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There's more to digital security than antivirus and anti-spyware tools!
More ABC's of computer security:

When my fellow Geeks and I get together and discuss computer security, there's one thing we all agree upon--that's a strategy called "Layered Defense", or Defense in Depth as it is sometimes referred to. I sometimes think of it in terms of an old castle, or fortress, which is protected first by a moat and drawbridge, then by an outer wall and towers, then ana secure (and happy) PC inner wall and more towers (and often another drawbridge), and finally, inside that, is the tallest tower (called the "keep") where the King and Queen hide during an attack...and of course there's heavy oak doors and arrow slots and cauldrons of boiling oil, to make things unpleasant for the invaders. Your network and your computer should be defended with a similar philosophy.  Click to skip to next pg.

  1.  Solidify your walls: A castle wouldn't stand very long if its walls were missing stones, had crumbly mortar holding them together, or were missing sections all together. A safe computer must have its 'walls' patched and strengthened from time to time, so make sure you regularly visit Microsoft's Update website, or set your machine to automatically download updates for you (or, double-check and make sure it is set) by right-clicking My Computer, selecting Properties, select the Automatic Updates tab, and click on either "Automatic (Recommended)" or "Download updates PC applying patch to selffor me, but let me decide when to install them". Again, that's Start}My Computer>Properties>Automatic Updates>Automatic.
  2. ((Hand-in-hand with keeping up-to-date with the most recent patches, hotfixes, and updates is using an up-to-date version of Windows. Microsoft no longer supports Windows 95, 98, Millennium Edition, or 2000, and so there are no more upgrades or patches being released for these operating systems, nor technical those of you still running 98SE or ME had really ought to keep reading..))
  3. Guard the door: In olden days, if you knew the right password, a guard would lower the drawbridge and let you cross the moat and enter the castle. Now, I know, passwords are a royal discomfort in the lower rear. I have come to resent passwords, because EVERYTHING you do seems to require a password these days--how does a body keep track of them all? One thing you should NOT DO is use the same password repeatedly (I agree, it is easiest to remember just one password!) because thinkclick here to request my help--online now what could happen if a hacker did get ahold of it--he could read all your email, control your machine, get into your bank account: in short, they could become you! I recommend that you adopt a good Password Policy. Key ingredients are:
  • Protect your machine by requiring a logon password.
  • Use "complex" passwords.
  • Use long passwords (at least 8 characters) or a  "passphrase", such as IL0v3musT@ngs if you are a vintage sports car fan.
  • Never use the same password for more than one account.
  • never "send" your password by email or Instant Messaging.
  • Change your password immediately if you suspect it's been compromised.
  • Encrypt your stored passwords .

There are several free tools available to help you generate good passwords and manage your growing collection. The one I recommend is Roboform, the pay version is even better.


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