Many of us are considering the most effective technology investments that we can make to keep our systems happy and ensure optimal productivity in 2009. In previous post, I mentioned some free or nearly free items which have tremendous value.
Proper security on a PC or network begins with a firewall. Firewalls are designed to keep unauthorized or harmful network traffic outside a network or computer system. A good online port scanner, ShieldsUP!, which can be used to test for potentially dangerous ports (openings) on a computer system, can be found here. To use the scanner, first click the ‘Proceed’ button, then select to scan for ‘File Sharing’ or ‘Common Ports’. Result for individual ports indicating Stealth or Closed are generally good, while Open ports may warrant further attention. Please reply to this post or contact Grundig Consulting if you have any questions about deciphering the results. If there is a router installed between your cable or DSL modem and your computer, very few open ports should be available, as the router is probably acting as a firewall. Additional firewall locations are within an installed security software suite or in Windows Firewall.
Proper virus scanning software is important. For home users, an excellent, free anti-virus application, AVG Free Edition, can be downloaded and installed from download.com. Installation and configuration is pretty straightforward. Business users should download and install the pay version of AVG anti-virus. Licenses can be purchased and discounts are available for 5-user, 10-user or larger quantities. Again with any questions, please reply to this post or contact Grundig Consulting or your IT specialist.
Backup of all important files should be made daily or at least weekly to a using a remote backup service or to an external hard drive, or both. Free backup service from Mozy.com is available. Unlimited backup is available for $4.95 / month. The free backup from Mozy allows up to 2GB free to be backed up from your workstation to a secure offsite location (2 gb is about the same size as a single, large Outlook email file.) Therefore, it’s best for backing up your email (Outlook or other) and financial data (Quickbooks, Quicken or other) in one fell swoop. Additional data files, such as Word Documents, Excel spreadsheets or similar can be added to the backup if there is space, which is often the case. Images and video take up lots of drive space, by comparison, and I recommend to backup these files locally to an external hard drive or similar device or if the $4.95, unlimited backup version of Mozy online backup is used.