Things You Can Do to Protect Your PC from Worms and Other Kinds of Nasty Software
Here are several tips from my past experience.
- Update your antivirus program regularly. You should have known better than to have no antivirus protection for your PC, right? Newbies assume if they’ve installed an antivirus program, they’re off to a good night sleep. WRONG! An antivirus program without a regular update is like having a security guard in front of your house without giving him access to a steady supply of caffeine.
- Never ever say yes to those online ads asking permissions to check your computer. Even my computer-literate father has fallen victim to this kind of scam. Be on the lookout, those bastards cleverly disguise their ads in the form of Windows dialog boxes, enticing the unwary to click on them.
- Set your folder options to war stance. Set these options on Windows Explorer to thwart possible malware entry points:
- Show hidden files and folders.
- Not to hide extensions for known file types.
- Use software virtualization programs for unverified software. Do you have a habit of downloading freeware programs from just about anybody on the Web? Well, that’s akin to having free sex without any rubber! Use the free Altiris SVS or Sandboxie as an aquarium for questionable programs. They act as a protective layer over your real system, so those programs will never get in touch with it, though it will operate normally. With Altiris, you can even learn what are the changes made by the unverified software to your system, so, go scour for possible spyware traps.
- Employ personal firewall software. Sure, Windows XP SP2 has one built-in, but you know what, it’ll only protect you in one direction: outside in. Well, spywares operate the other way around, it sends information from your PC to the outside world. So do yourself a favor and install any of the several freeware firewalls. I’ve heard that ZoneAlarm and Sygate Personal Firewall are a cinch to install and operate.