Sunday, April 16, 2006

5 Easy Steps to Ensure Your Computer Is Your Friend, Not Your Enemy

Computers are a great friend to have. We travel the internet, can do online banking and shopping, keep our checking accounts in line, manage our investments, and so on.

But what if our computers turned on us and gave away, or lost, all of our important data? Obviously that would be bad, but most of us haven't taken the simple steps necessary to keep that from happening.

Here are five steps to help you make your computer (and data and account numbers ) more secure, even if it's lost or stolen.
  1. Set the administrator password (using a strong password), and change the name Administrator to something other than Administrator.
  2. Disable the Guest user account.
  3. Do not log on to your computer as a member of the Administrator group -- it's rarely necessary and opens you up to serious exploitation.
  4. Secure your wireless network if you have one.
  5. Encrypt your files.

I'll be covering each of these steps over the next few days on how to do these on a Windows XP Pro machine. Sorry, if you're on a Mac, running a different version of Windows, etc., I may not be of much help -- but some of the steps may still apply to you and it would be worth the effort to find out what similar steps might be taken.

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