Free Software for Internet Security, Computer Protection on Windows Computers

Last Update: 7/17/2018

Optional Software from Microsoft and Other Third Party Developers is a crucial part of adding computer security to your Windows based PC. We recommend a minimal set of crucial network security software add-ons that we feel all users should install. Here are several extremely useful free security oriented software utilities from Microsoft, that are not bundled with the operating system. These programs add additional security for Windows and are free to download.

Before you make any changes to your system, always back it up.

Google Docs can replace Microsoft Word and Excel. Doing so helps prevent many of the security holes in Microsoft Office including Flash based bugs.

Windows 7 Security Software Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials – For Windows 7. Free anti-virus software from Microsoft that is a no-brainer for everyone. Microsoft Security Essentials can also be used by small business on up to 10 PCs! It includes automatic updates and is easy to use. Newer versions of Windows include Windows Defender.

Windows 7 Security Software Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer – Scans your system for security problems, missing or obsolete Windows components and patches. This is oriented towards small and medium sized businesses but can also be used by consumers. For Windows 7 and server operating systems.

Continue reading

Secure Google Chrome Browsing

Last Update: 10/3/2018

Google Chrome Browser

Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This makes it a large target for malware and cybercrime. We will focus on securing Google Chrome, and will significantly increase the browser’s security through add-ins and special hardening settings. We also recommend running under Windows 10 or Windows 7, so if you are running under an older version of Windows, we recommend you to upgrade or buy a new computer. Older versions of Windows like Windows XP were not built with security in mind. Continue reading

How to use Linux for more Secure Computing

Last Update: 6/6/2018

Ubuntu Linux

Linux is a great operating system to supplement your existing environment. We suggest using it on a bootable piece of media to perform your more important online tasks, such as online trading and online banking.

How to use Linux for secure computing

1. Installing a Clean Linux OS with no modifications, program add-ons, etc, helps prevent keyloggers, spyware, and other malware from being installed. Burning Linux Live CD to a write only media such as a CD/DVD or a Kanguru USB drive with Write protect switch, helps prevent any changes to a virgin Linux distribution. Keep in mind that no bookmarks, password managers, etc would be accessible.

The CD versions do take many minutes to boot up and ask you if you want to try Linux, so the USB route is definitely preferred.

2. Ubuntu Linux is a user-friendly Linux distribution and a good bet for most Linux newbies and novices. Try it on USB drive or burn it to a CD, there is no need to install the operating system on to a hard disk. We recommend you use an LTS or long term support version of Ubuntu so that there is long term stability to your Linux choice. (10.04 LTS is a good choice) The other popular Linux distribution is known as Fedora, it is more data center, server-oriented. If you are reading this, Ubuntu is the way to go.

3. Unetbootin is a useful utility that creates a bootable live USB drive or flash drive from Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. It even downloads the Linux distribution automatically.   This program run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, but the resulting USB drives are bootable only on PCs.

4. Backtrack is a specialized Linux distribution for penetration testing. It is filled with useful tools to test the security of computers and networks. You can use Unetbootin to install it on a USB drive. Backtrack is designed for security experts, it is not easy to learn.

5. Tails is a preconfigured Linux distribution full of security essentials. It includes the Iceweasel browser, which utilizes the Tor network for anonomys browsing. HTTPS Everywhere, Adblock Plus, and NoScript are preloaded, to increase security and block ads.

Continue reading

How to Secure Windows 10

Last Updated: 11/1/2017

Windows 10 Home

Windows 10 is the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft.  It still need help to become more secure.

Windows 10 controlled folder access anti-ransomeware is part of the Fall Creators Update.  It works well and should be used by all Windows 10 users.

Securing the Boot up Process

Windows 10 Secure Boot prevents rootkit attacks, where malicious code attempts to tamper with Windows before it boots, before antivirus and other system defenses load. Microsoft introduced features to protect the Windows kernel and privileged drivers in previous versions, but Secure Boot enhances those measures to prevent system tampering.

If your PC is a recent one, you will have what is known as UEFI Firmware that support Secure Boot. This allows the PC to check the signature of each piece of boot software to ensure they are not compromised.  Make sure you enable this.

Secure boot is supported by Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Set Windows Defender Built in Antivirus blocking to High

Windows Defender Antivirus ships with all versions of the Windows 10 operating system. Versions included with the Windows 10 Creator Update version 1703 or newer  in 2017 allow you to set the blocking level to high.  Be sure to do this.

Continue reading

How to: Safe Online Banking and Online Trading

Last Update: 8/26/2017

PC, desktop computer

Online banking and online trading have been gaining market share every year. Security breaches make headlines almost daily. With more and more people going online, consumers are worried more than ever about keeping their online banking and online trading safe and secure. In this article, we will help you bank and trade more securely.

Secure your computer, web browser, Internet connection

Follow our guides to secure your Windows PC or secure your Macintosh by installing the right software, firewall, antivirus software, etc. Secure your mobile devices: iPhone, Android smartphone or tablet, iPad. Configure the settings and add plug-ins to you web browser so that it is more secure. Consult our tutorials for: Internet Explorer 9, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Secure your Internet Connection: Wireless Network, Public Wi-Fi.

1. Configure your wireless router for optimal security. Consult our article How to set up a secure wireless router for details. For maximum security, do your online banking and online trading when connected by a hardwired connection such as Ethernet.

2. Ensure that your operating system is set up securely. Consult our computer security guides for Windows and Macintosh. For maximum security, you could start off a Linux boot CD or USB key.

Burning Linux Live CD to a write only media such as a CD/DVD or a USB drive with Write protect switch, helps prevent any changes to a virgin Linux distribution. Keep in mind that no bookmarks, password managers, etc would be accessible.

The CD versions do take many minutes to boot up and ask you if you want to try Linux, so the USB route is definitely preferred.

Continue reading