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Assorted Defensive Computing Links
NOTE: this page is old
It was last reviewed sometime in 2006
Cleaning To Avoid OverheatingTOP
The Correct Way to Install SoftwareTOP
- Power Protection
by Jon L. Jacobi PC World magazine June 25, 2004 Which of the eight uninterruptible power supplies we review will best guard your PC from surges and spikes?
- Don't let lightning zap your PC
Tips for protecting your computer from summer storms. CNN. June 15, 2004
- Empowering PCs to handle surges, outages a wise move
by Mike Himowitz in the Baltimore Sun June 10, 2004
- PC Juice Boxes, in Various Flavors
Newsday September 16, 2003 Lou Dolinar
- Blackout gives dark reminder to protect your computer, data About surge protectors
and UPSs. By Mike Himowitz in the Baltimore Sun. August 21, 2003.
Blackouts by Frank Hayes in ComputerWorld magazine. August 25, 2003
Protectors Work by Tom Harris. No date.
- Surge Suppressors: Anatomy Lesson
Your First Line of Defense Against Overvoltage by Winn Rosch ExtremeTech
July 20, 2001
- Uninterruptible Power Supplies
By Winn Rosch ExtremeTech August 17, 2001
- Flashes, Flickers and Fluctuations
By Fred Langa June 18, 2001
- Comodo Personal Firewall 2.0
PC Magazine May 30, 2006. They loved it.
- Reviews of
FREE firewalls from PC Magazine September 28, 2005
- Skype and Firewalls
- Choosing The Right Personal Firewall
By Wayne Rash December 10, 2004
- Big bug in the Windows XP SP2 firewall
Microsoft fixes 'critical' XP firewall issue
IDG News Service December 17, 2004
Description of the critical update for Windows Firewall "My Network (subnet) only" scoping in Windows XP Service Pack 2
XP SP2 Bug Inadvertently Shares Your PC's Files Online
by Andrew Brandt PC World September 17, 2004
- ZoneAlarm Pro 5.5
reviewed by PC Magazine November 18, 2004. They liked it.
- Norton Personal Firewall 2005
reviewed by PC Magazine October 1, 2004. They liked it.
- Personal Firewall—Don't Surf Without It
PC Magazine October 1, 2004 By Neil J. Rubenking
- Why does svchost access the internet?
September 1, 2004 Leo Notenboom
- Routers, firewalls give PCs extra hack-attack protection
by Mike Himowitz in the Baltimore Sun August 12, 2004
- Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2
from Microsoft. August 4, 2004. By default, Windows Firewall is enabled and blocks unsolicited connections to your computer. This article discusses how to make an exception and enable a program to run by adding it to the list of exceptions.
- Troubleshooting Windows Firewall in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
by Microsoft. How Windows Firewall works, common problems with it and tools used to troubleshoot
- Troubleshooting Internet Connection Firewall on Microsoft Windows XP
by Microsoft. How ICF works, how to enable it, common problems with using ICF, and the set of tools used to troubleshoot ICF issues.
- Manually Configuring Windows Firewall in Windows XP Service Pack 2
by Microsoft February 16, 2004
- Don't Toss That Personal Firewall
By Larry Seltzer in eWeek August 5, 2004. About problems and limitations with
the Windows firewall in Windows XP SP2.
- Windows XP SP2's Windows Firewall won't be enough
by Brian Livingston July 8, 2004
- Pop-up pains by David Strom
in his Web Informant newsletter, December 12, 2003. About Messenger
- Stay Safe Online from the National
Cyber Security Alliance
- Step-By-Step: Bulletproof Your PC With a Software Firewall
The setup basics. PC World magazine June 24, 2003
- Hackers And Viruses Don't Stand A Chance
About ZoneAlarm Pro v4. Forbes Magazine Ten O'Clock Tech June 13, 2003
- New ZoneAlarm Toughens Firewall.
Version 4 improves e-mail protection, hacker-tracing, and VPN support. PCWorld.com
June 12, 2003
- Great Walls of Fire
- How to Keep Ruffians Out of Your Computer—for Free The Village Voice April
18, 2003 by Brendan I. Koerner
- Do your systems need ZoneAlarm?
ZDNet June 13, 2002
- About XP's Internet Connection Firewall
Read why you should not use the Microsoft firewall that is part of Windows XP.
by Scot Finnie December 9, 2002.
