable your computer from all the networks it is connected to including the internet as disabling the firewall without disconnecting your computer will leave it exposed to attacks from other networks.

This is the process to disable your firewall. First of all click on the Start Menu. Once you do this then click Run. A window will pop up. In this window type Firewall.cpl and click the click on the button OK. A new window will pop up. In this window select the tab General. After this select OFF, and the last step to turn your firewall off is to click OK.

The above mentioned processes to turn off or turn on the firewall are only for Windows XP SP 2 and SP 3. But this process is not for the earlier versions. It is always advisable to determine which version of SP you are using.

Service pack 1 is outdated!!!! Upgrade your Service Pack. To determine which Service you are currently using, take the following steps:

Incase you wish to upgrade your Service pack you should first determine which Service you are currently using. Following is the process to determine which service pack you are using. First click on the Start Menu. Then select Run. A window will pop out, in this window type sysdm.cpl and click OK. There will be a new window which will have a lot of information. The last line of this information will show you which service pack you are currently using. If the last line does not mention this then it is assumed that you are running the release version of Windows XP.

For users who are running a Windows XP release version or are using Windows XP Service Pack 1 you should update to a higher version as soon as possible. These versions of Service Packs are completely obsolete. Please upgrade.

How To Stop the Netgear Firewall

Firewalls are very important computer security components. They help protect from external threats that may attack or infiltrate the computer from the Internet. Most routers and modem already come with a firewall Netgear routers also usually come equipped with firewalls to provide extra protection for computer applications, but there are times when the firewall may hinder the user from carrying out some activities properly on the Internet. Some sites may be inaccessible because they are automatically blocked by the Netgear firewall. For this and other reasons it is sometimes necessary to stop Netgear firewall. Here are simple steps that you can follow to stop Netgear firewall.

Step One

You will need to first open yourInternet browser, which includes Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer browser on your computer. Next you need to access the navigation text box and key in the IP address of your router. The default Netgear IP addresses are 192.161.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 depending on the particular Netgear router that you have. You need to type in the appropriate Ip address of the router in the navigation text box and then press Enter.

Step Two

Once, the router’s IP address has been properly keyed in, a prompt will ask for your password and username. You need to type in this information to gain access to the”configuration console”. The default username is usually “admin” while the default password is usually password. After putting in this information, you again press Enter.

Step Three

At this point, the router Netgear menu would be displayed and then you need to click the tab labeled “Security”, after which you will again need to click on “Rules”. This is also sometimes displayed as “Firewall Rules”, which you will have to click and after that click on the “Add” option. The Add option is the rule concerning inbound traffic.

Step Four

Next you will need to input the term “Any” on the section labeled “Inbound Services”. An “Action” drop down box will appear on which you will need to select “Allow always” and then click on “Enabled” to enable it. This will save the new firewall rule settings that you just entered. Some Netgear router models will require that you click on a Save button to save the changes you made. Once completed and after closing your browser, the Netgear Firewall is disabled from your router.

These are the simple steps to stop the firewall on the Netgear router. The above mentioned steps and process may differ slightly depending on the model of router being used. Turning off the firewall does not totally prevent it from providing security. Disabling the firewall will however stop the firewall from preventing access to the Internet and would also disable the security function.

Since the user has the right to decide what to do on the Internet, they reserve the right to disable the firewall to maximizeInternet browsing pleasure. It may sometimes be necessary to consult with an expert or to visit the Netgear website to get more information on how to safely turn off your firewall.

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