There are several key steps you can take to keep from getting infected - or reinfected - in the future
Use a strong password
Is your password on the list Downadup/Conficker uses? Downadup attempts to log into a computer or network using common passwords. Make sure you use strong passwords for all of your computer systems
Keep All Your Software Current
Keeping all of your software up-to-date can be an incredible challenge - but out-of-date software can be the number one vector for malware infection. One of the most incredible bargains for home PC users today are the FREE Secunia Software Inspectors.These are the first internal vulnerability scanners that focus solely on detection and assessment of missing security patches and end-of-life programs. These are perfect supplements to Windows Update as they inform about missing patches for thousands of third party programs. This is a no-brainer - install, use, and get current.
Once your software is current, keep your Windows Registry clean and functioning. If you don't use Microsoft Live™ OneCare™, consider:
OpenDNS is a free service that now fights Downadup / Conficker. We've used OpenDNS for years to block malware, porn, and other sites at our home computers. OpenDNS provides free security and infrastructure services for integrated Web content filtering, anti-phishing and DNS. Its relatively simple to switch your home or business network to OpenDNS.
Keep your network secure
While most larger networks have dedicated staff and support, small business and home networks are often cobbled together. This represents a severe and unnecessary security risk. Just one unprotected computer leaves you open to potential attacks. Securing smaller and home-based networks can be a challenge. Up until recently, we depended on USB drives for the occasional transfers between our office Macs and Windows XPs. Network Magic from Cisco allowed simplified both our home and small business network security management. We recommend trying the free download to manage all your computers, devices, and Internet connection without network programming.
A full security suite - not just an anti-virus program - protects you from viruses and intrusions. You should be able to set up a firewall, monitor security at the browser level, etc. We recommend:
- Microsoft Live™ OneCare™ available at Amazon
- ZoneAlarm Extreme Security - Stops Attacks Others Miss!
Consider using tools that hide your IP address by using Online identity protection solutions from Anonymizer
Use an automatic backup service
No one backs up like they should. Up until recently, backing up has meant feeding CDs into your PC, remebering to label them properly, etc. However, with new online backup options, you have no more excuses. Click here to try Mozy for FREE! . I've used it for several months - it runs smoothly, my data is safe in remote storage, and I don't burn endless CDs anymore.
Protect Your ID
If all else fails, your personal information could be compromised. For the ultimate assurance, I recommend purchasing identity theft protection. Some of the top providers are: