Saturday, April 11, 2009


After installation, your priority should be security.A newly installed Windows XP computer can be attacked within moments of being connectedto the Internet. The SANS Institute provides a PDF guide called Windows XP: Surviving theFirst Day, which explains how to update a new Windows XP box without immediatelybecoming infected by viruses and worms. To avoid having your new computer attacked, installa firewall, or activate the one that came with your OS. Both Windows and GNU have in-builtfirewalls: In some GNU distributions, it is enabled by default; in Windows XP Service Pack 2,it can be found in the program in your control panel.As soon as you are on the internet, run your operating system's update facility to fix anysecurity flaws that have been found since your CD was printed. To do this under Windows,simply click on your Start Menu, click on 'All Programs', and then click on Windows Update,and follow the instructions. If you use other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office, thenit can be valuable to use Microsoft Update, which covers updates for all Microsoft products.For either of these, you can also switch on "Automatic Updates" from the Security Centerprogram mentioned above.The method of updating your GNU Operating system varies greatly from distribution todistribution. For Fedora Core, simply issue a "yum update" as root on the command prompt. Itis perhaps easiest to update the OS from Debian-based distributions such as Debian, Ubuntuand Linspire, where you simply have to typeapt-get updateapt-get dist-upgradeinto a terminal window, and if your computer will be switched on overnight, it is very easy toset these programs to run automatically in the background.Programs such as Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam and Anti-Spyware of commercial quality or better canbe found quite easily: Windows programs are listed in the software section below. (Usuallytheese are not needed for GNU OS')39An important point to note is that security software is one of the more important things to be setup rather than other applications first. In one case, a freshly-assembled computer runningWindows XP with no security precautions taken was hit by the Blaster worm as soon as it wasconnected to the Internet, and has picked up a variety of spyware after only visiting a fewwebsites; forcing the owner to reformat the hard disk and redo installation of the OS

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