I have been on the internet since 1994. I had more problems in 2004 than all of the previous years together.
The Sasser Worm infected my new computer, with Windows XP, and caused me to have to wipe the hard drive and start over.
I did not have my firewall operating because I closed it to do some things and then forgot to start it again. Click
on the Kim Komando banner below to get freeware programs that help. I recommend ZoneAlarm. Kim Komando says it's
better than the firewall that comes with XP. It hides your computer from hackers and protects your operating system
in several ways. It's about a 4 MB downloade and FREE.
My broadband provider (Qwest) provides a firewall and virus protection. However, I still run McAfee internet security
suite on my main computer. The free firewall, through Qwest, misses a few of the hits on my computer. McAfee picks
up the slack and gives me more complete protection. On my second computer, they are networked wireless, I run free Zone
Alarm along with free AVG virus protection. Sometimes more is better.
Use antivirus software and update if on a regular basis. Run it often. Use a firewall, even for dial-ups.
Download Microsoft patches and keep your system up to date. Be careful with email attachments. Configure your
email program to show email file extensions. You want to be able to see the file extensions (end of file name)
to see what kind of file you are opening. Files with .exe are particularly dangerous. These are just suggestions
that have helped me. Spyware is yet another problem. I use LavaSoft's free product which has done a good job.