Use anti-virus software, a firewall, and anti-spyware software to help keep your computer safe and secure.



Dealing with anti-virus and firewall protection may sound about as exciting as flossing your teeth, but it's just as important as a preventive measure. Having intense dental treatment is never fun; neither is dealing with the effects of a preventable computer virus.

Anti-virus Software
Anti-virus software protects your computer from viruses that can destroy your data, slow your computer's performance, cause a crash, or even allow spammers to send email through your account. It works by scanning your computer and your incoming email for viruses, and then deleting them.
To be effective, your anti-virus software should update routinely with antidotes to the latest "bugs" circulating through the Internet. Most commercial anti-virus software includes a feature to download updates automatically when you are on the Internet.

Anti-Virus Software- What to Look For and Where to Get It You can download anti-virus software from the websites of software companies or buy it in retail stores. Look for anti-virus software that:
  • recognizes current viruses, as well as older ones
  • effectively reverses the damage
  • updates automatically.
Here's a sample list of anti-virus software that you can purchase online.
http://security.getnetwise.org/tools/results/any2.php
This list was gathered and provided by the GetNetWise website. We cannot guarantee the effectiveness of any of the products listed on the GetNetWise website, nor do we endorse any products. The National Cyber Security Alliance is also unable to provide any technical assistance with any of these tools.

Firewalls
Don't be put off by the word "firewall." It's not necessary to fully understand how it works; it's enough to know what it does and why you need it. Firewalls help keep hackers from using your computer to send out your personal information without your permission. While anti-virus software scans incoming email and files, a firewall is like a guard, watching for outside attempts to access your system and blocking communications from and to sources you don't permit.
Some operating systems and hardware devices come with a built-in firewall that may be shipped in the "off" mode. Make sure you turn it on. For your firewall to be effective, it needs to be set up properly and updated regularly. Check your online "Help" feature for specific instructions.

Information on how to turn on your operating system's firewall.
Windows XP and Macintosh OS X operating systems have a built in firewall.
Here's a video that teaches you how to turn on the firewall for each of these operating systems. This option is available only if you have these operating system versions.

Window's XPhttp://security.getnetwise.org/tools/firewallxp-instruct%20
This video tutorial shows you how to enable the firewall option built into the Microsoft XP operating system.

Macintosh OS X
http://security.getnetwise.org/tools/firewall-osx-instruct
This video tutorial shows you how to start the built-in firewall of the Macintosh OS X operating system. This option is available only to users of the Macintosh OS X operating system version 10.2 or later.
If your operating system doesn't include a firewall, get a separate software firewall that runs in the background while you work, or install a hardware firewall — an external device that includes firewall software. Several free firewall software programs are available on the Internet. You can find one by typing "free firewall" into your favorite search engine.
Here's a sample list of firewall software that you can purchase online.
http://security.getnetwise.org/tools/results/any1.php
This list was gathered and provided by the GetNetWise website. We cannot guarantee the effectiveness of any of the products listed on the GetNetWise website, nor do we endorse any products. The National Cyber Security Alliance is also unable to provide any technical assistance with any of these tools.

Anti-Spyware Software Anti-spyware software helps protect your computer from malicious spyware that monitors your online activities and collects personal information while you surf the web. It works by periodically scanning your computer for spyware programs, and then giving you the opportunity to remove any harmful surveillance software found on your computer. Some anti-virus software contains anti-spyware capability. Given the increasing sophistication of spyware programs, consider using two different anti-spyware program search one looks for slightly different sets of threats, and together they may offer increased protection.

Zombie Drones Some spammers search the Internet for unprotected computers they can control and use anonymously to send unwanted spam emails. If you don't have up-to-date anti-virus protection and a firewall, spammers may try to install software that lets them route email through your computer, often to thousands of recipients, so that it appears to have come from your account. If this happens, you may receive an overwhelming number of complaints from recipients, and your email account could be shut down by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
AbhiShek SinGh
Founder of 'TheHackingArticles'. Cyber Security Analyst, Cyber Security Researcher, and Software Engineer. Follow 'AbhiShek SinGh' on Facebook , Twitter or Google+ or via Email

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