Sunday, July 10, 2011

How to Keep your Computer Safe

Here I was thinking & thinking what all could be done to make my computer
1. A Hacker's Nightmare
2. ISP's Anonymous Browser
3. A major threat for Viruses & Malware
4. A Thief's Moral Judge &
5. Crash Proof


In this article I will be explaining to you all the methods & softwares that I use to make my computer one of the safest on the planet without spending a penny.
So let's get started!
This is am article written mainly for Windows but you may follow most of them in other operation systems as well.


Step 1:
Virus Proof


The Basic thing in a Windows environment will be a virus. There can be virtually no computer not facing virus threats. Spyware, Malware , Root-kits , Trojans..the list is endless.
Let us get ourselves a great free antivirus now.


(i) Microsoft Security Essentials
        The #1 antivirus I use is provided by our own Microsoft. It's named Microsoft Security Essentials.Why I prefer this amazing antivirus is it's ease to use , free download , no "Upgrade To Premium" button & amazing virus scanning & removal tools.
I use this software on my new lappie & it works wonders. No virus problems till date.


PC Advisor listed Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 in its article Five of the Best Free Security Suites.


Download: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials/default.aspx


(ii) Avira Personal
         Yet another state-of-the-art Security suites available in both free (personal) & paid versions.The virus updates are regular & it provides better security measures than most free ones in the industry.
I use this software on my computer & it's pretty great.


Download: http://www.avira.com/en/support-download-free-antivirus


While the above two are great programs we cannot just rely on them 100% to keep the computer safe.


So lets look at a few Anti-Spywares & Anti-Malwares


(iii) Spybot Search & Destroy
          My personal favorite when it comes to busting those tracking  cookies that keep track of information that you might pick up on 'Various Sites'.
It additionally provides to clean up root-kits , other spyware, keyloggers etc.


Downloadhttp://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html


(iv) Malware Bytes
         This is a simply superb software that takes care of all the malicious files that maybe left over by Spybot Search & Destroy (If any!)
This is a software that I am relatively new to but it provides the most comprehensive cover over mal-ware & spyware. 
Product Ranking: 

#1 in Spyware Removers (Cnet). A total must have.


Download: http://www.malwarebytes.org/


Even though many on the net prefer to have only Malware Bytes, I suggest both.
The scans maybe slow but it is totally worth the time.
Note: Malware Bytes & Spybot are to be use with the antivirus softwares.
They do not provide total security cover.


Step 2:
Internet Security


The last thing you want browsing the net is for some hacker to have stolen your identity & credit card details or for some trojan to have done it for him.


Well the second part is well taken care of in Step 1.
Now we look at free softwares to make your identity & information very hard (if not-impossible) to be compromised by anyone on the Web.


(i) Google Chrome
       My personal favorite browser for it's simple , fast , clean,
customizable & safe interface. Firefox will also do if you are able to install the same features as listed below.
Here is a list of Chrome extensions that help make the browsing
experience safer.


     a) Adblock Plus : Blocks most Ads. Even if it doesn't , You can.
Download: http://adblockplus.org/en/chrome


    b) Click&Clean : Pure Genius. Fully customizable to remove traces of your internet activity. Contains virus scan too.
Download: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ghgabhipcejejjmhhchfonmamedcbeod


    c) Speed Dial : Not really a security precaution but atleast it helps by making sure you donot get redirected to a wrong site.
Download: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dgpdioedihjhncjafcpgbbjdpbbkikmi


   d) Web Of Trust : Tells you about the BAD sites & blocks them!
Downloadhttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bhmmomiinigofkjcapegjjndpbikblnp


(ii) SecurityKiss Tunnel VPN
       VPN is a complicated explanation so i'll get right to what it does. It makes your computer's information (online) totally invisible to everyone including you ISP.
 Your own IP is hidden from search engines & similar applications , enabling you to browse securely.Might slow your connection a wee bit but worth the security.
I do most of my banking transactions after enabling SecurityKiss.Very simple to use & install. Can be used in Wi-Fi Hotspots also.Many free VPN providers but i was satisfied by only this. (Usage limit/day = 300mb)


Download: http://www.securitykiss.com/sk/index.php?m=Download


(iii) Comodo Firewall
           Trouble free firewall. May prompt you many times initially but settles down smoothly. Updates once a month. May seem scary at the start but a real gem. Windows Firewall ain't no good!


