Q

What do you mean by "Turn off any unwanted services on your computer"

What do you mean by "Turn off any unwanted services on your computer" in this response?
There are a number of services, which by default run on your system. Any services, which are not needed for your day-day purposes, should be shut down/Disabled. Doing so, Viruses and worms will have very less avenues/ way of attacks. Most of these are network services. Below are sample services that can be disabled.

  • Messenger Service
  • Alerter services
  • RPC (one of the top 10 most vulnerable services)
  • Telnet
  • FTP
  • Netmeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
  • Remote Registry
  • Routing and Remote Access

Since, some of these services are used for Administrative purposes too, please consult your System Administrator before disabling any of the above. As a home user, you can turn off these services as they are not needed, and are a potential security risk.

Be aware of the kind of applications you install and run on your system. Some of the Peer2peer file sharing applications install stealth programs on your system during installation and can monitor your Internet surfing habits. Also these programs generate a lot of network traffic and can even cause network choking. Please be advised that the damage they can cause is not just limited to the above-mentioned problems, but can lead to bigger security risks.

Let me know if you need any more information.

This was first published in February 2004

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