Links to help you protect your computer and data
A customer asked me once, "What's the best way to
protect my computer from viruses and other types of
attacks?" To which I responded, "Unplug it and hide it
in the back of your closet!"
All computers are vulnerable
to hacking, viruses, worms, spyware, and whatever yet may
come. Every connection to the internet, from dial-up
modems to T-3 lines, is constantly being scanned for
vulnerabilities. Every time we open an E-mail or a
webpage, we expose our computers to inadvertent
installations and executions of spyware and viruses.
Attacks will continue to get more sophisticated and
more difficult to defend against. To keep your system
performance up and help keep it secure, Woodwyn
Solutions recommends that you:
||Schedule your antivirus software to update
and scan regularly
||Use spyware detection
software at least once a month
recommended security patches and other updates
distributed by Microsoft and other vendors
||Consider the pros and cons
of a firewall and install one if you need to
Woodwyn Solutions is dedicated to helping you get
the most out of your IT investments. Here are some
links to some of the tools that can help you protect
your system. You can always feel free to contact us with
any questions or suggestions.
Check your computer's security
The following is a collection of basic on-line tools
that will scan and report security vulnerabilities on
tool to perform a basic security assessment.
assessment tool. This tool requires using
at least Internet Explorer 5.0, Netscape 4.5 or
Symantec also includes a virus
detection tool. This portion only works
using at least Microsoft's Internet Explorer
Online Testing by Gibson Research. This is
one of the first, fastest and simplest
assessment tools to determine if your computer
is open to an internet attack.
techniques to scan for openings on your
computer. More time consuming to test.
Less explanations to help with problems.
reports has many tools to quickly test your
system. This link points to a quick scan.
This test will validate your system for up to
If you’ve never had a virus infect your computer you
can consider yourself an anomaly. Antivirus software is
the single most powerful defense we have against
attacks. Keep your virus definitions up to date and
schedule your antivirus software to regularly scan your
entire system for new installations of viruses and
Grisoft offers both a respectable
and a more capable commercial version.
Symantec's Norton Antivirus Software often comes
with computers and is recommended as a powerful
and easy to use choice.
VirusScan is a popular package that comes with
A very capable antivirus application by Trend
Nod32 antivirus application has been
consistently evaluated as one of the best
professional tools available. It tends to
identify many viruses, even before formal virus
signatures are available.
Spyware takes over parts of your browser to track
your internet activities. Some versions are harmless,
but annoying and force unwanted advertising on you.
Other versions attempt to capture your keyboard strokes,
stealing personal information like user names,
passwords, account numbers, etc., and report them back
to their authors. Fortunately, there is help available.
||Spybot is a
powerful anti-spyware application. This will
catch more problems than any other tool we are
familiar with. Best of all, it’s free! Included
in the latest release is a small tool that
monitors your system for applications that may
change settings without your knowledge.
||Adaware is the
originator of the anti-spyware application
software. There is both a free and a
shareware version of the application.
Blaster helps to prevent access of
A firewall can be either a hardware device or a
software application designed to monitor and control
incoming and outgoing traffic to and from you computer.
If your system is vulnerable to an attack through one of
its many ports you may benefit from installing either a
hardware or a software firewall. You should be aware
that firewalls can be difficult to install and confusing
to work with. They are also likely to decrease browsing
and network performance. Be sure to call if you need
Solutions is a distributor of WatchGuard,
allowing us to pass on savings to our customers.
These hardware firewalls are considered to be
the most advanced and capable in the industry.
Personal Firewalls have a free and a pro
version. Both come with a very nice and easy to
use control panel. The Pro versions offer
advanced interfaces and more options.
Outpost Firewall. There is both a free and
a more advanced 'pro' version. This
firewall provides a layered protection against
many types of attacks.
has a free and a pro version. There is little
difference between both of these very capable
started the personal firewall business. There is
a free and multiple pay versions.
Be sure that your connection's performance is what
you expect that you are paying for. Periodically measure
your performance to make sure that there is no
degradation. A loss in performance indicates either your
service provider is not allowing as much bandwidth
capacity as promised, or an application was installed on
your computer that is stealing some of your capacity.
The following are some easy to use bandwidth meters: