Tech – for Everyone

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

Basic Steps For Protecting Your PC

Folks, the Internet is not Disneyland. Most knowledgeable people refer to it as the “wild, wild, West” (a reference to sheer lawlessness) but I like a different analogy better.. think of it as going into the Big City, and going down to the docks/warehouse district, alone, and at night.
You can do it, but you best be careful.

What you can do:

1: please read Top 10 things you should do to your computer. It is a checklist, and provides you with the How To’s for a (more) secure computer, as well as providing links to important (free) security downloads.
2: enable an anti-phishing filter, which can help alert you to poisoned websites before you go there. All modern browsers have a filter built in, and all you have to do is turn it on; or, you can add a toolbar/plug-in such as McAfee’s Site Advisor or – my preference – the excellent WOT.
3: make sure ALL the programs on your computer are patched and up-to-date. The easiest and most effective way to do this (IMHO) is to download and install the PSI (Personal Software Inspector) from Secunia.
4: Never respond to e-mails asking for personal information. Legitimate businesses never contact you about “important issues” via e-mail. But criminals love to go phishing!
5: Be PARANOID on the Internet. (Use common sense) Think someone can’t trace back to you? Guess again; your browser reveals a wealth of information by default. Sound too good to be true? It is. There’s no such thing as a “free iPod”… and, no, you did not win the Irish Lottery. Is looking at sexually explicit material simply irresistible? Go to one of those video rental shops that has a back room instead of clicking links and images — a malware infection can cost you all your data and/or several hundred dollars in cleanup.. and/or many hours of your time..

[note: almost all of these things are “set it, then forget it” simple. You do not have to be an über-geek, or devote hours, to implement them. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!] 

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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February 4, 2009 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, security, tech | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. TechPaul,

    You will probably be seeing a post in the very near future that points to this article… This is good, very good, information for everyone (at all levels).



    Comment by whatsonmypc | February 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. “Go to one of those video rental shops that has a back room instead of clicking links and images” – humourous, but nevertheless, solid Internet security advice.

    As usual a terrific article with the usual rock solid advice.

    Thanks for this.


    Comment by Bill Mullins | February 4, 2009 | Reply

  3. Thank you, both. Just doing my part to get the word out there, and seen by as many eyeballs as possible.

    Folks, do yourself a favor. Both of these gentlemen are the authors of what I consider to be Class A tech blogs (Class A equals “must read”) please take a look at,
    (… and then come back here, of course.)


    Comment by techpaul | February 4, 2009 | Reply

  4. More great advice! I like your analogy about being in the city at night! That’s really good. I, too made a list of ways to surf the web safer: Staying Safe In The Wild Wild Web. One other thing I’d add about avoiding phishing is, if you do anything sensitive online, type the address in directly. That way you KNOW you weren’t forwarded to a fake site by a deceptive link.

    I’d never heard of PSI. Thanks for the tips!


    Comment by tim | February 11, 2009 | Reply

    • Secunia’s software inspector tools are a tremendous boon for those concerned with keeping the bad guys away from their machine(s) (which should be everybody. Ahem.) and the folks there deserve a special THANK YOU! for making it freely available to the public. (A big tip of my geek hat.)

      There’s two versions – an online scan that you can visit and run at any time (it checks about 1,000 common programs); and my preference, a installed version (PSI) which is far more capable and thorough (check out the “Advanced” tab) and stays ‘active’ to constantly monitor your state.


      Comment by techpaul | February 11, 2009 | Reply

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