How To Keep Your Computer Secure

Posted In: How To Guides 

Why is an Internet Marketing blog talking about PC security, surely this has nothing to do with me making money, I’ve a good mind to un-subscribe from all your mailing lists, call you lots of rude names, and report you to the FBI for providing misleading free information, you……..der brain!

There, I got it out of the way for you, so please don’t send me any daft emails complaining about the wide range of subjects, think how boring it would be if every post talked about tracking, conversions, statistics and sales. Besides, this post is much, much more important.

As an Internet Marketer it’s vital to keep your computer in tip top shape, neglecting your computer would be like a taxi driver neglecting his car, so it’s not something you can sit back and forget about.

So as a fully qualified geek, I thought I’d show you how I secure my system, and my websites.

It’s important that you do both, a lot of people will secure their system but leave any old junk on their webspace, and vice versa – BOTH NEED PROTECTING!

As a web host, we deal with web based exploits on a daily basis, 99% of the time these are down to weak, out of date scripts that are on the account, but more on that later on. I’ll start with your computer first.

How I Secure My Computer

Yes, I said computer. I’m not nearly smug enough to have a MAC…’s a joke, don’t go un-subscrbing you MAC users, I love you really! But this part of the guide is aimed at those of us that are still supporting good ‘ol Billy G.

First of all we need to know what our computer needs protecting against, there are loads of different threats out there, and unfortunately it usually takes more than one program to keep you clean. No one program will ever be able to detect 100% of viruses and exploits, but we can do our best to minimize the risk by using as much protection as we can.

*Insert Naked Gun Condom Joke Here*

We need to make sure our machines are protected against Viruses, Malware, Spyware, Trojans, Keyloggers, Crapware, and loads of other cool stuff.

So without any further tasteless jokes, here’s what I use to keep me protected. And I’ll also point out that none of these links are affiliate links, infact most of the things I recommend are free!

My Anti-Virus Protection

I use NOD32 for my anti-virus protection, I’ve been using it for as long as I can remember and it’s always served me very well. There has been the odd thing that it’s missed, but no anti-virus software will ever find 100% of the threats that are out there.

NOD32 provides me with great protection (too soon to reuse the Naked Gun joke?) against Viruses, Malware, Trojans and other exploits. It protects me when I’m surfing the Internet, reading emails, or just generally larking around.

It manages to do all that in the background, without slowing the machine down, so it certainly isn’t a resource hog. (Yeah, I’m looking at you Norton)

Runs: All the time

Price: Free trial, then around $50/£30 per year

My Anti-Malware Protection

Malware does really come under the same heading as anti-virus protection, but sometimes your anti-virus software wont be able to get rid of every little trace of the Malware/Virus. So at times like this an on demand scanner can come in really useful.

For this, I use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free version). It allows me to run a scan at any time, and gives you that added bit of protection. It’s almost like getting a 2nd opinion when going to the Doctors, NOD32 may tell you you’re fine, but Malwarebytes may be able to tell you otherwise πŸ™‚

Runs: On demand

Price: Free (Paid version also available)

My Anti-Spyware Protection

I like this imageSpyware can be a massive pain in the….hard drive. It generally gathers information from your computer without your knowledge, and then uses that information to bombard you with advertisements. It can also be used in a much more sinister way, such as stealing credit card details and other personal information, so it’s important to be well protected.

I use Spybot Search & Destroy to keep my machine clear of Spyware. Not only does it remove any Spyware that has found its way onto my PC, it also “Immunizes” the machine from the most common threats for added piece of mine. For me, Spybot is a must have piece of software!

Runs: On demand & in background depending on the configuration

Price: Free

Anti-Crap Protection

Crap painterAnti-Crap is a technical name for all of the junk files that build up on your machine over the course of a day/week/month/eternity. These includes things like temp files, cookies, history, unused reg keys and much, much more.

Using a piece of anti-crap software is a great way to improve your PC’s performance.

To get rid of all the crap on my machine, I use CCleaner (used to be called Crap Cleaner before the PC police decided it was offensive…..).

CCleaner can be configured to run every time your PC boots up, so each time you start the day you can be safe in the knowledge that all the crap from the previous day has gone, and you can start a fresh πŸ™‚

Runs: On startup and On demand

Price: Free

So there you have it, the 4 programs I use to keep my machine clean. And just incase you missed the links, if you click on the product images above, they’ll take you off to the applicable websites.

