(203) 263-2793

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by Linda Zukauskas
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 7:14 AM EST

WOODBURY — Litchfield County Computer is expanding its capabilities while maintaining its commitment to quality customer service.

Owner Matt Smith told Voices, “My formal background in computer security gives me the advantage in dealing with threats out there today, from identify theft, Nigerian scams, cross border fraud and more.”

Grouping these threats into the category of “malware,” Mr. Smith feels it’s critical to educate users and to use layers of protection around computer systems, both home and business machines.

He keeps up with the latest news, such as the “botnet” problem where hackers want to take advantage of the power of high speed internet connections that residents use to power their illegal activities.

“It’s not enough to just buy anti-virus software.” He advises using additional software such as anti-spyware and a firewall, creating several barriers around a computer.

“When malware comes in, it may get through one layer but be stopped at the next. Computer security is very complex and requires formal training. Things change rapidly and one million pieces of malware are released every day.”

He is happy to help users learn how to protect themselves.

“If a user travels to websites that are likely to be infected, the risk of getting the computer that is surfing the website infected is going to go up.

“Getting a computer infected is all about money… [such as] the fake antivirus program. These things look like their legit copies, but are designed to make you think that your computer is infected and get you to send $90 plus to the scammers that wrote the program to ‘clean’ your computer, when in reality it is the fake antivirus program that is the infection that needs to be cleaned off!”

With his newly expanded capabilities, Mr. Smith can get more work done, faster, and he is working on providing cloud-based computing services.

Noting “If you don’t have your computer, you don’t do business,” Mr. Smith provides backup as well as restoration services.

“People notice their computer is slow and tell themselves it’s because the computer is slow. But, computers don’t age. The problem is either malware or problem with the hard drive. It’s mechanical with many moving parts and those wear out.”

He said it’s always less expensive in terms of time and money to prevent a problem than ask him to recover data and equipment.

Customers can call for an appointment at 203-263-2793 and Mr. Smith can do a preliminary assessment over the phone.

He lists all services on his web site, www.litchfieldcountycomputer.com, but is happy to help customers who have questions or requests beyond what they see online.

His love of computers began when he was five and his parents got him the tool so he could do his schoolwork. “My handwriting isn’t the greatest. I enjoy the fact that you can make the machine do what you want.

“Now, in my business, I enjoy seeing a messed up computer, not running, leave here fast and on it’s way back to what it’s supposed to be doing.”

He also wants to be independent; as someone with a disability, he wants to make an effort and succeed in the world rather than rely on the system to get by.

“That’s why I went to college and own my own business,” he said, noting that the program at Western Connecticut State University was the first in the country to have an undergraduate computer security program.

The National Security Agency recognized the school’s Information Security Management program to be in full compliance with the national standard, CNSS Standard 4011.