Microsoft Windows: Simple Security, Strong Security

There are two ways the Microsoft Windows users can protect themselves from common computer risks: 1) update virus signatures every day and 2) use Windows 2000/XP with a screen saver password.

Antivirus Software
When was the last time you updated your antivirus software? Are you protected from the new Internet worm that was just released into the wild of the Internet this morning and is now headed toward your computer? If you’re not updating your antivirus software every day, you’re not sufficiently protected.

Panda Software’s Titanium antivirus product checks for updated virus signatures every time you connect to the net. Symantec’s Norton Antivirus product checks once a week; however, updates can be manually downloaded every weekday. Network Associates’ McAfee VirusScan updates every week; daily updates aren’t available.

Installing a reputable antivirus program and keeping it updated will protect your computer (and your network) from the approximately

Screensaver Passwords
Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP require a logon password as the operating system boots. The password, if sufficiently cryptic will keep most snooping coworkers and hackers from gaining access to the computer and its connected network servers. Protecting access to the system desktop will prevent these ne’er-do-wells from reading private e-mail messages, documents, and other files.

Dave’s Opinion
In addition to installing a solid antivirus software, be sure to not open e-mail attachments unless you’re expecting the attachment. Remember, there are many worms that automatically send infected e-mail, so if an acquaintance’s computer becomes infected, you may receive the worm in an e-mail attachment, and it will appear that your acquaintance sent the message.

Upgrading to Windows 2000 or Windows XP is a required first-step when building a secure business or home Windows network. Previous versions of Microsoft Windows weren’t designed with security in mind. Even if you’re running a stand alone computer, moving from older versions to the current version of Microsoft Windows is a good security idea.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Panda Software
Network Associates


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