Configure Windows so that it displays all file extensions, including those of known file types. Note that even with this option set, Windows will still hide the extensions of a few select file types, such as .shs and .pif. To circumvent this, you can delete all occurrences of the string “NeverShowExt” (without the quotes) in the registry using regedit.exe. Be very cautious when you edit the registry! Do it only if you know what you are doing!
Most Windows versions come with the Windows Scripting Host (WSH), which allows for execution of VBS (Visual Basic Script) and JS (JScript) files. These files can contain malicious code.
You can prevent the accidental execution of script based malware by setting the default action for VBS/VBE and JS/JSE to “Edit”, so that such files will be opened in Notepad. If case you really want to run such a file, then you will still be able to right-click on it and select “Open”.
If you are not on a LAN (local area network), disable file and printer sharing in the Network options of the Control Panel. If you need to have file and printer sharing enabled, make sure that you are sharing only the items that really need to be shared. Never share entire drives or important folders like the Windows folder, and do not allow write access unless you have to. It’s also of paramount importance to set strong passwords for the shares. Passwords should be as long as possible and consist of a mix of letters, numbers, punctuation signs, etc.
Take a look at PC Flank.
Never, ever :
- use the “Unsubscribe” feature of spam emails or reply to spam mails because by doing so, you confirm the validity of your email address and the spammer can keep on sending you unsolicited commercial email, which you probably don’t want.
- The proper way to deal with spam is to delete it and, if you wish to do so, complain about it to the sender’s Internet Service Provider (you need to analyze the message headers to determine the ISP, do not rely on the sender’s alleged email address which is probably forged or fake in most cases).
- select the option on web browsers for storing or retaining user name and password.
- disclose personal, financial, or credit card information to little-known or suspect web sites.
- use a computer or a device that cannot be fully trusted.
- use public or Internet café computers to access online financial services accounts or perform financial transactions.
Pay attention to files with multiple extensions. Generally, the last extension is the relevant one. For example, a file named
is an executable program (.exe) and not a MP3 file!
However, that if you are using Outlook Express and see a file with three extensions, Outlook Express may consider the second extension to be relevant, so that a file named
is an executable program (.exe) and neither an MP3 file nor a JPG file!
That’s why it’s important to follow the procedure outlined in section 4 for opening unknown files. You can’t go wrong by simply ignoring any file with more than one extension.
- Set the boot sequence to C: first in the BIOS. This can be “C only”, “C,A” or whatever you want as long as C: comes first.
- Regularly back-up your data.
- Install a good firewall. I use NetVeda Safety.Net free firewall. Its performance is quite outstanding and it offers application control and content filtering as well. This highly capable product deserves to be better known and experienced users should definitely put it on their short list.
Very often users will do more damage with panicked recovery attempts than a virus or Trojan horse would have.
Protect Against Spyware
Microsoft’s anti malware methods