A Guide to securing Windows XP
Removing unwanted Programs
If you have software on your machine that you never use, then it may be a good idea to get rid. Viruses use software applications to filter their way into your system, and so it’s safer not to have software programs that are never used.
You can remove software applications from the Control Panel, Add and Remove Programs. From here you can choose to un-install / remove programs, but be sure you will never use it again as re-installing the program will require you to install the program again, which may require the orginal installation CD.
If your like me and want to keep an application because you think you may use it one day, then at the least go to the software vendor’s website and check if there are any new hot fixes or service packs to install. This will ensure you have the latest Security fixes.
Services run various functions around the system. However some Services are never used and being left enabled can make your system more vulnerable to threats.
You can access services by going to Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services.
If you right click a Service and hit Properties, you can then disable or enable a service.
I recommend you stop the below services.
Alerter – Used for Administrative alerts
Distributed Link Tracking Client
Messenger – This may already be disabled depending on what Service pack you’re on.
Netmeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
Portable Media Serial Number
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager
Remote Registry Service
Routing and Remote Access
SSDP Discovery Service
Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Wireless Zero Configuration – You will need this if you use Wireless.
Computer Browser - You can disable this service if you are not connecting to any other computer at home.
Server- You can also disable this service if you are not connecting to any other computer at home.