Computer security is essential to safeguard your computer against trespassers from using your personal or office-based computer resources with malicious intent. 

Hi guys! Today's post is going to be on computer security tutorial. So in this tutorial, we will treat the concept of computer security which can pertain to a laptop or workstation or server or even a network device. 

Computer security system

Before we jump in let me just give you a brief of what the topics we are going to cover today. 

Firstly, we're going to see what is computer security and then we will discuss the goals of computer security. So after that we are going to talk about what to secure when we're talking about computer security and the potential losses due to security attacks and in the end we will talk about the different methods on how we can secure ourselves.

Why do we need computer security? 

Do you know in all this digital world, what is the biggest hole or the weakest point of the security? Well, it is us as human beings. So most of the security breaches come from uninformed and untrained persons which give information to a third party or published data on the internet without knowing the consequences. You can imagine a scenario which tells you what employees might end up doing without computer security awareness. So the benefits of computer security awareness are obvious as it directly minimizes the potential of you being hacked of your identity, your computer or your organization as a whole.

What is computer security? 

Well, computer security is not just an IT problem. It is everyone's responsibility. And this means that everyone who uses a computer or mobile device needs to understand how to keep the computer devices and data secure. So here's what computer security is all about. 

Computer security or IT security is the protection of computer systems from the theft or damage to their hardware, software or electronic data as well as from disruption or misdirection of the service they provide. So computer security can be defined as controls that are put in place to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability for all components of computer systems. So these components include, data, hardware, software, and firmware. 

Hardware is the physical part of the computer like the system memory. On the other hand firmware is the permanent software that runs the process of the computer and is mostly invisible to the user like the startup functions that make elements of the hardware work together. And software is the programming that offer service to the user and administrator. The operating system, word processor, computer games and internet browsers are all examples of software commonly found on a computer. So knowing about these components tell you that what hardware, software and firmware you have to protect in your system.

What are the goals of computer security? 

So following are the goals of computer security and to protect your system, you must adhere to these rules. So the five rules are:

  1. Confidentiality 
  2. Data integrity
  3. Availability
  4. Control and
  5. Audit

So let's take a moment to discuss these one by one. 

For confidentiality, you will have to ensure that information is available only to the intended audience. Confidentiality includes privacy of information that may be personal or sensitive.

Data integrity, protecting the data integrity is also a concern, the company needs certainty that information does not become inaccurate because of unintended changes

 Then data availability, you'll have to work with the IT manager to protect the data's availability or the ability for a loud person to access the computer and its information whenever necessary.

Then data control, the protection comes from controls or technical physical and procedural choices that limit access to the computer's components. You'll have to choose controls for computer security carefully in order to align the necessary user access with minimum amount of unnecessary ability.

Last but not the least is audit, you need to monitor log files and you should typically have regular audits to ensure the smooth working of the systems, so that you can find out what's wrong in the system and practically undo it. 

Now the protection of these qualities should be the top goal as a security manager. 

Types of Computer Security 

When you work in information technology, it's important to keep your computer safe from people who wish to do your organization harm whether from the outside or inside. Now, this means looking at everything from the security of physical machines to the safety of the operating system and hardware. 

1. Physical Security 

So one of the most important aspects of computer security is physical security or controlling who actually access your hardware. Next is the operating system. 

2. Operating System Security 

Operating systems also are permission control schemes making sure users are authorized to perform certain actions. Under permission control scheme users are allowed to modify files if they have been given prior approval. Now permissions can be allocated to the whole system or groups or an individual user. For example a user working on a physics project at a University might be allowed to change files on a physics department server as they pertain to that project but not allowed to change the operating system files. 

Another common thread running through computer security, is role-based access control or defining who has access to sources in conjunction with mobile access control or the tracking of devices. These security measures provide computer with some defenses against the threats that are available on the internet.

What are potential losses due to security attack?

The potential losses in the cyberspace are many even if you are using a single computer in your room here.

