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Monday, November 12, 2007

How To Make Web Surfing Secure

Too many computer users neglect to do the basic maintenance of their computer. The result is a clear path to their personal information. Hackers are diligently at work everyday trying to find the weakness in your system so that they may be able to steal your personal information. Others would simply like to create trouble and destroy your hard drive.

There is a wide variety of protective software available, such as adware removers, antivirus tools, keypatrol agents, spyware blasters and so on. These are effective only if put to good use.

Think of yourself as a pilot doing a pre-flight inspection. The pilot is responsible for doing a thorough inspection of his airplane before any passenger boards the plane. He needs to be sure that all safety precautions have been taken to guarantee that all mechanical and electronic devices are working and that the mechanical inspections are up to date. He needs to verify that the aircraft is in good operating condition. Once the plane is off, it is too late to start wondering if such and such a device is working properly.

Your computer is your responsibility. Just like a pilot needs to go through a checklist, you also should make yourself a checklist of things to verify before you surf the Internet. Once connected, it is too late to realize that your system is not up to the challenge. If your system is not checked, if you are vulnerable to the attacks, you could pay a severe price.

You need to purchase good tools for this job. It is acceptable to try free tools to evaluate their quality but once you have found a good tool, purchase it and put it to work.

One of the biggest problems for the average computer owner resides in the fact that he/she simply refuses to take the time to read about their new tool. They would like to simply buy it, install it and never think about it again. You need to take the time to educate yourself on the functioning of any tool you buy.

Generally software is well written by qualified programmers. Professionally written software will include all the instructions that you need to obtain the best performance of the tool. If this is not the case, keep on searching. Go to a trusted site such as CNET and read the comments from other users about the tool you are thinking of buying. Take the time needed to do good research and remember you are putting all your information at risk when you connect to the Internet.

Once you are confident that the software you are purchasing is of the highest quality, then take your time and read all the documentation provided. Once you have done this, and only then, install the software. Make sure to add the tool to your list of daily maintenance.

If you have not done so yet, locate and read all the recommended procedures for the software that protects your computer.

Create a text file and save it on your desktop. You will want this file to contain your checklist of things to do everyday before you start surfing the Internet.

So far, we've uncovered some interesting facts about web surfing. You may decide that the following information is even more interesting.

Here is a possible list of the things that should be done before you start surfing:

1) Check your antivirus for updates. Regularly run your antivirus. If at any time your antivirus locates a virus, you need to update your antivirus, disconnect from the Internet and do a full scan of your computer with the updated antivirus. Always make sure your antivirus is actively protecting your computer.

2) Clean your computer cache and your temporary files. You can pick up software for this at CNET:

3) Clean your history

4) Update your adware remover. Run your adware remover. Again you can try free adware removers from CNET but please buy the full package when you find one that you know will protect you. You truly need all the functions of the software, not just a portion of the functions which is usually the case with Trial Version software.

5) Update your firewall and check the settings. Some clever hackers can change the settings of your computer, therefore putting you at risk.

6) Check for mail protection agents and make sure that they are active.

7) Run a scandisk

8) Update your browser

This is a sample list. Create one that applies to your computer and to the software installed on it. Keep your list updated and make sure that you do what you put on your list. Creating a list and not following it will be of no use.

We cannot totally protect ourselves against the perils of the Internet but we can at least make sure that we do all that we can. Take the proper precautions and you too can have a safe journey on the Internet.

Now might be a good time to write down the main points covered above. The act of putting it down on paper will help you remember what's important about web surfing.

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