Online Safety

The Internet is a big place and has its dangers. Therefore, it is essential you have the tools and knowledge necessary to make your experience safe and enjoyable. The following sections will cover some basic information associated with security and general safety while using high-speed Internet.

One of the most crucial pieces of software aside from your operating system is anti-virus. As the name suggests, it helps keep your computer virus free. There are many methods of being infected by a virus, and even more types of viruses out there. It is absolutely essential that this software be kept up to date. Simply owning the software is not enough. Be sure to check your virus definition files regularly and keep them as current as possible. Today’s anti-virus solutions will do this for you automatically, as well as scan your system in real-time offering maximum protection against these malicious code against your computer. Some recommended anti-virus software: Norton AntiVirus & McAfee AntiVirus

Firewall software is unlike anti-virus software in that it does not look for specific files that may be infected by malicious code; rather, it detects the means by which this may occur. Consider this software border control. It will look at the type of communications your computer is sending and receiving and determine whether or not something malicious is trying to enter or escape your system. Used in conjunction with anti-virus software, your PC will be relatively safe from the horrors of viruses, trojans, DoS, and other malicious codes and activities. Some recommended firewalls: Hardware Routers with Built-In Firewalls, Norton Internet Security, & McAfee Security

Operating System
Most Windows users should be aware that Microsoft releases security updates and other patches on an almost weekly basis. Those users, as well as Mac users should get in the habit of checking your OS website to download these updates. Adding this to your monthly routine can dramatically improve the performance of your PC, in addition to avoiding other potential security risks.

As a general rule of thumb, NEVER EVER open an attachment from someone you do not know or if it is unexpected. Tomorrow’s viruses are always new and improved and it is almost impossible for anti-virus companies to stay one step ahead. Although your email is scanned at our mail server for viruses, it is possible for a small segment of email to slip through. In addition to virus scanning, we have an ever-improving anti-spam utility which destroys SPAM before it gets to your INBOX.

P2P, or Point to Point software, are those file-swapping utilities you hear about on the news, such as Napster or Kazaa. Many companies are cracking down on these types of software as a result of illegal activities conducted on their servers. However, aside from being sued by a record company for swapping music, many of these software suites contain countless spyware applications, funnel viruses into your PC or network, and decrease your bandwith/system resources dramatically. Please keep this in mind when you make an appointment for PC service!

Note To Parents
If you have children, there are many types of software which may govern the content they are allowed to browse while online. Look into Cyber Partrol, Cybersitter, or Net Nanny for more information.