I know a lot of you will use other programs, and I’m not suggesting those listed are any better, or worse, but it’s what I use to very good effect. Although if you do have a different configuration, feel free to leave a comment and share it with the rest of us.

I was going to go on and talk about website security, but I think that if I did, the post would drag on for a bit, so I’ll leave it there for now and I’ll talk about how to secure your websites in the next blog post.

So as always, thanks for reading and please do leave any questions of comments below.


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27 Responses to “How To Keep Your Computer Secure”
  1. Vince says:

    Nice post dan. I hope that many of your readers will take stock of what you have to say in this critical post for their online safety.

    We all learn by the mistakes we make (or are suposed to). As a person that has been repairing pc’s for over 20 years, it is truly surprising how many machines i go out to that have either no anti-virul, malware protectin, or they have them but are out of date and have not been updated for some reason or another.

    Posting a responsible blog post like this one will surely help a lot of your viewers. Maybe posts like this should be revisited at least a couple of times a year, so that the newcomers will also benefit from your experience.

    Great Job

    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      That’s not a bad idea Vince, I may just add it to my follow up sequence that gets sent out when someone signs up to the mailing list, could include links to some of the best blog posts.

  2. Rob Corrigan says:

    Hi Dan, this is should be top priority for everyone, I learn’t my lesson years ago when I picked up badtrans32 it read my entire e-mail list and lierally vent viral, e-mail became a complete nightmare every time I logged on I receive 100’s of e-mails as did everyone else, my friends PC also contracted this from one of my infected e-mails. That day I installed Anti Virus software and have never had a problem since then. Incidently 2 weeks ago I had an e-mail about non delivery of a package from USPS, which looked the genuine article, and as I receive a lot of post from the US I clicked the tracking link. Guess what? My antivirus spotted it was a virus in an instant and removed it. Some of these e-mails are that good that even the experienced can be taken in.

    Get some antivirus software and install it today! Best advice of the year so far.

    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      That email virus sounds fun!

      The worst I had was when I got infected via a website, and the virus harvested any FTP details that were stored in my FTP client, and then went ahead and infected every site of mine with the same virus πŸ™

  3. Donald says:

    Hi Dan,

    Good post. Having 3 computers, I have diiferent products on each. I use Norton, niece works for Currys so I bought it. I have SpyBot,excellent and I use AVG. Those software are as good if not better than the expensive options. I have only one on my laptop but will be adding more.


  4. Ryan says:

    Hey Dan, thanks for the post. Once again, you are insightful, engaging and actually entertaining. Okay, enough with the flattery…

    I was encouraged to find someone else out there who uses MalwareBytes. And I’m glad you use the free version. I’ve kicked around buying it, but if you don’t need it, neither do I.

    For antivirus and more, I really like Iolo System Mechanic. It’s cheaper than most of the other stuff out there, plus it is loaded with lots of other features that can really make the computer sing that it used to.

    But hey, thanks again for entertaining me for five minutes and making me learn something in the process.

    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      It’s ok, you can keep flattering, I wont take offence πŸ˜‰

      I’ve never seen the point of the paid version of Malwarebytes, the free one does all I need it to do.

      NOD32 can take care of the bulk of problems, and the free version of Malwarebytes can tidy up afterwards!

  5. Simon says:

    Hi Dan

    Great post, this is something we should all be keeping upto date on a regular basis. But why do some of the big names in AV software produce such nloat ware that your pc won’t run.

    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      Maybe their aim is to fill your computer with so much bloat ware, that it slows it down to such an extent nothing can run, even the viruses…..a different approach to fighting Malware. LOL!

  6. Pat Graham says:

    Nice post, Dan. I am running the same Eset antiviral software you are using. I had AVG for years, but several other programs I wanted wouldn’t load because of AVG… mostly Yahoo stuff. I like it a lot. You are right about it
    running quietly in the background and is very effective.

    I do miss the emails that began with the millions I just inherited from relatives I didn’t have…and I am still waiting for all those lottery mega bucks…and all those emails that began with “Dearest” and told some sad story.

