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Computer Hardware and Software Setup

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Computer Hardware and Software Setup

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  1. Computer Hardware and Software Setup

  2. Computer Hardware • You can touch hardware. • The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the part of the computer responsible for the the computer's billions of calculations. It is the computer's “brain.” • Memory or Random Access Memory (RAM) is the part of the computer responsible for keeping track of the CPU's calculations temporarily.

  3. Computer Hardware • The Hard Disk Drive (HDD) stores information more permanently. Most hard drives are magnetic, which are more prone to failure. • Newer Solid State Drives (SSD) store information in flash which can be accessed much faster. Unfortunately, SSDs are more expensive and can be written to only a limited number of times.

  4. Computer Hardware • The motherboard is connected to all of the other components of the computer, either directly or indirectly. • The Power Supply Unit is responsible for providing power to every part of the computer. • Expansion cards like sound cards, graphics cards, and modems allow the computer to perform extra tasks.

  5. Hardware & Software Interaction • You cannot touch software because they are only instructions. • The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is the computer's most basic set of instructions. It tells the computer how its parts fit together and stores very basic information like hardware settings and the computer's time. • The BIOS will allow your computer to boot an Operating System (OS) like Microsoft Windows, MacOS, or Linux.

  6. Hardware & Software Interaction • The Operating System is a very complex computer program that relies on other computer programs to function. • The operating system would not work if it could not rely on software called drivers which tell it how to use the computer's hardware (such as the network card or hard drive). • The operating system by itself will not let you do much. For that you need other software like Notepad or Paint.

  7. Computer Security • Computer Security, like most other things, starts with the Operating System. • An operating system is a computer program written by humans. It contains mistakes (or vulnerabilities) that must be patched (or updated). These holes can be exploited by viruses or malware even if the user does nothing dangerous! • Most operating systems have a setting to allow them to update themselves, but this is not default (the setting enabled at the factory).

  8. Computer Security • The next level of proactive security is the firewall, which is your computer's security guard. It controls what software can send what kinds of information in and out of your computer. • There are many free firewalls available, including: • Windows [Basic] Firewall • COMODO Personal Firewall • Paid options include: • Symantec Endpoint Protection / Norton 360 • Check Point

  9. Computer Security • Next in line is anti-virus software, which monitors the behavior of your computer 24/7 to alert you of any suspicious activity. While the firewall guards the entrance or exit, the anti-virus watches all of the activity inside. • There are many free options available, including: • Microsoft Security Essentials • AVG Anti-Virus • Paid options include: • Symantec / Norton Anti-Virus • McAffee Anti-Virus

  10. Computer Security • Spybot: Search & Destroy and Spyware Blaster are two (free) anti-spyware programs that have a unique ability to prevent spyware. • They immunize your computer against infection by telling your computer never to visit web sites that are known to distribute viruses and spyware.

  11. Computer Security • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is perhaps the most-respected anti-spyware product to find spyware after your computer has been infected. • Many anti-virus programs search for spyware as well, but they often do not perform as well as more dedicated products like MBAM. • While you should not run more than one anti-virus program, you can run as many anti-spyware programs as you want, as long as they do not all of the time.

  12. Internet Security • The best way to secure your computer is to take some very basic actions. • Do not use your computer's administrative accounts as your main account. Instead, use a limited or “Power User” account. • Avoid installing software that has a poor reputation or that you simply do not need. Peer-to-peer programs such as Kazaa and Limewire easily transmit viruses and are sometimes viruses themselves. • Read the license agreement when you install new software. You never know what you might be agreeing to!

  13. Internet Security • The best way to secure your computer is to take some very basic actions. • Be careful what you click. Ads are very good at pretending to be part of a legitimate web site. A single click can be a lasting mistake! • Avoid all ads that offer free anything. If you weren't looking for it to begin with, you don't need it (and you're never going to get an iPad 4 free). • Avoid ads that call on you to play a game. • Avoid ads that may be disguised as a legitimate download button.

  14. Internet Security • The best way to secure your computer is to take some very basic actions. • If you mis-click on the web, immediately close your web browser and wait a minute before you open it again. • If you are suspicious of any of your computer's activity, begin a virus scan and let it finish before you put any personal information on the web (including logins/passwords).

  15. Internet Security • The best way to secure your computer is to take some very basic actions. • Always make sure you are on the correct web site. You may find out that you typed after you've given up valuable personal information. • Most modern browsers check the addresses you type against a blacklist of phishing sites, but it never hurts to use a service like McAfee SiteAdvisor or Web of Trust to see if a site is safe before you open it.

  16. Internet Security • The best way to secure your computer is to take some very basic actions. • People can use personal information from the Internet to carry out social engineering attacks, where they pretend to be you and convince other people to give up information too. Have you ever had anyone message you using another person's name?

  17. Internet Security • Never send valuable information over a wireless Internet connection. Even if your connection is “secured”, passwords and other personal information can be stolen. • Never buy anything online over a wireless Internet connection. • Don't let your friends do banking wirelessly. • It's just not secure.

  18. Internet Security • Choose a secure password that means something to you. • A password with uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters is hard for humans to guess (no matter how well they know you). • A long password (10-20 characters) is harder for robots to guess. • Never share your password. If you have to share it, change it as soon as you can.

  19. Mr. Hagaman's Security • Symantec Endpoint Protection from Eastern Illinois University (Anti-Virus + Firewall) • COMODO Internet Security Free (Anti-Virus, Firewall, Defense+) • Spyware Blaster (Anti-Spyware / Immunization) • Spybot (Anti-Spyware / Immunization) • Malwarebytes (Anti-Spyware) • Secunia PSI (Personal Security Inspector, checks that software is patched and up-to-date).