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Secure a New Computer

Secure A New Computer Prior To Going Online

It has been proven that a computer straight out of the box and then connected to the Internet can be infected by viruses and worms in less than 30 seconds. To avoid this very unpleasant situation, please take the time to safe-guard your computer by following these simple steps listed below:

<>Enable the Windows Firewall:

If your Windows XP Operating System has the SP2 update installed already, it is most likely that the Windows Firewall is turned on. New Vista installations will also be on by default. However, some computer manufactures or system administrators will turn this feature off. So, check to make sure that it is turned on for the moment. Here's how:

1. Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Security Center>> Windows Firewall
2. Make sure that the "On" radio button is ticked (see illustration below).

(Click to enlarge)
Windows Firewall

<>Install Anti-Virus Software:

If you have already purchased Anti-Virus software and have the disc available, go ahead and load that on to your new system at this time. If you do not have any Anti-Virus software, please proceed with the next step. Don't worry, I'll get you hooked up with a good Anti-Virus software that you can download for free! But, first things first...let's continue.

<>Install All Windows Updates:

After it is certain that your Windows Firewall is activated, go to the Windows update site (link below) and install all available updates for your Operating System. Follow all "recommended" procedures when using the Windows Update site.

OK, so now your system is equipped with all of the latest security patches and updates right? Great job! Now, if you had already installed your Anti-Virus software, go ahead and go to the manufactures web site and download the latest security files available for your version.

If you did not have Anti-Virus software, then I highly recommend AVG. I have used it for years with great success. Here's the link:

<>Install Anti-Spyware software:

Once your Anti-Virus software is installed, updated and running, this is a good time to go ahead and install two Anti-Spyware utilities. The two that I recommend are:

  • Adaware SE

  • Spybot Search and Destroy

These can be downloaded right here at 5 Star Support for free. Here's the link:

Once you are at the above listed web page, click the hyperlinks to each of the listed products to find the download button.

Be sure that you update each of these products after the installation. Then use them on a regular basis (about once a week) checking for new updates each time.

<>Install a good Firewall:

Lastly, let's get you in to an excellent Firewall that is much better protection than the Windows XP Firewall. I recommend ZoneAlarm. I have used ZoneAlarm for many years and it has never let me down. It also has a free version that is very adequate! Here's the link:

Free ZoneAlarm Firewall

Once you have ZoneAlarm installed and running, you can go ahead and turn off your Windows XP Firewall. It is not necessary to have them both running and in some cases, they may conflict and cause you some problems. You are protected with's OK.

<>Update and Use:

When configured properly, AVG and ZoneAlarm will update themselves whenever a new update is released. If for some reason they do not update themselves, Windows will tell you that there is an update available for your product with a security shield that will reside in your taskbar until the update is installed.

The Spyware scanners (mentioned above) will not automatically notify you of available updates. You will have to actually click the "check for updates" link prior to running a system scan.

In closing, many people have different idea's about security and what products to use for protection. I am merely sharing with you the products that I use and that have proven very effective against all Internet threats. Granted, my surfing habits are very good and I don't go looking for trouble, but sometimes, it comes looking for you and this is why I keep all of these products running and updated.

If you should have any questions about this article or anything else that may be troubling your computer, please don't hesitate to ask us here at 5 Star Support! Here's a couple of links to help you:

Best of luck and Happy Computing!




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