|6 Essential Steps to Protect Your
Computer On the Internet For Free
by: Jerry Yu
Recently one of my friends asked me to check out if his
computer was infected by virus. He suspected because occasionally
the computer was shut down automatically when connected
to internet. My first thought was the Sasser worm 60 seconds
auto count-down. As he uses Windows 98 second edition
with IE5, the virus must be a Sasser variant.
I'm not network security expert but I know some basic
things he must do to protect his home PC. It was a shock
when he told me that his 4 years old PC had no protection
except McAfee anti-virus.
Bought in 2000 and no Windows service packs had been applied
McAfee anti-virus software came with the PC when bought
and no updates since then.
No firewall installed.
No anti spyware installed.
This is what I did to beef up his PC to the best of my
Step #1: Patch the operating system.
The first thing I did was update his Windows 98 to the
latest available Windows updates for Windows 98.
Open Microsoft Windows Update page at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
Scan the PC to find out what critical updates and security
fixes are missing.
Select, download, and install a selection of updates,
especially any Critical Updates.
Restart the PC after finished.
When you open the Microsoft Windows Update page, click
the "Scan for updates" link. The page will suggest
what updates are needed based on your Windows version.
You should install all Critical Updates suggested by Microsoft.
It took me about one and half hour to complete the above
Step #2: Download, install, and run Spybot to get rid
of all spyware.
Spybot-S&D is a free anti-spyware software to detect
any spyware installed on your PC.
Spyware is any software that is installed on your PC and
tracks your online behavior without your knowledge or
consent. Spyware generally can
Track what web pages you are visiting and send these information
to advertising companies. This kind of spyware is commonly
Track and record your computer activities such as what
keys you hit. This is generally called Trojans.
Change your web browser's home page.
After installed Spybot, I immediately scanned my friend's
computer and found 166 problems. The first run killed
nearly all of them except some memory residents that had
to be killed after a reboot.
Step #3: Download and install Kerio Personal Firewall
Kerio Personal Firewall limited free edition is for home
users. After installation, KPF works as the full edition
for 30 days, after which it becomes the limited free edition.
You may also try the free ZoneAlarm firewall. Be aware
that ZoneAlarm free edition uses a lot of computer memory.
The following is the free
ZoneAlarm firewall download link. You hardly can find
this download link on ZoneAlarm site because they want
you to buy the Pro version which is a much better choice.
Step #4: Download AVG anti-virus software
Because my friend has McAfee antivirus installed but has
not been updated for about 4 years. I downloaded AVG Free
Edition antivirus software and let him to consider if
he wanted to pay and update his McAfee or use the freebie.
Running two antivirus software on the same computer can
Step #5: Install password management software - RoboForm
RoboForm is a password management software with Artificial
Intelligence built in that can automatically fill online
forms for you. It has been featured on The Wall Street
Journal, CNN, The New York Times, Financial Times, PC
Nowadays we all have many usernames and passwords to use
on the internet. Some spywares record your keystrokes
and send them to the hackers. It has been reported many
times that people lost all their money in online bank
account or internet payment system account.
One of RoboForm key features is designed to combat this
kind of key logger hacking. RoboForm can
AutoSave passwords in browser.
AutoFill passwords to login form.
Click Login button for you.
Fill personal info into online forms.
Save offline passwords & notes.
Generate Secure Random Passwords.
Encrypt passwords and personal info using 3-DES.
All personal info is stored on your computer only.
Put passwords on USB KeyChain for extra security.
Sync your passwords and safenotes to a Palm.
Backup & Restore, Print your passwords.
More features: drill down for more.
RoboForm works best with IE 5.0 and above. IE6 is the
recommended browser to use with Artificial Intelligence
Note: free eidition comes with some limitations.
Step #6: Apply additional security measures.
More security measures and resources:
Read Web Security tutorial from W3Schools, especially
the paragraphs for home users.
Use Audit My PC to do three Penetration Testing.
Use Gibson Research's ShiedsUP to do port scan and get
Download Gibson Research's LeakTest and check if personal
firewall can be fooled. If the firewall is good, the LeadTest
will not be able to reach the internet.
Browse Microsoft security home page to learn more about
Mission completed. It took me nearly 4 hours that night
and the result is so far so good.
About The Author
The author, Jerry Yu, is an experienced internet marketer
and web developer. Visit his site http://www.WebActionGuide.com
for FREE "how-to" step-by-step action guide,
tips, knowledge base articles, and more.