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Windows security advice?
Bar Harbor
It's been a few years since I last asked this question, so answers may have changed. For the tech-savvy folks out there - What are your recommendations for securing a Windows box connected to the Internet? I'm not especially paranoid, and don't like programs that interrupt me all the time. But, an ounce of prevention and all that...

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Don't connect it to the Internet. Oops, too late.

OK, install Microsoft Security Essentials and agree to everything.

Create a separate user account that does not have admin privileges. Use it as your usual account.

Don't use IE unless you absolutely have to. All the rest of the time, use Firefox or Chrome.

Run MS updates frequently, and especially the second Wednesday of each month. (The patches are released the day before.)

It depends a lot on the version of Windows. I have little experience with 7, but am led to understand that it's the first Windows version built on a fundamentally secure model (that is, early versions of Windows were built on an assumption that only one user ever touched a computer, and that there was no such thing as a network, or at least an untrusted network, and elements of those early versions continued to exist in the codebase all the way through Vista).

Dsrtao's advice about using a non-administrative account for your normal operations is an excellent and important step. I've had some success in the past (using older versions of Windows-- I've never had a machine of my own with Vista nor 7 on it) using CLAM for anti-virus (it's an open-source antivirus community) and being careful about what I installed and where it came from...

Also, if you can turn it off when not it use, that helps, too, by making it inaccessible to worms...

FWIW, I use AVAST anti-virus; it updates automatically every day (sometimes more often) and is available in a free version (which I use).

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