Damian's Place

Protect Your PC with Damiansplace.net

Internet is an endless ocean of knowledge, that is a wide known fact. You can find in there everything, from cribs for the test, through cook recipes, ending with cracks for every program. At the same time, it's source of danger to every computer. Yes, above statements are in no way revealing. You're asking, what you can do, to be able to participate in that abundance of the Internet, without taking, at the same time, all the risks combined with a virus on family PC? How to do it without making bigger expenses?

Yes. That's the right place. Protect Your PC with Damian's Place is a web page, where you'll find links and hints on how to safely surf the Net and how to secure your PC without creating losses to your family budget. On the very beginning let's say one important thing. Even the worse protection is better than none, as well as, the very best protection won't EVER protect your machine in 100%, that nobody won't be able to break onto your PC. It all depends on you and your habits.

Let's begin with basics. You have to focus on your browser, firewall, anti virus program and anti spyware program. In case a slip-up happens, an on-line scanner will come with help.

Browser and your e-mail address

Majority from you is using Internet Explorer®. Good, that solution is comfortable, but ...
Majority of attacks is pointed into, yes, correct, products of computer giant - Microsoft™, which ain't to popular between computer users. IE at present contains build-in protection mechanisms, but their effectiveness, in many aspects is a background issue.
From my own experience I can refer you, dear Internet surfer, Mozilla Firefox, which you can download, by clicking link on the left side. This browser displays pages relatively fast and avoids installation of harmful programs (viruses and spyware).
Worth to recommend as well is Opera, which combines functions of a web browser with mail client functions. Opera allows you as well to view web pages in "true full page mode" (without any toolbars). Following link will take you to site, from which you can download it.
Few words about your e-mail address.
You shall treat it as one of your biggest secrets. Don't pass it on each site which gives you such a possibility. Avoid passing it on public forums (main chat channels, discussion groups). If you don't have any other choice, open special account, where you can receive spam (trash mail), onto which you won't receive any important messages. Spam can become one of the sources of trouble with your computer.
Always remember about one, very important rule:
At all times think twice before you'll open any attachment in mail from unknown sender.
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Firewall, is something in kind "main entrance guard" on your PC. Control, as well as, blocking unwanted traffic, are the main tasks of that kind of programs. Exactly that program, shall avoid and notify you about fact that something was trying to break onto your PC. There are many commercial firewall's which are worth to recommend, but getting them will be next expense which we try to avoid. Does the equation security = expense has to be always true?
No, not always. I won't promise you "mountains of gold", but on the Internet there are possibilities to find free firewall's. One of them, which is worth to mention, is Zone Alarm®, product of Zone Labs™ Program with "easy to use" graphic interface. It's not hard to configure it, and it's "secure enough". I take FREE Zone Alarm® firewall.
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Anti virus

Well done. Your computer has browser, which blocks "vermin", firewall maintains traffic, but what to do if, somehow virus will get onto your PC.
In this situation our rescuer will be the anti virus program. Now it's time for "the moment of truth". Having on mind only freeware anti viruses, we can't be sure, that they will remove from our system the newest viruses. The best way to resolve that problem would be to accept the expenses, and to buy one of the commercial programs. It's quite big expense, but in return you'll receive updates of virus signatures base for at least one year, only that shall provide you "antidotes" against newest threats, as well as, you'll always be able to send suspicious file to the lab, where they will check for you, either is it "friend" or "enemy". If after all that you've read in here, you still think, about getting "free one", you shall get one of those bellow:

Avast!®, which you can download from this site
AntiVir®, files for it you'll find on this site
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On-line scanners

An alternative for above mentioned programs would be on-line scanner. You don't have to buy it, you can access them 24/7. Those are good sides of it. Without doubt, a drawback of those tools is, that bigger part of them doesn't remove from your system backdoors (virus-like programs), which allow, to their creator, in almost unseen way to log onto computer and to take control over it. If you suspect, that you can have a virus on your PC, visit one of bellow mentioned on-line scanners:

Symantec™ company - yes I want check my computer
Panda Software™ company - scan my PC
Trend Micro™ company - help me to remove viruses from system
To do their work on-line scanners require Internet Explorer® and possibility to install ActiveX controls, which in that edition shouldn't make any harm to your system.
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Above title, sounds strange, but fully explains main targets of this last group of security software, which I recommend you to install. Spyware is that sort of software, which sends to it's creator details about your computer, sites that you're visiting, as well as, it can send him information about passwords to secured websites, credit card numbers etc. As you can see, it's not worth to have something like that on any computer. Proper answer for those treats will be all programs which can find and remove those "computer spies". As one of the users, I really can refer to you Lavasoft™ company program - Ad - aware®, which can be downloaded from www.download.com site and his companion Spybot® - freeware licence program, what means for you, that it's free of charge. You're welcome to visit home site of this program.

Please allow me to add in the end, one, quite important note. I'm pretty sure that, as an experienced Internet user, you met p2p (peer to peer) programs. Well known representatives of those are Kazaa, BearShare or torrent clients. Allow small digression, it's widely known, that, file sharing over Internet isn't fully legal, but what's more important, those files usually contain small add-ons in form of viruses, spyware etc. Worth to mention, as well, is a fact, that those programs, by themselves often contain spyware in their code, and installation of those is usually required by the programs licence. So it's worth to avoid them.
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I hope that, those few hints will help You to understand those treats and to avoid them.
Have a safe time on the Internet