A personal computer connected to the Internet without a firewall can be hijacked in just a few minutes by automated hacker ''Bots''. The only way to make your computer 100% secure is to turn it off or disconnect it from the Internet.
The real issue is how to make your computer 99% secure when it is connected. Not having protection is like leaving your car running with the doors unlocked and the keys in it which a thief might interpret as "please steal me". Stated another way, when was the last time you handed a stranger your wallet and encouraged them to take your social security card, drivers license, cash and credit cards? Locking a car, using a "club" or installing a security system makes stealing a car more difficult. Internet security and privacy products provide adequate protection by making it difficult for "outlaws" to find and take control of your computer.
A layered approach is best to protect your security and privacy:
Ø Use personal firewall, anti-spyware, anti-virus, anti-Trojan, anti-spam, anti-phishing, and privacy software on your desktop computer.
Ø Update and tighten Windows before installing new security software.
Ø To avoid conflicts, do not use two software firewalls or two anti-virus products at the same time. Completely uninstall one before installing another.
Ø After installing any security software, immediately check for updates at the vendor's website.
Guidelines to secure your PC on your own
Securing your WindowsMicrosoft Windows XP is being used by a growing number of users. Windows XP is potentially much more conducive to security than its predecessors such as Windows 95 and 98—a good reason for you to upgrade your desktop system to Windows XP if you have not already done so. Following checklist describes the measures you will need to take to achieve baseline security in your Windows XP system.