Steps to Secure Your Home Computer

computer security

computer securityComputer security is a very important matter for all computer users. Whether your computer is used for fun or for business, you need to be absolutely sure that it is protected from threats that can range from computer hackers to elaborate viruses that will destroy your computer and all of the information that it contains. Over seven million people have fallen victim of identity theft in the US alone and many of those thefts occurred through the computer.

The top threats for the typical computer user are viruses and worms and spyware. All can be downloaded onto the computer through normal usage and may result in utter devastation for the machine as well as all of the files. Spyware does exactly what its name implies but installing itself onto the user’s computer and then sending pertinent information back to the installer. Information such as passwords, credit card information and other data is then used to set up fraudulent accounts in their names. These accounts often go undetected for months or even years and may only come to light when the real person tries to apply for credit in their name. Fraud resulted in the loss of over ninety million dollars from individuals and companies in one year alone.

Frequently changing your passwords and making sure to choose strong codes is only the very first step in protecting your information and your computer. Never use the same password for all of your on-line accounts and never visit sites that you are not sure about. Check the security information of any site that you plan to shop on before you enter any of your private information. For additional security, use a prepaid credit card that is loaded only with the right amount for your purchase which prevents recurring charges if the information is breached in some way.

There are a number of software programs that you can install onto your computer be it is a Mac or a PC. It is important to choose the right security programs to work with your computer’s operating system so that all of the other installed programs will continue to work correctly. Most computers will include a trial version of the recommended security software and that is certainly one option to consider when it is time to renew, but there are other security programs that you might consider as well.

Ironically, these software programs are often the way that viruses get downloaded onto your computer so always make sure that you know the source that you are buying from before installing it onto your computer. Trusted names like McAfee and Bitdefender are often suggested by computer makers and experts. Another name, like Avast! is also highly regarded in the computer world.

Some of these software programs and services can be pricey making some people think that it is worth the risk to do without them. However, there are ways to bring the cost down. Start your software search on where all of the top names are rated by price, allowing you to find the right title at the right price without having to surf all over the internet.