Security & being safe online

There are people online who seek to steal personal information or infect computers with viruses, spyware, or other malicious software. After you have set up a network and an Internet connection, complete the following steps, to make sure that you keep your computers and personal information safe.

CAUTION: Make sure each computer that has Internet access is well protected from security threats. If malicious activity comes though one computer, the activity can spread quickly through the entire network.

Step 1: Set up a firewallStep 1: Set up a firewall

A firewall is a security-software application that monitors and controls communication that comes into and goes out of the computer. The firewall provides basic protection against Internet security threats. Windows 7 has a built-in firewall, but you can use another firewall application, if you like. To set up and enable the Windows firewall, complete the following steps.

NOTE: Do not enable more than one firewall. Firewall software programs can interfere with one another if more than one program is running at the same time.

  1. Click Start (Start), Control Panel, and then click System and Security.

System and Security

System and Security 

  1. Click Action Center.

If no firewall is enabled, an alert displays in the Action Center, under Security.

Action Center

Action Center 

  1. If the alert displays, click View firewall options to choose a firewall to enable.

Choose a firewall option

Firewall options

  1. Click Security to expand this section and verify that a firewall is enabled.

Action Center Security section

Action Center Security section

  1. Check the status, next to Network firewall. If the firewall is off, click View installed firewall programs to enable a firewall.

Step 2: Download and install Windows updatesStep 2: Download and install Windows updates

Microsoft continuously updates its software, including fixing security issues to make your operating system more safe and secure. Ensure that your computer has all of the latest security updates by completing the following steps.

Click Start (Start), All Programs, and then click Windows Update. Follow the instructions to download and install all critical updates from Microsoft.

After you have installed all critical updates, enable automatic update (for Windows updates) by using the following instructions:

  1. Click Start  (Start), All Programs, and then click Windows Update.

  2. Under Windows Update, click Turn automatic updating on or off.

Windows Update settings

Windows Update settings

  1. Under Important updates, select Install updates automatically (recommended) from the drop-down list.

Choose an update frequency and a time to install new updates.

  1. Click OK

Step 3: Update security softwareStep 3: Update security software

Use the self-updating feature of the security software that is used on the system, and set it to perform a periodic scan for malicious software. Doing so ensures that the computer has the latest protection against security threats such as viruses and spyware.

Example steps for setting security software

For example, if you are using Norton Internet Security, do the following:

  1. Click Start (Start), All Programs, Norton Internet Security, and then click Norton Internet Security again.

  2. Under Computer, click Run LiveUpdate.

Norton Internet Security

Norton Security

LiveUpdate updates security software and virus definitions.

  1. Next to Computer, click Settings.

Security settings

Norton Settings 

  1. In the drop-down list, next to Idle Time Scan, select Weekly.

Computer Settings

Norton Computer Settings

Step 4: Download and install HP updatesStep 4: Download and install HP updates

The HP Support Assistant application helps you maintain the health of your computer, including installing HP software updates. Complete the following steps to update your computer drivers and HP software by using HP Support Assistant.

  1. To open HP Support Assistant, click Start (Start), All Programs, HP, and then click HP Support Assistant.

  2. Click the Maintain button.

  3. Click the Refresh button to run a health analysis.

Refresh button

Refresh button

The Health Analysis window displays, showing the progress.

Health Analysis window

Health Analysis window

  1. When the analysis is complete, click the View analysis button to see the results.

Analysis results

Health Analysis results 

  1. To apply an update, select the action, and then click the Apply button.

Your computer should now be safe to use the Internet. Remember to complete these steps on each computer on your home network that has Internet access.

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