I'll be listing some examples that have direct impact on you and on others. So the first is losing your data. So if your computer has been hacked or infected, this is a big chance that your stored data might be taken by the attacker or completely deleted as a whole. Now, the bad usage of your computer resources is also very big thing that could happen. 

Now, this means that your network or your computer can hook in overload. So you cannot access your genuine services or in the worst case scenario, it can be used by the hacker to attack another machine on the network.

Next big thing that can happen is reputation loss. So just think of your Facebook account or business email has been owned by a social engineering attack and it sends fake information to your friends business partner and whoever available, some attackers can even money from your colleagues on your behalf. So you will need time to gain back your reputation amongst your group of friends. 

The last big thing that could happen to you is identity theft, this is a case where your identity is stolen which could be a photo, name, surname address, and credit card details, these information can be used for a crime like making false identity documents. 

How to Ensure your Computer Security 

So the question that arises after learning about all this is how can you secure yourself? There are some basic computer security checklists that you should always follow to maintain that your computer is secure and updated. 

The first thing you should do is check if the user is password protected, next check if the OS is updated then ensure that you always download software from reputable sources only and then check if the antivirus or anti-malware is installed on your computer. 

Then you should terminate unusual services that are running and consuming your resources. Next you should check if the firewall is up and running or not and then check for your backups regularly. 

Last but not the least you should clear your private data from web browsers or just do your private browsing on incognito. 

Steps to Secure your Operating Systems 

Let's discuss the steps that you could take in securing your operating system as a whole. So firstly you should always keep your windows operating system up to date. Probably the most important step to do is checking for latest security updates and patches available for your windows operating system. 

So to get security updates automatically go to control panel and check if your automatic updating system is enabled to do that follow these steps. 

Firstly, you go and search for Windows update by pressing on the Windows button or Windows update button. So you go to Windows, update settings, then you select advanced options. After you're in advanced options, you go and turn on automatically download updates. After checking for available updates for your Windows operating system, keep the automatic update turned on in order to download and install the important updates that can help protect your PC against new viruses or next-generation malwares

Next is update your software. You are not expected to update only the windows operating system but your software as well. Therefore make sure all the latest updates and security patches for your main program and apps are installed. Needless to say that most popular pieces of software, such as Java, Adobe flash, Adobe shop, wave and acrobat reader, especially the outdated ones are always under threat from malicious actors who exploit them to get easier access to your sensitive data. Since these pieces of software are always under threat from criminal minds don't just rely on your memory to manually update every program or application you have installed. A better option would be to start using a dedicated cybersecurity solution for you and keep your software program up to date. 

The third step you could take is to create a restore point. So if you already installed the security updates for Windows OS the next step recommended is to create a restore point in Windows so you can do this by clicking on the start button first and then select control panel. 

So after you go into control panel you go to system and security and then you go into system and then you select system protection out there. After you are in system protection, you can configure your settings and then create restore point. You can name that restore point a clean installation and continue installing drivers and application above that. So if one of the driver causes issues on the system, you can always go back to the clean installation restore point.

The fourth step you can take, is install the traditional antivirus product. When you consider installing an antivirus program on your PC, make sure you use one from a legitimate company because there can be fake software programs out there. Now, it is important to have a reliable security solution on your system which you could include real-time scanning, automatic update and a firewall. 

The fifth step you can take, is install proactive security solution for multi-layered protection, next-gen malware usually has the ability to avoid detection and bypass antivirus software that users have installed on their PC to keep their data safe. But with the help of proactive cyber security solutions, you get the best protection against financial and data-stealing malware such as Zeus and cryptolocker. 

Now the sixth step is back up your system. So you updated the operating system and your system application, you have installed additional security products for your system safety  and even created a clean installation restore point for your Windows operating system. Now the steps above are meant to keep you safe from malicious software and online threats, but you may still encounter hardware issues that could endanger your private information. 

