Security 101: October 2012

As previously announced, we continue to answer questions received from the readers of the PC.COM magazine.


Are there any signs telling us if our computer has been hacked or compromised?


Usually, if your computer is performing strangely, this is a good sign of being infected with malware. “Strange” can mean one or more of the following symptoms:
– Heavy CPU processing
– Too much RAM consumed
– High network activity
– Runs overall slower
– Doesn’t enter in the standby mode anymore
– Programs takes longer than usual to open
You see strange errors popping up on the screen, including BSOD (blue-screen-of-death – aka complete operating system crash).
But, the best way to figure out if your system is infected is to run regular antivirus scans. If you can do this while the operating system is not booted, which means using a rescue disk, that is even better.
On the Avira website, you can find such a rescue system available free of charge.





Online backup services are becoming quite popular but it can be daunting to sort through all of the options. Can we get by with a free backup option and how much backup storage does one need?

There is not a universal recipe for an online backup service.
If you have a lot of pictures or music on your computer and you want to back them up you will definitely need more space than someone who has only documents. Usually, the free online backup services offer between 2 GB and 7 GB of storage space. For normal use, which is without uploading your entire photo and music collection, it should be sufficient.
If you want more space, more support options and features to deal with your files, you will definitely need to invest a little bit more.