Often we find our computers to be infected with virus and malware. We believe we need to buy and install expensive anti virus and internet security software programs. Yes, I do agree it’s a good way too. But it’s not feasible for everyone of us to buy and use these programs. We have some built in software programs within our windows operating system which would help us not to get infected in most of cases when we use the internet. This article will discuss in detail about them. if you have not done enabling these built in programs, do it, so that you can be safe (How much is safe always an argument).
I have heard people say to me the following statements when I tell them “My computer is infected often from the internet”.
- Use LINUX dont use windows
- Use other internet browsers like Firefox, Safari and not Internet explorer
- Download free anti Virus Software
- Download free anti Malware Programs
- Install this little program as a plug-in
- Use internet PC scanning software’s once in a while; if virus is found delete that file
Everyone cannot use linux, it’s not for desktops, well as it is today ! (maybe in the future). Most of the programs that we install and use are developed for windows and not for Linux. 80% of the internet users use Internet explorer, meaning 80% of the web is best programmed to view and use in Internet explorer. Free this and free that, well lets not talk about it a lot. So we have windows in our PC and our browser is Internet Explorer.
Now the fact is the above mentioned options are not bad. Practically everyone of them is not posssible. Even though it’s advisable to buy an security programs for your computer, windows being an operating system has some software’s that will try to protect itself for its own self defense (As we will do something to protect ourselves even thought we are not karate black belts). If we could just enable/turn on/use these, we have some basic protection from spyware, viruses, identity theft and spam. Also we have to acknowledge the fact that windows Operating system is developed by Microsoft, they do know what “the system is” (They might not be black belts in karate but they have passed first 5 levels).
Therefore the basic security Features built by them will work.
So lets do something about it.
- Always keep your firewall turned on. Firewall will work like your security guard in your office, its not easy to get past him without a proper Identity card. Windows has one of the good firewall software that is available. If you have not done it this is how you have to do. Here is something more to it. A firewall is a software program or piece of hardware that helps screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet.
- Keep your operating system up-to-date with updates from Microsoft Microsoft constantly finds out bugs/hacks/security issues and gives out patches which are available over the internet for download. If we are up-to-date then we are as safe as any Microsoft computer used in Microsoft itself. These are critical updates that we would have to have in our PC. There is no point having a virus removed after its infected, why don’t we just stop it?. If you are using windows Vista here is the way to receive automatic updatesII. If you are using windows XP here is the way to receive automatic updates
To turn on Internet Connection Firewall:
I. Point to Control Panel, double-click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Set up or change your home or small office network.
II. Follow the steps in the Network Setup Wizard to turn on the Internet Connection Firewall.
Now we have done some basic part of securing our computer lets do some other things that are available with Microsoft Windows.
- Download Windows Defender This is a free antispyware software for Windows XP SP2 and its a integrated part of Windows Vista. Windows Defender is software that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software by detecting and removing known spyware from your computer. Visit here for more information about installing and using it
- Download Malicious Software Removal Tool This tool work with windows and it searches for infections by specific, prevalent malicious software. Microsoft releases an updated version of this tool on the second Tuesday of each month. Get more information and donwload it from here.
- Download Windows SteadyState This is a free tool that can be downloaded. Our personal computers are not just used by us. It’s used by our family and friends. Due to some reason other users may change some setting or download and use certain programs, use the control panel and change vital settings. Now to stop all this and make sure your Computer work with the best settings and no change is done we can give users specifc rights to access programs. So that everyone does not have access to everything. More info vist here.
- Download Microsoft Phishing Filter This is Phishing way a by which fake web sites ask uses to give personal information like name, address, credit card number, bank account number. There is a big list of websites of this kind. We will not know all the sites, good news is that IE7 has this feature built in. So we just have to download and install Internet Explorer 7. follow these steps to enable anti phishing. One important point is we always have to install the new version of the browser, because it will help us safe guard against such things. Old browsers will have many faults, all those will be corrected and enhanced in there new versions. if you are ready to try out Internet Explorer 8 which is not officially released, try it but its not a complete software.
Microsoft has understood that antivirus is something very essential as a part of an operating system. They would be giving out free anti virus program for all to be installed. But that’s coming only by late 2009.
Do safe guard your computer by using these options. Help our operating system to perform better and safe guard yourself.