Will turning my broadband modem off protect me from hackers?

by on April 26, 2010

Q: I have Time Warner Broadband with their desktop modem. If I leave my PC on 24/7 but turn the cable modem on/off button “off” when I am not at the computer does that protect my computer from hackers?

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One Response to “Will turning my broadband modem off protect me from hackers?”
  1.  
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    With the cable modem button in the off position your internet connection should be completely severed, and while it is in the off position no data can be transmitted.

    With that said, an idle computer with a live internet connection isn’t much of a danger. Contrary to what you’ve seen in the movies a modern patched up computer can’t just be hacked into at will. You have to let them in the front door first.

    This means you installing a malicious software program that gives them access to the system (spyware/malware/trojans/etc), or you going to a website designed to look like one for a bank (but isn’t) and you typing in your personal information (called phishing).

    So while turning your internet connection off at night will keep anything bad from happening while you sleep, it’s when your awake and using the computer that it is most at risk.

    So:
    – Keep your Operating System up to date
    – Use a good Anti-Virus/ Anti-Spyware product like Microsoft’s Free Security Essentials
    – Avoid downloading files from untrusted sources.
    – If your nervous about a file, send it to http://www.virustotal.com/
    – If you’re nervous about a product or service, google around, someone else has probably looked into it.

    Common Sense and safe computing are your best weapons in keeping your computer safe.