Internet Security ---
"Minimum Protection" for home computer systems
Purchase a complete Internet Security software package such as Norton Internet Security 2010. It includes virus protection, spam protection, and an Internet firewall (blocking application.) It can be found at Best Buy, Costco [$59], SamsClub, online at www.pricewatch.com (go to 'software' at top of page, and then 'internet' to get lowest price sources; OEM is cheapest,) or try www.Froogle.com. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) is full-version surplus software; request 'unopened' package; does not come with manuals or free-phone help!
"Very Good Protection" for home computer systems
This is recommended for most home users! Install the above and in addition install Advanced System Optimizer and Super Ad Blocker. Advanced System Optimizer (Systweak) removes spyware, defrags the hard drive, cleans the registry, updates hardware drives, etc. Super Ad Blocker blocks unwanted pop-ups and ads when surfing the Internet. All are reviewed at http://www.top10reviews.com. After significant testing it was determined that these applications are mutually compatible.
If you never used a spyware removal tool, you might be surprised to find 500 to a 1,000 'spy cookies' on your computer the 1st time you run this software! This is particularly true if you surf the Internet frequently.
For "11 signs of spyware on your computer" see http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1522648,00.asp.
"Best Protection" for home computer systems
In addition to above you can also install a hardware device such as Alpha Shield to maximize protection. This device is very easy to install.
One can also install a 'firewall router' (hardware) between the cable router (or telephone line) and the computer. Good 'firewall routers' are made by Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, etc. They can be found at Best Buy and CompUSA.
"Dial-Up versus Cable and DSL
Security is a greater issue with Cable and DSL than for Dial-Up service, because Cable and DSL are "always on" and therefore are continually accessible to outside hackers! See the following article for more info: http://www.cerias.purdue.edu/training_and_awareness/home_users/broadband.pdf
Hardware & Software Reviews
Computer Maintenance --
Purchase "Registry Mechanic" [$29.95] or "Advanced System Optimizer" [$39.95] if your PC is really acting up and/or is unstable --- use this software if nothing else appears to work for you. This software should be tried before you plan on junking your computer out of frustration! It will repair the Registry and the Windows file structure more thoroughly than any other competitive software --- its even better than Norton SystemWorks 2006! For 30 day FREE trial versions or to buy go to: http://www.systweak.com/toptenreadreview.asp or http://www.adwarereport.com/mt/archives/000284.html
Purchase the comprehensive Norton SystemWorks 2006 to maintain your hard drive. It defragments (organizes and speeds up drive performance,) cleans up Internet files, repairs MS Window's file structures, etc. It can be found at Best Buy, Costco, SamsClub, online at www.pricewatch.com (go to ‘software’, and then 'utilities' to get lowest price sources; OEM is cheapest,) or try www.Froogle.com.
Diskkeeper 2007 Pro Premier is an outstanding disk defragmenting tool! After the initial defragmentation Diskkeeper will run in the background and continually defragment your drive(s). It only runs [in the background] when you are not actively using your PC. It will continually keep your drive in a 100% defragmented state. It's not cheap at $100+. Look at other Diskkeeper 2007 versions for a better deal!
Do not open any email you are suspicious of, particularly attachments --- delete it immediately!
Has your personal and/or financial information been comprised?
For a list of recommendations prepared by the Federal Trade Commission go to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft
Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft (Vince Arini)
AN ATTORNEY'S ADVICE -- AT NO CHARGE!!! Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice!
1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead
of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your
checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your
initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign
Here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet,
etc., has been stolen:
Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
Also go to the Federal Trade Commission website for IMPORTANT information --- CLICK HERE!
FREE Secure Credit Reports ---
Recently I followed the advice of MONEY Magazine [September, 2005, p. 116] and obtained free credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax all from the same secure website http://www.annualcreditreport.com. There are no strings attached! This should be done annually!
If you request "all three credit reports at the same time", you cannot obtain another free one for approximately 1 year! However, you can request one at a time from a different agency every 4 months. For example, today you can get a free one from Experian, 4 months later get one from TransUnion, 8 months later get one from Equifax, etc. This order can be different --- its your call.
If you also want to obtain your 'credit score' which is needed if you are taking out a loan or mortgage, then there will be nominal fee of around $7 per report.
'AnnualCreditReport.com' is a centralized service for consumers to request annual credit reports. It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Review this website carefully. Under the heading "Contact Us" there is additional information regarding your credit report, credit repair, and identity theft. [Dave Brent]
Tips for stopping junk mail and telemarketers ---
Related Issues ---
Public Disclosure of Personal Information with DOB, address and Phone Number
(Courtesy of Joe & Joan Sute)
urged to forward this information to family and friends. Check to see if
your name and information is in their database. If so and you want it
removed, send them an e-mail at
email@example.com to request it be removed.
If you do decide to opt-out by email, check back after a few days to make certain your information has been removed. However, as ZabaSearch claims, your name and information can appear in the future, so you have to be diligent and periodically check their website for your personal info.
Here are additional links for more information on ZabaSearch:
Advice on Internet Security for Home Users
Several short, easy-to-read articles to help you better understand how information security impacts you, and what you can do to keep your computer, information, and family safe from information security incidents ---
Identity Theft Protection
See article entitled "Identity Theft: What, Me Worry?" at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1524776,00.asp.
See this for steps to be taken if you are a victim of identity theft: http://find.intelius.com/privacy-faq.php#Q10.
Elimination of Mail-Delivered Credit Card Applications
If you are bombarded with post office delivered credit card applications, go to http://www.creditsourceonline.com/opt-out.html for instructions on how to minimize (or eliminate) the delivery of these to your home.
Online Data Vendors: How Consumers Can Opt Out of Directory Assistance and Non-public Information
There are many websites that sell or provide for free, personal information about individuals. This information is gathered from many sources including white pages listings (directory assistance), publicly-available sources and public records. Go to http://www.privacyrights.org/ar/infobrokers.htm for opting-out links.
This site was last updated 08/22/12