Computer Security



The computer is an electronic calculating machine which is used in the everyday sector like education, business, science and technology, music and entertainment and so on. We use computers in order to store valuable data, information, and programs that can be destroyed, lost or corrupted by different factors. If the valuable data, information, and programs are lost, damaged, or corrupted, we have to bear a great loss. The data, information, or programs can be lost due to hardware or software problems or errors. We should make computer hardware and software secured by following some security measures. The security is given to the computer data, information, software, and hardware is called computer security. Computer security can be classified into two categories. They are:
  • Hardware Security
  • Data and software security
What is computer security? What are its types? What are computer security measures?
Fig. Computer Security with its types

Hardware Security

Protecting the computer hardware from physical damage, loss, or theft is known as hardware security. The hardware components of the computer may get physically damaged due to some reasons. So, we need to protect computer hardware.
The following security measures can be applied to protect computer hardware from physical loss or damage.
  1. Regular maintenance
  2. Insurance
  3. Free from dust
  4. Fire protection
  5. Power protecting device
  6. Protection from theft
  7. Air-condition system and so on.

a. Regular Maintenance

The regular maintenance of the computer hardware helps us to keep our computer system up to date. We should frequently check the computer disks for detecting and removing errors. As a computer consists of delicate electronic components, it needs regular cleaning, maintenance, and care for its smooth functioning. So, regular maintenance helps us to keep our computer system in good working condition.

b. Insurance

We have to ensure the computers because they are valuable and expensive devices. In the case when the computer is damaged, stolen, or lost, we can claim insurance money if the computer is insured.

c. Free from dust

We should not allow dust particles to damage the delicate components of computers. We have to clean the computer system regularly to make it free from dust. So, it is a good idea to do carpeting in the computer room and cover the computers when they are not in use.

d. Fire protection

Computers can be damaged or destroyed due to fire. in order to protect computers easily from fire, there should be fire extinguishers installed in the computer room.

e. Power protecting devices

The computer system needs a continuous power supply. The fluctuation or sudden over-voltage in power can damage the computer parts. We can use power protecting devices like Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), Volt Guard, Stabilizer, Constant Voltage Terminal (CVT), Spike Guard and other devices to protect the computer from power fluctuation and overvoltage.
Volt guard, Stabilizer, Constant Voltage Terminal (CVT), and Spike Guard are used to control the fluctuation of electric voltage. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is used to protect a computer system from power failure and fluctuation of electric voltage by supplying back up electric power.

f. Protection from theft

Computers are expensive devices which store important and valuable information. So, we should protect the computers from thieves. We should not allow unauthorized persons to enter the computer room. The unauthorized persons can steal computer hardware, software, and data. We can use Alarms, security lights, and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to protecting computers from thieves.

g. Air condition system

Computers should be kept in well-ventilated rooms so that there is circulation of fresh air inside the computer room. The temperature of the computer room should be normal i.e. in between 20 to 25 degree Celsius.

Data and Software security

We use computers to store huge amounts of data and information. Software is installed in the computer to solve some specific problems. Data, information and software of the computer needed to be protected from the unauthorized access or other types of loss. The process of securing data and software from being lost, damaged or corrupted accidentally or intentionally is known as data and software security. The following security measures can be applied for data and software security.

a. Use of password

A password is a secret word that gives a user access to a particular file, program or system. The use of passwords in the computer system, files, and programs prevent unauthorized access. Password should contain alphanumeric  as well as special characters so that it may be difficult to guess.

b. Virus free environment

A virus is a parasitic computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The data and software may get lost from the computer if the computer is infected by viruses. So, a computer system should contain the latest and updated anti-virus software to detect the viruses and remove them from the computer. We can scan the computer system regularly by using anti-virus software to maintain a virus free environment.

c. Backup data

An extra copy or duplicate copy of important data, information, and programs is called Backup. Backup can be kept in secondary storage devices like magnetic tapes, magnetic disks, optical disks, pen drives, and others. So, when the data and programs are lost, damaged, or corrupted, they can be restored and recovers from the backup. The backup utility software is available for keeping the backup.

d. Scandisk

Scandisk is a utility available in operating system software that helps to check the disks for errors and remove them if possible. Bad sectors and lost clusters present in the disks are also detected and tried to maintain them. We should scan the computer frequency to maintain the computer up to date.

e. Defragmentation

In a new disk, there is contiguous spaces to save files. but when the files are saved and deleted frequently from the disk, there won’t be enough contiguous spaces. So, when we save a file, the parts of a file may be saved in different random locations of the disks. The process of scattering the parts of the same disk file over different random locations is called fragmentation. Defragmentation is the reverse of fragmentation. Fragmentation causes slow disk access and also degrades the overall performance of the disk operations. in order to solve these problems, we can run defragmentation utility which is available in the operating system software.

f. Use of original software

The use of licensed or original software is one of the important software security measures. Pirated software is more prone to virus attacks and may face other faults. So, the original software should be used in the computer to make the computer safe from the virus and other types of threats.

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