A Beginner's Guide to Set Up a Secure PC

What Are Some Great Free PC Security Tools For Windows

It is the twenty-first century where everything is designed, created, processed, stored and transferred through the digital medium. Even money can be mined from your personal computers by harnessing the power of your CPU and other system resources, I’m looking at you Bitcoin. Nowadays, PC security is more important than ever to keep you safe from digital threats such as the NotPetya, WannaCry and other ransomware attacks. Personal computer security is very important because it is the first step of defense against unauthorized use of your computer for illegal purposes such as using it as a part of a botnet to carry out large-scale distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

In this post I’m going to explain how to secure your personal computer without putting in much effort. All you need is a working computer and a stable internet connection.

Now, here are some basic system requirements before you can start downloading and installing the free yet powerful tools I’ve suggested below –

  • Minimum of 1GB RAM (2 GB Advised)
  • Operating System – Windows 7 or Above.
  • Processor – Pentium or above.

What we’re basically talking here about is on how to make your computer even more secure so that you can shield yourself and your computer from attacks originating from malicious programs and resources online. Here’s a list of software programs that you can use to protect your computer against malware, viruses, worms, network attacks, phishing, key-loggers, etc.

Free Anti-Keylogging Software (KeyScrambler)

What KeyScrambler basically does is that, it encrypts your keystrokes, thereby essentially protecting you from key-loggers. It supports nearly all the major browsers available on the market such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Apple Safari, etc. While the free version itself is enough to support all the browsers, the Premium version can do even more. The premium version of KeyScrambler can protect your login credentials on a Windows workstation, Active Directory Domain, Windows Vista’s User Account Control prompts (UAC), and all of the Windows Store (Metro) Apps.

Moreover, KeyScrambler premium protects every keystroke of yours when using any 32 or 64-bit Windows programs, East Asian languages, and on apps that have become essential in our lives such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Quicken, TurboTax, Quickbooks, Dropbox, etc. For 90% of normal PC users, the free version is just fine but if you’re extra-worried about your privacy, then go for the premium version.

With a setup size of less than 1.5 MB, it just takes a minute to install and activate. Once installed, you can forget about it as It’ll start doing its job of encrypting your keystrokes. Its real-time key encryption feature defeats all keylogging software. Just look at what BBC News had to say about KeyScrambler –

“KeyScrambler from QFX Software can protect users from phishing emails and malicious websites that deploy key logging software to mine your personal details.”

— BBC News

If you think this basic KeyScrambler encryption is not enough then you can check out the list of other useful tools to enhance your PC security even more.

Coming to the next point it would be safe to say that installing separate software components for an antivirus setup is better than installing a full-fledged antivirus or internet protection suite. The reason why I’m saying this is because, when your system gets compromised the attacker will be able to run malicious scripts that can disable your antivirus service but having different components separately installed can make it difficult for the attacker to find the different security components of your computer and compromise its security setup.

Download KeyScrambler

Firewall Software

The first and the foremost component for defending your computer from online threats is the firewall. Though there are many free and premium firewall software solutions available out there, I suggest you to go with Comodo. I came to the conclusion that ‘Comodo Firewall’ is the best free firewall software available out there because of their commitment to provide full-fledged security to your systems inbound and outbound connections over the internet. The free version is nearly as good as the Premium/Pro version of the software.

Download Comodo Firewall

Anti-Virus Engine

Now that you have set up a firewall to monitor the quality of incoming and outgoing traffic, let’s go to the step of choosing an antivirus engine for you computer. Thinking about which antivirus is the best one out there? To be honest, all antivirus engines (be it the free version or the premium/pro ones) perform the same job – detecting viruses and getting rid of them from your computer. I would suggest you people to go for Avast’s free antivirus. It is light on the system resources and detects and removes most of the viruses and malware. Moreover, it is the best antivirus for PC which comes with free download of the full version.

Download Avast Antivirus

Anti-Malware Program

Just by installing an anti-keylogger, a firewall and an anti-virus engine, your computer is not secure yet. You now need a software program to scan and remove malware and rootkits from your computer. Worry not, I have already looked for the best solution out there and it is none other than Malwarebytes which is dedicated for just that job.

No one can provide a better cyber security and anti-malware software other than Malwarebytes. They are like the pioneers in their field. Malwarebytes is simply the best malware removal tool currently available out there. What more, they can also block malicious web links for you and filter malicious inbound and outbound connections too. It’s just more than a anti-malware – you can’t bargain for more!

Download Malwarebytes

Anti-Rootkit Software

Malwarebytes have got their own dedicated anti-rootkit software too. You can use it to remove rootkits from your computer and repair the damage caused by them. Rootkits are nothing but malicious software programs which hide in your computer with privileged access and permissions. They are usually difficult to detect because they hide under the guise of a useful program.

But be warned, it’s still in the beta stage. If you get your system crashed because of it, you can’t complain to them. Proceed at your own risk!

Download Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit

System Cleaner

Last but not the least – here’s a software to wipe away unwanted data such browser cache, internet history, cookies, sessions, recently typed URLs, recent documents, thumbnail cache, memory dumps, temporary files, etc from your computer. It has also got an in-built registry cleaner which is simple to use and hassle-free. What more, it has also got a disk analyzer, duplicate files finder, drive wiper and options to disable start-up programs. It’s intelligent cookie scan feature allows you to keep useful cookies such as cookies from you e-mail service provider, social networking sites, etc so that you needn’t keep logging in again and again. It makes your job simple. Oh well, I’m talking about CCleaner.

Download CCleaner

Also ReadAnti-theft & tracking software for Windows, iOS & Android

Note:

Nearly all the programs mentioned above have got both – a free and a paid version with extra features. But the free version is nearly as good as the paid one but if you’re really interested in the product and want to support the developers, you can buy the premium versions. That’s up to you to decide.

Hope you people found this information useful and helpful in securing your personal computer and hardening its overall security. Will be meeting you guys in my next post about the best extensions for Google Chrome (and other browsers based on the Chromium Project). Stay Tuned 🙂

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