While you're enjoying that broadband connection, downloading files, watching Web videos, flipping from webpage to webpage, your computer is sitting there ripe for the picking by hackers looking for fresh victims.
Before you get hacked, protect yourself. Here are my top ten ways to secure your computer.
1. Turn off file sharing
File sharing is one of the first things a hacker looks for to access your computer.
Turn off file sharing in Windows 98.
Turn off file sharing in Windows XP.
File sharing preferences for Mac OS X.
2. Install a firewall
Mac OS X firewalls
Even the built-in Windows XP firewall is better than nothing.
3. Scan for spyware
Kill that spyware and adware with my two favorites, Ad-aware and Spybot Search & Destroy.
My favorite antivirus program is Norton AntiVirus. If you want to save cash try the free AVG Anti-Virus.
5. OS updates
Update your operating system frequently. Always run the latest patches and drivers for your system.
Mac OS X updates.
For Linux, visit the website for your distribution.
6. Security scanner
Run some type of outside security scanner on your machine. I recommend the demo version of Retina or the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.
7. Secure instant messengers
Everyone wants to keep their IM conversations private. Try Trillian Pro for 128-bit encrypted AIM and ICQ conversations.
8. Secure email
Hotmail get hacked again? Try Hushmail. Hushmail uses 2048-bit encryption to keep your email safe and sound. Hushmail has been around for ages and I've heard many great things about it.
9. Secure your files
Looking for a local file encryption solution? Get PGP Disk to encrypt all your sensitive files. Store your files in the ThumbDrive Touch, a USB drive that uses biometrics in a built-in fingerprint reader to protect your data.
10. Safe passwords
Keep your passwords safe, secure and uncrackable with Personal Vault.
for links to the software mentioned:
Click here to go to the original article by Kevin Rose