If web security has you concerned, simply read this easy step-by-step guide to securing your computer for free!
Below is a list of “must haves” that work together and once installed, will make your computer very secure and very difficult to compromise. It was difficult figuring out what is really free. Many security products claim to be free software only to find later that they are limited or biased in some way. Everything I have listed below is 100% free (no time limits, no registration requirements, no ads, etc) at press time.
First, you need a firewall to block most intruders. A great free firewall that has most features anyone would need is Outpost. Another web security firewall is Kerio Personal Firewall .
After you install your firewall, you must put it to the test to make sure it’s working. You’ll want to scan your ports and test your browser security. Poor browser configurations can make any firewall useless. The best site to use for checking your firewall is Audit My PC which offers a number of easy to understand web security audits.
Now you need something to stop the pop-up advertisements, etc. An excellent way to test your popup stopper is with this Popup Blocker test available at PopupCheck.com. They also list the top ten free popup blockers on the internet today.
Many popup blockers are too restrictive and may block good popups such as information screens, etc. If you already have a popup blocker, then run it through this test to make sure it’s providing web security services.
If you really want to hide your computer’s information, such as what sites you have been to, operating system and browser type, then try Proxomitron. With this web security tool, you not only get to hide the information your computer gives out, but also change it as well! Example: Internet Explorer can appear as Netscape. “Proxo” as it is affectionately called by it’s fans allows one to change page content on the fly. Very useful for ad blocking (not just popups) as well.
Free Anti Virus
Of course you’ll need an Anti Virus software package that will check email for viruses as well. For this, use AVG, an antivirus which also includes free updates!
To prevent spyware from being installed on your system, use Microsoft’s Antispyware to detect and block spyware that could enter your computer as your travel the internet.
Stay current on updates and security patches. This simple task is often overlooked and can leave your computer open to attack.
The Freeware Arena has a massive list of free web security and related tools. I highly recommended this site and it’s one of the last sites offering truly free software.
Free Web Security Tools
The Web Security tools below are a little more technical and not necessary, but are worth checking out if you have time:
* If you want to know perform a software audit and see what programs are running and what ports they are using, then visit Sysinternals and download TCPview.
* Another great software audit and web security program is Ethereal. If a program is running on your system and looks to be communicating with the Internet, then use Ethereal to capture the data. This is the best packet capturing product on the market! Free of course :)