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In the last 2 of the series, I’ve discussed about the basic yet effective ways of combating email SPAM, talked about remaining safe from Phishing, staying protected from Viruses and weeding out Spywares from your computer. In this issue, on the roll of honour, we have:

  1. Windows Security

Looks like you’ve straightened up a bit on that chair, eh!! So lets get cracking then!! 😉

Windows Security: If there’s anything that troubles Windows users the most, its the security of their operating system. The price of popularity, is the wrath of the evil doers, & so Windows pays the price of being the most popular operating system on the planet, be it the Virus writers or the Hackers, their first & most important target is Windows.

There are many idiots as well who rave on about how insecure Windows is, as if there aren’t any security measures that can be taken. How idiotic!!! 🙄 So, we’ll see what security measures that we can take to safeguard our computer from those evil Hackers!!

The first & obvious step is, Windows Update. Yes, if you have the automatic Windows Update disabled, then you should check at the Windows Update website regularly for the security & other Windows Update released from time to time. Keeping your Windows updated with security patches etc. is the first & foremost step in keeping your computer safe from any attacks & exploits.

This is the most obvious step towards keeping your Windows PC secure, but not many people are aware of it and unfortunately a lot of people don’t update their Windows, not even once an year!! Quite shocking but true, I know it as I’ve had the mis-fortune of coming across such idiots who give the aura of a tech savvy person with brand new multimedia speakers, spanky new wireless keyboard/mouse but are still dragging that age old copy of Microsoft Windows98 or Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, which was last updated with Service Pack 2 or 3 when the operating system itself was installed!! 😯 This is obviously suicidal if you are connecting that same Windows to internet without any protection & I don’t think that these so-called tech-savvy people have enough sense to get a firewall when they don’t even have an updated Windows!! And not surprisingly, their PCs are one the ones you’ll find riddled with Spyware & Viruses/Worms etc.

Secondly, you should have a firewall(software) protection when you are venturing out in the cyberworld. Firewall(software) is a computer program that monitors the incoming & outgoing traffic from your computer and you can use it to determine which programs or users or computers(if you are on a local network) can access internet from your computer and you can also decide whom to give access to your computer from outside. Microsoft WindowsXP & later have a firewall built in and if you have WindowsXP SP2 installed, then the firewall is on by default when you are connected to a network or internet. If you don’t have much faith in this default Windows firewall, there are third party solutions available as well which are quite effective and a lot of them are much advanced than the Windows firewall.

I recommend ZoneAlarm Pro. Its not free but worth the $50 you’ll spend on its license. As per me, its the best firewall out there, gives you a lot of control and you can define which programs on your computer can access the internet. So you can actually thwart the malicious programs from accessing internet and openeing your computer wide for attacks!! Same goes for the incoming traffic, it can protect your computer from any person or entity who’s trying to access your computer. Others you can look at are Sygate Personal Firewall Pro, PC-cillin Internet Security, Norton Internet Security 2005(with Norton Anti-Virus), Norton Personal Firewall, McAfee Personal Firewall Plus, Tiny Firewall.

If you don’t want to spend on a Firewall software or can’t spend on it, in other words, if you are looking for something FREE, then you need not be disappointed. You can try ZoneAlarm or Sygate Personal Firewall or Kerio Personal Firewall, all of them are basic versions of their commercial cousins and are FREE for personal use. If you are of the adventurous kind and want to try out something different, then you can take a look at NetDefender, an OpenSource & FREE Firewall software. If you love to get your hands dirty in Microsoft VC++, then you can download its sourec code and see how you can enhance it, its written in VC++ with MFC.

You can also check out Home PC Firewall Guide on more tips to secure your PC, know about the best rated firewall softwares & the not-to-use firewall softwares and more.

I really hope that the along with the last 2 issues of the series, this one will also help you to keep yourself & your computer safe in the cyberworld!! 😉