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The plan is vital, it's something to deviate from.
487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use a PC for a lot of both work and personal stuff - storing images, all my writing, doing my tax return, internet banking, buying things from the UK and abroad YD, e-mail and so on - and I run McAfee Security.

I was online over the weekend when I got a pop-up saying McAfee had blocked a file of some sort (It did say what but I didn't recognise the file type). I've had the PC and used it for almost a year now and this is the first time I've had that happen, and it made me wonder. I've already decided to buy an external hard-drive to back-up my personal files, but there's a lot of info on the computer I really wouldn't want used (National Insurance numbers, Bank records, address and so on). I never use the Remember Password function for anything like that, but.......

So here are my questions

First - is there anything else I can do to secure my PC?

Second - (And probably more important since the answer to my first question is almost certainly yes) is there anything it would be sensible to do? I've heard of hard drive washers and internet file shredders but honestly have no idea if what I've got is good enough or if these other things are hype or what?

Any advice welcome.

5,237 Posts
Personally I use anti virus AND a firewall. I try to run the anti virus program every now and then just to check that nothing has slipped under the wire - thankfully nothing ever has.

An external hard drive is a good idea. I have one and synchronise my data onto it. You might like to do this sort of thing immediately after the virus scan and leave the backup disconnected (or even at another location) when not in use.

Once I moved from a modem connected to the computer to a network hub (i.e. router) I found that the number of virus and hacker alerts went down a lot. The router is a hardware firewall and is much more effective than a software one.

So, in short I would carry on as you are but just make sure that you back up, run the anti-virus and keep the software (windows and the anti-virus and firewall) up to date.

Hope that helps.

Dive tart, just can't say no :-)
9,453 Posts

I agree with witchie, external hard drives are great, and it seems you are doing the right thing re passwords but the best thing I can suggest other than really uptodate AV software is a router, putting a genuine hardware firewall in place makes all the difference, and if you use a laptop and are wireless this becomes even more important. If wireless make sure you have good strong password on it, so that your neighbours and anyone passing in the road can't use it.

Something you may not be aware of is that if someone parks up outside your house they can listen in to your key strokes and upload and download a great deal of stuff including kiddie porn and it would look as if it had been you. They could conceivably also steal your credit card details if they were watching while you bought something online.

If in doubt go and talk to your local PC supplier, they will set you up for not a lot of money.

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