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General

Top 8 Internet Security Tips

Why both, Firewall and Anti Virus?

Free or purchased security - Which one?

 

What is Guide

What is a Firewall?

What is a Virus?

What is Spam?

 

Security Products Guide

Which Anti-Virus Software?

Which Firewall?

Which Spam Filter?

Which Internet Security Suite?

 

Essential Security Guides

Securing Windows XP Guide

Securing Windows Vista Guide

A Guide to Wireless Security

 

 

 

 

Windows Vista Security Guide

 

 

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Optional

Using Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)

MBSA for Vista will help you in determining your Security state. MBSA will guide you on where your system is vulnerable and give you recommendations.

MBSA for Vista or XP is a free tool available to download from the Microsoft Website. Take a look at the figures below, which will give you an idea of what the GUI looks like. If I was you I would definitely use the MBSA, as it’s a fantastic tool. As you can see from the 2nd figure below, MBSA shows me that I am missing a service pack for office 2003, and if you hit the Result Details button, MBSA will show exactly what is missing and next to it will be the option to download, where you can download the missing service pack direct from here. If you haven’t already done so, download it now.

You can download MBSA from the below address

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=F32921AF-9DBE-4DCE-889E-ECF997EB18E9&displaylang=en

 

Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1

 

Basline Security Analyzer showing Security update scan results

 

Baseline Security Analyzer giving option to download service pack

 

Vista Local Group Policy

If you have a version other than Vista Home edition, then you will be able to alter your computer configuration using Local Group Policy. To access this, Click Start, Run, and then type secpol.msc.

From here you can make various configuration changes to you system. Unfortunately I have the home edition and so can not show you any screen shots or how it works.

However if you access the feature, some items are fairly self explanatory such as Maximum Login attempts. You can define how many times a user is able to attempt to login with an incorrect password before Windows locks them out. You can also set up auditing and other configuration changes as well

I have covered this in My Windows XP security guide which is very similar, and have included screen shots.

 

Conclusion

Given how Vistas Firewall works, your better of with a third party firewall, one which blocks outgoing connections for you and identifies outgoing suspicious programs for you. Your also better off with a third party anti-spyware product, given that Vista’s spyware has not had great performance reviews and has been tested letting through some common spyware threats.

On the other hand, Vista has improved many aspects on security. with features such as parental control, user access control and service hardening and if you were to add to this with a good Anti Virus software, and firewall software, or an all in one Internet Security suite, and given that the operating system is much tougher to break into, you can be assured that your system will be secure.

This Windows Vista guide is of course from a security perspective. If your looking for a general Windows Vista guide for performance, tips and tricks, then I would recommend you take a look at this site to optimise Windows Vista.

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