With Windows XP having reached it’s end-of-life status as defined by Microsoft, and since Windows XP will receive no further updates including security patches, this is a good time to remind everyone of Windows best practices for computers that are online:
Locking Down Windows
- Run as a LIMITED or STANDARD user, not as an administrative user. Over 90% of malware infections can be prevented by following this advice.
- Have an ADMINISTRATIVE user set up in Windows that you use only for installing new software or doing other administrative tasks.
- Use a good antivirus app and keep it updated. I recommend either Kaspereky or NOD32. If you’re a non-commercial user wanting a free solution, consider AVG.
- Don’t click on email links. Type them into your browser manually instead.
- Don’t use IE. Google Chrome is more secure. Firefox is a good second choice.
- Only download software form known sources.
- Keep Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java (if you must use it) up-to-date by checking and updating weekly.
- Run Microsoft Update, installing at least the critical Windows updates, on or just after the second Tuesday of each month.
- Turn on your Windows firewall. Your router has a firewall in it, but using the Windows firewall too will block bad stuff like worms that lend on your internal network.
If you need help in setting up a locked-down Windows environment, please contact me and I’ll be glad to help.