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Tis the season for Hacking!

This is the time of the year when hackers come out of the woodwork. Spam increases exponentially, and estimates are that spam messages with links to malicious websites increased 8% during the third quarter of last year. This year promises to be no less. The 4th quarter of the year is a fun-filled joyous season for hackers. They try all sorts of new ways to get you to respond to their emails and go to their websties. The new blended threat hackers are using is to combine spam messaes with a link to a website containing malicious software. These sites closely resemble actual websites, and it is easy for a person to think it is legitimate and simply go to the site which can result in a malware-infected computer. Here are four basic ways to protect your computer from hacker threats:

  1. Use a firewall – I cannot emphasize this enough. A good firewall is worth it’s weight in gold and will protect your computer. A Firewall can be software or hardware based, and it’s job is to keep hackers, virus’s, and worms attempting to gain access to your comuter. . . out!

  2. Keep your operating system up-to-date – no matter the operating system, updates are published regularly. Hight Priority updates contain the latest protection against malicious online activities. Service packs, and security updates should be applied as they are released.

  3. Update your antivirus and antispyware software regularly – most antivirus or antispyware software packages perform auto updates on a weekly or daily basis. However, check yours regularly to make sure the updates are taking place. Antivirus or antispam software without current data definition files are not doing you any favors and are certainly not protecting your computer from the latest threats. Know your antivirus software. This is not a software package you install and just let run. Explore the software, and go into all the menu’s. Become familiar with how it works.

  4. Use a spam filter – if your virus software does not come with a spam filter, make sure you get one. If the spam cannot make it to your email inbox, it cannot infect your computer.

Don’t leave your computer vulnerable. Take the above steps, and you will be well on your way to safe, happy computing!

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