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Chapter 12. Connecting to the Internet > Securing Your Computer

Securing Your Computer

Computer security is no longer an afterthought, and a four-pronged defense will protect you from most attacks:

Firewall. A firewall is a secure boundary between your computer (or network) and the internet, protecting you against external threats such as crackers and malicious programs.

Software updates. Automatic Updates, a Control Panel program, monitors the Microsoft web site for new security patches, updates, bug fixes, and hardware drivers, which it downloads and installs promptly.

Antivirus software. An antivirus program searches hard drives and monitors downloaded files and email attachments for viruses, and then removes any viruses it finds. Most antivirus programs include an auto-update feature to counter emerging threats.

Antispyware software. An antispyware program, like an antivirus program, scours your hard drive for spyware and removes it.

Service Pack 2 adds a new Control Panel program named Security Center, which monitors the status of your firewall, software updates, and antivirus software. You’ll have to handle the antispyware software on your own.


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