5 Free Things You Can Do To
Protect Your Computer
1. Install Windows Defender
Microsoft Windows Defender helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance,
and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. I have been using it my
laptop and computers at home and it works very well.
Here is the link to the Windows Defender Homepage and from there you can download it:
2. Install a Personal Firewall
A personal firewall is software installed on an end-user's PC which controls communications to
and from the user's PC, permitting or denying communications based on a security policy. One
such personal firewall is ZoneAlarm. ZoneAlarm is designed to protect your PC from hackers.
ZoneAlarm is free for individual and not-for-profit charitable entity use (excluding governmental
entities and educational institutions).
Find out more about ZoneAlarm: http://www.zonelabs.com
3. Use Firefox Instead of Internet Explorer
Switch web browsers from Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer is very closely
integrated with your Windows operating system. This means that if you use Internet Explorer to
view a website that contains malicious (nasty) code there is a strong possibility of that code
"getting into" your Windows operating system and "messing" with how it works.
Mozilla Firefox works differently from Internet Explorer and so there is far less danger in viewing a
website containing malicious code. Firefox is free, works very well, and there are no problems
with having Firefox and Internet Explorer installed on the same computer.
Here is the link to the Mozilla Firefox homepage and from there you can download it to your
4. Activate Windows Update
With Windows Automatic Updates, Windows routinely checks for updates that can help protect
your computer against the latest viruses and other security threats. These high-priority updates
are available through the Windows Update Web site and include security updates, critical
updates, or service packs.
When you turn on Automatic Updates, you don't have to search for updates online or worry that
critical fixes might be missing. Windows automatically downloads and installs them for you, using
a schedule that you determine. If you prefer to download and install updates yourself, you can
also set up Automatic Updates to notify you whenever any high-priority updates become
If you do not turn on Automatic Updates, I recommend that you regularly install updates from the
Windows Update Web site: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
5. Update Your Anti-Virus Definitions
AntiVirus software vendors update their virus lists on a regular basis. Make sure you visit your
vendor's Web site at least once a week to download the update. Most virus software offers an
auto-update feature which will grab the updates for you; make sure this feature is enabled (if
available) in your software.