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A Simple PC Security Guide For Non Techie Bloggers That Use Windows

Ben Moreno

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As an IT expert I knew I was not going to be able to keep away from spreading some of my tech knowledge on my blog Revenue Reservoir. This is why I decided to write this nice little security guide for Blogger's who are not that familiar with PC security. Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive guide to PC security. It is designed to be a simple guide to help you make your PC more secure.

The Danger

As a Blogger there is a lot of danger that goes with Blogging, creating sites, filling out forms, making online transfers and surfing the web. You will be sending critical information often during this type online activity. Like anything else, it is very important to keep your computer and information protected.

Windows Updates

Before you even continue reading this guide click on START, All Programs then Windows Update and run this over and over until your computer says it is up-to-date. This is an often forgotten critical security practice. Make sure your computer is set to automatically update too. Microsoft creates updates because they find security holes in their software and the update fixes them!

What You Need

Over the years I have tried many programs, tools, suites, etc. and I have narrowed it down to a select few programs that will provide all the protection you need. You will need the following:

Antivirus Program
Antispyware Program
Secure Browser
Encryption Tool

The best part about it is that you won't have to spend a single penny on any of these programs because they are all free. This little guide is separated into two sections. There is one section for Windows XP users and one for Windows Vista users.

Windows XP Users 32/64 Bit

Firewall: ZoneAlarm

This is the best firewall there is for Windows XP. Unlike the windows firewall this one blocks both incoming and outgoing access. This is the most important security aspect of your computer. This program will stop people from trying to gain access to your computer and stop viruses you just happen to get from trying to send information out. It will turn off any unnecessary services and block any unnecessary ports.

AntiVirus: Avast

This is a very good antivirus program that offers pretty complete protection for free. Running virus scans every week and keeping your program always up-to-date will ensure you don't catch a bad virus before it's too late.

Antispyware: Spybot Search & Destroy, AdAware, and Windows Defender

For Spyware it is best to do a three program approach to ensure you don't miss a bug that one of the other programs can't detect yet. Spybot has been rated the best antivirus by numerous magazines and it is free! AdAware has always been neck and neck with Spybot as one of the best free antispy programs. Windows Defender is built in to windows and does have its uses. You may here people say bad things about Windows Defender, but there has been times when Defender was the only program that was able to get rid of some Spyware that I had on my computer. Running regular scans with these three programs will pretty much keep you spyware free. Always remember to update the programs to the latest before scanning.

Browser: Firefox

Your Internet browser is another essential Blogging tool that needs to be secure and Firefox is the best choice in that matter. There has been much more viruses written to attack Internet Explorer than there is for Firefox. Firefox has a lot of nice add-ons as well and has become a more secure alternative to IE these days. They just released version 3.

Encryption: LockNote

This awesome little program is identical to notepad but it lets you create password protected, 128bit encrypted notes! It's a very convenient way to secure important information.

Windows Vista 32/64

Firewall: Windows Vista Firewall

At the time this guide was created, Zonealarm did not have a Vista 64bit compatible version. The built in firewall for Vista is much better than the basic XP firewall. It now monitors outgoing traffic as well as incoming traffic and is kernelled much deeper into the OS than before. I have been using this firewall since I got Vista and it has been providing solid protection ever since. If Zonealarm ever does release a Vista compatible version it would probably be best to upgrade to it.

Antivirus: Avast

Avast is the only antivirus that I found that is 100% compatible with Vista 64-Bit. I have been using it for about a year without any problems.

Antispyware: Spybot Search & Destroy, AdAware, and Windows Defender

All three of these programs work just fine with windows Vista 64-Bit. Use the same steps here as you do with windows XP.

Browser: Firefox

Firefox seems to work just fine with Vista-64. You must download the 32-Bit version if you are not using 64-Bit windows or else it will not work.

Encryption: LockNote

This program also works in Vista 32/64.

Don't Forget About Security

Just because you install these programs and setup a nice firewall doesn't mean you are bullet proof. You should always be thinking about security and always be looking into more ways to protect yourself. When visiting websites make sure they are secure sites by looking at the top of your browser window by the address bar. The continuing threat of identity theft makes keeping your computer safe very important.

I hope this guide serves you well. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments regarding this guide or PC security.


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