Windows Security Best Practices for the A+ Certification Exams

Part of the A+ Certification All-In-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

One of the most important skills to have as an A+ Certified Professional is the capability of securing Windows systems and networks. And even if you are not working in a networked environment, you can apply these same skills to your customers with home Internet machines.

  • Harden the operating system: Uninstall any software you are not using and stop any services not being used. The more software that is running, the more potential security holes in the system.

  • Patch the systems: Keep the operating systems and devices up to date with Service Packs and security patches.

  • Use a firewall: Ensure that there is a firewall between your system and the Internet. A firewall prevents hackers from connecting to your system

  • Use strong passwords: Ensure that all user accounts use a strong password (at least eight characters, and uses a mix of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols).

  • Enable auditing: Log any suspicious activity on the system so you are aware of it.

  • Secure your wireless routers: If you have no need for wireless, disable this functionality on your wireless router. If you are using wireless, secure it by changing the SSID, disabling SSID broadcasting, and encrypting traffic with WEP, WPA, or WPA2 (best option). You should also secure the wireless router by setting a strong password for the admin account and disable DHCP on the router. You will then need to configure all your clients with static IP addresses.

  • Use antivirus software: Install antivirus software on all servers and client machines to help protect your systems from a virus. Make sure that your virus definition database is frequently updated.

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