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Computer Protection on the Home Front
As with your business, the easiest and least costly steps you can take to safeguard personal data and records involve three simple parts.
As with your business, the easiest and least costly steps you can take to safeguard personal data and records involve three simple parts. Costs are minimal, and the potential return on investment is extraordinary.
Backup: Depending on how often you update home records, weekly backup is probably sufficient for most computer owners. One computer-using family member should be made responsible for backing up computer-generated data on a regular basis. One convenient option is the Iomega Zip Drive. Whether built into your computer or purchased as a portable unit, this magnetic storage system can be used for easy ongoing backup (www.iomega.com).
Firewall: One purpose of a firewall is to protect the information contained in an Internet-connected computer against external threats such as those posed by hackers. One program that can be easily downloaded and configured is ZoneAlarm Pro by Zone Labs Inc. (www.zonelabs.com).
Anti-virus: While some firewall programs might also stop viruses attached to e-mails, your final line of defense should be an anti-virus program. Two of the more popular programs are VirusScan (www.mcafee.com) and Norton AntiVirus (www.symantec.com). Both programs scan and clean incoming e-mail and attachments, and include automatic Internet updates.
Some manufacturers offer multiple defenses (firewall and anti-virus protection) and varying degrees of protection. Be sure to compare specifications and prices before purchasing.