I’m sure everyone these days has heard of the problems that can be wrought by computer viruses, the term has certainly become more commonplace and when our computer breaks, the first question for many is “have I been infected?” But as more of us go on to the Internet, the problems caused by viruses and other harmful bits of software become ever present and actually more dangerous. We no longer just have one PC in the corner of the room which needs to be protected – it’s a number of PCs and other devices dotted all around the house that are potential gateways for malware.
Most devices in the home now have the possibility of showing Internet content. TVs, Blu-Ray DVD players, Apple TV, phones and of course, the iPad and we seem to take this functionality for granted but are they vulnerable? By which I mean – could someone potentially get access to our details, including banking information by compromising one of these devices? Well, the answer is probably ‘yes’ because as this technology becomes more complex, so the software used to run them needs to keep up.
Many manufacturers use operating systems that are designed to make these devices simple and easier to manage and if they realize that there are functions they perform that could be easily exploited, they exploit them. However, even though many devices may have a multitude of functions, they still need a guiding principle if they are to remain secure and protectable.
This invariably leads to questions about vulnerability and what can be done about it. There are many products on the market that have been designed to help maintain Internet security and defend against malicious attacks both from the outside and from the inside.
Several different types of products are available and references can be made to any of them to help educate you as to what they are and how they could be used to help you achieve the right level of protection for your devices.
Unfortunately, there will always be a need for a certain level of intrusion prevention before you can start to consider Internet security issues more generally. This is because as yet there is no fool proof method that ensures all devices are secure against all viruses and malicious attacks. There are however a number of things that can be done to prevent against risk including:
Back up your data
It is important to remember that the longer a virus or a malicious software program is allowed to run on a device, the more extensive the damage that can be done. Hence it is important to ensure that you have a back up of your most important data no matter what device you are using.
Do not open emails from unknown sources
If you do open emails from unknown sources, make sure you scan them with a virus scanner before opening them. If they are infected then they can be used to spread malicious viruses even when you are offline.
Use up to date software
It is important to make sure that all of your software is up to date as newer versions often contain patches that can help protect against unwanted programs trying to access your computer.
If you have a wireless internet connection, make sure it is secure
Wireless connections are great to have because they make surfing the Internet a quick and simple process. However, you need to make sure that you have the freedom to use your connection for legitimate purposes such as sending email and surfacing safe and secure. If you are using a cable modem connection, then you are highly recommended to check for that connection to make sure it is secure.