To make sure your data stays safe. You should be using a two-fold strategy which should include combining an external hard drive usage with an online backup service. Now at the same time you could simply use your Windows backup system to set it up. You access your Windows control panel and then click back up and restore. Or you could just simply search for backup and restore in settings. After you're in backup and restore, you can set up an automatic backup by creating a schedule and even choose a network location for your backup files. 

Now the seventh step that you could follow to secure your operating system is use a standard user account. Now Windows provides a certain level of rights and privileges depending on what kind of user account you have. You may use a standard user account or an administrator user account now to secure your PC. 

It is recommended to have a standard account to prevent users from making changes that affect everyone who uses the computer such as deleting important Windows files necessary for the system with the standard user account. You have limited rights and cannot do things like changing system settings or installing new software apps, hardware or changing the username and password, but you should always remember that to install an application or make security changes you must have an administrator account. 

The eighth step is to keep your user account controlled and enabled. So user account control is an essential security feature on Windows that prevents unauthorized changes to the operating system. Many users have the tendency to disable it after installing or reinstalling the Windows operating system. We don't recommend turning it off and instead of disabling the UAC you can decrease the intensity level using a slider in the control panel. UAC monitors what changes are going to be made to your computer when important changes appear such as installing a software or removing an application. The UAC pops up asking for administrator level permissions in case your user account is infected with malware. UAC helps you by keeping suspicious programs and activities from making changes to the system. The vulnerabilities in your web browser are like open invitations to cyber criminals who find creative ways to harvest your most important data. For example, if you're using Adobe flash be aware of its security flaws and how it can expose you to attacks. 

So moving to the nine point is to keep yourself safe while browsing the web. The vulnerabilities in your web browser are like open door invitations to cyber criminals who find creative ways to harvest your most important data. For example, if you're using Adobe flash be aware of its security flaws and how it can expose you to attacks to stay safe while accessing various web pages follow these steps. So choose the latest version of your browser. Then you should always keep it updated and choose a private browsing session when you access a website you are not sure about choosing this mode will prevent authentication credentials or cookies from being stored and stolen by attackers and you could also block browser pop-ups because since data stealing malware spreads through malicious code embedded in pop-ups on Windows even on legitimate websites. 

And now the last point for securing your OS is use an encryption software tool for your hard drive. So even if you set a password to your Windows account malicious actors can still get unauthorized access to your private files and documents they can do this by simply booting into their own operating system Linux, for example from a special disk or USB flash drive. A solution for this is to encrypt your hard drive and protect all your sensitive files, and it is recommended to use this level of security if you have laptop which can be very easily stolen. The same thing applies to a computer a free encryption tool that you can use is BitLocker, which is available on the latest Windows operating system and you can enable it any moment. If you don't have it on your operating system, you can just visit the site which is Microsoft site and you can download BitLocker. You can check the details, the system requirements and the installation instructions.

Securing your Operating Systems: Antivirus 

Now let's talk about antiviruses. So previously we saw how to secure our computer and one of the points was installing and updating an antivirus software, without the software there is high chance that your system and network will be hit and will suffer hacking attacks and can be affected by various viruses. 

Antivirus software also known as anti-malware is a computer program used to prevent or detect and remove malware from your computer. So following are the basic functions of anti viruses. 

Components of Antivirus 

All antivirus engines have three components to function accordingly, and it is important to have a look at these functions, because it will help us for better manual and cleaning of viruses in case we need them. 

The first is scanning, when a new virus is detected in the cyberspace anti-virus producers start writing programs that scans for similar signature strings. 

The second is integrity checking, and this method generally checks for the manipulated files in OS from the viruses.

And the third is interception, this method is used basically to detect Trojans and it checks the request made by the operating system for Network access. 

If you don't have an anti-virus already installed on your computer and you're finding it too troublesome to do so you can always use this online anti-virus engine which in my opinion is one of the best engines available out there. So it's called virus and you can upload a file out there or choose a URL that you want to scan before visiting the website or you could just search for any URLs, IP addresses, domains or file hashes that you want to search for, and check if they have a virus attached to them or not.