    Thanks for the other tips. I will get them today and add a few more layers of protection to my computer.

  7. Thanks Dan Some of thes I’d not heard of before and will definately give them a go I use Spybot and always find that does agood job on the spyware but I was really interested to hear about the Anti-Crap protection sounsa useful.
    Thanks a lot

    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      CCleaner is a really good freebie, when you run it for the first time you’ll be amazed at the amount of junk that was just sitting there on your machine doing nothing.

  8. Hey Dan

    HowÒ€ℒs it going mate, great post on security for your PC. people do forget how not using these kind of tools stops them from having viruses that can have your computer finished and result in loseing everything. Happened to me before from the old computer…

    I do use Norton 2.0 360 and YES it’s does slow the computer down even while it’s doing backgrounds checks lol.

    Cheers Dan


    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      Hi Dan,
      I’m good thanks.

      What you doing with Norton, it’s a wonder you can get on the site to post a comment with that monster churning away in the background πŸ˜‰

  9. Vivien says:

    Hi Dan

    Thanks for the useful tips in your blog post. I notice that most of the softwares above run on windows platform. Any good recommendations for Mac users like myself too? I notice that there are usually not as many good softwares for Mac users.

  10. Hi Dan
    It’s always a joy to open your posts as they are so unpredictable. The computer info you give out is unlike anything I see anywhere else. Always worth a read. Oh, and thanks for jogging my elbow to install antimalware software – it’s been in my ROUNDTOIT file for a while. Yes, I’ll do it when I get around to it. OK so it’s an old joke but the best I can do on a Thursday night.
    Best regards

    • Dan (el_passo) says:

      Hi Doug, glad you like the posts.

      The old jokes are the best….if you’ve run out of new ones to tell, lol.

      Your ROUNDTOIT folder sounds like my ILLDOITATSOMEPOINTBUTONLYIFIMREALLYBOREDANDHAVERUNOUTOFCOMPUETRGAMESTOPLAYANDFOODTOEAT folder…anyone that can decrypt that wins a free copy of the Boomerang List Builder!

  11. James Elliott says:

    Hi Dan,

    Vivien go to They have downloads for wendows and Mac users. They have three of the four dan listed. I use AVG Free for anti-virus which runs in the back ground. I also have Advance System Care which I run myself. It has several different cleanersYou can also downloat IOBit360 seperate on cnet or after you get the ASC you can download it from inside it. It is freebut you can upgrade. I also have Malwarebytes’ anti-Malware. The CCleaner. For a free Registey I use Eusing Free Registry Cleaner. To get a cleaner uninstal I use Revo Unstaller. All of what I have listed are free but every one of them have a upgrade button where you can pay. The free works for me. Would do even better if I could get the kids to run them. Have three desk top and one lap top.

    If you need some of the addresses for some of the millions I inherited ,or some of the Ò€œDearestÒ€ emails from those poor UK women that have cancer and only have three months to live. What is great six or seven months thay still only have three months to live but they are ten years older.

    Is this the decrypt? Ill Do It At Some Point But Only If Im Really Bored And Have Run Out Of Computer Games To Play And Food To Eat. That was hard to do with one eye.
    Thanks Dan for the information.


    • Dan says:

      Your 1 eye served you well James, get in touch with me via the Contact link at the top of the page and I’ll email you the software πŸ™‚

  12. Rajesh says:


    A really good post Dan!

    Besides using Antivirus, Antispyware and Anti malware, I also use firewall to keep my computer secure from hackers.

    I am using free personal version of ZoneAlarm firewall and would recommend it for work from home users.

    I wrote a series of posts on my blog for keeping PC secure and the list of URL’s are:

    Hope that it adds little more value to Dan’s useful post of making one’s computer secure.

  13. Jacinta Dean says:

    Hi Dan,

    Great post and thank you for the info. I learned my lesson twice last year I had 2 hard drive crashes in 6 months, plus the computer was back to the tech docs riddled with virus in November.

    I now have virus protector using Nortons at moment will be changing that soon, it is a bugger of a program. Plus Search and Destroy, plus CCleaner, plus Malwarebytes, plus Super Anti Spyware. I think I am covered. πŸ™‚

    Just got to remember to do the back ups! πŸ™‚


    Jacinta πŸ˜€