05 Mar 2013

Tech Tip: Keep your Computer Safe and Secure

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Tech Tip:

Keep your Computer Safe and Secure

Install Recommended Software Patches and Upgrade your Anti-Virus software

Being connected to the Internet and browsing various websites is a common activity that we engage in. What most people don’t know is that banner ads displayed on websites are one of the most common ways that hackers use to distribute viruses to computers. These ads may be displayed on reputable websites; however, the ad servers (where the ads are hosted) may not be as secure and hackers use those vulnerabilities to send harmful viruses to your computer.

So what should you do? According to BMS Lead Hardware Support Technician, Robert Keonig, the best strategy is to patch vulnerabilities in your software and to make sure that you have the best anti-virus software available. “Hackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit loop holes in the code for system software (Microsoft Windows) and web browsers like Internet Explorer as well as some fundamental software programs that make your web browsing experience more robust such as Java, Silverlight, Flash, Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. As such, the companies that make that software are always sending out patches to close up those loopholes. Everyone should make sure to install these patches right away because once a hacker finds a loophole, there will be whole slew of other hackers who will also use that loophole to send viruses to your computer.”

The other step in protecting your computer is to upgrade to the best Anti-Virus software available. Many clients mistakingly think that anti-virus software will protect their computers from every computer virus out there—that just is not true. New viruses turn up every hour. The role of the anti-virus is to protect your computer from known viruses—they can’t protect you from viruses that they don’t know about yet; however, using the best anti-virus software and updating its virus database on a regular basis will help catch more of the viruses than using an older anti-virus program that hasn’t been updated in months (or years). BMS is committed to helping our clients keep their computers secure and virus free. We performed an audit of leading anti-virus software providers and analyzed them on a wide range of criteria. From this audit, we selected ESET Endpoint Antivirus as the anti-virus software platform to help protect BMS computers from viruses and other malware.

ESET vs Symantec and Microsoft

The BMS Hardware Support Team will be contacting trustee offices across the country in the near future to schedule appointments to upgrade the anti-virus software on all BMS-issued computers to ESET Endpoint Antivirus. In order to reduce your chances of getting computer viruses, remember to install software patches as they become available for:
  • Microsoft System Updates
  • Web Browsers
  • Java
  • Silverlight
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Acrobat (or Adobe Reader)
  • Anti-Virus Software Databases

If you have any questions about how to protect your computer from viruses, please contact the BMS Support Center via email or call 800-634-7734 ext. 6.