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Protect Your Computer On the Internet For Free with Six Simple but Essential Steps



Beef up your PC to the best of my knowledge. Here you have six basic steps to easily protect your PC on the Internet. This is an updated version of my article I wrote back in 2004 when I was helping out my friend to fix his computer problems.

Step #1: Patch the operating system

The first thing I did was check Microsoft website for any essential patches that have not been up-to-dated.

  • Open Microsoft Windows Update page.
  • Scan the PC to find out what critical updates and security fixes are missing.
  • Select, download, and install a selection of updates.
  • Restart the PC after finished.

When you open the Microsoft Windows Update page, click the "Scan for updates" link. The page will suggest what updates are needed based on your Windows version. You should install all Critical Updates suggested by Microsoft.

It took me about one and half hour to complete the above steps.

Step #2: Download, install, and run Spybot to get rid of all spyware.

Spybot-S&D is a free anti-spyware software to detect any spyware installed on your PC.

Spyware is any software that is installed on your PC and tracks your online behavior without your knowledge or consent. Spyware generally can

  • Track what web pages you are visiting and send these information to advertising companies. This kind of spyware is commonly called adware.
  • Track and record your computer activities such as what keys you typed. This is generally called Trojans.
  • Change your web browser's home page.
  • And more...

After installed Spybot, I immediately scanned my friend's computer and found 166 problems. The first run killed nearly all of them except some memory residents that had to be killed after a reboot.

Step #3: Download and install Online Armor Free firewall.

Online Armor Free firewall is a FREE firewall with 100% leak protection. It currently runs on Windows NT/2000/XP but not suitable for Windows Vista.

Note that if you are running WindowXP, there should be a basic firewall installed already with the operating system.

Step #4: Download avast anti-virus Free Edition

avast Free Home Edition is a well-known free anti-virus software. avast! Home Edition is a full-featured antivirus package designed exclusively for home users and non-commercial use.

Important: The process of proper download and registration:

  • Download avast from the avast! Home Download page http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

  • Install it and at this stage it's trial version, which is fully functional for sixty days.

  • During the sixty days, you should do a free registration on this page http://www.avast.com/eng/home-registration.php

  • After registration, you will receive your license key by E-mail within 24 hours.

  • Add the license key to the program on your PC, then the avast becomes non-restricted version for one year.

  • After one year, you'll have to register again to obtain a new free license key.

  • You just repeat this forever and you can use avast 100% FREE.

Step #5: Install password management software - KeePass.

KeePass is a free open source password manager.

Nowadays we all have many usernames and passwords to use on the internet. Some spywares record your keystrokes and send them to the hackers. It has been reported many times that people lost all their money in online bank account or internet payment system account.

KeePass Main Features


  • Highly encrypted databases by using AES and Twofish secure encryption algorithms. All databases are encrypted. KeePass always encrypts the whole database, i.e. not only your passwords. Your usernames, notes, even the entry times and UUIDs, etc. are encrypted, too.

  • Support of master passwords and key-disks.

  • Runs on all Windows operating systems and .Net doesn't need to be installed.

  • Export password list to TXT, HTML, XML or CSV files.

  • Import from CSV, CodeWallet(Pro) TXT and Password Safe v2 TXT files.

  • Easy database transfer from one computer to another.

  • Support of password groups.

  • URL, Notes, Expiry time fields and entry attachment support.

  • Auto-type, global auto-type hot key combination and drag-n-drop support.

  • Intuitive and secure Windows clipboard handling: Using the context menu of the password list to quickly copy password or username to the Windows clipboard.

  • Searching and sorting the password database.

  • Multi-language support.

  • Strong random password generator by using random user input.

  • Plugin architecture: Other people can write plugins for KeePass, extending its functionality. You can download the latest KeePass plugins (and their source code) from: http://keepass.sourceforge.net/plugins.php

  • Open-Source!

    KeePass free and you have full access to its source code! It has been developed using Microsoft Visual C++ with MFC classes. No .NET framework is required, nor any other special DLLs. It should run on all Windows operating systems.

Step #6: Apply additional security measures.

More security measures and resources:

Mission completed. It took me nearly 4 hours that night and the result is so far so good.


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4.Introduce Free Password Manager - Password Safe
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