Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Computing Safely In Windows XP

In today's world of computer fraud and identity theft, there are many reasons to be cautious when using the internet or the computer in general. Many problems arise today due to human error.

For example, a beginner computer user gets an e-mail from their bank. To the untrained eye that e-mail can look genuinely from the bank, but to the trained eye it is a phishing e-mail trying to steal your personal banking information. That is malicious deception. What you as a computer user need to do is fight back and become tactically deceptive.

A couple pointers when using a computer for example are:

- Using easy to remember but complex passwords.

Having all your passwords as the same word can ruin you financially. Switch it up when creating passwords. If you have to, physically write them down but NEVER take whatever you write your passwords in out of your computer area. It is also smart to understand if you are sharing a public computer, don't leave that paper with your passwords in that area!

- Do not click on anything that could possibly have a 1 in a 1000000000 chance of not being legit.

Unless you are 110% sure the link / e-mail attachment / website / etc. are what you are intending to go to. This means if you have any feeling of suspicion, do not go through with what you are doing. Examine closely and if you are sure, then surf to your heart's content!

- Install and use Anti-Malware software.

Most free software you download has adware and malware waiting to be installed right under your nose. Use something like Adaware from Lavasoft

- Update Windows XP or whatever version you have.

This is the single most important part of being safe while using Windows XP. If you have an unpatched computer, you will be hacked within 10 minutes. Google it.