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How to Secure Your Computer and Prevent Viruses, Mal-ware, Ad-ware, and Spy-ware

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Computer security

If you're able to read this article right now, you are probably using a web browser, such as Internet Explorer. On top of that, you are probably using an operating system, like Windows. If you even use an operating system, you are familiar with viruses, worms, trojans, ad-ware, mal-ware, and spy-ware invading it and slowing everything down. Every day, people battle for control over their own system, because they don't know how to prevent it in the first place. If you think you are as secured as this article can get you, think again. Here are several of the very best ways to secure your browser and operating system for yourself.

1.) DON'T USE A BROWSER THAT IS VULNERABLE. (FREE/SAVES CASH)

Us Internet geeks and information overlords are constantly horrified at the number of people who use one of the most infamous web browsers available; INTERNET EXPLORER. This web browser has become the most popular in the WORLD by incredibly lucrative marketing techniques and being literally soldered into Windows, which was installed on 90% of the WORLD'S computers as of 2004. If you need proof of how vulnerable and insecure this browser, and another popular browser by the name of AOL is, then check the sources at the bottom of this blog.

2.) GET A BROWSER THAT CAN BE MADE SECURE. (USUALLY FREE)

But how does one pick a good browser? Research! Of course, not everyone has the time to spend on that, and many people have already done such research. Since there are far too many browsers to cover in this blog, I'll focus on Firefox. I chose Firefox because it is free, secure, and very customizable. (see end of blog for reasons and sources.) If you don't want Firefox, here is a list of other free browsers: stuff.techwhack.com/3306-free-web-browsers.

3.) GET SECURITY ADD-ONS FOR FIREFOX. (FREE)

Firefox's security can become greatly enhanced by installing security add-ons. Too many slow down Firefox, so select the ones you think you should get from this list.

Noscript A very essential add-on. This blocks any javascript or java from automatically playing on web-sites. Takes some getting used to, but eventually becomes very easy to use.
Firekeeper Prevents malicious web-pages from connecting to your computer.
keyscrambler Prevents key-loggers from detecting your passwords.
WOT Warns you when you connect to a dangerous web-page.
PhishTank SiteChecker Blocks user from web-pages that are known to be hazardous.
CookieCuller Let's you manage cookies, which, when unmanaged, can be almost as bad as viruses.
Flashblock A Noscript for flash.

4.) GET SOFTWARE THAT PREVENTS THINGS FROM MODIFYING THE OPERATING SYSTEM.

This is a short and sweet step. Just download and install programs that prevent spy-ware and mal-ware (which suck up system resources) from installing to your browser or operating system. I recommend spywaregaurd and spywareblaster. Both are completely free for home use.

5) SANDBOX YOUR BROWSER.

An extremely useful way to prevent bad things from your browser from installing on a system is to use a program that isolates your browser from the rest of the computer. I recommend sandboxie, which will nag after thirty days, but is still free and excellent.

6.) PROTECT YOUR REGISTRY.

Another way to prevent illegitimate software from installing on your computer is to back up your registry and prevent programs from changing it without your explicit permission. I do this on my computer with a program named Spybot - Search & Destroy, which is a free registry protector AND an anti-virus. ( If all this free software surprises you or raises your eyebrows, you should learn about a something called the Free Software Movement, or FSM. )

7.) GET RID OF RIP-OFF ANTIVIRUS.

Another thing that amazes Internet geeks and information overlords is the number of people who rely on infamous anti-virus such as Norton and Mcafee. Both of these are expensive and infamously bad at tackling viruses, mal-ware, adware, trojans, and spy-ware. ( See end of blog for reasons and sources ) They have become popular through the same methods as Internet Explorer and AOL. These anti-virus programs tend to suck up considerable system resources and also "attack" other anti-virus programs.

8.) GET GOOD ANTIVIRUS.

Good anti-virus programs are, of course, essential to protecting your computer. The two that I most highly recommend are Spy-ware - Search and Destroy and SuperAntiSpyware. ( Both are free. )

9.) GET ENOUGH ANTIVIRUS PROGRAMS.

One anti-virus program is NEVER enough to actually provide good protection for a system. There is a ridiculous amount of software out there that will harm your system, and no anti-virus, I don't care how great, is good enough alone. That's why free-ware is definitely preferable over proprietary software when it comes to anti-virus. The programs won't attack each other, and you won't have to shell out a ton of cash.

10.) USE LINUX.

See bottom of blog.

##---SOURCES AND ARGUMENTS---##

WHY FIREFOX IS MORE SECURE.

Firefox is considerably more secure than Internet Explorer because it isn't so closely integrated into the operating system. When something attacks Firefox, it attacks Firefox, and not the whole operating system. When something attacks Internet Explorer, it is able to attack all of Windows. Firefox is also managed by a far smaller company than Windows, and therefore is able to concentrate much more on Firefox. This means that it security patches far faster. Lastly, since it is not as popular as Internet Explorer, people who make pernicious software target it less.

WHY LINUX IS MORE SECURE.

Linux is safer; plain and simple. It is less commonly used, ( So virus-makers target it less. ) has a firewall in the kernel, restricts programs from self-propagating, won't allow programs to hide themselves from the process table, has a more rigorous segmentation from privileges than Windows , requires the user password to make real changes, has hundreds of times the debugging bandwidth than Windows, ( Due to the fact that it is open source. ) has less interdependent services that viruses can piggyback on, and usually has a package manager to download from instead of web-sites.

###--SOURCES--###

www.buzzle.com/articles/world-of-insecure-browsing.html - Internet Exlporer being relatively insecure, and Firefox bieng more secure.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Windows_and_Linux#User_interface  - Near the bottom is a piece-by-piece analysis between Windows and Linux security.

 ###---ATTENTION---###

In this article I say some products are better than others. I do this with no commercial interests, and I don't think I could, saying as everything I encourage is freeware.

1 comment

Mark Cruz
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Posted on Apr 8, 2012

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Alexander Jackson

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