|Name Lastname wrote:
How do I prevent someone from getting unauthorized administrative remote access to my machine though? Is there any safeguards I could implement?
There's no easy answer for that; it's a very broad topic. In general, though, here are a few pointers:
- Firewall: get a decent firewall; hardware appliance for a business network, software is okay for a single home computer or a laptop. There are lots of good ones out there; Comodo is probably a good place to start for a free software firewall (I'm sure others will probably chime in at this point with suggestions or opinions of their own; your best bet is to do your own research and check review sites so you can make an informed decision.)
- Patches: Make sure you stay current on patches and service packs, especially for any software that touches the internet (Windows, IE or another browser, IM clients, etc.)
- Virus/Malware protection: make sure you have a decent antivirus product, plus some anti-malware protection. There are too many AV vendors out there with decent products for me to make any one recommendation; again, check the review sites and make your own decision. As far as anti-malware, Spybot Search & Destroy works pretty well, as does MalwareBytes AntiMalware.
Be careful, though; there are many MANY fake antivirus and antimalware products out there! Before you install something, Google it.
- Common sense: limit activities that you know will put you at greater risk. This can include (but is not limited to) visiting "free" porn sites and using pirated software. Web sites that provide these kinds of services are compromised by malware more often than more legitimate sites (though nearly any site could be compromised; hence the need for protective software). Also, peer-to-peer file sharing software is a notorious source of viruses and malware.
That should at least get you started, and make you a less inviting target than the average net surfer.