Home/Must have software
We don't want to sound preachy, but here is the gospel according to Jimzcom:
Antivirus: you only need one antivirus. Do not install more than one on the same computer. ( One exception, ThreatFire, read below)
Anti-Adware/Anti-Spyware: it's good to have more than one program to help you defend yourself against these threats.
Firewall: A firewall is built into Windows XP (service pack 2 and later).
To be safe, choose defensive programs from the Kiss list.
Your antivirus must be up to date with the latest virus definitions, and not expired.
In order to safely use the internet your firewall must be turned on; you must have an antivirus program installed and running; your computer should have the latest updates and patches applied to the operating system; after each internet session or at least once a week, run antivirus and anti-adware/anti-spyware.
******Side note: Service pack 3 is available now. Download it and install it!!!******To check what service pack you have click here. Download instructions are here.
Adaware 2007 - Provided by Lavasoft, this is a first line of defense against problems that develop as you go about your business using the internet. The reason I'm drawing attention to the phrase "your business'" is because what you do on the internet and what you use the internet for is your business. Nobody else's. As you go from website to website there are various way's to keep track of what you do and where you go. This is sometimes done through the use of "tracking cookies". Cookies are usually innocuous and cause no harm but can be seen as an invasion of privacy. The force behind this is marketers and the force behind them is money. They gather information on all of us and then target ads and websites to cater to our perceived needs using databases and information gathered through different methods. You could of course lock down the settings in your Internet browser (internet explorer or firefox) but then actually using the internet would be a slow and clickful experience ( you would have to O.K. everything). The easier way is to use Adaware after each internet session or say once a week depending on how heavy your usage is.
Spybot S&D - Let me start off by saying that this is freeware, that there is no payment required. However, there is facility to provide a donation and as far as I'm concerned for the service that they have provided and continue to provide it's a small price. That said, if you can use this piece of software effectively, there's almost no reason you can't keep your computer spyware free. Again, as we stated above, use this software at least once a week, more often as your internet use increases.
AntiVir from Avira is our favorite recommendation for antivirus protection. It's free, it works what more do you want? A good alternative is AVG from Grisoft. Unusual in the antivirus category is ThreatFire from PC Tools. What's unusual is that it compliments and plays nice with other AV programs.
Windows XP firewall - The bare minimum. It's adequate and will stop a lot of problems.
Comodo - An excellent windows firewall replacement. A good example of a learning firewall. It will ask you questions in order to do a better job protecting your computer. This can consume time and mouse clicks but for a good reason. I suspect some of you never heard of a firewall or if you did you're picturing tanned guys fighting a forest fire without their shirts on. Yoo hooo! Come back to Jimzcom. I think that's a firebreak. The reason you probably never heard of a firewall is because Windows XP's firewall is passive. The reason it's passive is because if it did anything, it would cause the phone's to ring at ungodly hours with people that don't know what they're doing (that's you) asking questions that they, Microsoft, might not know how to answer. Anyhow, Comodo is a smart piece of software and knows that there should not be two active firewalls turned on at the same time so it will politely ask you if you'd like it to shut windows firewall off during installation. See, it starts asking questions before it's even installed.
The well defended windows XP installation would include;
The minimum defense includes;
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