Your computer contains software and files that can be damaged in several different ways. One major source of damage is from malicious attacks that are delivered via the Internet.
- Some people create damaging programs called viruses specifically designed to get into your computer hard drive and destroy or scramble data.
- Companies might download adware on your computer, which causes pop-up ads to appear, slowing down your computer’s performance.
- Spyware is another form of malicious software that you might download by clicking a link or opening a file attachment. Spyware sits on your computer and tracks your activities, whether for use by a legitimate company in selling you products or by a criminal element to steal your identity.
Microsoft provides security features within Windows Vista that help to keep your computer and information safe, whether you’re at home or traveling with a laptop computer.
Some major concepts of computer security and Windows Vista security features allow you to do the following:
- Understand computer security and why you need it.
- Run periodic updates to Windows, which installs security solutions and patches. (Essentially, patches fix problems with the operating system.)
- Enable a firewall, which is a security feature that keeps your computer safe from outsiders and helps you avoid several kinds of attacks on your data.
- Work with Windows Defender, which is new in Windows Vista. Windows Defender is a built-in solution for managing all your security settings centrally.
- Set up Windows Defender to run automatically.
- Set up trusted websites so that Windows doesn’t display alerts when you try to go to those sites. Make settings so that sites you trust are displayed and sites you don’t trust are blocked.
- Protect your network with an encryption key.
- Discover how to use cellphones more safely.