Internet Security Advice
The following is a list of useful tools, for all users of internet services running on the windows platform:
- Running Windows Update regularly, so as to get the latest security updates installed
- Firewall software or hardware - blocks incoming access to your computer e.g. Zone Alarm (free edition for home users/charities), Windows XP built-in version, Norton Firewall/Norton Internet Security (includes anti-virus software) or the expensive option of a broadband router.
- Anti-virus software - checks for viruses on your computer e.g. AVG anti-virus system (free edition for home users) , AVAST free home edition. Norton Anti-Virus/Norton Internet Security,Kaspersky,Bitdefender etc.. This should be updated regularly.
- Checking services running under windows NT/2000/XP e.g. Messenger (should be disabled as some companies use this service for sending pop-up adverts). To do this on Windows XP, you click on the 'Start' button (bottom left-hand corner of your screen). Next you click on 'Control Panel'. In 'Control Panel', you will need to double-click on 'Administrative Tools'. In 'Administrative Tools', you will need to double-click on 'Services'. In 'Services', you will need to find 'Messenger' in the list of services, shown on the right-hand side of the screen. Once you have highlighted/selected the 'Messenger' service, you can stop the service.
- Pop-up blocker software - included as part of Windows XP SP2. Others available like MSN/Yahoo. Stops annoying pop-up adverts.
- Encryption software - encrypts personal files/folders/email, see C/NET or Tucows for loads of choices. Windows XP/7/8/10 professional edition, includes this functionality.
- Digital certificates - for secure web servers(SSL)/email available via verisign,LetsEncrypt (Free) etc..
- Spyware/adware detection software - checks for any spyware/adware installed on your computer e.g. Lavasoft ad-aware personal edition (free for home users/charities), etc.. Alternatively, you could download microsofts own freeware software - Microsoft Windows Defender.
- Securing Wireless networks - make sure you enable the WEP key(upto 128-bit encryption)/WPA-PSK(using TKIP/AES encryption).WPA2/WPA3 are the latest. This protects data transfered between wireless computers.Also to stop other wireless networks from seeing your network, you should disable broadcast SSID, making sure to make a note of any SSID and wep key for your wireless network cards.It is also advisable not to use the default SSID, or passwords for routers or access points.Another option is to enable mac address filtering.
- Premium Rate dialling software - hidden software that uses a users modem to dial a premium rate number. Suggest disabling dial-up modems when not in use, or using a spyware/anti-virus software package to check for one. Get the call barring service from your phone line provider, or even try using the 'Area Code Rules' part of the modem configuration e.g. adding an extra digit in a premium rate number, so you get the number doesn't exist tone.
- Network port checking software - this checks to see which network ports under IP/UDP are active on your computer e.g. NMapWin (freeware), etc...
- Other useful software - Microsoft provide a piece of software for genuine windows users, which does a lot of security checks on a pc. These vary from whether you have all of the latest security updates for your pc, to SQL Server/IIS security settings. This software is known as Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2. Another useful security tool is for IIS Administrators, and that is the IIS Lockdown tool, this is useful for those using IIS v5. Also, another useful security tool for IIS Administrators is URL Scan
- Wireless networking - latest includes Wifi5/6/E are the latest, coming in routers/access points as dual band(2.4ghz+5ghz) or tri-band(2.4ghz+5ghz+6ghz), see netgear, tp-link, etc..
- Powerline networking - latest can do the likes of upto 1gb, plus provide a new plug socket or wifi access, see devolo, tp-link, etc...
- Solution to live messenger not working in vista, if you have an adsl/dsl cable router, then this is the solution
- Solution to the print spool message appearing when using wireless/wired hp psc2510 printer.It is mainly down to problems with imagezone,could conflict with xp scanning functionality via windows image acquisition service (as this service dies alot, see eventlog under admin tools.) So reinstall printer drivers, select min install, and give a manual tcp/ip address.