Home Computer Security 

Home Computer Security

Your home Computer Security is a popular target for intruders. Why? Because intruders want what you???ve stored there. They look for credit card numbers, bank account information, and anything else they can find. By stealing that information, intruders can use your money to buy themselves goods and services.
But it???s not just money-related information they???re after. Intruders also want your computer???s resources, meaning your hard disk space, your fast processor, and your Internet connection. They use these resources to attack other computers on the Internet. In fact, the more computers an intruder uses, the harder it is for law enforcement to figure out where the attack is really coming from. If intruders can???t be found, they can???t be stopped, and they can???t be prosecuted.
Why are intruders paying attention to home computers? Home computers are typically not very secure and are easy to break into. When combined with high-speed Internet connections that are always turned on, intruders can quickly find and then attack home computers. While intruders also attack home computers connected to the Internet through dial-in connections, high-speed connections (cable modems and DSL modems) are a favorite target.
No matter how a home computer is connected to the Internet, intruders??? attacks are often successful. Many home computer owners don???t realize that they need to pay attention to computer security. In the same way that you are responsible for having insurance when you drive a car, you need to also be responsible for your home computer???s security. This document explains how some parts of the Internet work and then describes tasks you can do to improve the security of your home computer system. The goal is to keep intruders and their programs off your computer.
How do intruders break into your computer? In some cases, they send you email with a virus. Reading that email activates the virus, creating an opening that intruders use to enter or access your computer. In other cases, they take advantage of a flaw or weakness in one of your computer???s programs vulnerability ??? to gain access.
Once they???re on your computer, they often install new programs that let them continue to use your computer ??? even after you plug the holes they used to get onto your computer in the first place. These backdoors are usually cleverly disguised so that they blend in with the other programs running on your computer.
The next section discusses concepts you need to know, especially trust. The main part of this document explains the specific issues that need your attention. There are examples of how to do some of these tasks to secure a Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer. We also provide checklists you can use to record information about the steps you have taken to secure your computer.
Whether your computer runs which kind of system, the issues are the same and will remain so as new versions of your system are released. The key is to understand the security-related problems that you need to think about and solve.

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