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Information Security in nutshell

I have written a lot about IT security, but I do not have time to translate it into English, so here is the most popular article:
How to make sure your computer is secure

Maintenance of Microsoft Windows based personal computer

Friends have asked me what they should do in order to secure their computers. Since several people have asked me the same, I have put together a checklist which I hope you will find useful.
Most of the tasks below should only be completed once, however, upgrading should be done monthly.
For Linux based computers: the main concept is the same, so just adapt it.

1. Anti-virus + firewall

Always use an anti-virus application which protects your computer from incoming viruses (worms) via e-mail and web browsing. E.g.: F-Secure Client Security or ESET Smart Security
If you receive a lot of SPAM, you probably need a SPAM filter. I recommend F-Secure Internet Security. It costs about a 12 Euros per computer yearly (if you by it for three PCs).
Or I recommend NOD32 (ESET Smart Security) - This is the fastest anti-virus application, but for 46 Euros per PC yearly.
If your anti-virus application does not include a firewall, use the built in version of Windows XP (SP3).
Moreover, use ADSL/cable modem/router, which has a built in firewall.

2. Upgrade the database of the anti-virus program frequently

After you switch-on your computer and go on-line, wait until the anti-virus application downloads the upgrade of the virus database, it takes about 2-5 minutes. Only after it, should you download your e-mails.
With this method, you can avoid the common mistake of checking the new e-mails with an outdated anti-virus database.

3. Upgrade the operating system monthly

Microsoft update: Click on update.microsoft.com then do it step by step. When it is finished, do it two times more! (Seriously.)

Configuring Automatic Update settings in Control Panel
Windows XP:
Click the Start button, and then click Control Panel.
Click Performance and Maintenance, click System, and then click the Automatic Updates tab.
Select: Download and install updates from Microsoft Update when available (recommended) Also choose how and when your updates are downloaded.
Note: In Classic view, double-click System, and then click the Automatic Updates tab. You need administrator right.

Windows Vista:
Click the Start button, and then click Control Panel.
Click System and Maintenance, and then click Windows Update.
Select: Download and install updates from Microsoft Update when available (recommended) Also choose how and when your updates are downloaded.
Note: In Classic view, double-click Windows Update.
More information

4. Upgrade the Applications - do it monthly!

Upgrade location of the most frequently used applications:
- Adobe Acrobar Reader
- SUN JAVA
- Adobe Flash player (a Google Toolbar nem szükséges)
- Apple QuickTime; or QuickTime Alternative
- Apple iTunes
- Skype
- Winamp Media Player
- VLC Media Player or VLC Media Player Portable
- Office 2000 / Office 97 You will need the setup CD.

Do not forget to upgrade the other applications too!

Secunia Online Software Inspector (OSI)

Check the security status of your application. Secunia OSI is a great and free service! Try it, use it...
Just click on: Secunia OSI, then click on "Start Scanner", wait a few seconds, then click on "Start". The result will be displayed within a few minutes. Use it mounthly.

5. Use secure passwords!

Change the password of the Administrator / root (Never leave empty password!)

6. Backup your data

Always have a backup from your important files! Backup them regularly. Best is to automate it. Tips: soon...