Many of us think that just ensuring that installing an antivirus is enough to secure computer networks. “But I have an antivirus installed”, System administrators must have surely heard this answer from their clients. But other than just having an antivirus installed you need to follow certain discipline while browsing internet.
We will discuss the steps needed to be taken to secure computer networks.
Checklist to secure standalone Computers:
- Don’t use administrator account for browsing internet. Virus takes control of the account you are logged into while browsing. So if administrator account is compromised, your system can be controlled by the virus.
- Do not use cracked software. Cracked or illegally downloaded software may carry key loggers or any such kind of spyware and malware that can be harmful to your system.
- Firewalls are protection against intrusion attempt. Don’t just open them for any programs asking your permission without understanding.
- Secure your administrator account with a password that you will remember. By any chance if your pc is affected by virus you could take control by logging through the administrator account.
- If you land on a website which flashes a banner of a virus on your pc or registry cleaner and a free removal tool don’t fall prey to it. Have faith in your locally installed antivirus. Don’t install any such applications. They may lead you to scareware.
- Keep your antivirus updated with the latest definitions.
- Be extra careful while downloading torrents. Take a preview of the files contained in the torrent. Do some rating check and go through the comments of the users who have already downloaded the torrent. Torrents are easy ways of transporting virus, spyware and malware.
Additional checklist for Network Administrators to Secure Computer Networks:
- Create stringent Group Policies. Computer systems in offices are to be used for official work only. If systems are exposed to virus, there are chances of your sensitive data falling in hands of your rival companies.
- Users need to be barred access to social networking or any other websites that are officially not necessary.
- Group policies help in creating sophisticated networks so efforts need to be taken to create efficient group policies.
- Take regular backups of your data on an external auto backup drive. It helps in case of crashes.
- Users should not be given privilege of changing firewall and antivirus settings to secure computer networks.
We will discuss about creating accounts and designing group policies in details in our further articles.