Small Business Computer Support
Are you based in or around the South-West London or Newcastle areas?
Do you have a sluggish PC or one that keeps crashing?
Do you have a PC infected with a virus which you would like removed on your site?
Or do you just want an audit of your system for peace of mind?
Try our prompt, efficient service. £120 for up to 2 hours on-site.
Call 0845 123 5714 or email us for further details or to request an engineer.
|How to protect your PC
Run Anti-virus software.
Anti-virus software scans a computers files and memory to identify and eliminate viruses and other malicious software.
Popular anti-virus programs include Norton Anti-virus and AVG.
You can run an on-line anti-virus scan of your PC with Activescan by Panda Software.
You can test your anti-virus software by downloading the Eicar test file.
Run a firewall.
A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that creates a protective barrier between your computer and potentially harmful content on the Internet. It helps guard your computer against hackers and many computer viruses and worms. Windows XP includes the Internet Connection Firewall, which may need turning on. Other popular software firewalls include: ZoneAlarm, Norton Personal Firewall and Outpost firewall.
For broadband access, a NAT hardware router may be an alternative.
You can test your firewall defences with Shield's up by Gibson Research.
Keep your operating system up-to-date.
Microsoft release operating system updates fairly frequently. Unfortunately, virus writers hear about these weaknesses and write viruses to exploit them. So, updates should be applied frequently. Windows has an Automatic Updates feature that you can use to download the latest security updates automatically on a schedule you choose.
You can check your PC for updates at Microsoft.
| Further tips on staying
Backup your files on a regular basis. You never know when a virus or a hardware failure will hit.
Spyware is similar to a virus in that it is an unwanted program that runs on your computer but it may have a more malicious purpose, possibly trying to obtain private data such as credit card details.
Run an anti-spyware program such as Lavasoft's Ad-Aware or Spybot's Search and Destroy.
Secure wireless networks.
Wireless networks are radio transmissions. Anybody within range can try to listen, connect to your computer or use your Internet connection. Secure it by using WPA encryption, if available. Switch off SSID broadcast, use MAC filtering and make sure every computer on your network has a firewall.
Approach all emails with caution. Do you recognise who the email is from? If they have sent you an attachment, were you expecting one? Have they just passed the file on? If in doubt, don't open it.
Links in emails are dangerous. The name displayed may have nothing to do with the actual site that you go to when it is clicked (called phishing). Don't click links in emails.
There are many email hoaxes floating around the internet, asking you to forward this email to everyone you know (with dire warnings) or begging you to remove certain files from your system. No reputable company is going to ask you to remove a file from your system, "tell all your friends" or attach any kind of file to an email (Microsoft NEVER email attachments). Most emails of this sort just clog up email servers and use bandwidth. They are best ignored.
Passwords of 7 or 14 characters are more secure than other lengths. They should consist of random letters, numbers and if possible symbols. Passwords of one word (e.g. password) can easily be broken and passwords of one word with some characters converted to symbols (e.g. pa$$w0rd) are not much better. The best passwords are created from thinking of a sentence and taking the first letters of each word. 3bm3bms is a good password and can easily be remembered if you know the original sentence - 3 blind mice, 3 blind mice, see (how they run).
Windows 95 and 98 computers should be considered insecure.
| Microsoft Internet Explorer browser.
Microsoft Internet Explorer has many vulnerabilities and must be kept up-to-date (with Microsoft update, above). Most of the vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer are found in Active Scripting or ActiveX Control. Future problems can be avoided by increasing Internet Explorer's security level to high (Tools/Internet Options/Security/Internet Zone) and putting sites that fail to load correctly that you trust in "Trusted sites" (e.g. http://update.microsoft.com). An alternative solution is to use a different browser (e.g. Mozilla Firefox).