Hi, I'm from
North America
Age group
Over 40 years old
Last known PC infection
More than 2 years ago

Howard1975

New Member
Hello everyone, I'm a new member here at this forum But I'm not new with computers. I have been using computers since the late 1980s and early 1990's, starting with MS-DOS and Windows 3.1, then later Win95, 98, Win2K, XP, Vista, 7 and now Windows 10. And I started using Linux in the late 1990's.

I got my first computer in 1992, when I was in high school. It was a Tandy 1000 SX computer (Tandy owned Radio Shack in those years), the computer was made around 1986. It was powered by the Intel 8088 running at both 4.77 Mhz and 7.16 Mhz, came with MS-DOS 3.22, and it had 2 floppies (both 5.25 and 3.5), but no hard drive. It was slow, loading everything from floppy, but I loved that computer. Next I had a 386 PC with MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11. It was an amazing performance increase, compared to the Tandy 1000 SX.

Since my first computer in 1992 (the Tandy), I have owned computers equipped with the Intel 286, 386, 486, Intel Pentium 1, AMD K6-2, AMD Duron, Intel Pentium 4, Intel Atom, Core 2 Duo, Intel Xeon, AMD Opteron, AMD Phenom X3, Intel Core i5, etc. And some other CPU's, including from Cyrix, VIA and other brands.

I started building computers in 1997, and I usually like to build my own computers. But I currently use a Dell Optiplex 9020 MT, as my main computer. I dual boot Windows 10 and Linux on it.

Like I said earlier, I also use the Linux operating system, since the late 1990's. I have used many Linux distros, starting with Mandrake, SuSE and RedHat. Now I normally use Debian or Debian based, Ubuntu based (usually Xubuntu or Kubuntu), Linux Mint, and Slackware Linux.

I'll be building a new computer for my father, he is 78 years old, and wants a more powerful computer for gaming. I'll be building him a AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU, MSI B450 motherboard, AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU, a 512 GB M.2 NVME SSD drive, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and probably Kubuntu 20.04 Linux. And set him up with Steam and Lutris, so he can play some Windows games on Linux.

I have been using Microsoft Windows, starting with Windows 3.11 and going all the way to Windows 10. Currently using Windows 10 Pro, 1909 version, and will upgrade to the 2004 May update, probably a few weeks after it is officially released.

Howard
 

Howard1975

New Member
Thank you everyone for your warm greetings, I appreciate it.

I don't currently have any problems with my Windows 10, but I'm always glad to learn new methods to protect my computer better. Which is why I joined this forum. And offer assistance to other forum members.

In the 30 years I have been using computers, I've certainly had malware infections. I'm a lot more careful now, compared to the past.

Too be honest, I use Linux 99 percent of the time, for my everyday computer needs. I will boot into Windows, to play games, or use Windows software that does not run on Linux. From my experience learned the hard way, I'm extremely careful downloading software now. Because I know there is so much malware out there.

I keep backups of all important files, on multiple devices (a few USB flash drives, and a couple eternal hard drives).

I use many layers of security, I believe it helps a lot. And I keep my web browsers locked down, especially with Windows, to keep the dangerous stuff out. I'm always researching the latest information, and make changes to my setup as needed.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 34
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Welcome to MT! Nice to see someone with a lot of experience like myself :D
I would be interesting to know your security configuration.
Do you want to post it?
 

Howard1975

New Member
I will post my security configuration details soon. I will wait until I update my Windows 10 to the latest version, the 2004 version. I have been waiting before I do that. I'm still using 1909. I will do a clean install, perhaps on a different drive.

To explain my security configuration very briefly, I use a layered approach to computer security.

It starts with the router, because that is the entry to my network. It is often wise to adjust some settings on the router, to make it more secure. Like changing the default administrator password, and other settings. And blocking your neighbors from using your WiFi.

Another option is changing the default DNS settings on the router, from whatever your ISP defaults to. There are alternate DNS servers that can be used, to block some malware and advertising. Some DNS servers also offer the choice to block adult websites, which is handy if you have kids at home.

Another way to keep your computer safer, is modifying the HOSTS file. Modifying your HOSTS file, is a good method to reduce the amount of advertising and malware that can affect Windows, Linux, MacOS, etc. I use a modified HOSTS file to block ads, banners, web bugs, malware sites, etc.

On Windows 10, 8 and 7, it is located at:

c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

On Linux and MacOS the HOSTS file is located at:

/etc/hosts


Basically speaking, if you want your computer to avoid a certain website, you add an entry like this, as an example:

0.0.0.0 example.com

If you want to block facebook, it would be like this:

0.0.0.0 facebook.com

I use a custom HOSTS file to block a lot of known malware sites and known advertising sites. It can also be used to block adult, gambling, hate and other sites.

Another method I use to protect my computer, is being careful with any add-ons or extensions in my web browsers. On Firefox and Chrome, I like to use uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere. A few more great extensions are "NoScript Security Suite" and "uMatrix".


On Windows I also commonly install Malwarebytes, Voodoo Shield, and some other security focused programs. Sometimes I use the Windows Defender antivirus, and sometimes I will install something like BitDefender or Kaspersky antivirus.

Additionally I might install Comodo Internet Security for the firewall program.

I also like VirusTotal Scanner to check individual files.


I also make sure all programs are kept up to date, and the operating system. And anything like Java and Flash is removed, unless really needed.

I also keep backups of all my important files, on a few different external hard drives, and I also keep a few USB flash drives with important files.

I will mention more later.

Howard
 
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