1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

4 Questions to Determine if Your Windows PC is Secure


Microsoft Security Essentials Unprotected PC
Gilberto J Perera

When was the last time you updated your virus definitions? What about Windows? Although updating your computer seems like a chore, it's one of those items that if ignored long enough could cause serious problems like data loss and a bricked computer. To avoid this, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Is Your Antivirus Software Updated?

Most virus infections are a result of users not updating their computer's virus definitions. Most of the antivirus applications perform updates in the background without requiring user interaction, but if you're running an older antivirus program or you've set updates to manual updates, then you are going to have to do the updating yourself.

2. Is Windows Updated?

Microsoft releases updates for Windows on a regular schedule to ensure security and stability of the Windows platform, however there are times when vulnerabilities are discovered that require immediate patching.

In a case like this Microsoft uses the Windows Update system to alert users of the latest update so that they can download a patch to resolve the issue. If your computer is on manual updates or you go long periods without rebooting your Windows PC, you could be missing out on important updates necessary to keep your computer safe.

The best thing you can do is run Windows Update to check for the latest updates available from Microsoft.

3. Are You Blocking Unwanted Connections?

Windows ships with a built-in firewall, are you using it to block connections? One of the first things you should do is head over to the Control Panel to find out if the firewall is running, if it's not then you need to make sure you enable the Windows Firewall to block unwanted connections.

4. Is There Any Spyware Lurking In Your PC?

One of the greatest things Microsoft did was release a free antivirus application designed for Windows. Not only does Microsoft Security Essentials protect your computer from viruses, it also ensures that malware like spyware stays off your Windows PC.

If you're not using Security Essentials to protect your PC then you need to go and download a free copy from Microsoft unless you are protected by a solution from another vendor like Symantec or Norton.

Now that we have secured your PC, it's time to think about creating backups to safeguard your digital treasures.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.