How I have kept my PC virus-free for 5+ years

I find it annoying yet funny how some Apple commercials always brag about PC’s having hundreds of thousands of viruses while Macs have none. They are highly inaccurate because OS X does have viruses, just not as many. Some say this is because OS X is a superior operating system, and some say it’s because it has such a small market share. I think it’s a little bit of both – it’s based off of UNIX, and it has a much smaller market share and fewer users than Windows. So here is why I just don’t give a shit that Macs have less viruses, adware, and spyware than PC’s.

Safe Browsing

I know what sites I’m visiting. If I don’t, I use my configured version of Portable Firefox. I’ll post my configuration in a later post, but in short terms, I have it configured to block scripts, block cookies, record no history, and disable plugins. I only use this for shady sites I might visit that I know might try to infect my computer. For your daily browsing, use Firefox.

The Right Virus Protection

I use one antivirus program and one anti-adware/spyware program. If you use more than one, they will interfere with each other, and sometimes cancel out each other’s protection. Having more protection than you need is worse than having none. I use AVG Free and Adaware SE. These offer more protection than you need if you know how to stay safe online.

Safe Downloading

Do you use Limewire or torrents to download your favorite Linux distros? Make sure you know what you’re downloading. Know how big the file is supposed to be. A 900KB EXE file is not a music or movie file. Try to avoid P2P networks for downloading things unless you’re looking for a small file under 10MB that would just be more convenient to download from P2P. For everything else, use torrents, and read the comments people write, because most of the time if there’s a virus in it, people will tell you in the comments.

Common Sense

The FBI isn’t going to send you an email with an important attachment. Don’t open any attachments that aren’t from people you know. Don’t open EXE attachments. I use Gmail, which blocks EXE files and other files that might be viruses from attachments. With online mail services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail, you have a much smaller chance of opening something you shouldn’t.

Most people I know use routers, and routers offer extra protection. Make sure you only unblock ports you know are needed for certain programs. Use the Windows Firewall, it’s not as bad as people think, especially in Vista.

In Conclusion

Use your common sense and you’ll be fine. These are the things I do, and I really have not gotten my computer infected for 5 years and counting. I do a lot of stuff online, yet I keep safe. Follow these very easy tips, and your PC can be as virus-free as any Mac.

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