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How to Protect Your Computer

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									The Top 10 (or 20) Things You Need to Know to Protect Your Computer and Your Identity
Dennis Courtney CPCUG President

Let’s Get Started….
• These are My rankings, feel free to rank these issues yourself to meet your needs • Ask questions as we go along
– Don’t worry about whether you think the question is too elementary or too technical

• If I misspeak on an item, make sure you correct me!
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#1
• Install and maintain an anti-virus program
– Plenty of FREE, auto-updating programs around.
• AVG anti-virus http://free.grisoft.com • Avast! anti-virus http://www.avast.com • ClamWin anti-virus http://www.clamwin.com

• Keep it on ALL OF THE TIME
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#2
• Install and maintain anti-spyware software
– Plenty of FREE, auto-updating programs around.
• Windows Defender http://www.windowsdefender.com • Ad-Aware http://www.lavasoft.com • Check out reviews

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#3
• Install a router!
– Activate NAT to disallow scanning of open ports – Use SPI (stateful packet inspection) to distinguish good network traffic from bad.

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#4
• Setup a two-way firewall
– XP’s firewall is inbound only – Use hardware firewall if available – Plenty of FREE software firewalls available – Use only ONE firewall, turn others off – Check out the reviews

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#5
• Allow auto-updates
– Enable Windows Update service – Update your anti-virus, anti-spyware programs daily – Update common programs (e.g., MS Office) often – Set up a monthly update routine and maintenance time
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#6
• Don’t open unsolicited Emails
– Use a strong SPAM filter – Don’t open unknown, unexpected attachments – Know which files can harm you…. .exe .com .bat .scr .msi .doc .xls .inf .reg

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#7
• Review account access to your PC
– Create a UserId with a strong password
• Make sure this UserId does not have Administrative privileges on your PC • Change your password often • Don’t AutoComplete passwords

– Disable the Guest account – Rename the Administrative account
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#8
• Control Your Browser
– Disable ActiveX (or use FireFox) – Use encrypted connection when giving out personal or credit card info over the internet – Use built-in phishing filters – Beware of pop-up fakes – Erase your tracks
• Clear browser history, clean cookies

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#9
• Enable a web browsing pop-up blocker
– Many good FREE ones
• Google, MSN, Yahoo! Toolbars • Many pop-up blockers contain other tools
– Search – Anti-phishing filters – Spell checker, translator, etc.

– Read the reviews
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#10
• Know what is running on your PC
– Control the StartUp sequence
• Startup Control Panel http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml

– Use the built-in Task Manager – Disable Auotplay/Autorun
• Use TweakUI http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp
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#11
• Hide Your Email
– Don’t reply to SPAM (ever!) – Set your Email to block images, they act as beacons to spammers – Avoid spiders by posting your Email address as myname at mydomain dot com instead of myname@mydomain.com – Use disposable email addresses
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#12
• Keep Your Wireless Network Safe
– Change the defaults – Do not broadcast your identifiers (SSID) – Turn on the highest level of encrytion – Filter on MAC address

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#13
• Keep Your Children Safe
– Only allow internet access in an area where you can keep an eye on what they are doing – Set time limits – Limit the amount/timing of gaming – Restrict children from installing new software on the computer

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#14
• Prepare for the worst….
– Lost laptop
• Encrypt the hard drive data • Record all model and serial numbers • Install a ‘phone home’ tracker

– All computers
• Keep your install disks at home • Backup, backup, backup!
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#15
• Change habits
– Turn your computer OFF when not using it for more than 1 hour.
• Saves energy too!

– Use LINUX or a Mac

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#16
• Keep up to date
– Know which viruses/spyware threats are current – Learn to recognize suspicious behavior in your computer – Subscribe to a few cyber defense Email lists and RSS feeds
• FBI, CERT, Symantec, etc.
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#17

What other tips can you share for keeping your computer and your identify safe?

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Thank you!
• Thank you for spending your afternoon with CPCUG. • This is our 26th year of presentations • Please consider supporting CPCUG by purchasing a CPCUG membership. • Next Meeting (last Saturday in June) • Saturday - June 28th – 1:00 PM
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