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Wilfrid Laurier University Information and Communication Technologies
October 4, 2015

Canadian Excellence

Protect Your Computer

There are three recommended precautions to take to protect your computer :
  1. Firewall software
  2. Antivirus software
  3. Disable File & Print Sharing

What is Firewall Software?

If your computer is connected to the Internet and is not running any kind of Firewall, your computer is open to various kinds of attacks from other people on the Internet. A Firewall can provide your computer protection from someone accessing your computer and or using the information on it.

Firewall software will not provide 100% security but it will seriously hamper efforts of any individual to compromise your computerís security and access your data and personal information.

How to enable a Firewall on a computer running the XP operating system

Microsoft - Firewall Information

What is Antivirus software?

Viruses are small programs that can cause significant damage to the data on your computer. Viruses can be spread via media such as disks, malicious web sites, and emails. They can compromise the integrity of your data and can also open your computer up to individuals who may use your computer for Denial of Service attacks.

Antivirus software searches for and detects viruses and attempts to remove them before damage has been done. Most Antivirus software will check files before you use them - which can be important for downloaded or emailed files.

Why should I disable File and Print Sharing on my computer?

If you have File and Print Sharing enabled on your computer; you have effectively left the doors open to your computer for people to access your files and printers. Unless you need to share files with other people, it is recommended to switch this feature off. Even if you do need to share files with other people it is recommended to switch this feature off - send them the file via email, or give it to them on disk.

How to disable File and Print sharing in Windows XP

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Network Connections.†
  3. Right click on your LAN Connection and choose properties. Check if File and Print Sharing is listed in the network components list, if it is checked, uncheck it.
  4. Click OK, and then restart the computer if and when you are prompted to do so.

Note: The best way to protect your computer when you are not using it, is to switch it off.