Steps to ensure you are safe on the Web

Step 1: Make sure the Windows firewall is enabled.

Windows XP

Click on Start and then Control Panel

Step 1


Then click on Security Center
Step 2


Your firewall setting should look like this
Firewall On


If it does not, change it to On. 
 


 

Windows Vista/7

 

Click on the Start button and then Control Panel
Step 1

 
Then click on
step2_v7

Then
step3_v7

And the screen should look like
Firewall On


If it does not say it is On, change it to On.


Step 2: Make sure Windows Automatic updates are turned on.

Follow the same instructions as for step 1 except for the following:

WindowsXP

You should see 
XP Windows Updates


If this shows that automatic updates are off, you should turn them on.

Windows Vista/7

Click here
Windows Vista/7 Automatic Updates


and then you should see
Vista/7 Automatic Updates On


If you do not see that automatic updates are on, you should set them to on.


 

Step 3: Install an anti-virus.

Microsoft offers a good free anti-virus program called Microsoft Security Essentials or MSE.  You can download it from Microsoft here.


Step 4: Set up The Cleaner for automatic updates and Smart Scans.

Click on Schedule
schedule slide 1


And then add both the Smart Scan and Update

schedule slide #2


Step 5: Install WebOfTrust

This is a program and service to help keep you from being lead to or accidentally going to a bad website.  You can get more information and the add-on here.




Step 6: Set up your browser to avoid malicious websites and advertisements .

All major web browsers are capable of checking for updates for themselves.  You should not disable this feature and it is on by default.

Internet Explorer

There are currently no add-ons that I know of to selectively block advertisements and scripts.

Firefox

Install Adblock Plus
Install NoScript

Chrome

Install Adblock
Install NoScripts