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Viruses.  Worms. Trojans. Phishing.

The names sound pretty awful, and so can be the headaches they will cause should your network become infected with what we like to call “malware.”

There are a few simple steps that everyone should take in order to secure their computers and network, whether you’re just a home user or especially if you’re responsible for a business or organization:

·Anti-virus(A/V) – Be sure that anti-virus software is installed on every computer you own.  There are many A/V vendors out there, and most of them are very good. Home users can research using sites like CNET (cnet.com) and ZDNet(zdnet.com) to find the software that’s the best fit for them.

Business and organizations should work with their IT professionals to find a good, network based anti-virus solution that can be centrally managed.  Inboth cases, be sure that your virus definitions stay updated, and that the system is set to scan every day. (Tip: leave your computer turned on and setthe scan to occur overnight.)

·Secure your wireless– Be sure to secure your wireless access points with WPA2 security and use a complex passkey.  Most home wireless routers offer an easy-to-use wizard for initial setup.

Businesses should work with their IT professionals to access their wireless security needs and provide for things like secure guest access.

·Passwords– An oft overlooked but important component of your network security.  Use complex passwords and change them every 30-60 days.  DON’T leave your passwords on a sticky note above your desk or under your keyboard.

Managers, work with your IT team to set policies on your network regarding user passwords.

·Behavior– The most vulnerable element of network security is the person sitting in front of the computer.  Don’t click on links in email messages unless you’re positive of the identity of the sender.  Don’t (never, ever!) reply to an email requesting sensitive information such as passwords or credit card information.

Feel free to tweet us your questions @ccptech or email us at [email protected]. We’d be happy to hear from you!

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