Prevent computer infections and slowdowns if...
This article describes how to prevent computer infections and slowdowns if you are not the only person using the computer (i.e. it is a shared family computer).
The article assumes that you did some preliminary house-keeping installing and / or configuring Windows as described in my other article.
1. If you have stupid teenagers in the house, my best advice is to buy them (or tell them to get a job and buy it themselves) a Wal-Mart $250 or an Asus laptop.
2. The primary source of infections is from Internet browsing, since this is the exclusive activity of teenagers. Either you or some other source needs to train them on proper Internet use. They must be taught how to recognize useless and harmful websites. They must also be trained never to look / click on ads, pop-up windows, to never install toolbars and other software from the Internet. I mean, of course, all the unsolicited requests from the browser and websites to install some software on the computer.
3. The secondary source of infection which teenagers open up is their downloading of content over P2P sharing networks. If you are the parent, you need to research peer to peer sharing, and you must teach your teenagers that peer to peer downloading is not only a way to infect a computer, but also to get yourself into a legal liability.
If you wish to allow your teenagers to use the family computer, do the following:
1) Enable a password on your account, and do not share that password with anyone in your family. Set up a separate limited account for everyone in your family (including your spouse, unless she knows more about computers than you do). The purpose of the limited account is to prevent their ability to freely install software on your computer.
2) Implement a "No P2P downloading in my house" policy. Teach them of legal ways of obtaining music, movies, and software programs. For example, use Netflix, Blockbuster Online, or cable for obtaining movies. Use Steam or e-Bay used software listings to obtain games legally.
3) Develop a relationship with a smart computer tech who can take care of your computer. With remote access set up, he can help you out with computer problems without having to come over.
4) It is now very popular for teens to watch movies and video online. Nothing is free, however, except the cheese in the mousetrap. Usually, the website nags the visitor that a toolbar, a "codec", or some software must be installed on the computer before the video can be watched. In most cases, this would be a toolbar or the DivX codec / player. HOWEVER, the only video player which should be installed on your computer is the VideoLAN VLC media player, along with the MediaPlayer Classic Homecinema. The open-source alternative to DivX can be installed, called XVID. In some cases, the CCCP collection of codecs may be needed. NO OTHER PLAYERS AND / OR CODECS SHOULD BE INSTALLED ON THE COMPUTER TO BE ABLE TO PLAY ANY VIDEO OR MOVIE. PUTTING IT THE OTHER WAY, ANY VIDEO WHICH CLAIMS THAT IT REQUIRES SOME PLAYER OTHER THAN THE ONES LISTED ABOVE IS NOT A REAL VIDEO, BUT IS MOST LIKELY A FILE WITH A VIRUS. The only exception is the .rmv and .rmvb file format, which can only be played by Real Media Video Player.
5) To uncompress files, use WinRAR. The reason for this is because a very large portion of .zip files are actually infected files, which infect your computer as soon as they are uncompressed, or as soon as the executable inside is double-clicked to run.
6) As described in my other article, your computer must always run a full complement of protection software, such as Avast!, Spybot S&D, TeaTimer (comes with Spybot).
7) You MUST place your user files on a secondary internal hard drive, or an external hard drive. There are three reasons for this: a) Most viruses do not spread beyond the system C: drive, b) If your computer gets infected and in the worst case would require Windows reinstallation (most often because the computer tech is incompetent to be able to repair Windows without having to reinstall it), they would at least not wipe out your important files, and c) backup is easier if your user files are separate.
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Page last modified 15-Apr-12 19:08:25 EDT