It would seem that I wouldn't even have to write this article. However I see problems with this almost daily.
* You have been noticing changes to your computer or files that you feel you did not make
* You can not find a file you were fairly sure you had created
* Your computer is getting really slow. (This is normally the big indicator)
These are only some of the problems that may exist if somebody is accessing your computer. If you have a wireless connection that is not secure it is even more likely that somebody will breach your security. They may just use the connection so that they can get on the Internet or they may be trying to find information about you or they might even change or delete some files. If they are smart enough they might even plant a virus in your computer. Oh ya! This can be done.
The Biggest mistakes
* One of the biggest mistakes is ignoring the fact that you are vulnerable.
* Another big mistake is not having virus and spy-ware protection. You are asking for big problems if you do not have a good Anti-Virus program. DO NOT have a cheap limited program. You can not possibly imagine the damage a Virus or spy-ware program can do. Nobody likes to spend money and yet they want to own a computer and be on the Internet. Hay! wake up! You WILL need to protect yourself if you either own a computer and/or are on the Internet.
* Not using a password. Everybody wants to make things easy. That's OK but not when you using a computer. The Virus makers and especially the people making spy-ware are waiting for you to make this mistake and are ready to steal your identity.
* Using passwords that are either to easy or are your birth date, dogs name, house number, your name or anything somebody can easily guess. Make up something (Example: X24UV4TT). Be sure it does not mean anything. Write it down and memorize it. It should be at least 8 characters long and be a mix of letters,numbers or characters. Lower and upper case will help also. DO NOT put it on a sticky note and put it under your keyboard or on your monitor. Everybody knows that trick. I also recommend that you change it once per year or more. Sorry if this sounds strict!
Another problem is letting other people use your computer. This is especially true when it comes to children. Children have their own idea of what they want to do with a computer. This normally does not come in line with what the parent wants. The second you turn your back they will go on a bad web site or are finding a way to talk to somebody you would not approve of. This has been happening by the use of social media at this time. It is way to easy to create an account now days. DO NOT assume your child is an angel. Giving them access to a computer is giving them access to a weapon you can not control.
Is there a way to keep my child safe?
Mostly the answer is yes. Be sure you know they are using their own account and, if possible, there own password protected computer. Be sure the child is supervised and only has access when you can watch them. There are plenty of pedophiles or bad people out there ready to take advantage of you child's immature antics. This could cost you huge amounts of money to correct in some cases. Especially if your child used your credit card in establish a web presence or purchased a product you didn't know about.
Programs are available that you can use to control what you will let your child access. They usually are called parental control but other names are used also.