Keeping your computer safe from hackers

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Everyday people fall victim to computer hacking. The outcome can sometimes end up costing you a fortune. The damage done can often cost you more than money, and in some cases making it appear like you are even breaking the law.

It is not always what they aim to take you have to worry about, but rather, what they leave behind.

"They can install software that will allow them to get to your machine and load whatever they want to on it. They can have it farm out whatever files they wish," said Dennis Stutes, MSU Director of Computing Services.

Files like child pornography can be stored on your computer without your knowledge, and in most cases it is hard to prove where they came from.

"They are going to cover their tracks. They are going to erase any of their tracks leading to your machine," said Dennis Stutes.

There are some signs you can look for if you think you are being targeted.

"Turn your machine off when you are not using it. If you are using your machine and you see it slow down tremendously, all at one time, you know that something is there that is not supposed to be there, and is slowing it down for a reason," said Dennis Stutes.

To avoid unknowingly housing damaging or illegal material on your computer it is important to always make sure the Windows updates are installed. Keeping your virus scanner up to date is essential, and as added protection you can run a firewall. While nothing is full proof, this will slow down someone looking to hack into your computer.

"What you try to do is make it very hard for them. So, whatever they do takes a long time and is not worth the effort for them to work over," said Dennis Stutes.

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