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How to Secure your PC: Virus-free, Malware-free, Hacker-free

Nov 8, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Security

If you’re like most of the people out there, you’re probably spending plenty of time on the Internet every day. You check mail, check your Facebook, maybe do some online shopping and so on. With all that private data you use every day, can you immagine how much damage a hacker can do to you if they somehow compromise the security of your PC? Just sealing your email login info may be enough to get you embarrased, or even fired… or even robbed from all your money on your bank account or PayPal. So, how much is internet security worth to you? In other words, how much are you worth, and how much do you HAVE TO invest in making your PC secure?

Companies invest millions of dollars in hardening their networks and PCs, but for the everyday user, there are plenty of free applications, and all you need to do is to just know which applications do the job, and just use them. Below is a short excerpt/summary of what you need to do to keep your PC secure.

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To get your PC secure you’ll need to install an antivirus, an antimalware, a good security hardening application and a decent firewall.

First, download and install Avast free antivirus (you’ll also need to register your copy so you can get free updates for a year), then download and install Malwarebytes AntiMalware Free, and download and install Spybot Search and Destroy, which is also free. When you install Spybot pay attention to the settings, and do not install the TeaTimer and the Internet Explorer components because they can slow down your computer a lot. Lastly, you’ll need to download and install the Comodo Free Firewall and Antivirus suite.

Next, you’ll need to turn off System Restore because viruses and trojans find their way in the System Restore and even if you erase them, they still get back at each restart. To turn off System Restore, go to Start-Control Panel-System, and click the System Restore tab. Then, click the Turn Off System Restore on All Drives checkbox, and click OK.

Next, you’ll need to install the latest virus and malware definitions. So, start Avast by double clicking it‘s icon in the right lower corner, next to the clock. Then, click the Maintenence tab, and select the Update sub-tab, and update the Engine and Virus Definitions. Once this is done, click the Scan Computer tab, at the left side of the window, and select the Boot-time Scan subtab. Then, to the right you’ll see a large Schedule Now button. This will run a full system scan at the next start up, but don’t turn off your computer just yet.

Next, you’ll need to update the definitions for Mawarebytes. You’ll need to start the program (probably from the Start menu), and click the Update tab and click the Check For Updates button. This will most probably install the latest definitions and install them on your computer. Just follow the instructions. When you’re done with the updating of Malwarebytes you can also do the updates for Spybot, and then restart the computer for a full system antivirus scan.

When you restart the PC you’ll need to let Avast scan through your PC, and this may take up to a few hours, depending on how many files you have on your PC. Stay close to the computer while Avast scans, because if it finds an infected file you’ll have to tell the program to delete it. There will be an option to choose Delete All Infected Files, so once it finds an infected files you can select this option and let the computer do the work by itself.

Then, after a couple of hours, Avast will be done and your computer should be free of viruses. Now it’s time for the malware checkup.

Start your PC in safe mode. To run it in safe mode you’ll need to hit F8 just before your Windows logo appears. Then do the Malwarebytes scan first, by selecting the Perform Full System Scan option. After the scan is over follow the instructions to erase any found infected files.

And finally, run Spybot Search and Destroy. This program will close all the browser security holes your system may have, and will also do a thorough search for infected files, so that it will verify that your computer is virus-free and spyware-free. You’ll need to first Imunize the system, which is basically patching up any security vulnerabilities on your system. And finally, once the immunization is done, you’ll need to run the Check for Problems process, that will scan your system for any malicious files. If it finds anything, select them all and erase them.

With this, your system should be free of viruses and any other malicious files or settings on your PC. You’ll need to run regular virus and malware scans at least once a month. I usually start all three and have them scan my PC over night, and when I wake up usually the scans are over and then I just need to get rid of all the infected files. The good thing is that with the Comodo Firewall in place, and the Proactive protection that Avast has, there are no infected files.

Lastly, you can turn on the System Restore if you want… although I don’t use it ever, but I’ll leave this at your discretion. Only remember that if you do find a virus or malware you’ll have to turn off System Restore and run the scans again before you’re completely sure that your system is clean.

If you like what you’ve found here, please spread the word to your friends using the social media buttons below. Also, note that this is just an excerpt from my book, and you can make a pre-launch order and save 30%. The ebook is due in a week or so, and there will be plenty of tips, tricks, illustrations and how-tos that will help even a novice to make a great security setup and enjoy a safe PC. I’ve used this approach for the past 5 years, it’s tested and proven to work on over 300  PCs and small office networks.

 

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