Iowa Internet surfers, take note. Today (Wednesday) is National Computer Security Day. This annual observance reminds people to protect their computers, systems and data at home and at work.
Steve Moon, director of network services at the University of Northern Iowa, oversees a network of ten-thousand computers and servers. Moon says whether you’re surfing the ‘net or downloading things, all sorts of viruses and worms are being found that can be transmitted over the Internet — so be careful about what you download and who you trust.
He says nearly ten-million Americans were victims of identity theft last year with the on-line threat to personal computer systems and information continuing to grow. Moon says to never go on-line without having a good anti-virus program in place and running. He says most anti-virus software comes with some sort of automatic update so P-C users need to make sure that’s working or else it’s like locking the doors once and then never going back again to make sure they’re locked.
Moon says your O-S, or operating system, can also be a virus victim, if you’re not careful. Just like you keep the antivirus software up to date, you have to keep your O-S up to date too. Apple and Microsoft provide automated processes for doing that but the user usually has to initiate the process. Moon says computer users should be very aware of who they trust when sharing personal information, opening e-mail attachments and downloading programs from the Internet.
The best prevention, he says, is software maintenance. “Patch, patch and re-patch your operating system, important applications and anti-virus software.”