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Standards and Guidelines for Computer Configuration and Maintenance

or …….

What Can I do to Protect My Computer and Data?

Have a Copy or Backup of  at least your data

There is often no way to re-create pictures, letters, documents, spreadsheets, accounting data, email and address books. 
So, it’s very important to have copies. 
And, remember:
Protecting data from fire and theft is important.  This means keeping a copy at another location!

The best way to prepare for making a copy is to keep everything in one Folder and set of SubFolders.  Then just copy the whole thing.

You can use a separate hard drive for immediately-available copies.

You can use a DVD for copies that you will store away from the computer.

There are a variety of programs available to help create the copies.

Often the copy process can be scheduled and automated.

You might want to keep a running “clone” of the entire hard drive if you must get up and running again in a very short time.

Windows Updates
Keep your Windows operating system up to date.  Go to and get all the critical updates.
Windows XP should now be updated to Service Pack 3.
Windows Vista should now be updated to Service Pack 1.
Not only do these updates provide security fixes as they suggest (and this is important!) but they surely fix bugs too.  So, it's well worth having them installed.

Protect your computer from threats: worms, viruses, Trojan horses, adware and spyware

We highly recommend you purchase and install TrendMicro Internet Security

We like to use an analogy to help folks understand the difference between antivirus software and firewall software:

Antivirus software is like a deaf security guard at your front door.  He checks "ID" when someone tries to enter. He also periodicially "scans" the house, checking everyone's "ID" and kicks out any bad characters.  But, because this guard can't hear, he can't detect someone breaking in through the back door.

Firewall software is like having locks on all the doors and windows.  It keeps characters from entering through those portals or "ports" unless they're invited and have a key.

Antivirus software

Don’t think that because your Internet Service Provider filters your email for viruses that you’re safe!  Viruses have other ways of getting into your computer.  So, have antivirus software installed, up-to-date and running on the computer. 

Sometimes people are fooled into thinking that they have protection just because they keep their antivirus software up-to-date.  Not quite .....  While your email may be effectively screened, the computer files could have viruses lurking.  So, peridic scans are also necessary!  Schedule them.

Make sure that the programs are kept updated!  Most serious threats are the newest ones – so if you get behind on the updates, it’s like having no protection.


Don’t think that because you have antivirus software running on your computer that it’s safe from worms and Trojan horses.  It isn’t.  Threats can get into your computer by other means.  So make sure you have a firewall running or at least that  the computer is isolated from the internet by a router.

At a minimum, have the Windows firewall turned on.


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