From: Shenan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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From: "Shenan" <email@example.com> Date: Sat, 17 Aug 2002 19:14:31 -0500
Well, if you have Windows XP, it's there.. May not be turned on..
Start -> Help and Support
type "firewall" in the search area (sans the quotes)
Click on "Enable or Disable Internet Connection Firewall"
There you go. Built in help is a good tool to start with.
Antivirus software is essential now. You can get viruses from emails(even
from friends and family), web pages, instant messengers(AOL, MSN, ICQ) and
many other places/ways. Therefore, the installation and proper use of
an antivirus software is a necessity. Everyone will have their own
individual experiences with the different packages available. All I can
do is suggest a few based on my experience.
Norton AntiVirus, if kept up to date, is one of the better AntiVirus systems
in my opinion. Stick with it, keep it updated. There are other AntiVirus
programs out there, some are even free, like AVG found at
http://www.grisoft.com/ and Antivirat http://www.free-av.com/ for download.
Some have online scanners you can use such as
http://housecall.antivirus.com. At least run one. You will
prevent future headaches. McAfee is Okay - but I personally cannot
recommend it - I am sure other people have greatly differeing opinions.
Ad-Ware and Spy-Ware:
First off, I guess I should explain what these are. There are several
definitions out there, but in its simplest form, adware/spyware is a hidden
software program that transmits your user information via the Internet to
advertisers. There is a good web page with some links and such at
http://www.adware.info/ that you might want to look at for more information.
So what can you do? Download and install and keep up to date and run
frequently some spyware/adware detection/elimination software. I suggest
"Ad-Aware" from http://www.lavasoftusa.com/ as one of the best. There are
others out there, but from all accounts, this one is the best. However,
another product, Spybot - Search & Destroy, has really come a long way as
of late and has been kept (at least recently) more up to date than
Ad-Aware. You can get this product from http://beam.to/spybotsd as it is
also free. I think you might be surprised by how much spyware/adware
there is out there and possibly attached to software you would not have
thought would do such things.
All of those COOL toys and utilities for FREE!:
Don't download and install everything you see. Things like "make your
internet faster" and "remember you passwords" and "protect your system from
privacy invasion" softwares are usually crap, to put it succintly. File
sharing apps are dangerous for novice installers(Kazaa, Grokster, Morpheus)
In general, if it sounds like a ploy - it is. That does not mean you should
not download and try new things, that is part of the fun of having a
computer with access to the Internet - but do it wisely. Do searches on
Google and other places for people having used the product you are thinking
Email and SPAM(If only it stayed a luncheon meat):
I am POSITIVE others may have had different experiences than I have on
this subject, but this is my ramblings, so here it goes. Ignore the email
spam protection software and just don't sign up for everything you see
and learn to use email filters. Also, go ahead and unsubscribe to the
emails you get you don't want. I have actually found that the old advice
of "don't unsubscribe, they just send you more because now they know the
address is valid" to be false a high enough percentage of the time to make
Hackers breaking into your computer:
Does this REALLY happen? YES! Don't think of it as "What do I have that
a hacker could POSSIBLY want?" That is a bad assumption. What they "want"
is to use your machine as a practice ground for hacking elsewhere later,
or they want to break into your computer then use it to break into other
computers so they cannot be tracked as easily.
Don't worry about too much more of a firewall than the built in XP one,
especially if you are dial-up, but even if you are Cable Modem or DSL, you
should be fine. Basically, the Internet Connection Firewall can also
protect a single computer that is connected to the Internet. If you have
a single computer that is connected to the Internet with a cable modem,
a DSL modem, or a dial-up modem, Internet Connection Firewall protects
your Internet connection. It is "one way" only - not blocking outgoing
connections, but only attempts to get INTO your machine. For more
information, go to:
If you feel this is not enough for your needs, I suggest Zone Alarm from
http://www.zonealarm.com/ as an alternative. You could also get a hardware
firewall, which has several other advantages. One of the easier to setup
would be the Linksys routers( http://www.linksys.com/ ), and if you share
a cable modem or DSL connection, it can help there as well.
Keep it all "Up-To-Date":
Keep your operating system and applications patched and up to date. You may
ask, "Why?" - simple - it may fix problems you have yet to experience, have
been experiencing or they may patch some vulnerability that would allow
someone to really ruin your whole experience. I suggest visiting
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ often and checking for critical and
other updates. Also, http://www.updates.com/ and install the updater, I
consider this one of the best "all applications" updater out there. If you
have Microsoft Office, you may want to also go to
http://office.microsoft.com/ and download/install updates for that as well.
Other tools to help you "tweak" your computer:
If you are using Windows XP, you could download and install some
of the XP PowerToys from
and try some of those. You may find them useful.
If you are using other Windows Operating systems, you can still
get TweakUI from Microsoft at
as well as other powertoys from places like
(some of them worked through Win2000 -- watch for URL wrapping.)
There are TONS of great utilities and power-user toys out there to help
you manage your computer and keep it running at peak efficiency. Most
of them are free. My advice is to find something you are interested in,
then research it to find the free alternatives - there is almost ALWAYS
a free alternative.
Still have Questions? There are tools out there to help you:
Some other things you should learn to do is search the Internet for answers.
The Google website at http://www.google.com/ is a great resource. I
particularly like an application like WebFerret
( http://www.ferretsoft.com/ ) that searches a dozen plus search engines
at once. You will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of information out
there.. Answers to your problems are often a few clicks away.
Also, learn what components you have in your system. For example, you may
have a Creative Labs sound card, a 3COM network card, an NVidia video card,
etc. You need to know the name-brand of the components in your computer so
that you can keep the drivers(software that lets the hardware communicate
with Windows) up-to-date and working for you instead of against you. You
should easily be able to find the manufacturer of each component on the web.
It's especially easy if you bought a brand name system(Dell, IBM, HP, etc.)
They will have all of the hardware drivers you need to keep your computer
running smoothly on their web page. Otherwise you could do a web search
and find the support pages for a particular manufacturer.
Some other places that have some GREAT Windows tips and some of the people
contribute to the newsgroups often are:
If you keep your computer patched/updated and cleaned up, you should enjoy
the whole experience associated with your computer and the Internet.
-- Shenan "leinell" <> wrote in message : > How do you know if a firewall is installed in your > computer. Just bought the HP ze 5170...