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The 10 Golden Rules Of Windows Administration

I'm cleaning up a Windows laptop for a friend, and boy, is it infected. These being the results of running Windows Defender, LavaSoft AdAware, MacAfee Virus Scan and Spysot Search & Destroyer. Luckily, no worms.

  • 8 trojans
  • 144 adwares
  • 71 spywares
  • 39 viruses

So, I couldn't help but come up with the 10 Golden Rules of administering, or just flat out running a Windows box.

  1. Keep your virus definitions up to date.
  2. Keep your spyware definitions up to date.
  3. Keep your adware definitions up to date.
  4. Keep other malware definitions up to date.
  5. Do not install 3rd party software from untrusted sites.
  6. Do not open email attachments from people you don't know.
  7. Stay away from warez, porn, and other shady sites.
  8. Do not use Internet Explorer.
  9. Configure and enable Windows Firewall.
  10. Enable the guest account for everyone other than yourself.

All-in-all, just use your head. Think logically and critically. When using the Windows operating system, you have to be on your toes 24/7, and you have to be protected out the gate before ever getting online. When online, in one form or another, be skeptical of everything. Windows is such an insecure operating system, you can't afford to make any mistakes, or you get eaten alive, as is the case with this poor owner and their laptop. When systems get this bad, it's time for one of two things:

  1. Take a training course in administering/running your system.
  2. Run a secure operating system, such as Mac OS X or Linux.

My tolerance for people who can't effectively keep their Windows system clean is becoming nonexistent. I'm getting to the point now, where if you foul up your Windows box, and you want me to fix it, I'll just wipe the hard drive clean, and install Ubuntu. I'm not there yet, but getting close.

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