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Broadband security for your internet connection

broadband: 

When you have an internet connection, you are connected to a global wide area network (WAN) and this has benefits as well as dangers. The advantages are numerous and have revolutionised the way people work, play, learn and communicate from anywhere at any time. However, being on a WAN has also its share of negatives, chief being data theft.

You use your computer to carry out financial transactions, do internet banking and you store business plans, strategies and important corporate intelligence and this information can be accessed and used against you if your computer does not have adequate security on it.

Methods of Intrusion

There are two ways: External and Internal.

External - A remote user finds your computer using the internet and tries to find a weakness to gain access to your folders and files.

Internal - A normal function of the computer is used to gain access into your system. For example, an email that purports to be from a bank can sent to you asking for your account details. This is called Phising.

How to protect yourself

  • Install an effective anti-virus package including anti-spyware and ensure updates are carried out regularly.
  • Install and configure a suitable Firewall.
  • Use common sense – it is risky to download dubious programs from the internet and do not respond to pop-up windows offering you free software. Installing a pop-up blocker, or using a browser such as Mozilla Firefox should minimize the number of pop-ups.
  • Be suspicious of emails from established companies that ask you to confirm your security details, and never send out sensitive information such as passwords over email at all.
  • Ensure that online retailers operate a strict privacy policy and make sure that the site secures any personal details with SSL.
  • If you are running a wireless network, ensure that it is fully encrypted - aim for WPA2 - and that your router is optimally placed around your household/office to minimise the possibility of leeching.