Archive for the ‘Install This’ Category

Badware

January 27, 2006

Badware or Malware are generic terms used to describe Computer Viruses, Trojan Horses, and Spyware.

StopBadware.org defines Badware as…

Badware is software that fundamentally disregards a user’s choice over how his or her computer will be used. There are several commonly recognized terms for types of badware – spyware, malware, and deceptive adware. Common examples might be a free screensaver that surreptitiously generates ads, or a malicious web browser toolbar that makes your browser go to different pages than the ones you expected.

How do you know if your Home Computer has been infected with Badware? Common symptoms are:

  • Your Home Computer runs slower
  • Your Web Browser starts with a website that you did not choose
  • Your Home Computer is being bombarded with Popup Windows

Spybot Search and Destroy

How do you check your Home Computer for Badware and remove it? In addition to anti-virus software, I recommend that you download and install the Free program Spybot Search and Destroy.

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Firefox

January 26, 2006

Get Firefiox

The sales pitch is simple, Switch to Firefox. Safer, Faster, Better. Over 100 Million Downloads. Get Firefox Today. Rediscover the web.

The default Web Browsing Software included with Microsoft Windows is called Internet Explorer. Daniel Miessler sums up my personal experience in an article entitled, Why You Should Dump Internet Explorer. The single most important thing you can do to secure your Home Computer is to *stop* using Internet Explorer.

I could rant for quite a while on this issue. I could provide links to articles that share my opinion. However, I think the Microsoft Internet Explorer Home Page says it best. Count how many times security is mentioned on the page. Fixes to security problems are being sold as features. Yikes!

Firefox is an alternative Web Browser. I’ll say it again. Switch to Firefox. Safer, Faster, Better. Over 100 Million Downloads. Get Firefox Today. Rediscover the web.

Anti-Virus Software

January 23, 2006

Now that we’ve learned a little about Computer Viruses, you need to protect yourself from becoming infected by them.

Rule #1: DO NOT open e-mail attachments.

Unfortunately, the simplest way to send large files between family and friends is to attach them to e-mail messages. It is not always possible to follow Rule #1, so…

Rule #2: Scan all e-mail attachments with Anti-Virus software before opening them.

AVG Anti-Virus Logo

I recommend that you use AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition. Download and install the software on your home computer and check for updates automatically.

Software Firewall

January 17, 2006

A Software Firewall is a necessary component of a secure Home Computer. Think of a firewall as a security guard within your computer. I highly suggest that you read, Install and Use a Firewall Program. from the Carnegie Mellon University, Internet security Coordination Center (CERT/CC).

For Microsoft Windows users, I recommend using a Software Firewall called Sygate Personal Firewall. Unfortunately, Symantec purchased Sygate and discontinued the product. I believe the saying is, “If you can’t beat em, buy em”. Luckily, you can still download the product from tucows.

Sygate Personal Firewall

Once the software is installed, you will have full control over communications coming in and more importantly, communications going out. Computer Worm and Trojan Horse programs will often times attempt to communicate with the outside world. A Software Firewall like Sygate Personal Firewall will warn you when it happens.

Once you have installed the software, please discuss your Software Firewall experience.