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Protect and Secure Your Computer Life

Protect and Secure Your Computer Life
By: Janet L. Hall

Cyberterrorists are no longer considered isolated problems.
Big and small companies, organizations, and even personal
computers get targeted every day. It’s a worldwide problem.
Viruses that run through your computers, stealing your data
and sending fake emails to friends and business associates.
Hackers that go after anyone with a computer, just for the
thrill of it, to see if they can. Computer owners neglecting to
perform backups and sadly losing their "life" when a virus
attacks or their computer crashes. Surfing the Internet, all
the while leaving “almost” invisible trails of where you’ve
been.

To maintain a balance of protection from the outside world,
and yourself, there are at least four important things EVERY
computer owner should have or do. Do you know what they
are, and are you protecting and securing your important or
sensitive data?

1. Virus Scan/Protection
2. Personal Firewall
3. Backups
4. Cleaning out your Cache, History, and Cookies

VIRUS Scan/Protection:

According to mcAfee.com, on Sept. 26, 2001, the top 10
viruses had infected 117,427 computers and 962,767 files
had been infected worldwide in the past 24 hours.

Usually a virus is sent via email, in the email or as an
attachment.
The sender is usually unaware they have sent you a virus.
They don't know they have a virus, they don't know a virus
has attacked their address book and is sending out emails to
everyone listed in their book, along with a virus.

Whether someone you know or don't know sends a virus to
you, take these precautions:

6 VIRUS Precautions:

1. If you don’t know the sender, don’t open the
attachment.
2. Request the information in the attachment to be re-
sent and inside an email.
3. Purchase a virus scanner!
4. Make sure your virus scanner is turned on (enabled)
to scan incoming emails and downloads.
5. Update your virus scanner regularly, especially when
you hear about a new virus running rampant.
6. Scan your computer (Virus Scan) daily or weekly
(start your scan before dinner, a meeting, or before
you take a shower. This way your computer time isn't
interrupted).

FIREWALLS:

Every time we turn on our computers our data is at risk.
Whether your computer is used for business or personal,
your data, and your computer life are at RISK!

For the last five years or more my computer went
unprotected from hackers and intruders. My writings,
business information, database, and all the other things that
go along with running a business had been left wide open
and vulnerable for any hacker to "have a look see," steal, or
destroy.

Why didn't I have one and why don't you?

Maybe you are thinking the way I use to think. I didn't think
anyone would want my stuff or even bother me, after all, I'm
just a small business owner. But I soon discovered that
didn't matter. I received 12 alerts of "someone" trying to
access my computer the evening I purchased and installed
my firewall! And I promise you, that was NOT a fluke! Every
time I turn on my computer my firewall sends me alerts that
some cyberterrorist hacker is trying to access my computer.

So what's on your computer that you don't want anyone to
have access to or lose?

Also, check with your employer and web hosting company to
see if they have a firewall installed.

BACKUPS:

It can never be mentioned enough, do backups regularly! By
the way, when was the last time you performed a backup of
your, "I'll just die if I lose this stuff!" but NEVER take the time
to back it up?

I'm going to give you a couple of new tips I've discovered
since writing, "B is for Backups"
(http://www.overhall.com/mar00.htm ).

3 NEW Tips for FAST Backups and Protection:

1. Purchase a Portable Firewire: A Firewire is basically a
high transfer external hard drive that you can back
your data up to and then take it off site, put in the
trunk of your car, at a family or friends home. I do not
use one but I know people that do. You might need to
speak to your computer tech person or get a high
school kid to help you out on what to buy and install.
2. Install a Second Hard Drive: I recently installed a
second hard drive on my computer. I left all my
programs on my C drive and put "My Docs" on my
new drive. Now I don't waste time by backing up
everything. I can quickly backup "My Docs" and I only
need to backup Programs when I update or install a
new program.
3. On-the-road Backups: Faking a backup until you
make it back to your office or home. Tom Antion, of
antion.com, gave me this neat trick for when you're on
the road using your laptop. Instead of doing a backup
of “NEW” files to a disk, he just sends his important
data he needs and wouldn't want to lose to his AOL
email address, where it will live "safely" on AOL’s
servers until he gets back to his office. You can do
this yourself by getting a free email account at yahoo,
hotmail, or any of the other various places you can
get a free account. This way your important stuff
"lives" on their server until you can get back home
and back it up.

