“WildBlueMekaLizard” has some important things to say to people who own, use computers in general. I’d write one up myself, but its already done!

“It’s been said a million times, so a million and one shouldn’t be

too much overkill. With the world as it is today… and for those

using the Internet (so if you can read this, this means you!):

1. If you do not have anti-virus software, GET ONE, then see item

2.

2. If you have anti-virus software, UPDATE IT AT LEAST WEEKLY.

3. If you do not use a firewall, GET ONE. There are plenty of free

firewalls out there… and WinXP even comes with a wimpy one, but

it’s better than nothing.

4. If the software manufacturer for your OS of choice provides

security updates, APPLY THEM.

5. Don’t automatically say YES to anything that wants to install

itself on your computer.

6. Don’t open e-mail attachments from unsolicited sources, and

even if the ‘Sent From’ name is familiar, be skeptical if you

weren’t expecting something.

7. Don’t wait for the end of the “which is the best of the best”

debates to decide on which tools to go with, because that debate

will never end.

8. Don’t assume that, as a home user, you are unaffected by most

electronic threats.

“Really, everyone… updates only take a bit of time. If you only

did it once a week, it would take much less time than having to

repair/rebuild your computers, your identity, your credit…

whatever gets taken advantage of and exploited when your computer

is used for activity you didn’t initiate. Just think of the time

you could save troubleshooting PC ‘oddities’ that inevitably turn

out to be viruses, worms, adware, spybots, and the like.

“Most anti-virus software packages allow you to SCHEDULE updates,

SCHEDULE full systems scans… heck, most will even just delete

known viruses for you. Windows Update will check FOR you and let

you know, all you have to do is say OK. The A-V software

designers have made it so easy for us, and love ’em or hate ’em,

MS is making it easy, too.

“There are a lot of people who install anti-virus software and

never update it, and still think they’re safe. They’re not. Not

safe from the things that have been discovered since they

installed the software. Some are intimidated by security

precautions/best practices and ignore them because they don’t know

how viruses and worms are created. I always say you don’t need to

know HOW to pick pocket to prevent it from happening to you…

it’s the same thing. If you don’t know, please ask. In forums like

these, most computer enthusiasts are more than willing to help

you, even if we can’t always agree on which are the best tools.

“Why, they ask, why do people make viruses; why do people make

worms? Because they can, because they find some sick fun in it, I

don’t know. I’ve heard hackers and script kiddies compared those

who to paint graffiti; they have some degree of talent but nowhere

to express it. I don’t care to evaluate them; I care about

blocking them. Unfortunately, just like people will never stop

stealing cars, worms and viruses will probably never go away. All

we ask is that you don’t leave your keys in the ignition with the

windows down, and then ask why your car was stolen! We can change

what impact viruses, worms, and other electronic threats have on

our world, simply by taking the simplest of actions to protect

ourselves.

“Thanks for your time – WildBLueMekaLizard”

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