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Computer Security Centre

Free Virus Protection! Vaxxine's Virus Blocker is a free service for Vaxxine customers. What does it do? How can you get it? It's easy! ...Find out how to get protected today!

General Security Information

Are you a safe cyber surfer? The stakes are high if you're not.

Every time you buy stuff online, do your banking, or pay bills over the Internet, check in with your office by e-mail or just surf the Web for fun, you open a gateway to the personal information on your computer-including credit-card numbers, bank balances and more. You may also be in for costly computer repairs and lost data, due to damaging computer viruses that can invade your computer through e-mail connections.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your computer, your information and your peace of mind from computer creeps who try to slow down a network operation, or worse yet, steal personal information to commit a crime.

Here are some tips to help you, from the security experts:

  1. Make sure your passwords have both letters and numbers, and are at least eight characters long. Avoid common words: some hackers use programs that can try every word in the dictionary. Don't use your personal information, your login name or adjacent keys on the keyboard as passwords-and don't share your passwords online or over the phone.
  2. Protect yourself from viruses by installing anti-virus software and updating it regularly. You can download anti-virus software from the Web sites of software companies, or buy it in retail stores; the best recognize old and new viruses and update automatically.
  3. Prevent unauthorized access to your computer through firewall software or hardware, especially if you are a high-speed user. A properly configured firewall makes it tougher for hackers to locate your computer. Firewalls are also designed to prevent hackers from getting into your programs and files. Some firewalls block outgoing information as well as incoming files. This stops hackers from planting programs called spyware that cause your computer to send out your personal information without your approval.
  4. Don't open a file attached to an e-mail unless you are expecting it or know what it contains. If you send an attachment, type a message explaining what it is. Never forward any e-mail warning about a new virus. It may be a hoax and could be used to spread a virus.
  5. When something bad happens - if you think you've been hacked or infected by spyware, malware, or a virus, call Tech Support at 905-685-1539 (select option 3) and make an appointment to bring your computer in to Vaxxine. For a modest fee, we will run a scan and rid your machine of all virus files.
    *Some limitations may apply depending on the virus and amount of damage.

Security Tips

Virus Information Centre

Computer acting strangely? Running slow? Or not running at all? You may have a Computer Virus. Learn about virus protection at our Virus Information Centre.

Computer Security Software

Security-related software can help to secure your computer, and help to prevent malicious threats and activities that could ultimately damage your system.

Types of Security Threats

  • Adware: Programs that secretly gather personal information through the Internet and relay it back to another computer, generally for advertising purposes. This is often accomplished by tracking information related to Internet browser usage or habits. Adware can be downloaded from Web sites (typically in shareware or freeware), email messages, and instant messengers. A user may unknowingly trigger adware by accepting an End User License Agreement from a software program linked to the adware.
  • Dialers: Programs that use a system, without your permission or knowledge, to dial out through the Internet to a 900 number or FTP site, typically to accrue charges.
  • Hack Tools: Tools used by a hacker to gain unauthorized access to your computer. One example of a hack tool is a keystroke logger -- a program that tracks and records individual keystrokes and can send this information back to the hacker.
  • Hoax: Usually an email that gets mailed in chain letter fashion describing some devastating, highly unlikely type of virus. Hoaxes are detectable as having no file attachment, no reference to a third party who can validate the claim, and by the general tone of the message.
  • Joke Programs: Programs that change or interrupt the normal behavior of your computer, creating a general distraction or nuisance. Harmless programs that cause various benign activities to display on your computer (for example, an unexpected screen saver).
  • Remote Access: Programs that allow another computer to gain information or to attack or alter your computer, usually over the Internet. Remote access programs detected in virus scans may be recognizable commercial software, which are brought to the user's attention during the scan.
  • Spyware: Stand-alone programs that can secretly monitor system activity. These may detect passwords or other confidential information and transmit them to another computer. Spyware can be downloaded from Web sites (typically in shareware or freeware), email messages, and instant messengers. A user may unknowingly trigger spyware by accepting an End User License Agreement from a software program linked to the spyware.
  • Trojan Horse: A program that neither replicates nor copies itself, but causes damage or compromises the security of the computer. Typically, an individual emails a Trojan Horse to you-it does not email itself-and it may arrive in the form of a joke program or software of some sort.
  • Virus: A program or code that replicates; that is, infects another program, boot sector, partition sector, or document that supports macros, by inserting itself or attaching itself to that medium. Most viruses only replicate, though, many do a large amount of damage as well.
  • Worm: A program that makes copies of itself; for example, from one disk drive to another, or by copying itself using email or another transport mechanism. The worm may do damage and compromise the security of the computer. It may arrive in the form of a joke program or software of some sort.
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