Cleaning out your Cache, History, and Cookies:

Periodically I clean out my cache, history, and cookies, and
even all the images that get downloaded to my computer
while I'm on the Internet. Why? For one thing, they take up
precious space and resources.

There are several programs on the Internet that you can
purchase to clean up and delete all this for you, but after
speaking with my tech person, John Guldi, I decided NOT to
purchase one. Why? John explained that these types of
programs not only take up space and resources but also can
actually be damaging and possibly delete things you don't
want deleted.

So again, it's just a matter of knowing how to clean up and
get rid of these, and adding these procedures to your
computer maintenance schedule.

The following instructions are for the browser I use, Microsoft
Internet Explorer; however, the same tasks can be
accomplished in other browsers with almost the same steps
and wording. Just click around or read your help section.

Empty your Cache and History:

Your computer has two folders, Cache (sometimes called
Temp. Internet) and History, that while surfing the Internet,
stores pages and links to all the pages you’ve viewed. They
are stored automatically for you for quick viewing or retrieval
if you go back to visit at a later time, meaning, the page will
load a little faster for you when you return.

Instructions to EMPTY:

While on the Internet, in your browser, click on TOOLS at the
top of your screen.
Scroll down to INTERNET OPTIONS and click.

You will be presented with several "TABS" in the new
window. Click on GENERAL.

See the TEMPORARY INTERNET FILES, also known as
CACHE. You have two options here: Delete Files and
Settings. Click DELETE FILES.

Now, see HISTORY? You have two options: You can set
how many days you want those pages stored and emptied
automatically, and CLEAR HISTORY; click this one.

Deleting COOKIES:

Cookies are stored on you computer, and used by some
sites you visit to identify you, and may be used to track your
browsing or surfing habits.

Click Start (Usually located on the left bottom of your
screen).
Place Pointer on FIND and move Pointer to Files or Folders
and Click.
Make sure the C Drive is selected in the LOOK IN, and in the
NAMED type in Cookies and click FIND NOW.

One Cookie Folder should be found, but don't worry if you
have more then one, I do. Click on the folder to open, and
now you can start deleting those cookies that follow you
around.
Click on Edit, Click Select All and then hit your DELETE key
on your keyboard.

Protecting and securing your computer can be controlled
stopped by just spending a few dollars a year, and
scheduling computer maintenance time.

Firewalls and a virus protector run about $39.95 and up.
That's not a lot of money to put out to protect your data, your
computer, your business, and your "life!" For a few pennies
a day, I urge you to go get some protection today.

I use McAfee, totted as the number one virus scanner and
easy to use
http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=LKr8bB0tbn0&offerid=13772.3&type=1&subid=0

I use an inexpensive firewall from Zone Labs. Click Here to
Purchase Award-Winning ZoneAlarm Pro!
at:
http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=C4JBFOz6688&offerid=26986.10000001&type=1&subid=0

*****
The Organizing Wizard, Janet L. Hall, is a Professional
Organizer, Speaker, and Author. She is the owner of
OverHall Consulting, and Organizing By Phone. Subscribe to
her FREE organizing newsletter at
http://www.overhall.com/newsletter.htm or visit
her web site at http://www.overhall.com

Copyright 2001 by OverHall Consulting
P.O. Box 263, Port Republic, MD 20676
All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce,
copy, or distribute so long as article is kept intact, this
copyright notice and full information about contacting the
author is attached.


About the Author

The Organizing Wizard, Janet L. Hall, is a Professional
Organizer, Speaker, and Author. She is the owner of
OverHall Consulting, and Organizing By Phone. Subscribe to
her FREE organizing newsletter at
http://www.overhall.com/newsletter.htm or visit
her web site at http://www.overhall.com

Written by: Janet L. Hall

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