Reader Scott wrote me recently to ask:
I agree with you about free on-line scanners. I used to use Trend Micro’s about every 2-3 weeks — just in case. But, now I can’t get it working at all! I tried both ways to run it and it won’t. Any ideas? I’ll appreciate any insight you might provide. Scott
You’re probably blocking it with your firewall settings, or your IE7 settings. IE7 has a “reset” button to set all its internal settings back to the default. Find it at Tools > Internet Options > Advanced Tab
Thanks for the reply. I use XP SP2 and IE6, XP firewall only — I’ll have to look around at the settings, but not sure which ones to check out — any suggestions? Don’t understand why it worked before, but not now!
I wrote back to Scott to say that I +++STRONGLY+++ recommend that he use a better firewall than the XP firewall. I recommend that all computer users use a two-way firewall — one that controls inbound communication attempts (they all are designed to do this) and that are also designed to control outbound communications. If you don’t control outbound communications, you won’t know when programs "call home." Two-way firewalls will also help flag to you if your computer gets infected with a worm or other malware — before you spread the infection to others.
Whether you use the Sunbelt Personal Firewall, which I recommend, or another two-way firewall, you should use a better firewall than the XP one!
If you use Windows Vista, I would still use a different firewall than the one provided as part of Vista. While Microsoft did make the Vista firewall a two-way firewall, I suspect that it gives automatic access to Microsoft’s programs. I prefer to know and control which programs can "call home."
Did you know that every time you use Microsoft’s Search function in Windows Explorer, even if you tell it to search only on a specific drive, Windows Explorer calls home to Microsoft?
You’ve probably got something messed up in your Windows Internet Security options – that’s where the IE7 button comes in handy.