I’ve written these “Five Minute Security Tip” articles to help you make your computer more secure, but also to illustrate that making your computer secure isn’t something that takes a geek or technical genius to accomplish. It also doesn’t take a lot of your valuable time. If you will commit yourself to following and implementing these tips, you and your computer will be a lot safer.
As part of your overall computer security system, you need to know what to do if you get attacked by malware. If you know what steps to take, who to call, etc., you’ll be able to recover use of your computer sooner. If you suspect you’ve been infected by malware, make sure your security software is updated, then run a full scan of your computer. Delete all files it identifies and follow any instructions it gives you. This may require a restart of your computer.
If the problem persists you may want to get professional help, either from a retail computer store, or from a reputable certified support technician. You’ll have to pay for their service, but malware can be very destructive and their expertise may save your computer and your data.
Now for your plan:
- make sure your computer security software updates automatically, preferably each time you start your computer;
- make a list of your most important files, hopefully they’ve been backed-up to a separate storage device;
- keep the CDs and licenses of your installed software, including your operating system, in a safe place where you can get to them in case you’ll have to reload your applications; and,
- if you haven’t been backing up your data files, determine how you’ll recover your data if lost.
After you’re back in operation, take some time to think about how you may have been infected. Consider what websites have been accessed recent to the infection, any questionable emails you’ve opened recently, and talk to others in your home who might have used the computer about what happened and where they’ve surfed, etc. Let them know how important it is to use the Internet safely and responsibly, and tell them about the dangers of malware-infested emails.
Okay…this one may take a little longer than 5 minutes, but it’ll be worth it.
Remember, be very careful, it’s dangerous out there.
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Home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.