Windows 7 Security

Understanding security threats in Windows 7 is of the utmost importance for professionals and personal users alike. When people speak of security threats on their personal computers, they generally refer to viruses, which can infect computers in many ways.

Windows 7

A virus is a program that can replicate itself; it usually does this by attaching itself to another object, such as an e-mail attachment. Viruses are generally destructive programs designed to corrupt data files, delete installed programs on your PC, and possibly damage the operating system.

Security threats, such as worms and spyware, must be protected against. A worm is a program that often copies itself from one computer on a network to another; worm programs can also contain virus codes that can damage your data and wreak havoc with your PC’s performance.

Spyware programs are just what the name implies; these are software programs that can track your web surfing habits, display pop-up ads, and redirect your browser to a different homepage that’s not yours. And collect personal information without your permission.

Number One. The first line of defense in securing your computer is creating a log-on password. Your password should not be easily guessed. It should be at least eight characters long; the longer, the better. The best combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and spaces would be best.


Do not use your name, your pet’s name, your child’s name, or any word that can be found in the dictionary. You can also use a phrase as a password, up to 127 characters; it should be something easily remembered by you, so it’s unnecessary to write it down.

Number Two. The second line of defense in securing your computer is applying a firewall to block outside intruders. Use Windows Firewall; it comes with Windows 7 and is much improved over the previous Windows versions. Any time you’re connected to a network, whether it’s a private or a public network, you are at risk. Each computer on the web should have its firewall. That way, you will still be protected if another user’s computer becomes infected because they are not as vigilant about securing their computer.

One example is if you take your laptop to work. You may think you’re protected because your workplace has a firewall installed on its network. But if a co-worker brings in their computer infected with a virus or malware, you will only be protected if you have a personal firewall installed.

Number Three. The third line of defense is to use an anti-virus program. Windows 7 does not come with an anti-virus program. You will need to obtain one. Hundreds of anti-virus programs are available; you can purchase one at a local retailer, buy a download online, or download one of the many free versions available. Whatever option works best for you, make sure you research the particular program you choose.

One of the best options is to download a trial version of the anti-virus software of your choice; that way, you can try it out on your system to see if it’s the right fit for you. Many of the free versions work, as do the boxed versions. With one exception being the virus definition, updates are sometimes slow with the free programs.

Number Four. The fourth line of defense is to use an anti-spyware program. Windows 7 includes Windows Defender, which works well as an anti-spyware program. Some indications of spyware infections are new toolbars in your web browser, new favorites, and links you don’t recognize. Also, your homepage might have changed, and you don’t know why numerous pop-up ads appear and your Internet browser crashes or slows down.

Windows Defender runs continuously in the background, monitoring your system to prevent spyware installation and alerting you to spyware-like activity. Windows Defender’s automatic scans have been improved in Windows 7 over the previous versions of Windows. The automatic scans use fewer resources than they did in the earlier versions. You can schedule the automatic scans to run at whatever time to avoid interfering while using your computer.

Number Five. The fifth line of defense is to keep Windows up to date. The Windows Update service in Windows 7 is much improved over the version in Windows XP. It is no longer a web-based interface but a Control Panel application. The Windows Update feature can be configured to run automated; it will search for, download, and install the updates without your interaction. Keeping Windows up to date is an essential step in your computer’s security.

There are three categories of updates: important, recommended, and optional. It is recommended to let Windows Update install the important updates as they become available. Security updates are the most important items in the important category. Therefore, you should let Windows Update download and install the security updates to protect you from those who exploit Windows vulnerabilities. v


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.