Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Active Security Tips
Watch Out for the Internet Explorer Plug-Ins You Install
Internet Explorer plug-ins are notorious for bundling all sorts of extra junk
along with the application, especially those by websites that offer some free
application. There is usually a reason why the application is free. Companies
are in business to make money and when they give away software, they often
get paid for bundling additional software with their offering. This is how you
can end up with a bunch of new applications popping up on your computer
when you thought you installed only one.
Most of the more popular websites are a little more forthcoming about what
extra junk they are going to install on your computer. You can find out if they
are going to install any other applications by reading the user agreement and
by paying attention to the installation options. Checkboxes usually enable you
to prevent other applications from being installed. If you are visiting a
lesserknown website or a website that may have illegal or adult content, I highly
recommend not installing any plug-ins unless you do research and can verify
it is a legitimate plug-in.
If You Didn’t Start It, Be Cautious
If you are using your computer and you are hit with a surprise User Account
Control pop-up, be very cautious about clicking Continue and allowing the request
to be granted. For example, say you are typing a document and all of a sudden
User Account Control wants you to approve a system change. This may be a big
indication that your computer is infected with some sort of malware or virus
that is trying to change your system settings. I recommend doing a full system
virus and malware scan immediately to make sure that your computer is clean.
Secure Your Network Connection
One of the best ways to secure your computer is to place it behind a firewall or
a router device that protects it from malicious Internet traffic. By blocking the
public access to your internal network or wide open access to your computer,
you can kill the potential for certain types of direct attacks.
In the next chapter I show in greater detail how you can use firewalls to
protect your computer.
Protect Your Accounts
Your account is safe only as long as no one has or can guess your password.
Make sure that you have a password on all your accounts and never write it
down. The next section helps you secure your computer accounts and pick
 
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