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Secure your PC
So you have a new computer, plugged it all in and booted it up. Are you safe though?
To ensure you are safe while on-line please follow the below steps:
Enable Windows Firewall:
If your Windows XP Operating System has the SP2 update installed already, it is most likely that the Windows Firewall is turned on. However, some computer manufactures or system administrators will turn this feature off. So, check to make sure that it is turned on for the moment. Here's how:
1. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Security Center -> Windows Firewall
If you have already purchased Anti-Virus software and have the disc available, go ahead and load that on to your new system at this time. If you do not have any Anti-Virus software, proceed with the next step. You can legally download free Antivirus software which I will explain in more detail later.
Install All Windows Updates:
After it is certain that your Windows Firewall is activated, go to the Windows update site (link below) and install all available updates for your Operating System. Follow all "recommended" procedures when using the Windows Update site.
Your system is now up-to-date, however, if you did not have Antivirus software with your PC please continue.
There are a few free Antivirus applications you can download, a couple are below:
Once your Anti-Virus software is installed, updated and running, this is a good time to go ahead and install two Anti-Spyware utilities. The two that I recommend are:
Install a good Firewall:
Lastly, let's get you in to an excellent Firewall that is much better protection than the Windows XP Firewall. Zone Alarm is a good Firewall, it allows you to choose what can come in and go out.
Once you have ZoneAlarm installed and running, you can go ahead and turn off your Windows XP Firewall. It is not necessary to have them both running and in some cases, they may conflict and cause you some problems.
Update and Use:
When configured properly, AVG and ZoneAlarm will update themselves whenever a new update is released. If for some reason they do not update themselves, Windows will tell you that there is an update available for your product with a security shield that will reside in your taskbar until the update is installed.
The Spyware scanners (mentioned above) will not automatically notify you of available updates. You will have to actually click the "check for updates" link prior to running a system scan.