Computer Security


This is a page that will be devoted to computer security. This is something I know a lot about. About three years ago, a computer virus or worm leveled my computer and wiped out nearly all of my files. Recently, (June, 2004); I had another attack that corrupted just a few files, but mainly cost me about 1.5 weeks worth of time and a year's worth of nervous energy. 

 Common sense 

This might sound pretty simple, but DO NOT download ANY files from  ANY  source, unless you know who they are. ALWAYS scan the file for possible computer {virus} infections, BEFORE opening it!!! (A friend recently sent me a virus without being aware of it.) If you have an anti-virus program, insure that you keep the virus definitions  (*.dat files) up to date. Always make sure your virus program is ON if you are going to surf the net!! (More and more, the Internet is becoming an increasingly dirty and dangerous place.) Another good idea is to have (clean & safe) back-ups of ALL your important data!!

Virus Program(s)

The virus program is one of your best defenses against a possible virus attack. BUT ... make it second to the tips outlined above! Some of the more popular programs are McAfee and Norton. ANY virus program will probably do the job. Some are better than others, some require more technical skill than others. (Norton.) You must become an educated consumer, and then go out and purchase the best possible solution for your anti-virus needs.

KEEP YOUR VIRUS DEFINITION FILES UP TO DATE!!!  More and more I find that a person has a program in place ... but it has NOT been up-dated in 2-3 years. (Or more.) Needless to say, this is very risky and dangerous behavior.

Use a {good} FIRE-WALL

Official definition of the word, "firewall"  - - - "A firewall is a piece of software  {or hardware}  that creates a protective barrier between your computer and potentially harmful content on the Internet. It helps guard your computer against hackers and many computer viruses and worms." - official MSN web-site. (

(My definition) A firewall is a software program designed to provide a shield between you and the Internet. It basically tries to slam the door on viruses AND hackers  ...  before  they can gain entry into your computer. Some fire-walls are free, McAfee has a good one that the individual user can configure, but it costs the big bucks. Again, it pays to be an intelligent and educated consumer. 

Windows XP has a good firewall ---> go to help, and type in 'firewall'  ... and then just follow the instructions.


Another good  WINDOWS_XP  Tip?

(A very good idea, to avoid what happened just below.)


  BEWARE of scams!!!  Trust ... NO ONE!!  

I recently was surfing the Internet ... looking for the "filmography" of a certain actress.

I stopped at one website, because  Google  listed this site in connection with this person's film career. They had a "pop-up" asking me to install their software, you <apparently> could not access the web site without doing this. I clicked,  "yes"  or  "O.K."  ...  without really knowing the dangers.

   (NEVER click yes on any of these little websites ... it is almost always an invitation to trouble!!) 

What these scumbags did was install an official-looking extra account onto my computer and immediately began down-loading virus files {and other garbage} onto my computer.  The entailing work and aggravation was unbelievable!  I was able {eventually} to fix the problem myself, but only after about three straight sessions of 15-20 hours each. (The average cost of removing viruses at the local computer shop is $175.00, if you are unable to do the work yourself.)  ALSO ... the average computer does NOT have data back-ups. Most of the time, the only way to get rid of ALL viruses is to format your hard drive and re-install ALL of your software. Generally this means that any valuable data you have created or downloaded off the Internet will be lost. (Unless you have data back-ups, this loss is permanent!) 

One business group that I contacted estimates that this is costing the average computer user ...
{and small business} ...
  $ 250,000,000.00 per year.  (In the U.S. alone!!)  
(Apparently this is an estimate of lost time and lost work and the the time it takes to create data.)   

So it pays to be paranoid!!!

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(Page first created in May, 2004.)