Tuesday, December 25, 2012

5 important tips for make total security of your computer



Computer security is one of the most important issues in the computer world. Almost computer users are thinking about their security of computer as computer is a source of their important data and as well their personal data. Users who use internet including any network are thinking about computer security more because any kind of thread and attack can make dangerous harm of their computer and also risk personal as well as economical matter. With the number of viruses and other malicious software that prey on exploits in the Windows operating system increasing, you need to take preventative measures to make sure that your computer does not become infected. Every computer user should keep their computer protected and increase security.

Today I want to share on how you can ensure a hard security of personal computer.


1. Controlling access to your computer
Secure your computer is to reinforce the main entry point, the logon. If you have no password on your account and have a computer that is not protected by a firewall and other devices, then you are at huge risk of being attacked. Managing user accounts is very important with Windows XP because the accounts are the keys into the system.
Assign a password and rename the guest account: Windows XP includes a guest account that is disabled by default. However, at some time, this account may be enabled by an application. If you have Windows XP Professional, I recommend that you disable this account using the old Windows 2000 Local User and Group application. Just in case it becomes enabled again, I recommend that you rename the guest account and also assign it a password. Follow these steps to disable the guest account:
1) Click the Start button and select Run.
2) Key in lusrmgr.msc and click OK.
3) The Local User and Group application will launch. Right-click the Guest account and select Set Password.
4) You will be prompted with a warning screen. Just click Proceed.
5) Type a complex password in both boxes and click OK.
6) The password has now been set. Next, rename the account by right-clicking it and selecting Rename.
7) Type in a new name, such as Disabled, and click Enter to save the changes. The vulnerable guest account is now less of a problem.

Clearing the last user logged on: If you are using the classic logon screen, every time a user logs into your computer, their username is stored, and that name is displayed the next time the classic logon screen is displayed. Knowing a user’s username is half the battle of breaking into a computer. If you have sensitive information on your computer, I suggest that you follow these instructions to hide the last user logged on-

1) Start up the Registry Editor again by clicking the Start Menu and selecting Run. Then type regedit in the box and click OK.
2) Navigate through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE >  SOFTWARE >  Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > policies > system. Locate the “dontdisplaylastusername” entry.
3) Right-click the entry and select Modify. Then type in a 1 to activate the feature. Click OK, and you are finished. If you ever want to reverse this hack, just repeat the instructions above and replace the 1 with a 0 for the value of dontdisplaylastusername.

Disable and rename the Administrator account: The Administrator account is the most important account on the computer. Users should not be using the computer under the Administrator account. I like to disable my Administrator account and rename it, so that anyone trying to get in with that account and at that privilege level will not be able to. To disable the account, perform the following steps-

1) Click the Start button and select Run.
2) Type lusrmgr.msc and click OK.

3) When you have the Local User and Group application on your screen, just right-click the Administrator entry and select Rename. Give your administrator account a new name, such as admin123.
4) Next, disable the account by right-clicking the entry and selecting Properties.
5) Check the Account Is Disabled box.
6) Click OK to save your changes.

Make sure every account on your computer has a complex password: All of the accounts on your computer should have a complex password associated with them if your computer is ever exposed to the Internet. Passwords such as easy-to-remember words and key combinations like “asdf” are not good. A complex password is a password that is at least seven characters long and consists of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers or other symbols. Ftm3D8& is an example of a complex password. Something like that is impossible to guess and will take quite some time for a brute-force technique to crack. Using complex passwords on all of your accounts might not be easy at first, but after a while they will grow on you and you will have no problem remembering them.


2. Protecting from vulnerable your system
Our computers are a vault of important information. You could have sensitive data on your computer that you do not want the whole world to see. Data such as family photos, personal documents, and financial information can be found on almost everyone’s computer. If a virus or an attacker connected to your computer remotely and gained access, that intruder could wipe out years of work and memories as well as steal sensitive personal information. Ports are the gateways inside your computer. When a computer program wants to communicate with a remote computer, it makes a connection to the remote computer with a port, with which it can then talk to the computer. Each computer has thousands of ports-65,535 to be exact. The different ports of a computer can be thought of as a bunch of different mailboxes. When a program wants to send data to a remote computer, it sends it to a specific port (mailbox) number. Then, provided that a program is on the remote computer that is set up to receive data at a particular port (mailbox), the remote computer can then work with the data that it was sent.

To give you an idea of how open your computer really is to the outside world, I recommend that you use one of the various online security screening tests that attempt to probe your computer to find weaknesses. The following is a list of sites that I feel does a good job of letting you know how open your computer really is-

_ Symantec Security Check: http://security.symantec.com
_ Sygate Online Services: http://scan.sygate.com/
_ Gibson Research Shields Up: www.grc.com
_ DSL Reports: www.dslreports.com/scan

Visit a few of these sites and follow their directions to scan your computer. You will be presented with a report that shows you the open doors that they found.

