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Ten tips for safe computing on a public LAN

Before your remote users connect to a public LAN, be sure you've taken these security precautions.

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There may be times when your remote users need to connect to a public LAN. Here is a checklist of ten basic tips for ensuring the security of their systems, as recommended by expert Ed Yakabovicz. These are also handy tips to distribute to end users for keeping home PCs secure.

  1. Keep the system's OS patches up to date.
  2. Use a personal firewall (software; some are free) and keep track of who is trying to access your machine.
  3. Using the personal firewall, allow no one to connect through Windows to your machine. Do not share drives.
  4. Use antivirus software to protect your system from any virus or malicious code. Never, never shut it off – for any reason.
  5. Conduct a full scan for viruses weekly. Update the antivirus signature file daily.
  6. Use a hardware firewall if you can. These can run $40 to $100, but they save much time and hassle.
  7. Ensure the user ID guest is disabled.
  8. Ensure passwords are hard to guess, and do not use administrator unless necessary.
  9. Run some type of third party cleaner that will check for malicious code and hidden files that could be Trojans.
  10. Run defrag once a week.

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