Biggest tips guide ever! (Part
Don't double up on antivirus
User Account Control under control
A two-way firewall, good anti-spyware and
an antivirus that's kept up to date will help protect your PC, Two antivirus products
installed on the same PC will, however, wrestle each other for supremacy,
rather than look out for rogue software. Removing one to let the other do its
job usually involves lots of coaxing and restarting the PC in Safe mode.
Ignore bank notifications
You cheerfully ignore phishing messages
that arrive in your Inbox from financial institutions other than your own on the
basis that there's no reason for them to be contacting you. Do the same with
any messages that purport to be from your bank. Hovering your mouse over the originating
email address may uncover the deception, but this can also be spoofed. If you're
not sure whether an email is legitimate, call the number on the back of your credit
card and ask if they've been trying to get In touch. Banks never email.
Odd messages from your mates
Facebook, Twitter and your email inbox
are increasingly being used to dupe you, and it's the messages that appear to
be from your friends that are the delivery mechanism. If a message or an action
isn't the sort of language your friend would use, assume it's spam or their
account has been compromised, and let them know.
Just can the spam
Don’t reply to spam, or even open it if
possible - it confirms that your email address is in use and encourages more spam.
Don't click that link
Don't click on links in emails - cut
and paste them into a site checker such as mywot.com and have their integrity checked.
Short web address danger
Shortened web finks take up less space
on a Twitter message, but don't always take you where you expect. Create 'safe'
short links using mcaf.ee, which verifies the page it goes to and flags up any
changes between the link's creation and the user clicking on it.
Practice online prudence
Safe browsing isn't just to stop kids seeing
things they shouldn't; raising the security settings in your web browser can also
prevent you from viewing Images and other elements you wish you hadn't, as well
as potentially endangering your PC's security. A browser's Tools options let
you blacklist and whitelist specific sites, and give any with dodgy images, for
example, a wide berth.
Don't leave details
web browser Autocomplete tools sparingly
Clear your browsing history and remember
to log out of any email or social network accounts after using someone else's PC.
Autocomplete Is useful, but convenience
has its down side, especially with keylogger programs able to harvest the data.
Go to the Settings menu in your browser and switch off autocomplete.
User Account Control
For convenience and security, set UAC to
tell you of actions that access the Registry, but not those you've initiated.
Go to Control Panel, System and Security and, under Action Center, click Change
User Account Settings and adjust the slider.
Back up and surrender
We know we bang on about backups, but we
also know how annoying and time-consuming things become when you lose important
files. Choose an external hard drive (see our group test on page 66) that autosyncs,
can be encrypted and is small enough to fit in a pocket. Or why not try a web-only
service such as iCloud or SkyDrive?
Secure that USB key
Backing up to a USB thumb drive that you
lose within days is no way to look after your work or personal files. Email
yourself a copy of important documents if you really can't be bothered to back up
properly. Just ensure that you use a service such as PKZIP or PGP to encrypt
Make better passwords
Most of us are guilty of using the
same few passwords for everything. Use the brilliantly named Awesome Password Generator
(tinyurl.com/bmd9tdf) and you'll have neither need nor excuse.