We need to talk

If you have been following along Twitter, you might have noticed that a good portion of my days have been filled with removing virus’ and spyware from nice folks computers. I said days, but should include nights.

I don’t mind. I really don’t. It’s easy work (unless the system is completely hosed, then it’s good money) and it gives me the chance to educate the user on better practices so it doesn’t happen again.

Number 1 on the list is **keeping your antivirus software up-to-date**! If you don’t have antivirus software, then now is the time! I can tell you, 100% for sure that anything that comes with Windows will do nothing more than keep low-level hackers out of your computer. Nothing, and I repeat, **nothing** installed by or from Microsoft will keep your computer safe from virus’, spyware or other potentially bad software that your click happy fingers will bring into your machine.

If you have anything resembling security software by any manufacturer and it has the numbers 07, 06, 05, 04 or lower in it, it’s no longer working. I know what it tells you, but it’s not. In fact, your computer is probably already infected with something and you don’t even know it.

I’m going to putting up a series of posts this week that you can use to help yourself be a better internet citizen and help to keep your Windows PC safe from internet meenies that are using your computer to send boner spam or collect credit card numbers from your neighbors.

Lesson 1

For a few years you have heard me praise the goodness that is OpenDNS. There has been a banner on the right side of this screen for as long as I can remember. Look at it right now. Does it say you are using OpenDNS? (sweet!). No? Then it’s time. And this is your first lesson.

Click the link to find out how to change this on your machine. Too lazy to click? Here is the short version.

  • Right click the Network icon on your desktop. It’s the one that has the work Network in it. If you don’t have that icon (or can’t find it in the mess of icons littering your desktop currently), then go into the Control Panel and open Network Connections
  • Right click your connection and choose properties. If you are using WiFi, use that one. If you are jacked in, use that one.
  • Find the one that says TCP/IP. Click it and click the Properties button
  • At the bottom, find where it says DNS and click where it says Use the following DNS servers. In the 2 boxes below that, enter the following.
    • Preferred:
    • Alternate:
  • Click ok a bunch of times, close the Control Panel

You are done. Congratulations! Your computer is one step closer to be safer on the internet. Next up: **getting the damned things from your computer**. Stay Tuned!

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

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