Internet – Internet Security
There are many anti-virus software packages on the market that will prevent costly damage to your computer and data. Reputable anti-virus software will:
- Protect against email-borne viruses
- Protect against worms & viruses that propagate through other vulnerabilities in Windows.
- Issue regular and frequent updates
Symantec and McAfee are the two most popular anti-virus software programs. Both have an annual subscription fee. Annual renewals are important as that ensures you will be able to protect your machine against new viruses.
Grisoft’s AVG Anti-Virus program is free for individual use, including free updates. The free version does not allow you to perform custom scans (it will scan the entire drive) and other tasks, but works just as well as the paid version.
Windows machines are vulnerable to several forms of attacks. The best way to block these attacks is with a good software or hardware firewall. Symantec, McAfee and Zone Labs make excellent software firewalls.
Computers with an “always on” connection (such as DSL) are more vulnerable because the attacker is able to try different intrusion possibilities over a period of time. The best defense is a DSL router that hides your IP address from the outside world and generally blocks any unauthorized inbound accesses. Eastex’s ADSL modem/routers do have firewalls built into them.
Spam are bulk email advertisements that you did not opt-in to receive. Eastex mail has span scanning enabled on all of our customer’s email accounts. The following rules can also help keep your inbox relatively spam-free:
- Subscribe to an email or Internet provider that offers anti-spam filtering service or install your own anti-spam software.
- Utilize your email client (i.e. Outlook, Windows Mail) to set up spam filters and blocks.
- Never reply to spam – this only confirms your email address is valid.
- Never click links in spam, even an “Unsubscribe” link – this confirms your email address is valid.
- Be certain a website is reputable before providing them with your email address.
Email is the main point of entry for viruses. The number one rule to follow is to never open an attachment that appears suspicious. If you are not sure if an email or attachment is legitimate, follow these tips:
- Do not open the attachment.
- If you know the sender, verbally contact them to confirm it is legitimate before you open the attachment.
- If you do not know the sender, delete the email and empty your deleted items folder.
Don’t rely completely on the anti-virus scanning by the Eastex email server or on your anti-virus program. Many viruses propagate before anti-virus programs have time to update anti-virus definition files. Your computer is vulnerable during the period of time when the virus is released “into the wild” and the update arrives to protect your machine.
When browsing the Internet, many websites open a pop-up window offering free downloads for your computer. A vast majority of “freebies” are spyware used to collect information about you and your network usage or malware that installs code that harms the performance of your software or operating system. Freebies can also collect email addresses that usually end up on lists that are sold to spammers.
These tips will help prevent pop-ups and spyware from becoming a problem.
- Install a pop-up blocker, we like the one included in the Google Toolbar.
- Utilize a spyware remover. Keep it up-to-date and scan your computer regularly. LavaSoft AdAware and Spybot Search and Destroy are both effective.
Install Software Safely
If you receive software on a CD and you are not certain it is legitimate, put the CD in the machine before powering up the machine so that it does not execute the “autorun.” When the computer is up and running, run a virus scan before installing the software. (Remember to ensure your virus scanner is up-to-date.)
If more than one person uses the same computer and your operating system allows for separate users, Eastex recommends you allow only the Administrator account to install software. Use the Control Panel in Windows 2000 or XP to set other users as limited accounts.
This document has been modified by permission to conform to Eastex Net specification. All content is Copyright 2004 Yves Lacombe.