Cate Eales - Real Life Internet Solutions
Cate Eales - Real Life Internet Solutions

Real Life Internet Solutions

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Submitted by Cate Eales - Free & Easy Ways to Secure Your Computer Part 2

Worms, trojans, viruses --- all very scary stiff if you believe what you see on television or read in the papers. Last time we talked about three ways to secure your computer and keep it secure: Installing and running virus protection, installing and running a personal firewall, and installing and running anti-spyware programs. (If you missed that column, you will find it archived on www.rlis.com.)

There are two more important components for safe browsing. First, it’s important to run Windows Update and make sure you have the latest fixes for things that Microsoft broke in the first place. Flaws in the Windows operating system and in Internet Explorer are exposed with alarming frequency. I don’t recommend letting Windows do this automatically, because every so often there is a problem with the Windows Update site, or with a download. I suggest connecting to Windows Update once a week, and manually downloading and installing any critical updates you find there. You will find a link to the Windows Update site in your Internet Explorer browser, and often on the Start menu of your computer. If all else fails, point your browser to this website.

Finally, you can kill the Pop-Ups in Internet Explorer with a pop-up stopper. The best free one is the Google toolbar. It takes care of most of the pop-ups, and it’s an excellent search tool, too! If you want to browse completely free of pop-ups, consider an alternative browser like FireFox.

All of the products I’ve discussed will run on Windows XP (Home and Pro) and on Windows 98 SE. If you are running another flavour of Windows, you should check the documentation on the website for each product to make sure it will work for you. Whatever version of Windows you are running, it is very important to keep these tools up-to-date. Each one will allow you to set it to update itself or allow you to run updates at your convenience. Installing and using these free software programs will eliminate most of your security risks. Good online habits will do the rest, and we’ll talk about that in a future column.

Are these columns helpful? Interesting? Are they any other topics you would like to discuss? We’re eager for feedback, whether positive or negative. Please email Cate.

Cate Eales has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible and fun for over 20 years. She lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric, and her dog, Sandy. To browse the column archives, visit the Real Life Internet Solutions

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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