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Internet Security in a Nutshell

Use of the Internet is booming. Unbelievable amounts of information is stored and shared, all thanks to the World Wide Web. It is truly an internet age. You can buy your cloths, stocks, automobiles, groceries or even car insurance online with the click of a mouse. Banking has gone online as well as almost every bank in the United States of America offers online banking. There is more email sent everyday than there are letters.

And with all this sharing of information comes more opportunities for hackers to ruin your computer simply for their enjoyment. Below are 3 ways to protect yourself from all the malicious viruses, worms, advertisements and more on the internet. Anti-Virus Software.

This is the most important part of your defense against hackers. Anti-virus software must be updated as often as possible as more than 500 new viruses and worms are written each month. Anti-virus software scans your entire hard drive including your registry and checks for virus signatures such as file name, file size, file type and file behavior.

It can eliminate and disarm viruses that have already taken a hold of your system and eradicate those that are lying dormant. Most of the current anti-virus software also automatically scans your email for malicious email attachments. Firewall. A firewall is just what it sounds like, a "wall" between your internet connection and your computer. It makes certain every outside connection your computer makes is authorized.

If you have a high speed broadband connection, a firewall is a must. Most Windows XP systems have a built in firewall that you can simply enable (check Microsoft's help files if you don't know how) but if you're looking for more protection but don't want to pay, simply download Zone Alarm's free firewall. Firewall software may take awhile to configure and be complicated, but it is worth it in the long run. Pop Up Blocker. Pop up blockers make sure that no annoying advertisements keep "popping up" on your screen. These pop ups may install malicious adware on your computer and significantly slow down your internet speeds.

Free pop up blockers are available from Google, Yahoo, and are built into Mozilla's Firefox free browser.

S. Stammberger is editor of Security Profs. Her website offers an introduction to internet security using personal firewalls, anti-virus and information on a variety of internet security issues.



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