Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a device that is primarily used to provide a backup power source to the parts in the computer case, the monitor, and any other device plugged in to the UPS.

Browser Hijacking

Browser hijacking is probably the most dangerous form of "malware" because it allows an attacker to steal your online identity. In June of 2009, cyber criminals stole $415,000 from Bullitt County Kentucky by infecting the county treasurer's PC, creating fake employees, and wiring funds to bank accounts abroad. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is the software most susceptible to this type of attack. The most foolproof way to prevent hijackers from infecting your PC is to use a "read only" operating system, or "Live CD" that does not open your hard drive, such as Ubuntu or Knoppix, for your online banking transactions.

Hard Drive Crashes

In a hard-drive, the recording heads literally "fly" on a cushion of air over the surface of the discs. A "crash" is when one of the heads comes in contact with the disc, physically gouging and destroying it's surface. The hard-drive is the most likely part to fail, as it contains moving parts that spin at well over 5,000 rpm. Most computer failures are not really "crashes", but are more likely the result of "bugs" or "holes" in the operating system. Computers, contrary to most people's experience, should run for several years without fail and without having to reboot them on a regular basis.

WEP Security

WEP is commonly used to protect both corporate and residential networks in spite of the fact that, with few exceptions, it can be cracked in a matter of hours. In 2005, T.J. Maxx disclosed that thieves cracked their WEP wireless network and stole information on over 45 million credit cards. As a result, use of WEP in any network associated with credit-card processing is prohibited as of June 30, 2010. If you have a wireless network, change your security settings to use WPA2 instead of WEP. The cost involved is only your time and effort. Not switching to WPA2 could cost you much more.

Anti-Virus Software

Viruses are created to exploit defects in your computer software, which sometimes aren't discovered until after the virus has already done its job. The problem with anti-virus software is that it usually only treats "known" viruses. The best you can do is to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date regularly, or switch to an operating system with a natural immunity to viruses, such as Apple's Mac OS or a Linux-based OS such as RedHat or Ubuntu.

Backup Media

While economical and easy to use, most people don't realize that recordable CD's and DVD's have a limited shelf life and are easily damaged by light and heat. Always store CD's and DVD's in a cool, dark place and if valuable, copy to fresh discs every two years. Backups on magnetic media, however, will usually out last the drives on which they were recorded. Also, the low-cost and high availability of portable hard and flash USB drives makes these devices more suitable for backup and long-term storage.