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How to build a FREE Internet Security Suite. A Step by Step Guide to help you protect your computer and your family while surfing the net.  Page 1 of 4.

Introduction

There are two kinds of people on the net: Those who do not know about safety and those who do. The first group is composed mostly of newbies, i.e., those new to the net, those who are of the belief that Bill Gates and his minions will protect them from evil doers. All they need do, they reason, is to use the very latest computer operating system available. The second group, seasoned veterans, wizened netizens, are, mostly, of the belief that older operating systems are safer and less likely to be attacked. They also tend to believe that throwing money at a problem is (usually) not how you fine tune your computer for safety on the net. Many also believe you need to pick and choose, and set up a virtual army of defenses, a fine tuned security suite, in order to be safe. Each piece of software in the suite should be picked to fill a need, and to watch the back of others in the suite. Only then can you come close to being safe. You'll never be 100% safe, but you can come close.

How does one acquire such wisdom? How do you go from not knowing to knowing? The best answer is by being  burned on-line. After a few days on-line, with an unprotected computer, it will likely become infested with viruses, malware, diallers, trojans, etc. Your browser will be hijacked, and when you go on-line you'll be taken to a porno site or a viagra ad. Your personal information will be sold to the highest bidder, and junk mail will be sent to all those in your e-mail address book, all likely in your name. All your files may even be deleted and your computer will no longer boot up.

Once all the above happens, a change occurs, and you wise up. You will now be in transition, and go from newbie to wizened netizen. You will now be smart. Below we will take you, step by step, from newbie to wizened netizen. Are you ready for the journey?

First, let's look at a simplified sketch of your computer, connected to the internet, and define a few terms. This will be a view of the most basic internet connection possible, and one you should NOT be using! If you do not know why not, we'll explain as we go along!


The Journey Begins

The Internet
Home of Wondrous Things, Information, and FUN, BUT Danger lurks Everywhere!
|
|
Your Dial-Up, DSL, or Cable Modem.
PC Modem
|
A Simplified View Of Your PC.
A simplistic view of your computer, along with a basic connection to the internet.

The box marked as Modem is, usually, one of the 3 types shown above. It's the interface you buy, or rent, to connect your computer to the net. In terms of speed, the slowest connection is on the left, and the fastest on the right, with a DSL connection being somewhere in the middle.

The multi-colored box above represents your computer. Let's talk about it:

Hard Drive: The place where all your software and files are stored.
Browser:     The software you use to surf the net.
E-Mail:          The software you use to communicate with your friends.
Files:             All the letters, charts, graphic images, and software on the hard drive.
Registry:      A large file on your hard drive that controls most everything on your computer.

Now, naturally, everything above is, in reality, stored ON your hard drive. We've separated out these various functions to make your computer and its internet connection more understandable.

There are MANY different kinds of computer virus. Each can attack one or more of what's shown above. An attachment to an E-Mail can be loaded onto your hard drive and destroy it. Another type of virus, called a hijacker, can divert your Browser to somewhere you don't want to go. Many of this type can be stopped by using a free HOSTS file. If you're not familiar with one, you'll find complete details on our sister site. Some viruses are parts of files you download, like screensavers, or music. They can burrow into your Hard Drive, and add code to your Registry that allows them to call home and send hackers and thieves your personal information. Another type of virus can even shut off your virus protection.

To be SAFER on the net, you need to protect your computer from everything mentioned above, and more!

Here is a partial list of things you want to protect yourself against:
How do you DO all of this?

Well, in truth, you can't, but you can protect against most of it. Our approach is a multi-level one. We feel that running several different programs, each covering the others back, works best and will make you as secure as possible.

First, we'll show you a simple, but partial solution. You can use it, many do, but we do not recommend it, and we'll tell you why below.

The Internet
|
|
Your Dial-Up, DSL, or Cable Modem.
PC Modem
|
A Commercial Software Suite You Can Buy.
A Software Security Suite
|
A Simplified View Of Your PC.
A simplistic view of your computer, along with a connection to the internet, that's protected by a Commercial Security Suite.

Software Security Suites

What we've done above is to buy a commercially available software Security Suite and load it on to our computer. It goes on to the Hard Drive, makes a large number of entries in to the Registry, and sits, in effect, between your modem and computer. Some such suitesmay place over 20 running processes in your start-up folder and sap the speed of your PC.

This is certainly  much better than a  bare bones connection, i.e., the unprotected connection shown in the first sketch. You will be a lot safer with this; it is better than nothing.

You can go this way, if you choose, but here is why we would recommend against it:

First, it costs MONEY, typical Security Suites sell for between $50 and $100. Second, and more important, there is an old saying, known by our elders, that goes: "Jack of all trades, and Master of None." What this means is: It's very difficult to do everything well; you really need to specialize. Such suite software may be good in a few areas, but it's weak in others, and totally useless elsewhere.

Suite software will usually include, as a minimum, ALL of the following plus some:
* Note:  
In regard e-mail, there are those who say, in effect: "It is sufficient to have the anti virus program running in the background to monitor the attempted opening of or installation of viruses and it is not necessary to have additional monitoring of e-mails as well. The idea being that if a virus arrives by e-mail, the AV program should intercept it as soon as the user attempts to execute the program, so it's not necessary to look in the e-mail as well."
 
They also feel that: "Having the additional mail scanning slows the system down and can cause conflicts and problems with the mail client and/or other applications.

In regard the sentiments of those who follow the above philosophy, and want to help you by offering it, we can only say that this has to be a personal decision on your part. If in doubt, talk to knowing friends and investigate.
Many of those who use such "Suite" software usually, after being burned, (infected with a virus), add other software to improve their protection.

You can usually do better if you're patient, and choose wisely. Please click below and read on.

Go on to Page 2 of this article

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