Computer Security Information
My recommendations for securing a Windows PC or a Mac.
1. If you don’t have an Antivirus or your Antivirus signature update has expired (usually will after 1st year or maybe 90 or even 30 days of PC ownership if the Antivirus came with the PC), you can go to www.avast.com and download Avast Free Antivirus (free for personal use). If you need Tech Support you can upgrade to Avast Pro. The best idea is to let it update the signatures every day.
Note: Avast Free requires 128 Meg of RAM to run. This can be very important if you only have 512 Meg of RAM in your computer. If you use AVG Free 2012 which requires 512 Meg of RAM to run, it will run very slowly on a computer with 512 Meg of RAM.
2. To protect against malware, go to www.malwarebytes.org and download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program. It is free for personal use and $24.95 to upgrade to the Professional version, which allows automated download and scanning configuration.
3. To protect your browser from infection, install the free Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit program from www.malwarebytes.org/antiexploit/
4. Another free malware cleaning program that should be used is ADWCleaner, which can be downloaded at toolslib.net/downloads/viewdownload/1-adwcleaner/
5. Go to www.mywot.com and download the Web of Trust plugin. It will put a green circle on the toolbar to indicate if a web site is to be trusted and it will be red if it is an untrustworthy web site.
6. If you have popups and other annoyances and your antivirus and Malwarebytes does not discover a problem, you may have a rootkit infection. To clean off a rootkit, go to support.kaspersky.com to download TDSS Killer. Run TDSS Killer and let it clean off anything it discovers.
7. Install Internet Explorer 11.0 in order to patch your IE for maximum security, even if you do not use Internet Explorer.
8. Run Windows Update and update all of the Critical Security patches for your PC. You may want to download the updated version of Windows Update which can let you know when new updates are available from Microsoft for downloading.
9. Consider using Mozilla Firefox (www.mozilla.com) or Chrome (chrome.google.com) or Maxthon (www.maxthon.com) or Opera (www.opera.com) for a browser instead of Internet Explorer. All are free and none of them will run ActiveX which is the major reason that Internet Explorer gets infected due to security holes.
10. To do an online Antivirus scan go to www.bitdefender.com and click on Scan Online – Scan Now.
If you have Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can skip the last step unless you want outbound firewall protection.
If you are running Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE or Windows Millenium then you really need to upgrade because Microsoft no longer supplies security updates for those versions. The older versions of Windows are unsafe to get on the Internet due to the lack of security updates from Microsoft.
11. You need a firewall to keep out worms like Blaster. If you don’t have a Linksys, Netgear or similar router for Cable or DSL then you will need to go to www.comodo.com and download the free version of Comodo Free Firewall and install it.
Mac OS X
1. Update to all of the latest Apple updates constantly.
2. Go to www.sophos.com or the Sophos free Mac antivirus download and download the free for personal use Sophos Antivirus for Mac OS X to protect against viruses and malware.
3. Go to www.mywot.com and download the Web of Trust plugin. It will put a green circle on the toolbar to indicate if a web site is to be trusted and it will be red if it is an untrustworthy web site. Install it for all web browsers on the computer.
4. Make sure your Mac is running either the latest version or one of the two previous versions of OS X so it can receive security updates. Apple does not typically support or update OS X if it is older than the current version or two previous versions. Currently, Apple is supporting Yosemite (10.10), Mavericks (10.9), Mountain Lion (10.8) for security updates. Lion (10.7), Snow Leopard (10.6) and Leopard (10.5) and earlier are no longer safe to use on the Internet due to the lack of continuous security updates from Apple. The Apple security policy can be viewed at support.apple.com/en-us/HT201541.