- Firewall Feedback
Fred Langa tests a new crop of desktop firewalls and makes recommendations.
Covers ZoneAlarm, Agnitum Outpost, Sygate Personal Firewall and Tiny Personal Firewall.
Information Week April 15, 2002.
- Personal Internet Firewalls that really work!
by Steve Gibson. Explains what a firewall is and how it works. February
- How Much Protection Is Enough?
Too much or too little online security can lead to a world of trouble.
About Firewalls. By Fred Langa in Information Week magazine. June 4,
- Description of a Personal
Firewall from Microsoft. What a firewall is and does and problems it may entail.
- Internet Firewalls
For Windows XP. From Microsoft. Introductory article. By Tony Northrup. August 12, 2002
Programs Should I Let Access the Internet? About configuring ZoneAlarm v3.
PC World Magazine. November 2002 issue
- How It Works: Personal Firewalls
PC World June 5, 2000
- How Firewalls Work
by Jeff Tyson No date.
from Microsoft. No date. Long and fairly technical article.
- Troubleshooting Internet Connection Firewall on
Windows XP from Microsoft. How ICF works, how to enable it, common problems and
tools used to troubleshoot problems. October 2003.
- ComputerWorld magazine Firewall
- Download many
firewall programs from PC World Magazine
- Identify Ports
Testing a FirewallTOP
Odds and EndsTOP
- Questions to ask when upgrading to Broadband (cable or DSL)
- How fast is your Internet connection?
Just How Fast is Broadband, Really? High-speed access isn't always as fast as advertised.
PCWorld Magazine. April 25, 2003. A report found a big difference in broadband speeds among similar technologies. Comparing cable to DSL they found the average speed of a cable modem is 708 kilobits per second, while the average DSL speed is 467 kbps.
- Optimize Your Internet Connection
on ExtremeTech February 11, 2002. By Serdar Yegulalp
- Test your connection speed at these web sites:
- Blocking pop-up ads on the Internet
- Customizing Internet Explorer
- Upgrading an old version of Windows to a new version
- Closing a hole in Windows XP security
- Free RAM testing programs:
- Totally erasing a hard disk before getting rid of an old computer
- Test your hard disk
- Defragmenting your hard disk
- Re-cycling or donating an old computer
The recycling links are now on the page for my new
- Getting a cheap second computer for backup
- Computer running slowly
- File Systems
- The Perfect Rescue Tool By Fred Langa June 23, 2003
Information Week magazine.
How to make a custom, bootable CD containing the right tools to fix just about any system trouble.
2 of the article was published July 7, 2003.
Bug Fixes TOP
- How to remove Windows XP Service Pack 2 from your computer
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 875350
- Microsoft Takes its Time with Backup Patch
by Brian Livingston July 6, 2004. A user reports a problem to Microsoft and
waits forever for a fix.
- Why Microsoft's patch process needs patching
By David Berlind of ZDnet July 2, 2004
- Microsoft Doesn't Care, So Hack Your Own Update CD
By Larry Seltzer in eWeek July 1, 2004
- Oh Patch How I Hate Thee; Let Me Count the Ways
by Jesper M. Johansson, Security Program Manager at Microsoft April 15, 2004
- Office XP Service Pack 3 problems bite users
By Brian Livingston March 26, 2004
- Microsoft Readies Security Update CDs
Disc provides dial-up users with necessary patches, but lacks the latest fixes.
IDG News Service February 19, 2004.
- Successful Updates Despite Very Slow Connections
Information Week. February 16, 2004. Fred Langa shows how some simple workarounds let you bypass bottlenecks when keeping your
PCs up to date.
- eEye Digital Security finds bugs in
software and publishes a
list of bugs that haven't been fixed for loooong time.
- Patch Backlash
Is Microsoft doing enough to fix its security mess? PC World December 15, 2003
- Patches That
Patch By Brian Livingston in eWeek. November 17, 2003. The monthly
schedule for routine patches is a sham as Microsoft has to patch the patches.
- Great Expectations
You don't expect software to actually work do you? By Ed
Foster November 6th, 2003
- Can Microsoft Finally Kill All The Bugs?
Fast Company October 2003
- Fred Langa had Windows
Update fail on him. Useful article because it also describes the fix.
