Security is on my mind today. Cars, homes, money, valuables, and of course loved ones: we all do our best to keep them secure.  We also spend time and money securing our computers, both at work and at home, but to what benefit?

Last month we read of Briton Gary Mckinnon who for ten years fought extradition to the US to stand trial, accused of hacking into some of the most secure computers in the world, including the Pentagon and Nasa; all from the comfort of his north London bedroom. Described by American authorities as the “biggest military computer hack of all time”, Mckinnon’s defence was that he was looking for UFO’s. The great news for Mckinnon and his supporters was that Teresa May ruled that the government would quash any attempt to force his extradition.

Now I can see the case for both sides of the argument, but the one detail it has raised for me is that if Mckinnon can hack into supposedly one of the most secure systems in the world: what chance us the home PC user?  

Well for starters I’d recommend installing a top class firewall. Here at Comms I’m pleased to say that we stock some of the very best firewalls. Any one of these is sure to keep your network safe. Teaching you to suck eggs time but once a computer is connected to the internet it can then find and connect to other computers, a firewall will aid in prevention of this. A good firewall will be your own personal bodyguard, insuring that only people with their name of the guest list can enter! Just think of the amount of information that is stored on your PC: a host of saved passwords; possible bank details and finance details; personal details and information of all which we don’t want those pesky interlopers to connect with!

The internet is a great place, and I for one couldn’t imagine life without it, but there is always a caveat! Things that we enjoy can also have a downside. The internet is a scary place, a choppy sea with plenty of ships chartered by pirates. And the first line of defence against these criminals is the essential firewall; sitting between your computer and the internet, the firewall will restrict access to only the information you’ve asked for. Of course there are a myriad of further moves in which you need to take to insure a complete piece of mind with your PC but you must make sure that your firewall is switched on at all times. Nowadays Windows and the like offer free firewall options and these work fine for the home PC but  it is also worth a thought to installing a hardware firewall for that added protection.

It all sounds a little serious I know but all easy enough to set up and goes someway to making you feel safe. So without wishing to steal the Crime Watch catch line, “Don’t have nightmares, do sleep well”   

Until next time