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The best free security setup for Windows.

As a computer tech, I run into a lot of security configurations. Some ok, some laughable. When trying to get protection for your basic home computer, here is the cocktail I recommend.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The use of software for virus removal may result in corruption of important system files, leaving you unable to start Windows. Attempts to restore by untrained personnel may permanently delete files (documents, pictures, etc) .

 1) Microsoft Security Essentials -- Microsoft pumped alot of money into this, to help overcome the perception that Apple is safer. Apple isn't safer, just over 90% of the computers in the world run windows. So Microsoft is a bigger target. I use the real-time scanner of Security Essentials, and will do a one-time scan with Malware Bytes.  Installer

 2) Upgrade from XP, or run as a limited user. Over 50% of all Windows malware attacks are defeated by running with limited permissions. Vista and 7 do this by default. XP runs as Administrator by default. See this post for instructions.

 3) Use a DNS filtering service. Basically this stops websites known to serve malware from being viewed in your browser. I recommend OpenDNS. Visit their website for more details.

4) Use a firewall that blocks pings from the Internet. The best bet is a hardware firewall which is built in to your router. If you don't have a router, you can use Windows Firewall. (Vista or 7 users, set to Public Network)

I hope these tips have helped you solve your problem, and that maybe you can share them with your friend. If it gets to be too confusing or frustrating, you can always call iTeam. Our labor is capped at $75 per incident, and there is never a charge if we can't fix it.

Published Monday, March 12, 2012 by

Filed under TechTips, PCRepair,


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