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Desktop computer security is the process of making sure that a computer is safe from outside threats. These threats generally occur when a computer is connected to the Internet, but can also be spread by using unsafe hardware that has become infected on another computer. Security can protect a computer system against unauthorized users who are attempting to access parts or all of a network that they are not allowed to use. Physical security systems can also protect a computer from being removed by force from a business or home.
Almost all new computers come with free security features. Standard desktop computer security includes password protection. This is applied to certain high risk areas of a computer’s hard drive that contain sensitive information, or that could ruin the computer if tampered with. Anti-malware software is also a standard form of desktop computer security that is frequently included free of charge on newer computer systems.
Malware is a form of malicious software that is created to disrupt the normal functions of a computer. It can also steal information and distribute it back to the creator of the software. This information can be as simple as information on what websites a user visits, which can be used for illegal directed advertisement. It can also be credit card information, or other personal information that a hacker can use to steal money from a user. More malware is created annually than legitimate software and it targets both large businesses and home computer users, so desktop computer security is essential for protection against this threat.
Like any piece of expensive equipment, a computer can also be targeted for physical theft. While most forms of desktop computer security do not deal directly with this problem, there is a growing market for physical computer protection equipment. Some computers have a part of their physical structure that can be locked to the rest of the workstation, making it more difficult for unauthorized removal. Personal computers and laptops with features such as these can have all their hardware locked down, making physical theft more difficult. These are more necessary in big computer labs than they are for home usage, but some users prefer them for the added security they offer.
When comparing two major computer operating systems (OS) available to the general public, Mac OS® from Apple® advertises better desktop computer security than rival Microsoft® Windows® operating system. While this is generally true, even if a user is running Mac OS® with the most up to date anti-malware software available, his or her security system may still be overrun. There is no way of ensuring that the desktop computer security of a system makes it completely secure. However a good security system can prevent against most threats and is very important for any user who wishes to use the internet.