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Limit User Access
If you have more than one log-in account on your computer, or if it is networked to other computers in your home or business, you can protect your system by limiting system access. A child logging onto your computer with full access, for example, can be a conduit through which a hacker can install malware onto the PC, steal personal information or hijack the computer and use it as a botnet.
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One of the most effective ways to control access to your desktop computer is to keep local administrator control from children, employees or other people who may use the desktop computer. Creating a separate user account that does not have administrative privileges will allow them to use the computer without making it vulnerable to attack.
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Password Protect your System
Set a secure password for the local administrator account to control or prevent access to your PC with a great password.
- Be as random as possible when choosing your password. Furthermore, the longer your password is, the harder it is for a hacker (or hacker application) to crack it.
- Strengthen the password even more by combining numbers, letters (both uppercase and lowercase) and keyboard characters.
- Never leave this password blank, and only share it with a limited number of people if necessary.
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Using Internet filters such as parental control applications enables you to prevent your children or other users from accessing malicious websites that may harm your PC.
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Defend Against Malware
Viruses, spyware and other malware are some of the most serious threats to your computer. They can cause all manner of harm to your system, from erasing files on your hard drive, to literally hijacking and taking control of your system, turning it into a zombie.
It is essential to protect your computer from these outside threats. This is most effectively done using a reliable firewall, antivirus program and antispyware program.
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Backup your Data
You can replace your laptop and re-install your operating system, but data can be costly or impossible to recover. You can protect the data on your computer by routinely backing it up. This can be done using an external hard drive, removable hard drive bay, back up tape, or an online backup service. Applications such as Acronis True Image can also be used to back up your system.