Security Begins at Home
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Editor-in-Chief: Kim Tracy, Executive Director of University Computing
Managing Editor: Anna Brown, Computer Literacy Training Coordinator
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Though University Computing canít take care of your home computer for you, we would like to share some recommendations for keeping it secure. Some of the guidelines covered elsewhere (keeping track of Windows Updates, backing up your files) apply here also, as well as the following additional tips.
Firewall software: Firewalls protect your computer from Internet threats. On campus, the Networking and Distributed Services (NDS) department takes care of that for us, but at home youíre on your own. Turn on the firewall that comes with Windows XP, for starters. Some also recommend additional protection. ZoneAlarm is one free option (www.zonelabs.com).
Antivirus software: On campus, we are protected with a site license from Symantec and server-based automatic updates. At home, a common recommendation is the free AVG software (free.grisoft.com). Symantec has a home version, and other products are available as well. Whatever you choose, be sure to keep it updated regularly.
Spyware and Adware Protection: Windows XP users can download and use Microsoftís AntiSpyware tool for protection. Also, when you install Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, Pop-up Blocker will be integrated into Internet Explorer. Those who are not on Windows XP can find free and useful tools such as AdAware (www.lavasoftusa.com) and the Google toolbar, which includes a pop-up blocker (www.google.com).
Home users are recommended to sign up for Kim Komandoís free newsletter, covering lots of topics of interest to home computer users. Visit her site at www.komando.com for more information or to search her newsletter archives.