|Internet Safety, or Protect and Survive, by John Wills.
How to surf the Internet and not have to worry about Virus attacks and Browser Hijacks.
I have been asked by quite a few of my friends on how they should protect against unwanted intrusions on their computers while they are surfing the Internet. I have therefore put together this list of free software that should help you protect your computer against unwanted attack, which have been sorted into order of their importance.
You frequently see Google ads that seem to direct you to click on them to download free popupstoppers and such. As they have to pay Google to place these ads I doubt that anything you get from them will actually be free, so I would suggest that you are very carefull before you decide to download any of the products.
The links below are for items that I have verified and use myself and are actually free of charge, although you can purchase added functionality or donate money if you wish.
The best way of dealing with diallers, virii, key loggers and other programs that hijack the IE browser is to:
Make sure you have a good firewall, this one is free: www.kerio.com/us/kpf_download.html
Download an Anti-virus program and use it and update it regularly (once a day?) this one is free: www.grisoft.com/
Download Spy-Bot Search and Destroy, run it and follow suggestions (free) update and use it regularly: www.safer-networking.org
Download Ad-aware SE, update and use it regularly (free): www.lavasoftusa.com
Download a pop-up killer (free) and use it.
Download a modified hosts file and write protect it (free): www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm
Download and apply any Windows security patches available for your edition.
Remember that these programs are only any good if you update and run them regularly !. I suggest once a week minimum. Just like owning an animal gives you a responsibility - owning and using a computer is your responsibility. Spend an evening downloading, installing and tuning the above programs and you will save yourself possibly hours and hours of frustration and possible costs of employing a professional to rescue you.
A final word on email - NEVER I repeat NEVER EVER open any unsolicited email attachment. EVEN if you think its from someone you know DELETE it straight away. If someone wants to send you something get them to tell you first - then tell them to zip it so you can examine it with an anti-virus program first.
If using Outlook Express you can make a rule to delete emails with attachments straight away (tools -> message rules -> mail).
Of course you could always choose and use another Web browser, Mozilla Firefox is capable of importing all your Internet explorer settings and bookmarks and is free of charge. www.mozilla.org
Internet Security is up to you - If you don't look after your computer and you computer is infected with a virus or you get a £3,000 phone bill because a premium line dialler has been installed without your knowledge, it's your own fault.
If you don't understand computers and / or your computer's security on the Internet go on, or take an online course, there are plenty out there in the UK, government sponsored, and most of them are free! And it may lead you to a better job!
All the above programs are suggestions only, there are others, both payware, freeware and shareware. The ones above have worked and indeed are working now, very well for me, - But I cannot be held responsible for any problems they may cause on your own system.
This page was last updated 29 June 2005