Make your Windows 7 a little bit safer

Virus scanners and firewalls are like vitamins, they help you stay healthier but they don’t prevent you from getting sick. This other day I found the Antivirus virus rampaging on my laptop. Vulnerabilities in browser add-ins is the most common reason for viruses to get on your computer. ┬áIn my case there where suspicious files both in the Java and browser cache.

After removing the troublemaker with the scanner I had and running some online scanners just to make sure, I did what I should have done a long time ago to make my Windows a little bit safer:

  • First a made a separate admin account and removed the rights from my standard account. Windows will now prompt me for the admin password when necessary. Experts claim 80% of the know viruses will be stopped just by doing this. I had done it on my XP (never had a virus scanner on that old computer) but forgot about it when I upgraded.
  • I updated my Java to the latest version and then I disabled Java both from the Java console and the browsers. I also disabled the Java cache just to be sure. Best option would of course be to just remove the whole thing but I was not sure if I would need it later.
  • Then I installed Chrome as it’s claimed to be the safest browser and set it as default.
  • As a final touch I disabled the JavaScript support from my PDF viewer and disabled the Chrome internal one has I could not find any option to do the same there. I then used some safe PDF scripting examples available on the internet to test my configuration.