how to secure your computer

I am sick of seeing adware crazed lunatic machines that are too damn slow to do anything with. This is easy stuff folks, so I’ll tell you what to do.

This assumes you are running a windoze box attached to the internet, preferably Windows XP, if you are running Windows 98 or ME, there isn’t much help for you, sorry. Take your computer to the nearest trash can and go to http://www.dell.com to start over.

1: Stop installing crap off the internet. Educate your husband, wife, kids, and household that the cute thing they want is probably spyware ridden. When in doubt, do not install it.

2: If you can get them (or yourself) to, stop using Internet Explorer. Go download Firefox and use it instead. IE allows activeX and all sorts of bad things that are too easy to install (see #1).

3: Always update your PC… you know, the little icon in the lower right hand corner that says it has updates. Alternatively, you can go to this URL (which should be in your start menu). http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com Always do at least the critical updates, but I highly recommend doing all updates, all the time, even the non critical ones. Set your pc to autoupdate and leave it on all the time and windows will automagically update itself. It also doesn’t hurt to double check occasionally by visiting the above webpage manually to see if windows is up to date. Note: You have to visit the update webpages with IE, Firefox doesn’t work there, thank you Microsoft.

3: If you use Office, update it. http://officeupdate.microsoft.com . Same deal as above except not automagic, just go there occasionally and download whatever updates it thinks you need. This is only good if you have office products installed. (Excel, outlook, etc.) Note: You have to visit the update webpages with IE, Firefox doesn’t work there, thank you Microsoft.

4: You should be running windows XP, if you are, you should be running XP sp2, which includes a firewall built in. You want to remove any aftermarket firewall software, Norton, Mcafee, bulldog, whatever it is called, remove it and use the built in XP firewall only. Most of these downloadable firewalls are more of a nuisance than what you are trying to be protected from. Start/control panel/add-remove/ pick it and choose uninstall.

5: Install spyware detection software. I recommend a free one, there are a few, if you pay you are getting screwed, IMO. The one I have installed that works best is Spybot S&D Install it, update it, and let it scan and fix any problems it finds. Set it up on a schedule to run nightly, and resolve problems as it finds them by itself. This will help keep your machine clean. Be sure to use the tea timer and immunize the system during install!

5: Occasionally you need to chkdsk your drives. Right click on any local hard disk, choose properties, then tools, then “check for errors”. Check the top box only and say “check for errors now”. Most of the time you will have to reboot to do this, say “yes” to the checkbox, and then reboot the machine and let it work its magic.

6: Install and use some sort of antivirus software. I recommend the AVG Free version . Install one, use it, and keep it updated.

7: Get a yahoo email account, and give that out as your address to anyone (any company, really) that might send you spam. Use your personal email address for people that you really know and would want to email you.

If you do these 7 things, your computer will work faster, and I will not complain if I come over to your house and have to use your pc, and fix it first.

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