Mr. Langa found a web page with information on many problems with Windows
Update called MrScary's Windows Update Resource Page.
September 15, 2003.
- Companies Scramble to Patch Software Holes
System Administrators Burdened by Number of Vulnerabilities
Washingtonpost.com September 15, 2003
- Patching Windows Systems Draws IT Pros Ire
Long after Bill Gates began the Trustworthy Computing campaign, the bugs keep coming.
Information Week magazine. September 15, 2003.
Patches and the Dial-Up Problem By Larry Seltzer in eWeek. September 12, 2003
- Windows Update Gripes by me.
firm: IE patch does not work CNET News.com September 8, 2003. The long,
winding story of a single bug fix.
- Patch and Pray
It's the dirtiest little secret in the software industry: Patching no longer works. And there's nothing you can do
about it. August 2003 issue of CSO magazine. By Scott Berinato
The Security Screws In Windows By Larry Seltzer for Ziff Davis August 21, 2003
Becoming a Major Resource Drain for Companies ComputerWorld August 18, 2003
Update Patch Process Faulty, Expert Says Claims flaw fools users into thinking that their systems have been patched properly.ComputerWorld August 18, 2003. A scary story.
for Securing Your Windows Operating System ComputerWorld July 14, 2003.
About hot fixes, service packs, QFEs and security hot fixes
- Microsoft's Problematic Updates
Fred Langa May 19, 2003 Information Week magazine. Windows Updates sometimes cause more harm than good. What's the best way to handle them?
- What Windows knows
By Brian Livingston March 14, 2003. How Windows Update uploads to Redmond your Product ID number and a list of your hardware.
- When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease
Applying bug fixes can make things worse, rather than better. PC World magazine. No date.
- A bug by any other name
by James Gleick. 1997. On why Microsoft never refers to mistakes in their software as bugs.
- From Microsoft
Security and Privacy TOP
- Security Now! audio/podcast
with Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte. Includes a discussion of important issues
in personal computer security. You can download and listen to selected episodes
or subscribe to the ongoing series as an RSS "podcast" and have them automatically downloaded to you as they are produced.
- Browsing the Web and Reading E-mail Safely as an Administrator
by Michael Howard of Microsoft. November 15, 2004. Very interesting article
about forcing your Internet-facing programs to run as restricted users even
while logged on as an administrator.
First Week as a Limited User Paul Thurrott wrote about why it is all but
impossible to use Windows XP as a restricted user. June 2004.
- Increase Your Browsing and E-Mail Safety
4 Steps to Help Ward Off Hackers and Attackers from Microsoft June 11, 2004
- Tips on creating and securing passwords
AP June 1, 2004
- Lock Down Your PC
By Scott Spanbauer From the April 2004 issue of PC World magazine
Security Guidance Center
- Microsoft Security Newsletter for Home Users
A monthly newsletter with security news, guidance, updates, and resources
- How to Keep Your Browsing a Secret
Newsday Lou Dolinar October 7, 2003
- Problems Can Add Up When File Sharing
Newsday Lou Dolinar September 30, 2003
- Remove your information from the Google
- The Danger of Too Much File Sharing
Are strangers grabbing more than just tunes from your PC? About BearShare,
Kazaa and Morpheus. From the September 2003 issue of PC World magazine
- The PC World Password Safety
Test PC World magazine, September 2, 2003
- Managing Your Windows XP Passwords
by Fred Langa. August 18, 2003 in Information Week. Suggestions about how to get back into your accounts and
files after losing a Windows XP password.
- Cracking Windows passwords in seconds CNET News.com
July 22, 2003
- Kinko's case highlights Internet risks
by the AP at NewsObserver.com July 22, 2003. About an invisible key logger
program installed at some Kinko's stores that stole userids and
- The Other Kind
of Tracks by Walter Mossberg May 2003
Your PC: You're On Your Own. May 26, 2003. Stephen H. Wildstrom.
- Easy Encryption
by Fred Langa InformationWeek June 2, 2003
- The Encrypting File System
from Microsoft. no date.
Simplifies E-mail Encryption - Somewhat USA Today May 22, 2003. About
- A Cybersecurity Primer:
Creating a Password from The Washington Post September 18, 2002.