Download: http://personalfirewall.comodo.com/free-download.html


(iv) KeePass Password Safe
      Marvelous yet free. This application remembers all password you could ever forget! Just download the software & follow this simple tutorial (http://keepass.info/help/base/firststeps.html)
It generates random passwords(if you want) that can never be broken. You never need to remember a password again (OK only one master password)!
    
Download: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/keepass/KeePass-2.15-Setup.exe


Step 3:
Personal Safety


(i) Prey Open Source Anti-theft Solution
             Ever wondered what would happen if your laptop was stolen or you lost it by GOD KNOWS HOW.Some of you might have had the horrific experience already &  ask them it's not pretty.
That's where Prey comes into the picture. It's free version allows you to download a small little package that send information to the website every now & then to determine whether your lappie was stolen or not.
Once setup you can track you laptop to almost anywhere in the world by activating Wi-fi detection. Even better you can lock the computer from online & set a password (not to mention the photos of the culprit it will take using it's automatic webcam technology).
It simultaneously deletes data that you may mark as confidential.


Visit: http://preyproject.com/


(ii) CCleaner
         Clears records of all files used by you , frees the registry , deletes online traces. Simple.Clean. Effective.


Downloadhttp://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner


(iii) EASEUS Todo Backup Free
         Easy Backup & Restore. Backup all your important files or the     whole hard disk. Not required in Windows 7 since it's own 
backup app is good.
Download: http://download.cnet.com/EASEUS-Todo-Backup-Free/3000-2242_4-10964460.html?tag=rb_content;contentMain


(iv) TrueCrypt
         If you don't want to let anyone know what's inside you system even though they are logged into it, this is the program for you.
Download: http://www.truecrypt.org/download/transient/207749f699/TrueCrypt%20Setup%207.0a.exe
Guide: Check out the Beginners Tutorial on http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/



Step 4:
Miscellaneous


To keep your computer working in Tip-Top form.


    a) Smart Defrag
        Makes you computer fast by defragmenting your hard disk.
Download: http://download.cnet.com/Smart-Defrag/3000-2094_4-10759533.html
Read about Defragmentation: http://searchwinit.techtarget.com/definition/defragmentation


    b) File Shredder
        Don't just delete your files & folders. Shred them forever


Download: http://download.cnet.com/File-Shredder/3000-2144_4-10662831.html


   c) Free Registry Defrag
        Free up that mess.


Download: http://download.cnet.com/Free-Registry-Defrag/3000-2094_4-10553700.html


   d) Stop Unnecessary Startup Files
          Using "msconfig"
Guide:http://www.netsquirrel.com/msconfig/index.html


   e) Software Informer
         Keep your softwares updated
Download: http://software.informer.com/


   f) Some Advice
         Nope this ain't no software. Just to tell you about the precautions to take to keep your computer safe & sound.


        *Download all the softwares above & keep them running regularly.
        *After downloading something , ask you anti-virus to scan it.
        *Make sure you set administrative passwords & disable "guest" account.
        *When you use sensitive data such as Bank Passwords, make sure you are browsing in https://
        (Image: http://www.psdgraphics.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/https-background.jpg)
        *Change Passwords of important online accounts often.
        *Parents(I'm just 18) please use Parental Controls in Windows or a separate software such as k9 Web Protection(http://www.psdgraphics.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/https-background.jpg)
        *Please avoid unwanted sites. The are the ones creating all the spam & viruses.
        *Don't do anything illegal (It's only my right!). Cracks & Serials maybe attractive but not when they cause you system to go BOOM!
        *Enjoy Life. It ain't coming twice.




Thank You for the patient reading. This is my first blog so please comment below if you like it or if you want to give any suggestions. SPAM will be blocked & so will profanity.


- Srinath

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