Step 3: Firewall

Windows Firewall is a critical first line of defense to protect your computer against many types of malicious software.

Properly configured, it can stop many kinds of malware before they can infect your computer or other computers on your network. Windows Firewall, which comes with Windows Vista, is turned on by default and begins protecting your computer as soon as Windows starts. The Windows Firewall Control Panel is designed to be easy to use, with several configuration options and a simple interface.

More advanced than the Windows Firewall in previous versions of Windows, the firewall in Windows Vista helps protect you by restricting other operating system resources if they behave in unexpected ways-a common indicator of the presence of malware. For example, if a component of Windows that is designed to send network messages over a given port on your PC tries to send messages by way of a different port due to an attack, Windows Firewall can prevent that message from leaving your computer, thereby preventing the malware from spreading to other users.

Frequently Asked Questions for Firewalls

For more information: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/features/firewall.aspx

Here is where you can find it:
Under Search Type in:
Windows Firewall


Control Panel
Windows Firewall

For those advance users, to find Advanced Security:
Under Search Type in:
Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
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<p>actually chrome is generally better than firefox, but either is orders of magnitude above IE. windows defender is pretty weak, an actual antivirus program is more helpful. malwarebytes is a very good second opinion scanner.</p>
There are programs that will break 128bit network security keys. Keep a look out on your network and if u see computers that yoou do not know then set up MAC Address filtering to only allow the computers you know to access your network. I had a neighbor that would bug on to my wireless network to do his uploading. i set up WEP keys and it took him less than an hour to get the key, log on and start uploading again. I set up MAC Address filtering and it's been 2 weeks an he hasn't been able to get on.
MAC filtering can b bypased too, it takes to see you connected and then he disconnects you and spuff ur MAC and start the dictionary/rainbow table attack again, if u wanna keep som1 out u need a SSID randmoly generated that has a maxlenght of 32 characters and your PSK key from WEP2 (only) of 63 characters long, both shud be random letters and numbers. <br> <br>Example : <br>SSID: SEuB2ScDk9VMPhEuoBXTp8bdSinLnPZs <br>PSK : nWIz0u45bccqyI9aXsu464jKVAm6LTXSGwnZl8adEjGF7v7eHeQawyL1ELx3Y8z <br> <br>This will make all dicitonsry and rainbowtables useless. WEP2 use the SSID to 'salt' the key, and thats why u need to change it to somthig new and unique. <br>For paranoid ppl they cann add a internal VPN for more security :D.
I have an idea. This is not advertising, you should put this in there. Sophos, who usually makes mac and window anti-virus for windows also makes a FREE home edition Mac anti-virus that is absolutely amazing!!!!!! It targets the threat, and all you have to click is remove and it's gone! Literally, its that simple and it only takes a few easy steps to install (run the .dmg, install, put your computer's password, click install and done). And, this program doesn't take up much window space. It doesn't cloud your desktop with useless windows full of useless information, because the icon is just a tiny black shield in your menu bar. SERIOUSLY MENTION THIS TO PEOPLE.<br><br>And as an added bonus to the anti-virus, Sophos also has their &quot;NakedSecurity&quot; blog where they post everyday about up-and-coming new viruses, and they also have a facebook page (not sure about twitter)...
In light of the recent email database theft, the person responsible for IT at Instructables should read this.
What Kind of people just sit around and cause havoc for others god go get a job and stop hacking others computers <br />
With mac... for hackers its like trying to run across rapids to make a virus that will REALLY effect macs but the ways that you can hack it is like stepping on a stone in the rapids
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mac%20fag">:D</a><br/>
I dont use macs actually (only once at my friends house for a week) and I had to do EVERYTHING on them and personally... i hate them, I just love keynote and iTunes vs powerpoint and windows media player
first of all..when apple made a contest to see who can hack into one of their computers..it took one hacker 20 mins to crack into it. he said &quot;it was easy to crack cause it is a mac..at least windows updates its self every once and a while.&quot; and second Apple says that it doesnt need any type of anti-virus program, but if you look at your computer you can find a anti-virus program already installed into it. <sup></sup><br/>
well... the "anti-virus program" pre installed on macs is Unix, macs are unix based, not DOS based like windows and linux is also Unix based, its not an antivirus and newer macs (tiger and leopard) are ideal for businesses and for game designers, I personally enjoy macs for making presentations
and also..people dont make viruses for macs, cause they already feel sorry for the people that own them
the link doesnt work
Sorry about that, I was just looking into options available for mac computers, but so far I've been rather busy. It's mainly up here to see if anyone has ideas.
I've done some research on various web browsers recently and have found out that Google Chrome is actually in the top spot when it comes to browser security. A team of hackers went through the big name browsers such as IE, FF, Chrome, Opera etc. and Chrome ended up being the only one to last through the entire test. One feature with Chrome that I really enjoy is it's sandbox feature. Every tab is it's own process so when one tab goes down it doesn't take your entire browser down. Hope this helps.
I'm looking into it, but do you know what makes it a safer browser? Lukethebook333
Unfortunately I do not... I didn't get the chance to read that in depth about the tests themselves but tonight when I've got some free time I'd be happy to do a little research and let ya know what I find.
What makes it secure currently is it's minuscule market share. As more and more people start to use it, more and more security bugs will be discovered.
You nailed the anti virus things. may I reccommend Ccleaner. It cleans out your pc every now and then. Also try comodo firewall protection. It stops any program from accessing the internet without your permission!
P.S. Great instructable!
You've missed a couple of source acknowledgments, e.g. step 4 Wireless Network. The under construction steps should be deleted, as you can always add them in later when you've found some text to past in there. L
I stuck the correct links in the steps, sorry about that. I had thought that they were in there. I didn't add sources for the programs because it's easily found on their homepage. The whole reason why the steps are under construction are that I have not made them yet. I am just gathering information on the topic matter, and then will write my own information into it. I put it up because I am constantly getting requests for information about the topic until I publish a full step. This will just give everyone a broad idea on what it is going to be about, and allow them to research it on their own until I finish. I'm sorry if this bothers you, but the whole point of the instructable is to provide people with ideas on how to keep their computer secure. I am just showing what is available to those who don't know or have never heard about a product. After that you may want to know what the program is about, so I put in their information on it. I am not making up any new technology for people to use to keep their computer safe, just showing them what is available to use.
You've collected a lot of good stuff here. But the whole point of an Instructable is to <em>show people how to do things</em>, providing people with ideas is secondary. Leave incompletes out until they are complete?<br/><br/>L<br/>
You make a good point. I think this would be a good update to instructables, hide and show steps, but I'll copy it to a word and delete it.
Aye, you can unpublish the full thing, but there's no option to unpublish individual steps... L
well, you could probably just replace this entire instructable with two words "use linux" this instructable should probably be renamed "Several Easy Steps to Secure Your Windows PC" since it only covers PCs and only those that run windows
iv'e found you're much more likely to screw up your computer yourself than to get a fatal virus... I just use firefox, common sense, and a couple backup hard drives. If you start seeing things popping up on your desktop you can probably remove the malware in add/remove programs. If not, just look up the removal instructions online.

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Bio: Welcome! Please take some time to take a look at the instructables that I have made. Computer slow? Want to learn how to use Craigslist ... More »
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