PC Security: Low-Hanging Fruit

Author: Richard Keggans
Published: September 05, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Most "normal" people throw up their hands at the topic of PC security, overwhelmed and confused by the scope and complexity of it all. To be sure, it is a complex subject and one that many IT professionals struggle with in their daily work.

I find it helpful to admit that while you can't always do everything, you can at least do something - which is much better than doing nothing. Low-hanging fruit will be picked first; if your home is well-lit, with windows and doors locked and you have a dog, it's likely any opportunistic thieves will try another, more vulnerable home first.

With your personal computer, there are several simple and largely unobtrusive things you can do to move your "fruit" into the higher, less accessible branches. First, let's assume you keep your operating system and installed applications up to date.

1 - Use a website filter, such as SmartScreen for Internet Explorer, or Web Of Trust.

2 - Use a DNS service that filters websites, such as OpenDNS or ScrubIT (this also helps avoid being exposed to rogue ads).

3 - Force the use of https (SSL) connections for your webmail and social media accounts, which helps avoid issues when using public wifi hotspots.You can do this individually, or sometimes via a browser addon.



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Article Author: Richard Keggans

Blogging baby boomer, originally from Scotland, working and living in the USA since 1982.

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