Ask the Expert

What freeware could you recommend to prevent worms and hackers from exploiting my SOHO.

Lately, a lot of SOHO computers have been infected with worms, and hackers have used e-mails and even hacked into e-mails to send these worms. What is your opinion is the best free ware that users can download that will stop this sort of thing (if any) and what windows scrubber free ware do you recommend that does not require zip installation to download?

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The best place to begin would be installing good antivirus software. There are a lot of companies that offer free download of this software (you can try But it's not just the software itself, which will help prevent viruses and worms, regular virus definition updates from the software provider's site is a must.

Also, configure your Antivirus software to interact with all your e-mail software and scan all incoming and outgoing messages for any potential virus.

Secondly, keep your OS patched up with the latest security updates from the vendor' website. This is very important.

If you hook up to internet using any Cable/DSL network, I would recommend using some filtering software's like ZoneAlarm. It's free and helps keep system secure from outside attack while you are on the Internet.

Use Administrative restriction on your system for folder and file sharing. Any weakness can have your system compromised. If you have a budget, use some kind of personal firewall (home or personal editions). Most of the DSL/Cable routers now come with these built-in firewalls.

If you can, stay away from Peer 2 Peer software's like Kazaa and Morphious as they are one of the prime places of malicious viruses and hacker programs.

This was first published in October 2003

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