Windows XP/2000 Security

How to Make Windows More Secure


"Don't use the computer with administrator privileges"

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How to Secure a Windows PC against Antivirus, Trojan, Spyware etc.

What Norton, McAfee and Microsoft won't tell you.

The main problem with Windows computers is that most people run them with Administrator privileges. This means that if they want to install software, change system settings etc., they don't have to enter a password, they can change anything they want. This is very convenient, and it is the default setup that Windows encourages, but it is a major loop hole that almost all viruses, trojans and spyware exploit, because the virus also has administrator privileges over the machine.

Many people rave about the excellent security and stability of Linux machines, and rightly so, they are a great system. But users of Linux machines usually DO NOT run as administrators and if any system settings need to be changed, or software installed, it is required to enter the administrator password. This effectively locks viruses out of all the system files and folders because the virus does not know the administrator (called "root" in Linux) password.

Wouldn't it be nice if Windows machines could be set up in this way. You could surf the web and do all your daily tasks with normal restricted privileges and if you need to install software or change your network settings, you log in as admin, enter your password, do your stuff, log out, and log back in as yourself.

Well, you can set your pc up like this.

Below are instructions on how to secure your Windows XP/2000 machine (sorry Windows 98/95 users can only follow the first 3 topics):

Get an Antivirus program

Get rid of Spyware

  • Download, install and run Lavasoft's Adaware, it's a great free program that will find and remove all the spyware from your system. It's a great free program.

Install a firewall if you don't already have one

  • Windows XP has one built in by default but Windows 2000 doesn't. In either case I would use Zone Alarm.

Create a user with administrator privileges

  • Go to the start->settings->control panel->user accounts and then create a user called admin that has full administrative privileges over the system.
  • Log out (start->log off) and log in as the admin user. Go back to start->settings->control panel->user accounts and set a password for that user.
  • Log off and log back in as yourself again.
  • Go back to the user accounts section, and set a password for yourself if one is not already set (it probably isn't).

Remove your own administrator privileges

  • Go back to the user accounts section and remove your own administrator privileges by clicking on the "Change the account type" link under your username and then select a "limited account" for yourself.

That's it. Now when you want to install some software just log in as "admin" do your stuff and log out. Now when you surf the web, viruses won't have administrator privileges over your computer.




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