Privacy & SecurityThe vast majority of internet users are aware malicious software like viruses and spyware exists and give varying amounts of their time, efforts and money to a number detection and removal programmes, but as far as actually preventing these parasites installing in the first place, the majority rely solely on a free firewall.
Protect your computer.
Logic ( if nothing else) tells us that if we put a little more emphasis on prevention, we reduce the level of necessity and reliance on detection and removal.
The time and money we spend protecting our property, home and belongings is multi-level. If there is a perimeter we put a fence around it. The Higher the fence, the harder it is for a potential intruder. Those who invest in things like alarms and CTV enjoy a greater level of security and protection.
If there is a door or window we put a lock on it, the stronger the lock, the better the protection.
We hide, photograph or mark important/valuable items.
Then we take out insurance ..... just in case.
We also use curtains and blinds for a high degree of privacy.
By accessing the internet with an unprotected PC, anyone with the knowledge, tools, and inclination can wander in and out of our computers as they please, someone is just using technology, rather than entering your home or office in person, but by applying the same multi-level mentality for your computer, you can enjoy a High level of Privacy and security.
So, follow our guide, to get a high fence, lock those doors and put some blinds up at the Windows of your PC.
Your computer comes with a limited amount of protection already installed.
The following areas of your computer can be used to reduce the possibility of anything being installed without your specific knowledge or consent.
Browser Active X controls The Hosts file
Make sure your Windows operating system is fully up to date. Many security holes are fixed with a patch, check to see if any updates are available for your Windows here. Consider allowing Windows to automatically check for, and install updates. Click Start, then right click on My computer and select properties from the drop down list to open the System properties box. Configure it on the Automatic updates tab.
Install protective software. All recommended software comes with one of those dreaded instruction manuals, do try to find the time to read it.
No computer should ever connect to the internet without a firewall. Its purpose is to only allow connections into and out of your computer that you approve. They also check the packets of data for some viruses and Trojans. more info and downloads
Note - The firewall that comes with Windows XP, only monitors incoming packets and it is therefore not recommended.
The above measures should be considered as an absolute minimum. Malware writers can (with alarming regularity) trick their way past them. Here are some additional software you may wish to consider using, to prevent malicious software installing in your PC.
Spyware Guard Background process to check applications as they begin to run for known spyware and malicious code, produces an alert if necessary. Freeware.
SpywareBlaster From the same company as Spyware guard, this is not a scanner, it blocks malicious objects and code from being downloaded, in addition to blocking access to sites known to download malware. Freeware
Process Guard Alerts you when a new process starts on your computer and protects your legitimate files from attack by blocking changes that you do not specifically approve. There is a Free version available (the paid version offers protection against additional threats, including rootkits and keyloggers).
Worm Guard uses generic, heuristic detection as opposed to a database like traditional scanner. Which means it will alert you to any worm-like activity including worms that can avoid conventional detection methods and new viruses that have not yet been added to an anti-virus scanners' database.
A free trial is available, the full version costs ($29.99) approx £16.
Wintask5 Pro. A utility to show all processes running on your computer, even those that hide from your Windows system. It will also offer information about the process and any threat it poses.
Dialerdetect, a free programme that will alert you when a new internet connection is being created, alerting you to any premium rate diallers that have secretly installed.
Regprot, is a Free application that will alert you to additions or changes to your registry.
EULAlyzer will read those long End User License Agreements and alert you to potentially dangerous terms.
Antispy Exposes malicious processes and activities active in your PC
The main reason why companies who produce malicious software are able to make so much money is they exploit the average computer users lack of protection. By using some of the above products you are drastically limiting their ability make you their next victim, or 'customer' as they like to call you.
Even despite your efforts and the best software available, there is no guarantee you will never become infected. A successful malware writer is always trying to find ways of getting into your computer and making his programs run. You should therefore also be armed with (or use online) Scanners to detect and remove anything that slips by. Use the menu on the right for more information and downloads.
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Privacy & Security
hackers, crackers & firewalls
BHO's & Hijackers
Drive by downloads
Scams & Hoaxes
Free pest scan
Clean up/repair after malware infection
Prevent malware installing
Start in Safe mode
Show hidden files/folders
enable/disable Active X controls
Disable Messenger service pop-ups
Use the Host file
Removal tool for Rogue spyware removers & Fake Warnings
Kill Sdbot-ADD / lockx.exe
Kill seeve.exe / mediamotors pop ups
New Winfixer infection displays fake Blackworm warning
The real cost of Free security software