I mentioned in the first podcast that I don’t understand how people are willing to spend upwards of $2,000 on a computer, but are so unwilling to spend the time to learn how to operate it, and take care of their investment. One of our forum members over at SimplyTech posed a great question to me. Kevin, a long-time forum member asked the following:
BTW–I have a Windows machine that’s just over four years old. I keep up the Windows and Office updates and the Symantec (I know) religiously. What else, if anything, should I do to keep the bad stuff at bay? I avoid the off-the-road sites that usually have the viruses and trojans attached. Thanks!
To me, Kevin is on the road to doing a good job of protecting his computer. Half the battle can be making people realize that having an update-to-date version of Windows and the lastest anti-virus definitions is more than worth the time it takes to update the products. Another forum member, Xtowers mentioned an anti-sypware program, Spybot Search and Destroy. That is a great anti-spyware app; I use it myself. I also use Lavasoft’s Ad-aware and Spyware Blaster from Javacool Software. Xtowers also suggested running a firewall. This is a good idea, especially if you have an always-on internet connection like DSL or Cable. For most home users, the Windows firewall that is included in XP Service Pack 2 is enough protection. If you are more paranoid, look into other options. Zonealarm is a good firewall, and I would also recommend Sygate.
I also would recommend ditching Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and going with the latest version of Firefox. I would also suggest installing the SiteAdvisor extension for Firefox. Details on that extension can be found in my most previous post. Kevin, if you view my blog, hopefully this post has tied up some of the loose ends about your question. Questions like yours can be a touchy subject for me, as I cannot understand how people can be so careless when playing around with a $2,000 “toy.”