Securing your Networks: Firewalls

The next thing is firewalls now firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security routes. 

They are a compound of programs, and their main function is to monitor the traffic flow from outside to inside and vice versa. Their position is generally behind a router or in front of the router depending on the network topologies. 

They can also work as packet filters, which means that the firewall takes a decision to forward or not forward a packet based on the source and destination dresses and ports. So some of the recommended brands are Cisco which is a series checkpoint, Fortinet, Juniper, Sonicball, and pfSense. 

Windows already comes pre-installed with a firewall and you can check its status just by searching for firewall and by pressing the Windows button. So you can check the firewall status by going to the control panel like and you can also check the advanced settings and configure your firewall accordingly.

Securing your Network: Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

Securing your network should be done through an intrusion detection system. An intrusion detection system is a device or software application that monitors a network system for malicious activity or policy violations. 

Intrusion detection systems are also as important as the firewall because they help us to detect the type of attack that is being done to our system and then make a solution to block them, the monitoring part like tracing logs looking for doubtful signatures and keeping history of the events triggered. They also have the network administrator to check the connection integrity and authenticity that occurs. So another way of securing your network is installing an intrusion detection system. 

One of the best intrusion detection tools is called Snort, you can take information and download the same from Snort is a software based open source and free and easy to configure intrusion detection tool. It has real-time signature based networks, which notifies the system administrator or attacks like both scanners, DDOS attacks, CGI attacks, backdoors and OS fingerprints. 

So let me give you a small demo on how to actually run Snort. I've already downloaded the Snort files so you can download the same from here. Then once you've downloaded, go to the place where you downloaded it and install. So after you've downloaded Snort and installed it on your computer, is time you go ahead and register yourself as a user on Snort website. After you've done that you have to go and download a rules file and you can do that by just going on download and going to the rules tab. So in the rules tab you have to download the 2.9 version of the rule because that's the Snort version we are using. And after you've downloaded that you go to the tar file that's downloaded you open it. 

Now you see the rules file out there. You copy all the rules in the rules file and then you go to the place that Snort was installed in that is C Drive,  copy and paste them in the rules folder out there. After that, you have to go into the folder call Etc and copy the snot configuration files and then paste them back into the etc file in the place where you've actually installed snot. 

Now, next we have to go and install another software which is called WinPcap and you can easily download that from You download and install it on your computer and then we're good to go. 

So to run Snort you actually have to go to the bin folder and open a command shell window there. And you can easily do that by just changing the directory. 

Now it's time we run our intrusion detection software. So the commands that we're going to run are first we're going to run Snort-W to actually see the interfaces available to actually sniff on. 

Okay, so as we will see there are four interfaces and we are going to sniff on the third one. So to do that our command is Snort-Dev-I and the interface number which is 3. So go ahead and run that command and Snort will start actually sniffing out all the packets that are being passed to the interface number three and then store all the information that is gathering in log file. So now that you've seen that it's gathering all the information about all the packets that are being transferred through the network.

So as you guys can see it has broken down all the packets that were collected by a protocol and it's giving us a lot of information. So this information is normally used by network administrators to actually realize if there's any malicious content being passed through their network or if they're under attack. So this is how a common intrusion detection system works.

Securing your Networks: Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual private network extends a secure and encrypted connection to share data remotely through public networks. This type of network is widely used in small business or enterprise networks. It helps to send and receive data across the internet but in a secure and encrypted way. Generally this network is created between two secure network device like to firewalls.

If you're using Chrome, for example, you can easily install an extension call Hola and it's an unlimited free VPN and you all can use this and surf the web in a very secure manner.


 Okay guys this is what i have for you today regarding computer security. I hope you guys learned something valuable today. That's it from me. Goodbye. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Please be kind enough to share it and you can comment any of your doubts and queries and we will reply them at the earliest. Do look out for more post in this blog. Happy learning.

Print this post