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What Are the Best Tips for Home Computer Security?

Article Details
  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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When considering the matter of home computer security, there are two primary factors you may want to address. The most important item you need to secure is the data contained on your computer, including personal and financial information, important business documents, and other files. To make sure all of this information is safe, you may want to physically secure your computer in addition to encrypting valuable data. The other matter you should think about when it comes to home computer security are the resources you have that may be attractive to criminals, such as the bandwidth of your Internet connection and the processing power of your computer. To prevent these resources from being hijacked, you may want to install some type of security suite.

Home computer security can be slightly different from business computer security, due to specific concerns related to the local environments. Business security typically needs to take into account a certain lack of privacy, and even the potential for espionage and other concentrated attacks. Home computer security is still important to consider though, especially since home computers often contain a lot of valuable personal information that can represent an attractive target to many criminals.

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The safety of your data is one of the most important factors to consider when laying out a home computer security plan. One way to help protect this type of data is to physically secure it against burglars and other thieves. Most laptops have a slot that can accommodate a lock, which can be used to physically secure the computer when it is not in use. You may also want to store particularly important data on an external hard drive, and then lock that in a safe when you are not around. An additional layer of security can be added if you encrypt important files.

Data security can also be compromised over the Internet, so you should have some type of security suite installed on your home computers. These programs can scan your computer for any unauthorized Trojans, keyloggers and other malware. It can also be a good idea to disconnect it from the Internet, or just shut it off, when it is not in use. This can reduce the likelihood of a port scanner locating your computer and identifying it for an attack. The use of strong passwords, which contain letters, numbers, and symbols, can also protect your online accounts.

Software security programs can also provide protections other than just keeping your data safe. Many criminals are more interested in your Internet bandwidth and the processing power of your home computer than your data. These resources can be gathered together and used in attacks on other people, businesses and even governments. If your computer has certain illicit software installed on it, it can actually be used to carry out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and other activities without your knowledge. A good security suite that includes a firewall can help make sure this does not happen.

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