Just like in regular life when it comes to computing there is simply no such thing as total security. There is always a trade-off between a secure system and ease of use. In general terms the simpler a computer is to use the more insecure it tends to be.
A slow computer system is a common sign for spyware activity
As a computer consultant company we see time and time again that many users prefer the â€˜luxuriesâ€™ and â€˜visual candyâ€™ found on the Internet such as free pirated movies, songs and what not over a secure system. Even after they have been forewarned not to install file sharing programs like Kazaa or Limewire because they may expose their computers to viruses, spyware and hacking intrusions, users rarely heed the advice and go about their old ways and is no surprise at all that just as usual their computer gets very slow because of spyware activity or entirely breaks down due to virus activity and it has to be repaired every three to six months.
Hopefully, since you are taking the time to read this article you want to do better. Letâ€™s find out how you can be better protected.
Protect your most important documents
It is vital, specially if you keep important documents, pictures, emails and other data files to do an extra copy to an external drive at least once a week. This is referred to as making a backup. How often you backup your files is up to you. Just think of how long will it take to recreate your files or to retype your documents to decide on a frequency appropriate to your needs. Also, keep in mind that some files such as the digital pictures of your last Europe vacation can simply not be recreated.
Some people backup files to a different folder in the same computer, this is a big no-no, because if your internal hard drive fails it will make both your main working folder along with your backup folder inaccessible. Now if an external device is used just by connecting it to another computer you have access to your data. As a side note data recovery services when successful tend to be rather expensive.
Some useful computer security terms as defined in wikipedia.org
Virus: Is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user ...
Spyware: is computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user's interaction with the computer, without the user's informed consent ...
Firewall is an integrated collection of security measures designed to prevent unauthorized electronic access to a networked computer system
A complete Glossary of Terms Used in Security and Intrusion Detection can be found at www.sans.org.