some basic precautions to protect against hackers.
Goto windowsupdate.microsoft.com at least once a week and install all critical patches.
Run an antivirus program at least once a week. Update your virus signature files every time you use it.
Use a firewall such as Zone Alarm. (Some firewalls have had major security problems. Be sure you have the latest update)
Check your computer for trojans by clicking on: http://security.symantec.com http://www.trojanscan.com
Don't click on email attachments.
Don't install Napster, Kazaa, ChainCast, or any software from an unknown source. The former will turn your computer into a server and the latter may contain trojans and viruses.
Turn off sharing, especially on your C:\ and D:\ drive. This is very dangerous! If you must share a disk, make sure it requires a password. Otherwise, anyone in the Internet can use your computer to back up their files without your knowledge. Never share any folder without a password.
Put a good password XXXXX your PC. If you have a password XXXXX your PC that is easy to guess, your computer can be easily taken over by hackers.
A bad password XXXXX be things like 'password', '12345', your name, license plate number, or any word that could be found in an English dictionary or a dictionary in your native language.
Report any network slowness or strange computer behavior so it can be checked by me (if it's a network problem) or Brad (if it's a Windows or Mac problem).
Windows PCs with static IP numbers are especially easy targets. You should always set "Obtain an IP address automatically" in Windows unless you are running a server and you are knowledgeable in computer security.
These are some more tips:
Please give your computer a sensible name. If we can't find your computer when it causes a problem, the only way to fix it is by unplugging it from the network.
Don't store files in the /tmp directory on the servers (engram or protein). They are not safe there! If someone else gets a virus, their computer can put copies of the virus on the shared disk, mixed in with your files. The server cannot be infected by these viruses, but your PC could. Keep your backups in your home directory where they are safe and private.
If you use Windows 2000 or NT, activate auditing of all system events, especially failures. This will you help discover how the hacker obtained access. Without this knowledge, it will be difficult to know what to change when you reinstall your operating system. Be sure to scan through the logs occasionally for unusual activity.
Avoid executable content in web pages and email. Disable ActiveX. You can check your Internet Explorer installation for Active X security problems at this web site: http://www.tiac.net/users/smiths/acctroj/axcheck.htm
Disable automatic execution of Macros in Office programs (Word, Excel, etc).
Use SSH in preference to telnet. You can replace it with the freeware TeraTerm client with the SSH plugin.
Unbind the unneeded network settings in Windows. This is easy to do, and will greatly increase your security. Follow the instructions at http://grc.com/su-rebinding9x.htm
If a hacker gets on your computer, or you discover a trojan on your computer and suspect it is being actively exploited, unplug it from the network immediately and ask for assistance. Don't delete any files. We may need to check them to find out how the attacker got into your system.
If your computer has been compromised by a trojan or an intruder, it cannot be repaired by removing the foreign software. There are dozens of different ways for a hacker to regain access, despite our firewall, that are impossible for any scanning software to find. The only way to repair your computer is to reformat your disk and reinstall the operating system. Until you do this, your computer is a threat to every one else's computer.