Tired of viruses, spyware
other forms of malware sneaking into your computer?
Contrary to popular belief, the #1
key to running a
virus-free Windows PC is not
a good anti-virus
Read on to understand why -- and how to really protect your
computer from viruses, spyware and other types of malware.
* We have yet to find a single anti-virus program with 100% success
rate in detecting and eliminating all threats. That does not mean,
however, that we recommend uninstalling your antivirus software. It
only means that you simply cannot count solely on an antivirus
program to magically protect your computer from existing and future
threats to your PC.
This surprising revelation can explain why so many computer users
are suffering from viruses, trojans, worms, spyware and other types
of malware -- despite running anti-virus software on their
program by itself, is
for providing the trouble-free operation that you expect from your
The following is a summary of proper configuration
that will help
you enjoy years of
malware-free operation of your Windows computer. It is based
on over 30 years of virus-free experience. The priority in
which you implement each tip below is important:
account. Change its type via Control Panel to Limited.
Conduct all your work from that account.
||Do not work,
read email, or use your
Internet browser when logged into an account of the Computer
Exception: You must be logged in as
Administrator to install
new software, to perform updates to Windows and other applications
that are installed in your computer, and to configure certain
system settings. Keep your Administrator session to minimum.
downloading an application,
view its digital signature tab details and
||Do not install
software that triggers
the "The publisher could not be verified"
||Use two browsers. Install
plug-ins (e.g. Flash) on one of them only! Use the "plug-in equipped"
browser (e.g. IE) for entertainment. Use the "bare-bones" browser (e.g.
Firefox) for article reading and secure transactions (i.e. online
shopping, banking, etc.).
||Do not use only one browser for
your entire Internet activity - especially if it has Flash and additional plug-ins
installed and enabled, where
each component introduces additional potential for a security hole.
behind a properly
||Do not connect
to the Internet
without a trusted firewall. If you don't have one, Google "download
sygate personal firewall" for a highly recommended free personal
firewall for Windows XP. Make sure it is digitally
signed, of course. For Windows 7 and Vista, we use the Comodo
||Do not visit
Exercise careful judgment when deciding to click on that link that
shows up in your Google or Bing search results.
caution when opening email
messages in HTML mode. If you have an antivirus installed, perform
a scan on attachment before deciding to open it.
||Do not click
links in email that
comes from unknown sources.
||Install a lightweight
antivirus program. Use only one real-time antivirus
||Do not install
an antivirus suite
that takes significant resources from your computer and slows it
down to the level of being worse than the virus itself.
Do not install more than one real-time antivirus program.
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The most important message up to this point is: You can never claim
seriously protect your
computer if you continue doing your work, reading email and
browsing the web while logged in as Administrator. We know, some of the
measures described above make computer use somewhat less convenient,
but this is a tradeoff that may well be worth the effort -- especially
if you value your time and money.
The tips provided above are meant to serve as preventive measures
against malware. De-infecting your computer after it has been
contracted by a virus is a subject for a separate article. You can use
the following blog post as a starting point: Anti-Virus Tips
Please remember to check this article regularly as we continue to
update it to keep current with new versions of Windows, new
threats and new insights.
You can also find related tweaks and enhancements, by
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