To own a computer today, you need to know
more than just how to use your favorite software. You need to know that
you are protected. If there is someone responsible for the computers in
your home or office, make sure they read this and can assure you it’s all
This should go without saying, but I still run into computers with expired
Antivirus software quite often. Antivirus software needs to be updated
daily, and paid for yearly. If you haven’t paid for a subscription, then
you don’t have current Antivirus Software.
If that’s the case, yet you still continue to use the Internet, then I’d
bet one in three of you currently has a virus. I’ve seen computers become
so virus or Trojan infected, that they are running pornographic websites
or sending spam email messages without the owner even knowing! Every
month, someone should verify that your installed AV Software is updating
automatically, running current virus definitions, and is still on a
Spyware is EVIL software that is getting worse every day. If you have not
run spyware removal software lately then you have some on your system.
It’s that simple. For a complete Spyware article, visit www.pdxtc.com/spyware
For you to remove the Spyware, you must run an updated version of AdAware
at least once a month. When I service my clients monthly, I use Spybot
(available from http://safer-networking.org) but AdAware (from
www.lavasoftusa.com) is easier for most people to figure out.
Practically every week or two, Microsoft discovers and repairs flaws in
their Windows Operating System. These “fixes” or “patches” are available
for free at their website, yet the majority of computers I run across have
not updated their Windows.
With the advent of broadband internet, this has become increasingly
important both for security and functionality of your computers.
In Windows XP, you can schedule this to happen automatically in the
Properties of My Computer. For other Windows versions you can (and should)
update your Windows on a monthly basis at http://www.windowsupdate.com
There are dozens of software programs that can start up when windows
loads, slowing your computer to a crawl. These are usually apparent in the
task bar by your clock. By using the Windows utility called msconfig, you
can manage your startup items. Go to Start – run and type msconfig – then
press Enter. Go to the Startup tab and you’ll see the choices. For a full
article about this subject, go to www.pdxtc.com/msconfig. For a REALLY easy and free startup manager, and one that acts as a "watchdog" against rougue spyware and startup programs, I strongly recommend installing Winpatrol, from http://www.winpatrol.com
A Firewall keeps people out of your computer from the outside. Spyware and
Trojan horse viruses make it easier for hackers to get into your
computers, but even when your system is clean, the risk of attack is
there. In 2004, if you’re on broadband internet, you need a firewall, or
at the very least, a password protected router.
On a monthly basis, you need to be sure that your firewall, whether
(software or hardware) is both turned on, and current. I can’t tell you
the number of times I find it intentionally disabled, with no malicious
intent, but unprotected nonetheless. More knowledgeable users should
review the logs for any abnormal activities.
These things above are not difficult, but they take time. I have clients
that have me come in once a month to do all of this and more on their
computers because they know how important it can be. Take it from a
professional…If you do these things yourself on a monthly basis, your
computers will not only be more secure, but they’ll run faster and have
fewer problems…I guarantee it.
Client & Web
Scott Hendison hereby grants
rights for all of his own articles on this website providing that the following
italicized lines (with the live link) are
included as a byline:
Scott Hendison is a
internet consultant based in Portland
Oregon. He specializes in search engine placement, internet marketing, and Retail Point of Sale (POS) systems
with e-commerce, for customers in
five countries. for more information, visit his website is
Need more info?-
owner/operator of Portland Technology Consultants, providing
and internet consulting services to
local Portland Oregon businesses, and over the internet in five
countries. He is a member of the
Independent Computer Consultants Association and
is on the Board of
Directors for the
He is also on the Board of the
Gateway Area Business
Association and an active
member of the
Chamber of Commerce.
His website is filled with
computer & technology related, articles like this one, and he has a
daily blog here.
If you'd like to know more, please visit the main page at
or call him at 503.946.6881.
Please help keep these articles coming, by
visiting my website, shopping online, and sharing this site with your
friends, families, and business associates.
Free email tech-support is always available at