Basics of Securing your Windows Installation

Now of course, we’re all probably running different version of windows, indeed in my house there’s at least three versions of the Operating system. However although the menu locations and actually wording may change – these steps are basically the same in most version of Windows. So if you want to check, make sure these basic settings are followed and if you have any problems finding them then just post in the comment which version you’re using and we’ll point you in the right direction.

The following are some tips that can help you to make your computer more secure:

1. Set the Guest and Administrator account passwords. By default, the Guest account password is blank. Make it something difficult, such as a combination of letters and numbers, preferably not based on dictionary words. Control Panel – Administrative Tools – Computer Management – Local Users and Groups – Highlight User Account, right-click, ‘set password’.

2. Remove – Delete any unused accounts, especially any ‘remote assistance’ accounts.

3. Disable the Guest account since you can’t delete it.

4. Rename the Guest and Administrator accounts to unique names. Remove the description of these accounts [in local users and groups]. Control Panel – Administrative Tools – Local Security Policy – Local Policies – Security Options Account: Rename Guest Account – Double click and rename the account Account: Rename Administrator Account

5. If you do not need to connect to your computer from a remote machine, be sure to turn OFF this functionality. Control Panel – Administrative Tools – Local Security Policy – Local Policies – User rights Assessment – “Access this computer from the network” – remove all users and groups. This should be blank “Deny access to this computer from the network” – this should include all users and groups. Double click on the policy, click Add User or group, click Advanced, click Find Now, highlight all the accounts and click OK.

6. turn OFF the Microsoft File sharing in Network Neighborhood if it is not going to be used.

7. Under System Properties – Remote, turn OFF Remote Desktop and Remote invitations.

8. Run a software firewall program. 9. Get the latest hotfixes and security patches.

If you can make sure that all computers go directly through a central point particularly in a larger home network. Don’t let people use proxies or VPNs without good reason as they can bypass any Av or security measures. Worse are the ones you find online particularly those web or rotating proxies which are available for free.

Make sure your kids also know that it is not safe and indeed not acceptable to visit certain sites. Never let them use hacked, cracked or stolen software or films. It’s one thing letting your kids have access to a free trial of Netflix for a month or two but another to let them consistently downloading stolen movies from sites like Piratebay or Limewire.

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