- Passwords - the weakest link, Hackers can crack most in less than a minute
May 22, 2002 CNET News.com. Includes advice on choosing a password and many
- eWeek magazine has a page with many articles on Security
- Business Week magazine columns
on Internet Security
- The Microsoft web site has two portal pages on security. One seems to be
for home users, the other, from
Technet, is for techies.
up to have Microsoft send you an email message for each security
- Browse the latest
security bugs in Windows. Note, this not a full list of Windows bugs,
just the security related ones.
- Security and Privacy Basics
From Microsoft. Consider the source.
- Many security articles are at Security
Pipeline from Internet Week
Security Special Publications from NIST (National Institute of Standards
- Secure Your Home Computer
from TomCat Internet Solutions
- Book - The Complete Idiot's Guide to Internet Privacy and Security by
Preston Gralla. January 2002.
File Shredding and Recovering Deleted FilesTOP
- Home office security checklist
from Microsoft. December 21, 2005. Help safeguard your business when you work from home
- More on safe computing by David
Strom January 10 2005 in his Web Informant newsletter. Good introductory article.
- Cheapskate's Guide to a Safe PC
By Michelle Delio of Wired February 10, 2004
- Don't use RAM optimizers.
The Memory-Optimization Hoax
January 2004 by Mark Russinovich in Windows & .NET Magazine
- Secure Your Home Computer
from TomCat Internet Solutions. A depressingly long list
- Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File
from MVPs.org a site associated with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional program
- To Fix Software Flaws, Microsoft Invites Attack
the New York Times September 29, 2003
- Protecting Your Privacy & Security
by Eric L. Howes
to Buy a Hard Drive PC World magazine
Enough Already: Microsoft Must Change
by Fred Langa in Information Week September 28, 2003. About safe
Safe computing requires 2 types of defense
by Mike Himowitz in the Baltimore Sun. September 18, 2003
When Bad Things Happen to Good Computers
How to protect from viruses, a blackout, or a lightning strike. FORTUNE
magazine, September 2, 2003 By Peter Lewis
Protect Your PC! by Ed
Bott on his web site. September 1, 2003
How to avoid, or address, software trouble.
Consumer Reports magazine. August 2003
PC protection for procrastinators
by Mike Langberg in the Mercury News August 21, 2003
Looking out for users
Broadband service providers step up protection of their customers against viruses, spam and worse.
by Laurie Willis in the Baltimore Sun August 14, 2003
the makers of insecure software, advice on how to secure it, but only for
Windows XP. For "End Users" www.microsoft.com/protect.
For "IT Professionals" www.microsoft.com/technet/security/tips/pcprotec.asp.
Read with salt.
There is no product category where the shopping experience is made more opaque
and confusing than computers. Some of the reliance on jargon
in the computer business is meant to make you pay for things you don't need.
Walter Mossberg. Wall Street Journal. December 4, 2002.
The Weekly Fab Five The five things you should do each week to keep your computer running in tip-top shape. By Patrick Crispen of the Tourbus Internet newsletter.
Includes screen shots of Windows Update.
- Preventive Maintenance of a PC
Webopedia June 13, 2003
- Checklist: Conduct Routine Security Maintenance
From Microsoft. Last updated February 17, 2003.
and You: Five Tips Every Consumer Should Know from The Washington Post
May 16, 2003
- Helpfulness Is Next to Geekliness
PC World magazine, Steve Bass, April 29, 2003. Suggested web sites offering
- Digging Out From A Disaster
By Loyd Case January 1, 2003. Sometimes there is no substitute for a standby
- Having trouble with your personal computer?
from Consumer Reports
Computing Guide from Consumer Reports
- Windows Tips: Banish Windows Blowups Before They Occur.
PC World magazine. May 2003.
- Paper Thin - Are Computer Warranties Rip-Offs?
The Village Voice, March 2003 by Brendan I. Koerner
- Refill 'er Up.
About Brand-X printer cartridges. The Village Voice, October 2002 by Brendan I. Koerner
- Don't send computer off to college till it's equipped
by Mike Himowitz in the Baltimore Sun. August 15, 2002. Good computer advice
in preparation for sending a student off to school.
- Protect Your PC
A long article that covers viruses, stealthy software and firewalls. From the July 2002 issue of PC World magazine
- Protect your computer against Internet attacks
CNet by Robert Vamosi May 9, 2002
- Monitors - links on computer monitors are with my Buying and Owning a Laptop Computer class
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