Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Last day of 2007–Holiday Edition

Well, we’ve survived another year, and it’s time to make our “resolutions” for the new year. 2007 was not a very good year for those of us concerned with computer and network security– the number of reported infections doubled from 2006, spam and phishing attempts are at record levels, and the experts are beginning to admit that current anti-malware technologies simply cannot keep pace with the hackers and e-criminals. No one is predicting that these trends will improve anytime soon.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and the Internet is one vast chain of linked-together computers; so I ask you to “resolve”– for the coming New Year– to ‘strengthen’ the link that is your computer. To help, I am re-posting an article originally titled “Top 10 Things to do to your computer” which is an amalgamation of the advice I have published in prior articles. It contains links to specific instructions for securing your PC.
Today is the last day of my ‘vacation’, and Tech–for Everyone will resume tomorrow. Again, I sincerely hope you are all having a safe and a happy holiday, and you have my very best wishes for a prosperous new year. My online Tech Support business
is open as usual.

There are several things a PC owner should do to have a healthy computer and be safe(r) from online cyber criminals when they browse the Internet. Not surprisingly, I have covered these topics/items over the course of writing this six-days-a-week series of articles.
I have noticed (from my stats) that not too many folks are looking through past (archived) articles, nor are they using the Search tool to find this previously posted advice and help. So I thought I would put the more important ones into a single list — a “Top 10 List” — and provide direct links (blue text) to the articles which cover the How To steps of making these things happen… and provide you with a simple way to find out what you need to do, compared to what you’ve done already. In case you missed one, or two.

Tip of the day: Run down this list, and ask yourself, “have I done that?” to each one.

1) Install an antivirus, and keep it up-to-date (with the latest “definitions”).
To read my articles on malware, click here. To see a list of links to free antivirus programs, click here. To read my article on how to configure your antivirus for maximum protection, click here.

2) Install two anti-spyware apps, with one having “active” shielding.
To read allmy articles which discuss spyware, click here. To see a list of links to free anti-spyware programs, click here.

3) Installed a 3rd Party firewall OR turn on the Widows Firewall. Preferably, the former.
* If you have a home router or Wireless AP, make sure the firewall feature is enabled (NAT).

4) Enable Automatic Updates from Microsoft (and either set it to automatically install [for the non-geeky] or to prompt for install [for the hands-on type]) and set your programs to “automatically check for updates”.
And then actually click on the “Install” button when told there are updates available.. and not tell them to go away, you’re busy.

5) Password protect your User Accounts.

6) Make a (monthly) system backup.. or at least a “files and settings” backup.. and store a copy — on two different types of media — someplace other than your hard drive.
To read all my articles on backups, click here.

7) Upgrade to IE 7 and/or an “alternative” Web browser (like Firefox, Opera, or Avant). Click here to read my articles on browsers and browsing.

8: Use strong (and complex) passwords. Everywhere. And change them every so often.

9) Rename the Administrator account.

10) Tell Windows to show file extensions.

* (Windows XP) Use the NTFS file system, and disable Simple File Sharing.

* (Laptops) Encrypt your hard drive.

There is more you can do to optimize your PC (of course) and the odds are good that I have told you the steps in a prior article, as I’ve written well over a 150 of them– so far, and I invite you type the word “optimize” into my Search box and see what comes up. Also, my Tag Cloud can help you find topics that can help– click on a word in the “cloud” and see the articles I have “tagged” as being relevant.
I hope this find-it-in-one-spot review has been helpful to you.

Today’s free link: By clicking the links above, you will see all the previously posted downloads, of which there are many. And also, there are links to more free links in no’s 1 and 2 above.

Copyright 2007 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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December 31, 2007 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, Backups, computers, how to, PC, privacy, security, tech, Windows | Leave a comment