protecting-your-computer-system-during-pandemic

Protecting Your Computer System During Covid-19 Pandemic

2. Use a Firewall

firewall
Protecting via Firewall

Working from home in this critical time could be cumbersome if your home computer system is void of firewall, a firewall is a group of systems capable of monitoring any possible incoming and outgoing network traffic and giving you the leverage to decide which program or network to accept or block based on predetermined security loopholes.  

Do not forget the intruders are constantly looking and scanning for home computer systems that are vulnerable. Network firewalls can provide some degree of protection against these attacks. However, no firewall can detect or stop all major attacks because the threat is expanding and intensifying daily.

I strongly recommend the use of network appliance or a personal firewall software package such as listed below

3. Never run programs from an unknown source

Watch what you download online

Desist from making a quick decision in running a program you by chance downloaded on the internet without a proper valid certificate, so never run a program unless you know it to be authored by the trusted company as they might contain a Trojan horse program – a malicious malware that misleads user of its original intent other than harming your system.

4. Never open unknown email attachments

The bad guys malign your system via email attachments by concealing malicious code that might be distributed in more endearing or enticing programs. Be sure to know the source of the attachment as it is not enough that the email originated from a known or familiar address.

And if you must open an email attachment be sure to verify the source and I recommend the following simple ABC procedures

  • Save the attached file to the hard disk and first check if your virus software is up to date.
  • Scan the downloaded attached file using antivirus software
  • Disconnect your computer’s network connection before opening the file
  • Open the file

 

Important notice: following these steps will only mitigate the chance of spreading any endangering codes contained in the attachment but will not completely eliminate it.

5. Backup your important data on a regular basis

Save your vital information if you have any away from your computer and back it up in removable or portable storage devices such as CD-R or CD-RW disks, USB sticks.

6. Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when NOT IN USE

A lot of computer users are in the habit of leaving their computer connected even when they are offline, giving the intruder more room to infiltrate into your privacy while you are off the air. It is crucial you turn off your computer or disconnect it completely from its Ethernet interface source when not in use. An intruder is powerless when your computer’s power is off.

7. Be conscious of your anonymity

I get it, you just want to browse some contents or find a little information about a need most pressing online. But to your utter dismay, you might think you are invisible and no one sees or reads your information while visiting a website. 

Anytime you visit a particular website, a piece of certain information is automatically downloaded and sent to the site owner and the information collected may include

  • IP address: your home computer at home has its own specific static Internet Protocol address assigned to it, as it never changes. Your IP address can be traced back to you anytime.
  • Domain name: on the web, every domain name is assigned to a user and you can easily identify the user’s account associated with that domain. You can find the list of active domain names from the IANA site.
  • Software details: it is possible for the site owner to determine which browser, including the version, that you used to access its site. The operating system your computer is running on is not left out of sight too.
  • Page visits: information about which pages you visited, how long you stayed (session) on a given page, the source of the visit, whether you come from a search engine or via other sources

 

Recommendation

  • Unless you trust the site you are visiting never give your address, password, or credit card information.
  • Check if the site is secured with SSL that encrypts your information.
  • Limit the use of cookies- if an attacker accesses your computer, your personal information stored in the cookies while visiting the web may be retrieved easily without you realizing it.
  • Find and install some free version of SUPERAntiSpyware, this scanner find Trojans and Adware Tracking Cookies
  • Follow the simple tips recommended by the browser, most of the required information on how to use a browser safely without compromising your personal information is provided in using browser safety tips.

8. Disable Java, Javascript, and any possible ActiveX

A malignant web developer may attach a script such as ActiveX, Javascript to a website and have it sent to you in the form of URL, database inquiry. You may not be aware of the extent of the damage, in retrospect, the malicious script is transferred to your browser and steals your information. 

 

Recommendation

Disable all scripting languages where possible, turning it off will keep you from being vulnerable to malicious scripts.

Take Away

The roaring and renascent pandemic ravaging the entire world has created a new breathing ground for malicious hackers, scammers and cybercriminals to thrive and take advantage of most vulnerable that would be forced to work from home.

In order for any defense to be effective, every requisite control and countermeasure has to be identified such as regular use up-to-date antivirus and antispyware programs, use a firewall, create and use strong passwords where possible, verify the authenticity and security of any downloaded files and software, configure your web browsers securely and do not forget to identify and back up your personal or financial data.

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