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This is the beginning of a three part installment designed to help you avoid going through the steps in my previous article. In part one we will look at several pieces of software that will help protect you from spyware and viruses, in part two we will outline safe web browsing habits, and in part three we will address safe email habits.
Turning Your Computer Into a Fortress
No one likes getting spyware and viruses, but most people don’t have any idea how to protect themselves from these rogue programs. I’m going to outline for you several pieces of software that can help you defend yourself from marauding malware.
Step One: Deport the Troublemakers
The first thing to do is make sure you know what programs are accessing the internet from your computer. There are a few ways to do this depending on how tech savvy you are. The first way is to use Netstat. Netstat is a component of Windows that is included with Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Vista. To use it to view all of the programs using your internet connection click on Start -> RUN and type CMD. You will get a black box with something like C:\Documents And Settings\user in it. Now type NETSTAT -A -B > NETSTAT.log. After two or three minutes the command will complete. Now type NOTEPAD NETSTAT.log and you will see something that looks like this:
Now if there are any .exe or .dll files you don’t recognize you should head over to LIUtilities and enter them in their process search. If the file is a normal windows file they will let you know and you can rest assured that it is safe and you don’t have to worry about that one. Once you’ve determined that everything currently contacting the internet is ok we can move on to step two. If any of the files come back as being malicious you will need to refer back to my previous article for help.
Step 2: Build A Wall
Now go download SunBelt Personal Firewall and install it. I recommend choosing Advanced Mode during the installation as that will give you the most control over what your computer does. Once the Personal Firewall is installed disable Windows Firewall by going to Start -> Control Panel -> Security Center -> Windows Firewall and changing it to Off. No reboot your PC and get to know your new firewall. For and in depth look at Sunbelt you can read my Sunbelt Personal Firewall Guide.
Now you have done two things, you have built a wall around your PC’s internet connection by installing Sunbelt and you have staffed it with guards via AVG Antivirus.
In Part Two of this series we’ll talk about why you should always listen to your Firewall and Antivirus and how you can avoid giving away the keys to your PC through poor surfing habits.
[...] Part One of my article on Securing your PC I recommended Sunbelt Personal Firewall. This is a companion [...]
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