It’s Christmas time — a lot of people are purchasing a new computer for their home, sometimes purchasing their first computer, or a computer for their children. Unfortunately, many of these new purchasers don’t know how to protect themselves properly on today’s Internet.
That’s where we, as more experienced PC users (of whatever experience level!) can help — and we need to help before they get into trouble.
We need to urge these new PC owners to run good antivirus/antimalware software and good firewall software. It needs provide "always-on" protection, not just periodic scans to solve problems that have already occurred. The scan & repair is an important function, but it’s much better to have the protective software block the problem from occurring.
There are free alternatives for protection, although the licenses often limit you to running them on only one PC and only for non-business use (and otherwise require a paid license). There are also very good commercial products, like the VIPRE Internet Security 2012 that I use.
If they’re going to connect to a phone company’s DSL Internet service or cable company’s cable-based Internet service, they should purchase a cable/DSL router to add some additional firewall-type isolation from attacks from the Internet. Today, the wireless router is common and inexpensive — you can actually buy wireless routers, and turn off their wireless functions, cheaper than buying some wired-only routers. Remember that the wireless routers also have wired connections.
Another protective software that I run on all my Windows PC’s is WinPatrol. It’s available as a free program and also as WinPatrol Plus, which has a few more functions and gives access to the WinPatrol knowledgebase about installed programs (good, bad, uninstall, ok to have installed, etc.)
Note: By the way, BillP Studios (www.winpatrol.com) is running another special until the end of the year. They’ll take $10 off of the price of WinPatrol Plus until the end of the year. You don’t need to worry about a new version coming out right after you bought the old version — WinPatrol Plus is a lifetime purchase. WinPatrol Plus is licensed per user for all that user’s computers.
It’s also easy to give as a gift — after paying, you’re routed to the page where you input the user’s name so you can generate the license code (I’m giving my son WinPatrol Plus as one of his Christmas gifts). Remember, I don’t get any commission or advertising payment for WinPatrol Plus. I like and use the program and recommend that you use it, too.
Another thing you can do for a new computer owner is to help them set up their new hardware. It’s not hard, but the new user is usually uncertain and could really use a helping hand.
So, reach out and help a friend set up their new computer for safer operation.