Safety Tips

By Matthew Sarrel  |  Posted 2002-11-19 Print this article Print

Safety Tips

1. Dont share. Turn off file sharing and printer sharing if you dont need them. If you must turn them on, dont share with anyone outside your network, and never allow anonymous shares.

2. Download updates. Get all the security and firmware updates for your os, firewalls, device drivers, and software applications.

3. Use common sense when downloading files. Watch out for files that end in exe, bat, vbs, and com.

4. Dont open e-mail attachments from strangers. Also, be suspicious of attachments from people you do know. If an attachment seems out of character, check with the sender before opening.

5. When in doubt, deny. When setting firewall rules, if youre not sure about a file trying to access the Internet, do some research before letting it in. A search on Google can give you some idea of what the file does.

6. Know your network. If you know the IP address ranges your network uses, youll recognize when an outsider is trying to worm in.

7. Scan yourself. To see what hackers can see, test your vulnerabilities with a free tool like Gibson Researchs ShieldsUP! (

8. If you dont need it, disable it. Turn off services you dont need, such as http, ftp, telnet, and any personal Web server.

9. Protect your passwords. Create strong passwords, and if anyone can get access to your PC, disable password management in your browser (see for more information).

Matthew Sarrel Matthew D. Sarrel, CISSP, is a network security,product development, and technical marketingconsultant based in New York City. He is also a gamereviewer and technical writer. To read his opinions on games please browse and for more general information on Matt, please see

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