3. Keep your system updated
Automatic updates: In order to keep your machine secure and free of the latest exploits, you must update your computer regularly. Visiting the Windows Update Web site (www.WindowsUpdate.com) once every few months is not going to result in a secure, up-to-date computer. Microsoft releases security updates monthly and emergency security updates whenever they are needed. The only way to stay on top of these updates is to check Windows Update daily, subscribe to the Microsoft Security Newsletter, or enable Automatic Update-

1) Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop or in the Start Menu and select Properties.
2) Select Automatic Update tab.
3) Check in a box on how you want to update your system.

4. Use firewall
A firewall is a special application that acts like a brick wall that is protecting all of the ports on your computer. When a remote computer attempts to access a computer on which a firewall has been installed, which is blocking the port on which the remote machine is trying to connect, it will not be able to connect and the data that was sent will be ignored and discarded.

Enabling the Windows firewall: Windows XP has included a firewall specifically Internet Connection Firewall (IFC) software since the product was first shipped. Although the firewall has not been turned on by default, it has always been there. The original firewall was a basic one-way firewall that would block incoming traffic from the Web. One feature allowed users to open up ports so that they could still use remote applications. This way, a user could protect all of the ports on the computer except one or two that they had set to remain open so that they could use a program such as remote desktop to connect to their computer from a different location. The new version of the firewall included as part of Service Pack 2 has a bunch of new features that makes use of a firewall even easier while the protection it provides your computer remains the same.
If you want to use the built-in firewall to protect your computer, just follow these steps to enable it-

1) Click Start button and select Run. Type firewall.cpl and click OK.
2) When the Windows Firewall settings window loads, just select “On” and click OK to save your changes.
3) Click OK once more to save the settings for adapter, and the firewall will be activated. Now that you have the firewall set up, try using all of your common Internet applications. If you find that some of them do not work, then you can configure the firewall to allow them to pass through the firewall so that they can still be useful.

Configuring the Windows firewall: Configuring the firewall to allow certain programs to work through it is not always the best thing to do. Because it will expose your computer more to the outside world and increase your risk of getting infected with something. However, in the short term or for an application that you must use, you can make it work through the firewall. In the original version of the firewall, the only possibility was to specify a port number to open. Now, it is much easier to make an application work though the firewall. Instead of typing in a port number, users can just select the program on their computer that they want to have accessed through the firewall. Using the new feature to open up holes in the firewall is pretty cool. Follow these steps to open up the firewall for a specific application-

1) Open up Network Connections again by clicking the Start Menu and selecting Run. Then, type firewall.cpl and click OK.
2) When the Windows Firewall settings window loads, click the Exceptions tab.
3) You'll see a list of all of the different exceptions that are currently enabled, as signified by the check in the box. By default, a few applications will be enabled. I recommend that you uncheck all of the entries unless you use them. If not, then you are just taking an unnecessary risk by leaving those doors open.
4) If you want to add an application to the exception list so that it will be able to accept connections and data from the outside world, such as an Instant Message program that wants to receive files from other users, just click the Add Program button.
5) Select the name of the program from the list or click the Browse button on the Add a Program window to select the executable of the application that you want to open to the world.
6) When you are finished selecting the program that you want to be able to access through the firewall, click OK and it will appear on the list.
7) Now that the program is on the list, just check the box next to the name to open up the firewall for the application.
8) Click OK to activate your new firewall settings

5. Disabling Unneeded Services
Disabling Remote Desktop connection: The Remote Desktop feature of Windows XP is a great way to be able to access your computer when you are away from the office or home. However, if you have poor computer security, the Remote Desktop also is a great way for anyone to be able to access and control your whole computer. Remote Desktop is a very risky application to leave exposed to the world. Its security relies solely on your account password, which for most users is easy to guess. If you do not use Remote Desktop, then it would be a good idea to disable the feature. Doing so is a snap. Just follow these steps to turn it off-

1) Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop or in the Start Menu and select Properties.
2) Click the Remote tab to expose the remote access settings.
3) Next, uncheck the box under Remote Assistance.

4) Uncheck the box under Remote Desktop as well.
5) Click OK to save your changes.
When Remote Desktop connections are disabled, you have one less thing to worry about— namely, someone having the ability to break into your computer.

