Using an internet connection exposes your PC and your data to numerous risks. Therefore we strongly recommend that you take all the necessary precautions in order to protect your computer and your personal data.
RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS FOR SECURITY OF PC
- WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEMS
One of main safety measures is the use of an antivirus program, on the market there are many similar programs including some which are free. To choose a program there are various comparative websites, like for example http://www.av-comparatives.org/ in which tests results are published on a regular basis. Whichever antivirus you choose it is essential that you keep the virus definitions updated.
If you suspect that your PC is infected there are also many tools for scanning the computer online, a few of the more well-known ones are:
As well as using an antivirus software it is vital that you keep the operating system updated and the installed programs with all the security updates which are released by the respective producers.
We also suggest that you use a firewall: This type of software is available in many versions, also free ones, in the more recent versions of Windows there’s a basic firewall directly integrated in the operating system. On the internet you can find various comparative tests, we give you two examples, one in Italian and one in English:
Then there are the antispyware, with the purpose of detecting programs or cookies used for collecting information on your PC, on the visited websites and the programs which are used. A list of these types of programs is available at: http://www.spyware.it/removal.asp
Last of all many useful downloads and general information is available directly on the websites of Microsoft: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/security/it
- MAC OS X
You can use the Apple Security Configuration Guides at:
Given the large variety of Linux releases we are not able to provide one conclusive guide, however for each release you can find guides to download and communities of expert users you can exchange help and support with.
RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS FOR SECURITY OF DATA
As well as making your PC secure you need to pay attention to the security of your personal data. The main methods used by people with ill intent in order to gather personal data from the PC of unaware users are keyloggers and phishing.
As for the keyloggers these are programs which "listen" to all that is typed on the keyboard, including the passwords. This type of malicious software is found mainly on Windows systems and is dealt with using a suitable Antivirus software, as indicated above.
For phishing the problem is slightly different as usually the antivirus programs don’t protect you from it. Phishing consists in emails which request you to open fake websites which present themselves as websites of banks, post offices or similar organizations. Usually they ask you to type in your details for alleged maintenance work, to take advantage of special offers or other opportunities. The best defence in these cases is the caution of the user, as a general rule companies do not ask you to confirm or enter your personal details via email, for more information see the following article :
Another potential problem for the confidentiality of your personal details is brought by programs which are not configured correctly. Especially for file sharing programs you should pay attention as to which files/folders you share, separating in non-shared folders any files containing your personal data.