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What are the Best Tips for Home Computer Protection?

Article Details
  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are a number of different ways to go about ensuring home computer protection and finding the right combination of programs and practices is usually the best way to do so. These types of programs usually include some form of firewall, an antivirus program, and web browsers that can help prevent opening a computer up to malicious attacks. The practices of a computer user can be more important than any program, however, as few programs can protect a person’s computer if the user is careless. Protecting a home computer is typically about a combination of these two ideas and how a user is able to take advantage of them.

One of the first things a computer user interested in home computer protection should consider are the programs he or she uses to keep the computer safe. A good firewall is a solid place to start. Firewalls are computer programs designed to prevent sources outside of those approved by a user from accessing his or her computer. This typically includes websites, other networks, and users who have not been approved by the network administrator. An antivirus program is also typically very important for home computer protection.

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Only one antivirus program should be used, and it should be updated regularly. Most antivirus programs will allow a user to establish protocols for automatic updates and running full system scans at regular intervals. Antivirus programs can actually interfere with each other and create false positives or shut each other down, so only one antivirus program should be installed on a computer. Protection from an antivirus program is even simpler if a web browsing program is used that is resistant to malicious software attacks and can detect bad or potentially harmful links.

The practices of a computer user, however, can potentially be even more important than the programs he or she uses to ensure home computer protection. An antivirus program only works if it is kept updated to watch for and deal with the latest threats. Some program types, such as executable files, are able to hide malicious software from virus scans and install the malware without triggering antivirus protocols. This means programs should typically only be downloaded from reliable and trusted websites to better ensure home computer protection.

Suspicious links on websites or strange emails that do not seem familiar should also be avoided by computer users. Even if an email is from someone a user knows, if the content seems strange, attached files and embedded links should be avoided. A user logging onto someone else’s computer should take care to log out of any websites that require a password. Also, be sure not to indicate that the password should be saved on that computer.

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