20 minutes to increase the security of a computer is a useful guide for inexperienced computer users that covers most of the basic "need to knows" of computer security.. The guys at itsecurity have published a security guide that tries to help users get a basic sense of electronic security.
The guide aims to educate inexperienced users by walking them through a series of procedures that educates them and helps them improve the security of their PC.
The first, called"The Basics: Spotting and Eliminating Threats" suggests to install a firewall, anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and other programs to protect the PC. Program links are always provided that you can follow to download and install programs that help you protect your PC.
After having covered the basics, it reminds users that it is important to keep the operating system and the software running on it up to date at all times to resolve security related issues in older versions. The author suggests furthermore to use third party tools instead of default tools. It is for instance suggested to use Firefox or Opera instead of Internet Explorer, and Thunderbird or Gmail instead of Outlook.
Basic information about downloading files and file sharing are offered here as well.
Those tips may be helpful to beginners or inexperienced users, while most experienced users have implemented them already on their system.
Email safety is the next topic. It covers email clients but also lets you know about basic things that you need to know like being cautious of links and attachments, and that email addresses and websites can be faked easily.The author covers password security in the next part. He recommends that you select unique secure passwords for every account so that passwords cannot be guessed or brute forced.The next part offers some wireless networking suggestions, including the advice not to use public wireless networks as they can be used to log all of your activities on the Internet.
The last part deals with physical protection: Disguise your laptop and use anti-theft solutions should not bother most users but could be useful for business clients.
As you can see those are basic advices that could help inexperienced users. They miss to cover some topics that could really increase security but require knowledge of the subject. They fail to address the possibility to create a user account in Windows and use this one instead of the admin account. They also miss to mention that not needed services should be turned off, which user needs telnet or remote access anyways ?
I'm also not very fond of software firewalls and would suggest to use a hardware firewall instead. Software firewalls give a false sense of security especially if you are inexperienced.
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