RSS TECHNOLOGIES - Wooster, OH 44691 Serving Small Business  

RSS Technologies
Wooster, Ohio
(330) 204-1742
San Antonio, Texas
(210) 999-7566
  Security 101

Security Guidelines
Where do I start? Security 101, a lesson in basic recommended security practices
I am ready to go online, what next?
Taking a pro-active stance: Assessing your system vulnerability and shoring up the defenses.
Best Practices: Following these basic steps can greatly reduce your chance of being compromised and can reduce unexpected and unwanted expenditures. Steps 1-5
Best Practices: Steps 6-10

Security 101 Continued - A Pro-Active Stance
A Pro-Active Stance
Once you have established a connection to the Internet, you have effectively marked your computer or network as a target. This is precisely why we have recommended the steps set forth in the two previous articles, 'Where do I start?' and 'Going Online'. These precautions are not born out of excess paranoia; they are a matter of fact!

Without your knowledge, you may be a victim or an unwilling accomplice in some form of cyber assault. The following steps are intended to test your system against such a possibility. Remember, nothing is absolute, the problems are complex and we are just touching upon the minimum required basics every PC user should routinely follow or have in place. (NOTE: If you are a business user, your security concerns require a much higher level of review; please contact RSS Technologies for a Vulnerability Assessment.)

First Things First
Now that you have updated your Windows software, activated an antivirus program and firewall solution, it is time to test your system for some common areas of threat. There are a number of sites which offer various online diagnostic tools. We have chosen three sites we trust and have consistently provided dependable results.

  • PC Pitstop - The advantage of PC Pitstop is the capability to 'benchmark' your computer against a large database of visitors, record your results and compare that performance record against a newer test in the future. PC Pitstop also checks for some common security risks in Internet Explorer, Active X and Outlook Express. The site also has an on-line Anti-Virus scanner as well as other performance tools. Good site for information.

  • Gibson Research Corporation - This site offers a great deal of information, freeware and tools. For our purposes, we are interested in the Shields Up portion of the site. Navigate to the Shields Up page and from the menu run the File Sharing - Common Ports - All Service Ports - Messenger Spam tests. Ideally, all tested ports should be found to be in a STEALTH state. If any ports are found to be OPEN then your firewall solution is not working properly or may not be appropriately configured. Make note of the results and correct any problems found.

  • Trend Micro Housecall - Though you have equipped your PC with Anti-Virus software, no single program should be considered as absolute. It is a good practice to use a secondary virus check on a regular basis. We recommend Trend Micro Housecall, a free online virus scan. You can also access the scanner from our site here.
    Important! To avoid conflicts, please temporarily disable any active background virus checking software before scanning so as not to cause conflict or return erroneous results. (Consult your Anti-Virus programs documentation for the proper procedure to turn off active background or real-time testing. After the scan is completed, remember to re-enable your software.)

If you have any questions that need immediate resolution, please feel free to contact us via email or use our online form.

Tool Box

Business Security - From Dept. of Homeland Security
Stay Safe Online - National Cyber Security Alliance
Federal Trade Commission - Consumers and businesses information about computer security and safeguarding personal information
Visit our on-line tutorial
Security 101: A guide to proper security practices for all PC users.
Order (free of charge) the Windows XP Service Pack 2 CD. Update your PC to ensure the most up to date security.
Microsoft Security Guidance Kit. Tools, templates, roadmaps and how-to guides in addition to Microsoft's prescriptive security guidance. The most current information can be found at the Microsoft Security Guidance page.

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