I wrote this for family and friends, use it, dont use it, choice is yours, but some of you may find this helpful.
Before doing anything below, make sure you do the following:
1) Do a full online system scan here: http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ If you are not running TrendAV I don't trust your AV software.
2) Make sure all your MS Windows updates are up to scratch.http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ .
3) Uninstall any Anti virus programs you may have installed if not running Trend Internet Security 2005 (And only if you are going to follow my recommendations)
Encrypting the hard disk, and Windows login changes
First thing we are going to do, is encrypt your hard drive, and replace the standard Windows login with something a little more tight. The Windows login that Microsoft shifts with all its standard OS`s is basically useless. A well trained chimp smoking marijuana could break through using any one of a dozen applications and boot loaders out there. Another thing that Microsoft is very weak on is its encryption.. but what's the point of the encryption if the administrator login can be broken so easily?
So our first step is going to be to beef up the hard disk encryption and the Windows login. There is a wonderful completely free application out there that can do all of this for you (Not to be used with systems with multiple OS`s on it, as it re writes the Master Boot Record).. This application is called CompuSec® Software and can be found at http://www.ce-infosys.com.sg/CeiNews_FreeCompuSec.asp . When doing the full disk encryption, I recommend setting it to do the encryption on your next boot-up. It does take a couple of hours (Took 4 hours on my 160GB system hard disk), but its extremely important you do this.
This application will secure your system on the physical offline level, and I highly recommend it to everyone. When booting up, you will have two logins, one to access any data on your hard disk (Before Windows loads), and then your normal Windows login. A decently sized paraphrase well insure that even government confiscation will not lead to the data on your hard disk been accessed without the correct password.
This application will make changes to your MBR, also, if you forget your password... consider doing a low level format. READ THE FSKING MANUAL FIRST before installing the software. I will not be held accountable for any damages that may result due to your incompency or Microsofts. Also remember, if you are running an anti virus, disable boot sector checking before installing this software.
The Anti Virus/Firewall/Malware:
Out of personal preference (and because frankly, its the best product out there for me), I use Trend Internet Security 2005. It comes with all the bells and whistles I could want without trying to take over my system or slow it down. The firewall is very versatile, been able to switch between wireless and fixed line mode easily. It can also work with Windows firewall without conflicting with it.
Trend also comes with a spy ware/mal ware checked, email scanning, URL Filer (should you want it). The crack is also easily accesable on the Internet (pay for software?...riiiiight). If you are running Nortons, uninstall it (if you can). NORTONS IS THE DEVIL, do not trust it) The nice thing about Trend, is it runs with all the other software without conflicting with anything.
You can download Trend Internet Security 2005 here: http://www.trendmicro.com/en/product...e/overview.htm
And the crack from here: *link removed*... *hint hint* google
Once you have installed Trend AV, install Microsoft Anti Spy ware. Spybot and Ad-ware have nothing on it frankly, and anyone still running either of those applications still has their heads in the ice-age. MS AntiSpyware running in conjunction with Trend`s built in anti-malware application means no more silly nasties that own your bandwidth or other resources.
You can download Microsoft AntiSpyware for free here: http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...e/default.mspx
To prevent most of the problems and exploits out there, it is highly recommenced that you change from Internet Explorer as your default browser to Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla Firefox is a much safer browser to use on the world wide web than Internet Explorer. They both basically do the same thing, except Firefox is less likely to take the whole Operating System with it when it crashes, and is a lot harder to exploit with malicious web code than Firefox. If you browse porn sites, this browser is a MUST HAVE.
You can download Firefox here: http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/
Instant Messaging Protection:
If you use MSN Messenger, I really really think you should install Simp Secway. MSN Messenger sends its messages out in plain text. That means that almost anyone, running any type of sniffing application (ettercap/dsniff) will be able to see what you are typing. With Simp Secway you can add 1024 encryption to your messenger, making it impossible to eavesdrop. If you have a closer look at the Simp Secway site, you will see they also offer encryption for Yahoo, ICQ, GoogleTalk and Jabber. I hardly use messenger anymore, preferring to run the encryption of the latest version of Skype (currently Beta 2).
You can download Simp Secway Messenger encryption application here: http://www.secway.fr/us/products/sim...hp?PARAM=us,ie
Okay, your system is now ready, and safe (assuming all protections are enabled) to go onto the Internet. Make sure to keep all your updates....well...er... updated, and stay away from siff websites. If you are running all the above, and have a decent password (that you have not given out to anyone), then browsing on the Internet should be a plea sent and safe experience (so long as you don't run into Tubgirl) .
Remember, keep EVEYTHING UPDATED.