“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. 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
“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
“Thanks for your time – WildBLueMekaLizard”