Most people begin to panic when several large companies get hacked almost on a daily basis. Some firms are presently attempting to cash in on people’s anxieties by making them buy security solutions that most of these individuals do not really need. Even if you install no anti-virus program in your system, you can still use your computer for several years without encountering any problem. One is not saying that anti virus programs are not necessary, in fact, if you know little or nothing about assembly code, an anti-virus program should be running on your PC. What one is saying here is that it is possible to secure Windows without purchasing any application that was not created by Microsoft.
A. Install Microsoft Security Essentials
Nowadays, you do not really have to spend so much of your hard earned cash just to eliminate one or two viruses each year. If you make use of Windows, Microsoft has made available “Microsoft Security Essentials”. This app is not contained in your Windows installation; however you can get it from Microsoft free of charge. If your computer is running Windows Vista or later editions, you will have no problem downloading this app.
Once you install Microsoft Security Essentials, the program will keep you up to date with the virus definitions in its database and it will help you fight any virus infections in your system. Installing Microsoft Security Essentials will not take up a lot of your computer’s resources, the way other anti-virus programs do.This is a very essential software to secure your Windows.
B. Windows Firewall is very effective
Some people have the habit of condemning any product that Microsoft releases. Even though some of these individuals have genuine complains, some shun Windows Firewall because someone told them that it is not effective. The truth is that the firewall can be configured to do just about anything that can be done by other firewalls. As opposed to what many people believe, Windows Firewall can stop outbound connections emanating from a malevolent app, and it can check your entire network for any other malicious applications.
All you have to do is carry out some searches. To navigate to this Window, go to Windows Firewall through the control panel and click on “Advanced settings”. Anyone should be able to secure windows using Windows Firewall alone. However, you cannot achieve much by merely configuring outbound blocks. You should think of eliminating any malware that is creating outbound connections via your system. The walware can still consume your system’s resources even if you stop it from connecting to the internet.
Conversely, what you really need to monitor is inbound connections. Most times, this attempts to establish a link to your internet connection and manipulate the weaknesses of your computer. No matter how you look at it, there is no difference between enabling Windows Firewall on your system and running iptables on Linux. The two help to secure your system and they are not easy to exploit.
C. Download windows Updates
Do not believe the saying that Microsoft uses Windows Update to control your system. Nothing can be further from the truth. Though Microsoft exercises some measure of control over your system via Windows updates, they do not use it to prevent you from visiting any website you want to visit. The only thing they can do is remove a program from your computer if that program infringes on their policies, and this will only happen when they release Windows 8. Also, they can do that without Windows Updates.
It is very important that you maintain an updated virus database, run a firewall and download your updates. In the past when Microsoft took care of a particular susceptibility in Windows by releasing an update, they were able to effectively put some malware out of action (such as “Conflicker” virus) in a very short period.
Sometimes Windows Update may erroneously detect your copy of Windows as not being genuine, but this can be taken care of by giving Microsoft a call. They will be more than happy to help you in case there is a problem from their end.
If you want to stop Windows Updates from restarting your computer after each update, you can easily do that by configuring it to stop restarting once the update is complete. Make sure you keep your Windows update because this is a very important step to secure your Windows.
D. Quit downloading dubious files and disable User Account Control
Our next tip that will help you to secure your windows is related to User Account Control. User Account Control (UAC) is not really a useful feature in Windows. Most home computers and several other systems do not require this interference. UAC is that pop up you see any time Windows needs to verify you actually opened an application that is about to run. This feature can easily be disabled, and if you do not know how to get it disabled, you can go through this write-up.
You can also use preventive measures to secure your system. Do not download any file that is suspicious and you should only download from sources you are familiar with. You just have to use your common sense. If somebody sends you an .exe” file via email and tells you it is an image, you should not open that image. By following simple measures like this, you might stop a major computer calamity.
If you come across a file you really want to download but you are not sure if it is safe to do so, you can upload that file to Virus Total. The results from Virus Total will tell you what to do. The site runs the uploaded file via several different anti-virus programs and shows you the results. You may see a one or two false positives, but you should stay away from the file, if several anti-virus programs indicate that the file is infected.
You can secure windows against most of the common attacks, as well as a few rare attacks, if you follow the counsel provide in this write-up. All this you can achieve even without purchasing any third party software.