If you are not making effort to improve your Windows 7 security Running a program always carries risks. For example, a program executed by a normal user can easily change the registry so it will start every time you turn on your computer. Other times, a utility, designed to improve your operating system, can change the registry using methods that works in Windows XP but not in Windows 7. Viruses and other kind of malware can also change your system files and make your computer acts erratically. So what can we do to protect ourselves?
In this tutorial, you will learn how to protect your system from an untrusted software.
1. Use your Antivirus
This may sound pretty obvious, but it is surprising that many people are not fully utilizing it. Some malware are known to prevent antivirus from running properly, so before you install anything, it is best to scan the file before running it.
This check is not going to take more than 1 minute and it is definitely worth your effort. If you don’t have any antivirus suite yet, Microsoft Security Essential is a good choice.
2. Check Digital Signatures
Some files include a signature to provide information about the developers who created the file. Virus and malware programs don’t usually include this information. We can easily check a file for its signature and discard those suspicious software that don’t come with one.
Right click on any file. Select “Properties”:
If the program include signatures information, you will see a new tab:
In this case we see that is signed by “RealVnc Limited“.
Note: Not all valid programs are signed, but at least you can eliminate the probability of a virus if the program include digital signature information.
3. Create A Restore Point
Every time you are going to make something risky with your computer, make sure you create a restore point. This applies to installing of a new antivirus suite or a new driver as well. Having a restore point allows you to restore the system back to an earlier time before the changes are made. Here is the way to create a restore point:
Using the search function in windows 7 type “create restore point” and select the program:
Go to the “Create” button:
Now the system will ask for a name for that restore point and create it. Select a descriptive name so you can find it easily.
4. Create A Standard User
Windows 7 creates its first user with administration rights. This user has the permission to do almost everything in your computer. It is a really good practice to never use your admin account for normal use of the computer. The best way is to create a standard user for your everyday use.
Go the search function type “user accounts” and press Enter:
Select “Create a new account“:
Type a name for the user, remember to check “Standard user” and click over “Create account“:
5. Restrict Access To Internet
Many viruses use Internet to look for updates. Other kind of malware, such as keyloggers, send every key you type to Internet. So if you don’t trust a program, you should block its access to the web.
Search for “windows firewall advanced“.
Goto “Outbound Rules” and select “New Rule…“:
In this case we are going to block a normal program, so select this option and press next:
Select “Block the connection” and press next:
Now you are done.
Note: If you are testing out a software, you can also use Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 or a virtual machine using Virtual Box to prevent any changes to your system.
Do you use any other security tips in your computer?