How Can I Increase My Computer Security By Simply Renaming A Few Files And Folders?

When we think about the security of our computers we usually think about complicated software. We take a look at some of the software that is available for protection and try to pick the best one. This may include antivirus software, encryption software, password storage software, and a whole host of other solutions. But sometimes the most obvious answer is right in front of us but we do not see it.

The obvious ways of protecting your computer is what this article is about.

Sure, you will still probably need to get some of the software that we talked about earlier but they will be used to enhance your security and not be the first line of defense. So let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can protect your computer without any third party help.


Have Rules About What You Put On The Computer

While the title of this article is about renaming files on the system to help in the protection of your computer I will also talk about other low tech ways that you can protect your computer as well.

The first one of these is to make sure that you are careful about what you put on the computer in the first place.

One of the best experiences with the internet is the fact that you are able to easily transfer files back and forth between people. If your grandmother has new photos of her and your grandfathers 50th anniversary you can see them quickly by her sending an email to you. A quick upload of the pictures by her and a quick download by you and it is just like you are there. But the problem comes from your grandmother not being careful on her computer when it comes to malware. To make sure that this problem does not affect you, you have two options – you can either not download the files which is sure to keep your computer safe, or you can scan them with some sort of protection software that may be on your computer.

But this is about staying safe without having to use third party software that is installed on your system.

To stay 100% safe, the best option is to not download the files. Even if they are from grandma, if her computer is known to send other members of the family infected emails, then avoid downloading at all costs.

But you can also give her the option of posting the photos to Facebook or some other photo service. The photo services will make sure that the file is cleaned by doing their own scan.

Even though it is best to have your own software on the computer that will scan the file to make sure that it is safe, having them upload it to a third party service will get the job done as well.

Now It Is Time To Rename Those Files

The renaming the file strategy comes from the IT server world. When you have software that resides on a server, if an attacker knows what kind of software it is, they will be able to navigate around it fairly well. They can get a copy of the software and study how it installs on a system server. From there, they can see if the server that they want to attack has the same software. Since they are familiar with the layout of the software they can easily begin their attack.

Some smart system admins have caught on to these types of games though. Instead of just leaving the software installed in the default position they instead rename the files and folders. This way the attackers are left confused.

You can do the same thing with the files and folders on your computer.

While there are some system files and folders that you won’t be able to rename because it would mess up how the computer works, there are a lot that you can change. Most of the time when you install software on the computer you will see a wizard. On the wizard they will ask you where you want to install the software. Make sure you do not install it in the default position. Change the folder of where the software is installed at. This will confuse most of the attacks that would happen to that piece of software right away. This is not a fool proof plan but it is one that works a great deal of the time.

While it is good to have some advanced software installed on your computer to protect it, that is not the only way. There are some simple things that you can do to protect the computer as well. A simple act of renaming a file can make a world of difference.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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