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Old 05-16-2004, 01:41 PM   #1
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Default Suggestions on what you can do to secure/clean your PC

Hi ... This is my first post and i want to start by saying i didn't write this , i found it on microsoft help site ... I thought it was a really good post ... Its going to be in 2 post

Suggestions on what you can do to secure/clean your PC. I'm going to try
and be general, I will assume a "Windows" operating system is what is
being secured here.


This one is the most obvious. There is no perfect product and any company
worth their salt will try to meet/exceed the needs of their customers and
fix any problems they find along the way. I am not going to say Microsoft
is the best company in the world about this but they do have an option
available for you to use to keep your machine updated and patched from
the problems and vulnerabilities (as well as product improvements in some
cases) - and it's free to you.

Windows Update

Go there and scan your machine for updates. Always get the critical ones as
you see them. Write down the KB###### or Q###### you see when selecting the
updates and if you have trouble over the next few days, go into your control
panel (Add/Remove Programs), match up the latest numbers you downloaded
recently (since you started noticing an issue) and uninstall them. If there
was more than one (usually is), install them back one by one - with a few
hours of use in between, to see if the problem returns. Yes - the process
is not perfect (updating) and can cause trouble like I mentioned - but as
you can see, the solution isn't that bad - and is MUCH better than the
alternatives. (SASSER/BLASTER were SO preventable with just this step!)

Windows is not the only product you likely have on your PC. The
manufacturers of the other products usually have updates as well. New
versions of almost everything come out all the time - some are free, some
are pay - some you can only download if you are registered - but it is best
to check. Just go to their web pages and look under their support and
download sections.

You also have hardware on your machine that requires drivers to interface
with the operating system. You have a video card that allows you to see on
your screen, a sound card that allows you to hear your PCs sound output and
so on. Visit those manufacturer web sites for the latest downloadable
drivers for your hardware/operating system. Always (IMO) get the
manufacturers hardware driver over any Microsoft offers. On the Windows
Update site I mentioned earlier, I suggest NOT getting their hardware
drivers - no matter how tempting.

Have I mentioned that Microsoft has some stuff to help secure your computer
available to the end-user for free? This seems as good of a time as any.
They have a CD you can order (it's free) that contain all of the Windows
patches through October 2003 and some trial products as well that they
released in February 2004. Yeah - it's a little behind now, but it's better
than nothing (and used in coordination with the information in this post,
well worth the purchase price..)

Order the Windows Security Update CD

They also have a bunch of suggestions, some similar to these, on how to
better protect your Windows system:

Protect your PC


Let's say you are up-to-date on the OS (operating system) and you have
Windows XP.. You should at least turn on the built in firewall. That will
do a lot to "hide" you from the random bad things flying around the
Internet. Things like Sasser/Blaster enjoy just sitting out there in
Cyberspace looking for an unprotected Windows Operating System and jumping
on it, doing great damage in the process and then using that Unprotected OS
to continue its dirty work of infecting others. If you have the Windows XP
ICF turned on - default configuration - then they cannot see you! Think of
it as Internet Stealth Mode at this point. It has other advantages, like
actually locking the doors you didn't even (likely) know you had. Doing
this is simple, the instructions you need to use your built in Windows XP
firewall can be found here:


If you read through that and look through the pages that are linked from it
at the bottom of that page - I think you should have a firm grasp on the
basics of the Windows XP Firewall as it is today.

But let's say you DON'T have Windows XP - you have some other OS like
Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000. Well, you don't have the nifty built in
firewall. My suggestion - upgrade. My next suggestion - look through your
options. There are lots of free and pay firewalls out there for home users.
Yes - you will have to decide on your own which to get. Yes, you will have
to learn (oh no!) to use these firewalls and configure them so they don't
interfere with what you want to do while continuing to provide the security
you desire. It's just like anything else you want to protect - you have to
do something to protect it. Here are some suggested applications. A lot of
people tout "ZoneAlarm" as being the best alternative to just using the
Windows XP ICF, but truthfully - any of these alternatives are much better
than the Windows XP ICF at what they do - because that is ALL they do.

ZoneAlarm (Free and up)

Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) (Free and up)

Outpost Firewall from Agnitum (Free and up)

Sygate Personal Firewall (Free and up)

Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall (~$25 and up)

BlackICE PC Protection ($39.95 and up)

Tiny Personal Firewall (~$49.00 and up)

That list is not complete, but they are good firewall options, every one of
them. Visit the web pages, read up, ask around if you like - make a
decision and go with some firewall, any firewall. Also, maintain it.
Sometimes new holes are discovered in even the best of these products and
patches are released from the company to remedy this problem. However, if
you don't get the patches (check the manufacturer web page on occasion),
then you may never know you have the problem and/or are being used through
this weakness. Also, don't stack these things. Running more than one
firewall will not make you safer - it would likely (in fact) negate some
protection you gleamed from one or the other firewalls you ran together.

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Old 05-16-2004, 02:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Suggestions on what you can do to secure/clean your PC

gd info thanks
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