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Most PC users will be using a broadband service that effectively leaves their PC permanently connected to the Internet. With this type of broadband connection, any PC is at risk from hackers who may be able to exploit loopholes in Windows security to gain access to your data, even using your PC as a server from which to spread viruses and Trojans in order to gain access to other PC's. If you have a network, it is even more important to ensure that you have the correct security settings in order to combat this threat. Wireless networks pose an additional risk in that it is easier for an unauthorised user to connect to a wireless network if there are insufficient security measures in place.
Once your network is set up, the most effective way to prevent unauthorised access to your system is to install a hardware or software "Firewall" A Firewall will provide an extra layer of security, notifying the host user of any request for access from another PC and will prevent even the most professional hacker from gaining access to your system, while still allowing authorised access to your network for legitimate users, such a staff working from home.
There are a number of products available which offer varying degrees of protection, some at remarkably little cost. Again, we are able to offer impartial advice on the product best suited to your needs and can set up and configure whichever system you decide on.