Making Windows Secure

OK, so you might wonder why I've created a page called Making Windows Secure if I'm a confirmed convert to Linux!

Well, it's because I feel sorry for all you who haven't yet seen the light, and I feel duty-bound to help you keep your PCs safe.

Why is it necessary to 'fiddle around' to keep our PCs safe? I hear you ask.

Because they are very very vulnerable to all sorts of nasties - and I don't just mean bugs and viruses. There are some less than pleasant people out there who will happily hack into your PC to

  • Steal your personal information
  • Steal your PCs processing power to flood innocent sites with hits to bring them crashing down
  • Steal your identity

So what can you do to stop this - and perhaps more importantly, how do you know your PC has been 'got at'?

Here are a few links to the BBC UK website to whet your appetite.

An article on BotNets

Another article on bloggers being scammed

A scary story about web videos being infected

This is why you should take all this seriously!

It's not all bad news!

Go to the Gibson Research site (a really excellent security checking site with absolutely nothing to sell you, (unlike some others!) and look for the ShieldsUp link to check out your PC security. I guarantee you will be surprised what someone many miles away can easily get from your PC!

Gibson Research

Having frightened yourself silly with how open your security is, start off by downloading and installing a bit of security. And NO, you don't have to fork out good money for this - if anyone tells you to pay in order to ensure your PC is safe - turn a deaf ear - all you need is FREE!!!

First off get Ad-Aware, a free software package that will scan your PC looking for nasties that shouldn't be there.


As with all these bits of software, use with a little caution and common sense. Some things NEED to be there, but a lot doesn't and can be safely disabled or even deleted.

Next get HijackThis - an odd-sounding bit of software, but very very useful - again used with a bit of caution!

If HijackThis tells you something is starting automatically when Windows starts, without you knowing or giving permission, then it's almost certainly OK to stop it from loading.

HijackThis will let you stop something loading as Windows starts - so you can check whether or not it's important. If your copy of Windows carries on working OK without it, then delete it!

Unless it's obviously a printer driver or something similar!


Once you've stopped trojans and similar c**p from launching get yourself protected with a decent anti-virus package.

Grisoft do an excellent and FREE version which will not only protect you and you incoming and outgoing email, but will also update itself when they release fixes for new problems.

Grisoft Antivirus

Next you need a firewall - this is a bit of software which sits between your PC and the nastiness in the outside world. It will stop dead in their tracks any attempts by dodgy folk to hack into your precious PC. ZoneAlarm do an excellent free version.


Keep Grisoft and ZoneAlarm running all the time, and do the occasion scan with Ad-Aware and you SHOULD be safe.

Another excellent site, with all sorts of goodies on offer, is PCPitstop. Go there and take a look at what COULD be slowing down your PC.

One fantastic little program I couldn't live without (in the bad old days of running Windows!) was WinPatrol. A little doggy sits in your task bar and monitors your system settings. If anything nasty tries to change anything, a little Scottydog barks and jumps out to warn you.

Or else, as I recommend elsewhere on this wiki, install your preferred version of Linux and relax :-)

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