Windows Security.
Here are the web addresses of the several important programs.
All are free except grisoft which is only free for individuals. For home computers, they can always be kept free of problems using free software.

1/ AntiVirus
AVG7 from grisoft is an extremely good antivirus program, as good as any paid for package, but only free for individuals, not for business.
Remember to update regularly, perhaps once every week, or better, every day.
www.grisoft.com

2/ SoftwareFirewall
A very friendly and easy to use software firewall which is free of charge for everybody.
When using broadband you are well advised to additionally use a hardware firewall as well.
You have to look around a little on the website to find it , but the free version is always available.
www.zonealarm.com

3/ Pre-examination of email on your ISP's server
www.mailwasher.net   - trial version
This program allows you to examine the list of email on your server and to delete or bounce if it looks like spam or virus. The free version can only be set up to look at one email server.
When you are using AVG7 from grisoft you need to disable the incoming email plugin as otherwise there is a conflict between  mailwasher and grisoft.
www.pcworld.com/downloads/ file_description/0,fid,20000,00.asp - free beta version

4/ Naviscope
A brilliant program for stopping those pop-up ads. Has various features including one for setting your clock to the atomic standard.
www.pcworld.com/downloads/ file_description/0,fid,6674,00.asp

5/ Spamid
This website enables you to identify the originating ISP of spam, viruses etc. so that you are now able to report the problem. Responsible ISPs will act on your information and stop the perpetrators.
www.spamid.net

You can also report spam using www.spamcop.net

6/ Online virus scanning
At any time when you have problem of virus an on-line scan can help. There are many companies providing this service and this is my preferred one.
This is useful as virus scanners from different companies do work in different ways and problems which are hard for some can sometimes be resolved using another company's scan.

  a/ housecall.antivirus.com

  b/ www.pandasoftware.com

This online scan is very up-to-date and very thorough, but,
although it deletes the viruses, it requires you to save the report and to manually delete the various spyware etc.
This manual process is best done in 'safe' mode (press f8 immediately before windows starts).

7/ Spware Detection
Your computer picks up unwanted spyware when you browse to many websites.  Most spyware is only used for targetting op-ups and market research but, some is used for malicious purposes such as gathering your keystrokes including bank account logins and passwords, so always it is a good idea to keep the spyware off your machine.
SpyBot from  www.safer-networking.org  or
Ad-Aware from  www.lavasoftusa.com

8/ Screen Capture
A very easy to use screen capture program for Windows which I have used for my presentation.
MWsnap from   www.mirekw.com



Recommended Linux
Mandriva 2006 from www.mandriva.com
The first 3 disks (download version) can be downloaded for free. It is some years since I used Windows as I find the use of Linux a very much better experience. Gone are the irritations of crashes, re-booting, freezing and so on. And, if you believe that XP SP2 does not crash try keeping it going 24/7 and see how long it is before you have to re-boot. My Linux machine normally runs 24/7, I just switch off monitor and modem when not in use, the computer remains on.
The system is easy to use, the menu structures are very intuitive, but the administration is different and a little harder.
The real advantage is that you just do not have virusses or any of the problems which we have come to accept as being normal with the use of Windows.
Now, just how has it happened that the whole world believes that computers which crash, freeze, require re-booting and have virusses are the norm?
Working in industry I am well used to computers which simply do not have these problems and accept that THIS is the norm. The UNIX machines run constantly 24/7 and are only switched off when electrical maintenance is required. Linux is simply open source UNIX.

Desmond.
Updated 14 May 2006