Sunday, September 24, 2017

Basics of Computer Security

In the year 1960, Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense called a conference of ARPA-funded graduates and scientists to discuss and formulate the blueprints for the first Computer Network. This Network is intended to connect the computer systems of several ARPA-funded research institutions and universities. With a connection speed of 56,000 bits per second, the scientist and researchers of the universities can send and receive data over the network.

The ARPA-Net then was exclusive only to the participating universities and was built on the principle of mutual trust. Computer security then, was not a major concern, although ARPA-Net also contains security features. With the adaptation of the ARPA-Net and its evolution to today’s World Wide Web or the Internet - almost every home now is connected to the Internet and with its stunning speed; the issue of Computer Security is at its critical.

Computer Security is the act of protecting the information stored in the computer system by preventing and restricting unauthorized access to it and detecting undesirable  attacks that may cause damaged to the information and the system that use it. With almost everything today relying on computers and the internet – entertainment, online shopping, communication, transportation, and medicine, computer security becomes more than a practicality but a need. With vital infrastructures relying on computer systems and fields that involve human life, we cannot afford system breach and damaged to it.

Any computer system is subjected to many risks. Among these risks are viruses corrupting and erasing your important files, hackers – someone that breaks into others’ systems, altering files, stealing important information, doing unauthorized purchase using others’ credit card information and using others’ identity in illegal activities.

There are basic steps to minimize risks and improve security on your computer system. These are simple steps that can be accomplished by any computer user.

Authentication and Password

Protect your computer by using authentication and passwords. This is one of many ways to protect information and avoid unauthorized access to the system. Using passwords is not enough choosing is the essential part. Here are some rules in choosing passwords.

 

    • As a general rule in choosing a password, do not base your password on personal information.

 

    • Formulate passwords using both lower and uppercase  letters.

 

    • Use numbers in combination letters in creating passwords.

 

    • Create unique passwords for each system.

 

    • Change passwords periodically.

 

    • Password must be kept undisclosed. Do not write it down on any paper or on cell phones. It is highly recommended to memorize it.

 


Anti-Virus and Firewall

 

Anti-Virus software detects viruses and malicious software entering your computer system. Anti-Virus software has capabilities for detecting viruses, isolating them from the rest of your data, and deleting them from your system. On the other hand, Firewalls can provide your system protection against attackers outside and blocking and filtering data flows inward and outward. Here are some tips on Anti-Virus and Firewall use.

 

    • Periodically scan your whole system. Most Anti-Virus software allows scheduled scan, the Anti-virus will scan automatically on the saved schedule.

 

    • Scan email attachments and removable disk and media to prevent virus infection.

 

    • Always keep your Anti-Virus up to date with the latest updated releases available in the internet.

 

    • Configure your firewall to the desired setting.

 

    • Always turn your firewall on every time you connect to the network or the internet.

 


Good Computer Security Practices

The most common misconception regarding Computer Security is that Anti-Virus, Firewall, and Passwords are hundred percent effective at any given time. This is not exactly true. These safety nets are not entirely faultless; they always have a weak side where attackers can take advantage of. To add a little level of security, here are some good practices regarding Computer Security.

 

    • Always keep your computer locked when you are away.

 

    • If not in use, always cut off from the Internet.

 

    • Always check and verify your security settings.

 

    • Always perform back up on important data.

 

    • Do not open unsolicited emails and email attachments.

 

    • Create multiple accounts on your computer with varying access rights.

 


Always keep Computer Security in mind. Keep your data safe.