Disabling Messenger Service: Microsoft has included a service in the last few versions of Windows that allows system administrators to send pop-up messages to all computers on a local network. This service can be an invaluable resource for administrators who want to get the word out about some upcoming server maintenance. Unfortunately, the Messenger Service has been abused. Just because any user can send messages to the entire workgroup doesn’t mean that she or he should. This capability is sometimes not a good thing. Users that are part of large local area network, such as just about every Internet user, can send out a mass message to all users in the same subnet. As you can imagine, some users that know how to use the service have started to abuse it by sending spam to all the users in their same subnet. Nowadays, you may get spam not only in your inbox but also in a pop-up window that could appear at any time. The Messenger Service, just like any other service or program that is accessible to the outside world, increases your security risk. Although there is currently not an exploit for the Messenger Service that allows remote users to execute commands on your computer, who knows what the future will hold? To be safe, it is best to just disable this service. You will also be cutting down on a new type of spam. Disabling the Messenger Service can be done by using the Service Manager. Follow these steps to get started-

1) Click the Start button and select Run.
2) Type services.msc in the box and click Ok.

3) The Services Manager will load. Scroll though the list and right-click Messenger and select Properties.
4) Change the Startup Type to Disabled.
5) Click the Stop button and then click OK to save your changes. Now the Messenger Service is one less thing to worry about.

Disabling Universal Plug and Play: Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is kind of like an expanded version of the old Plug and Play hardware support. Universal Plug and Play can not only detect local devices such as hardware (the original version), but it can also detect external hardware such as printers across the network or other PCs’ shared drives. It gives you the ability to easily add and control devices such as a printer across your local network, an MP3 player, a television, lighting devices, and so on. Universal Plug and Play can be thought of as a way to make all of the different electronic devices in your home, or local network, work together. However, there are very few devices, other than remote printers and file shares that take advantage of the new protocol. Universal Plug and Play will play a big role in our computing lives in the future, but not yet. Universal Plug and Play also presents a security risk for your computer. It continuously scans your local network, which could be a network that is open to the world, for new devices and negotiates new connections. Just as with the Messenger service, with Universal Plug and Play the surface exposure of your computer is increased, which increases the risk that your computer could become attacked and infected. Unlike with the Messenger Service, with Universal Plug and Play a flaw has been found in the service and has already been exploited. Microsoft was forced to release a critical security patch to fix Universal Plug and Play so that user’s computers would no longer be vulnerable. Because there are almost no devices that use Universal Plug and Play currently available on the market, and it also presents a security risk, it is a good idea to just disable the new protocol for now because 99.9 percent of you have absolutely no use for it. Disabling UPnP is not a hard task. Just follow these steps to disable the service with a nifty utility, called UnPlug n’ Pray, by Gibson Research:

1) Visit www.grc.com/unpnp/unpnp.htm and download a copy of UnPlug n’ Pray.
2) Start up the utility and click Disable UPnP.
3) Click the Exit button, and you are done.

Using the utility by Gibson Research is much easier than going back to the Service Manager and disabling the service. Moreover, if you ever find that you need to use Universal Plug and Play, you can just run the utility again and click Enable UPnP and the service will be restored.

Disable DCOM support: The Distributed Component Object Model, or DCOM, is yet another feature that was built into Windows that has caused a great deal of problems. Sure, it provides an acceptable programming interface for programmers who are trying to write network apps, but there are better ways to do that than to use a DCOM. DCOM has presented quite a few problems in terms of security. Exploits have been discovered for it that has allowed an Internet worm to spread to hundreds of thousands of Windows machines worldwide. Additionally, a very small number of applications actually use DCOM. In all of my computing experience, I have only seen one application that used DCOM, and that was an inventory and store management software suite. Home and professional PC users probably will never even use an application that uses DCOM. So why is it on your computer? DCOM was one of Microsoft’s attempts to please software developers. However, this attempt has clearly failed, and yet they still include it. The only thing that it has given to operating systems such as Windows XP is headlines in the newspapers about how some worm exploited it and has now infected thousands of PCs. Disabling the Distributed Component Object Model is a good idea for most computing users. That is, it is for everybody except the rare few who actually have an application that the developers wrote using DCOM. To shut down DCOM and increase the security of your computer, follow these steps-

Disabling Remote Registry Access: As already mentioned, the System Registry is one of the most important parts of the operating system. It’s where all of the system settings and configuration data is stored. If you do not know what you are doing and you just start editing entries found in the System Registry, you can render your computer useless. So, protecting your computer’s registry is very important. Included with Windows XP Professional (not Windows XP Home) is a service that allows users with administrative privileges to connect your computer’s registry and edit it. Having this service enabled and running is just way too big a security risk. The vast majority of computer users have little or no use for this service. Why would you even want to give anyone a chance at trying to break into one of the most critical parts of the operating system? Disabling this service is a snap. Just follow these steps-

1) Click the Start button and select Run.
2) Type services.msc in the box and click OK to launch the services manager.
3) Scroll through the list and right-click and select Properties on the Remote Registry entry.
4) Set the Startup Type as Disable and click the Stop button.
5) Click OK to close and save your changes.

Now you have knocked off yet another unneeded service from your computer.