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First of all I would like to say that this is a simple and fast introduction to security for your home computer.

First Get all Your Microsoft Updates and Antivirus
Then install a Firewall

Definition of cookie

TIP: The next article gets a little techy but can be done to permanetily eliminate unwanted cookies.

How to Edit your Hosts File to Deny Unwanted Cookies and websites etc.

Disable Auto Complete
A little more typing but this will Stop putting your info all over the Net.

Firewall Basics

Download Zone Alarm
A good FREE Firewall. Especially if its your first go at it.
Tips on how to setup Zone Alarm are at Firewall Basics(link above)

Lavasoft ADD AWARE

scans your memory, registry and hard drives for known adware components and lets you remove them safely.

Definition of Cookie

Cookie is info left on your computer for websites to either help you get around their site or more often than not take info on you as to where you go on the internet sometimes even with your name attached.Which you will see if you install ADD AWARE

Control cookies in Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. At the very top left, fourth one over is TOOLS; left click that.
  3. The last selection is INTERNET OPTIONS; left click that.
  4. At the top , third one over, is PRIVACY; left cick that.
  5. About lower center, is a button, ADVANCED; left click that.
  6. Left click in the in the box to the left of OVERRIDE AUTOMATIC COOKIE HANDLING this will put a green checkmark in the box.
  7. Below FIRST PARTY COOKIES left click in the circle(radio button); ACCEPT this will put a green dot in the radio button.
  8. Below THIRD PARTY COOKIES left click in the radio button ; BLOCK this will put a green dot in the radio button.
  9. It is optional to a checkmark for always allow session cookies. I never have and have not ever had problems.
  10. Click; OK
  11. click; OK

Edit your Hosts File

Windows 98 .... skip steps 4, 5 and 6

Windows 2000 and XP

  1. Open My Computer
  2. Open C:
  3. Open WINDOWS
  4. Open system32
  5. Open drivers
  6. Open etc
    This should leave you with C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc in the address bar
  7. Right click on the hosts file and click on copy and then paste it in the same folder (this is in case you screw up and need a backup.)
  8. Right click the hosts file again
  9. Click on Open
  10. Click Select program from a list.
  11. Click on Notepad.
  12. Anything preceded by a # is ignored by your computer and regarded a Note. is known as the loopback address. A loopback address is an address that tells the computer not to test its connections to another computer, but to test its own basic network setup. So you can tell any address leave me alone and go test yourself baby.
    The next thing we'll do is something like this. If Add aware says it has a cookie that says EXAMPLE (your name) then you would put

Here are some examples you can use as a model or cut and paste into your HOSTS file:
# Cookies that use (Your Name) ad.Valveclick.comb ad.Fastclick[1].net ad.Fastclick[1].com

You can use this method on any windows computer.
There are more uses for the hosts and lmhosts file but lets not get too Tecky our first time out. Start slow and prove it works. BEWARE : When you do this you will not get advertisements from these vendors.
Play with it and have fun telling people that NO YOU CAN'T COME, GET OR LEAVE COOKIES ON MY COMPUTER.

If you screw up delete the hosts file and Right click Copy of Hosts file click rename
and name it hosts file. Whoala back to the original hosts file.
P.S. I wouldn't let you Screw it all up !!!!

Since I wrote this in 2000 I found this site which has a very good Hosts list "to Deny unwanted parasites"
To download and instructions written in 2002.Go Here for that.

Disable Auto Complete in Internet Explorer

  1. open Internet explorer
  2. At the very top left, fourth one over is TOOLS; left click that.
  3. The last selection is INTERNET OPTIONS; left click that.
  4. At the top, fourth one over, is CONTENT; left cick that.
  5. Under personal information is a button AUTO COMPLETE; left click that
  6. Then under use auto complete for you have three choices

Firewall Basics

First of all there are two kinds of firewall.
1. Software which is what you install on your computer.
2. Hardware which is another piece of equipment which can be used in a workgroup or network and can be used to protect more than one computer at a time.

Next we need to touch on Ports and Protocols.
For instance port 80 is what the web runs on. Http: Hyper Text Transfer protocol
Port 25 is SMPT is what you send your mail on, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
Port 110 is POP is what you use to recieve mail
There are tons of ports and alot of protocols. (1024 Common). Don't think about that now. We are just going to get you running Zone Alarm and you can learn more later if you want to.

Now IP addresses (Internet Protocol). An IP address is four numbers seperated by periods. These numbers can be no higher than 255. Example
Most computers have a temporary IP address, that is when you are connected to the net on a single computer you are loaned an IP address and could change any time you log onto the net. This process is DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol).
Anyway Websites use what is called a Static IP. Which never changes.

Now well tie it all together for you
The combination of IP addresses and ports which coincide with Protocols are what you use to protect your computer. Remember in computers and software there are alot of variables.

Now to running your Firewall !!!
You say what comes IN or OUT.
When it comes to IN you want as little as possible. Its like leaving the door open and the flys or anyone can come in and make themselves at home.
OUT is like keeping the door closed and making someone Knock at the door then you open the door and say Come in "Greetings and Solutations" they can do so. So when you click on lets say Internet Exploror you invite it to do what you want.

Now for Zone Alarm you go to program control. IN is SERVER and OUT is ACCESS.
They made it simple. Its all Graphic user Interface.

When you install Zone alarm ,if it's your first Firewall, a choice comes up something like. Would you like Zone alarm to set up for you. Two other choices come with it. Anyway pick that one. Take it slow and close the door a little at a time. You can click allow, ask or deny. To test a program and see if it will still work you can choose ask. and when it asks and you click no and it doesn't work change it back. There is a good help section comes with it. With a little time you can figure it out. GOOD LUCK.

Download Zone alarm


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