Computer Security

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Computer security is a broad subject to cover here. It starts with the computer itself and what you need to secure, Your Data. Not only do you need to protect it from internal disaster, like failed drives, but also from theft. Probably the most common form of home or small business intrusion today is through a wireless network. It is amazing how many still have there wireless network setup with either limited or no security. So many times people go to the big technology super store and are sold a new laptop and a must have wireless router and never instructed to secure their network. Just a few years ago I had a client who had there drivers stop using their cell phones and instead IM on their laptop through unsecured wireless networks. So what, you may ask! Well in 2005 in south Florida a  client of mine, a respected doctor, was arrested in the middle of the night, at his home, for of all things, child pornography. After some investigation it turned out the police trace was correct that led them to the doctors house. The posted photos came from the doctors IP address traced through his ISP.  It turned out that the neighbors had an illegal apartment with a tenant that was using a laptop and accessing the internet through the doctors unsecured wireless router. Fortunately the router was a good unit that logged the connected client computers by their MAC address and a connection could be traced to the tenant next door. His laptop after being confiscated was loaded with the child porn and the charges where dropped against the doctor. On another occasion I was in a Hotel in Alabama and a near by business had an unsecure wireless network. I will not get into how to secure your wireless router as every brand is different, but read your documentation. If you lost it, download it from the manufacturers website. At the very least use WEP, but pick random hexadecimal characters instead of using a paraphrase. For home use, 64 bit is fine, the higher bit rates will just slow down your network. WPA is better but if you use a phrase that someone would guess, what is the point. Again you can pick random characters for more security. Read the article from Microsoft below.  

Improve the security of your wireless network.

Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool