Internet Connection

If you own a personal computer (PC), likelihood is, it is connected to the Internet. Presently various companies offer “high speed” connections via cable, phone lines, and even satellite dish. Surfing “The Net” is fast and downloading of files rapid.

 

If not already aware, there are several hazards when connected to a “high speed” line. If your PC and modem are both turned on your computer is exposed. Common risks include being infected with a virus, spam, and possibly being accessed by an outside source.internet-users

With all these potential problems many PC users will not use the Internet for online commerce, banking, bill payment etc. If you own a car with an immobilizer or other deterrent the would be crook will move onto the next vehicle that has easier access. This is also true of computers. You cannot make a computer 100% safe but you can increase your protection largely with various software and hardware “add ons”.

The first and foremost you should acquire is an Antivirus Program. There are several free programs you can download from various sites as well as retail versions. (Refraining from mentioning specific company or product names). Once installed on your PC make sure you update the software regularly to keep your “virus lists” current.

Secondly a “firewall” is imperative. My personal recommendation for a firewall is connecting a hardware device called a “Router” (physical device that goes between your modem and PC via cables).

One benefit of a router: If you have more than one PC in your household or business you can connect multiple systems to one Internet line. A router is not usually included from your Internet provider. It may be purchased from a computer dealer or other various vendors. However a router has a much greater purpose than multiple connections. It adds an extra level of security to your computer(s) to help prevent unauthorized access from outside intruders.

Many “software firewall” applications are available, as above; there are several free and retail ones available. Some are included with your Operating System and some available from your Internet provider.

A router is a “hardware firewall” and a far better form of security. It uses a method called NAT (Network Address Translation) and masks your IP (Internet Protocol) address. In layman’s terms by converting it to another number that the outside world sees, and back again to your actual number when “talking” to your computer. There is much more involved with the Routers’ processes, but no need to explain.

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