There are a few critical things you should do to insure the safety of your machine and, most importantly, your data.
- Back up your data. If something happens to your machine, you will still have your data.
- Keep your operating system and software up to date. Frequent security patches come out for Windows XP. These patches help protect your computer and data.
- Install and use anti-virus software.
- Do not create unnecessary accounts on your machine.
- Disable accounts you are not using, including the built-in system accounts.
- Password all accounts that you use. Choose passwords that are tricky to figure out. When you give an account a password you must remember it. If you forget the password for your account with administrator privileges you will NO longer be able to log into the machine, use it, or even access your files!!
- Do not share files or folders across the network, unless you absolutely must. If you must share files, do so cautiously and turn on the least amount of access possible. Use simple file sharing and make sure network users are NOT allowed to change your files.
- If you are not sharing files or folders make sure you explicitly turn off file and print sharing for each network connection