VBNet bears no responsibility and offers no technical support for the following information. The following is designed to educate users on our network to best utilize their Ethernet/Internet connection with the least amount of worry.
It is HIGHLY recommended that you protect your computer by surge protecting all lines that can carry electricity. A little known fact: Electricity can jump through the Ethernet cable and telephone lines where they attach to your computer, so just protecting the electrical outlets won't provide optimum safeguards against lightning.
Surge protection can be classified as:
Of course, the absolute safest way to protect your computer during a lightning storm is to unplug any lines that attach your computer or other equipment to the walls.
Surge protectors can be found at computer stores, office supply stores, and online. The following links go to some of the most popular providers of surge protectors.
www.tripplite.com - good source for Ethernet/telephone line protectors
Everyone has heard horror stories about viruses corrupting data, or worse, entire operating systems. Downloads using peer-to-peer software and e-mail attachments are favorite avenues of viruses/trojans to invade computers.
There are quite a few very robust anti-virus solutions available online the days. We're pretty impressed with a free (for non-commercial use) product called Avast! Free Anivirus, which offers comprehensive real-time protection for web, P2P, network, filesystem and more. Highly recommended!
Firewalls are essentially designed to keep intruders out of your computer. There are any number of ways to gain access to an unprotected computer, but one of the best safeguards against outside intrusion are Firewalls-- both hardware and software.
The following information centers on software solutions and are for some of the more common programs available:
www.zonelabs.com - Zone Alarm, Free software for personal use
www.symantec.com - Norton Personal Firewall
Spyware or Malware is software put on your machine without your knowledge, usually by other, presumed legitimate software. A favorite practice of peer-to-peer software producers is to add other software that often times is installed to your computer without your approval. Sometimes this additional software can cause configuration issues or worse.
The following companies provide free malware scanning and removal tools:
www.malwarebytes.org - Anti-malware, Free for personal use
www.lavasoftusa.com - Ad-Aware, Free for personal use
There is a wealth of information out there and this page only scratches the surface. Other topics you might bear in mind that may require some additional research include the following: