Your Home Computer's Security Policy!
What is a home computer security policy?
A home computer security policy is a written document that you create, detailing how you will execute and handle security for your computer and all those who use it. A computer security policy may sound simple and mundane, but having one gives you the ability to handle computer security in a manner which is the least disruptive to you as possible. And the policy will act as a guide to help you recover from a number of different types of security related matters.
Can a security policy be all things to all people?
There is really no such thing as one computer security policy fits all users. We are all different, and those differences spill over onto our computer usage. Some of us use our computers primarily for games. While others will use the computer for a home business, and yet others just like talking up a storm while others users are doing a whole host of different things on it.
Why do I need a computer security policy?
A computer security policy will explain what to do security wise on a day-to-day bases. It will also have the information (and some cases the instructions) on how to get your computer back to normal should you have a security problem. And if used properly, it will inform other what is, and is not allowed on your computer; allowing you to setup any checkpoints you need in order to enforce your computer security policy. Think of it as being no different then the security policies and procedures you use in your everyday life.
The security policy you didn't know you were using!
No need to freak-out or become confused about this. After all, it should be as simple as the security policy you use today, in your everyday life. Sure you use a security policy; with procedures, fall back plan(s), recovery options, and more.
For example, when you go grocery shopping, you protect your money (to make sure you do not lose it, and others) by keeping it in your pocket or purse. You may decide to use a prepaid credit card instead of carrying cash.
These and other measures you take to protect yourself, family, and belongings are a form of security policy. Now, its time to expand this to your home computer. You may think that you have this already covered. After all, if that's what a security policy is, then on your computer, you have an anti-virus and a firewall in place. True that forms the basics of a computer security policy. But let's have a look just to make sure you have not left anything out.
What makes up a home computer security policy?
The depth of your computer security policy is directly proportional to the level of security you want. Just make sure that you have all of your bases covered. Here is a list of things you would put into a home security policy. It may seem long, that's because ... well it is, because it covers things needed by a casual user through a home business user.
Disaster Recovery Plan,
Data Backup Plan,
Procedures to allow others to access your computer,
anti-spyware (contains anti-spyware, anti-spam, pop up/under blockers)
Secondary backup data storage,
Domain Name Management,
Procedures for installing, setting up, and running on a different (new) computer,
Password Policy and Management,
Security check schedule,
File management and cleanup
Communications devices (devices with blue tooth and WiFi capabilities),
Trouble Ticket Hosting,
What NOT to keep on your computer,
Personal financial information on the computer,
Tax return filing,
Family history data that contain references to anyones financial history
- Business account security (google AdSence, Paypal, eBay, Amazon, etc.),
Yes! That is a long list, but you only have to activate what you need. Some of these should be used by everyone. Like the “What NOT to keep on your computer” item. But the “Insurance” is really only needed by home business owners. And if you are the only one that uses your computer, then you do not really need the “Procedures to allow others to access your computer” item.
Once you have a security policy in place on your computer, you should not tell anyone about it.
Things you should not tell about your security policy!
A security policy is only as effective as you execute it. But one important thing you need to remember, is that hackers rely on people giving out their information. I believe the most secure security policy is that one where only you know about it. It becomes very difficult for someone to gain access to your computer's data if they do not know how you have setup protection on the computer.
Having said that, there are times and condition where others may find out that you have a security policy in place. Usually, these are people that you will give permission to use your computer. Still, you only need to give out information that these other people need to know for them to do what you will allow them to do on your computer.
Who should know about my security policy?
The people that should know about your security policy are others that use your computer. For example, anyone that does not use my computer on a regular basis, I only allow them to have “Guest” access. While, others I may setup and account for. No one gets administrative access but me. And I change the default passwords of all the other define users (including the ones that come setup with the initial purchase of the computer system).
What a security plan gives you.
I want to say that a security plan gives you peace of mind. But I can't. It's not just about peace of mind. What it is about, is making it as hard as possible for the would-be hacker to break into your system. To make it so difficult, that the hacker decides to look for easier prey. Yes! There are hackers out there that are looking for a challenge, but typically, these hackers want to be able to brag about what they have done. Bragging about gaining access to someone's home computer just does not rate that high with them.
Your average identity thief is always looking for the easy score. Difficult is something that these type of people seem to run away from.
The Next Step!
Ok! You now have a basic understanding of what a computer security policy is. The next question I would ask is, “Do you what to create a security policy for your home computer?” If yes, then you need to catch my next hub about “Creating an average computer user's security policy!” to be released soon. To know when I have published it, consider becoming a fan. That way, you can receive email messages about my next published hubs.
If you are happy with your current computer's security, great. Just follow along to see where this goes. And please consider leaving a comment about what you think of this hub.