Chapter 10. Safe Computing

In This Chapter

  • Dealing with permission warnings

  • Assessing your safety in Action Center

  • Automating Windows Update

  • Staying safe on the Internet

  • Avoiding phishing scams

  • Removing spyware and other browser add-ons

  • Setting Parental Controls

Like driving a car, working with Windows is reasonably safe, as long as you stay clear of the wrong neighborhoods, obey traffic signals, and don't steer with your feet while you stick your head out the sunroof.

But in the world of Windows and the Internet, there's no easy way to recognize a bad neighborhood, spot the traffic signals, or even distinguish between your feet, the steering wheel, and the sunroof. Things that look totally innocent — a friend's e-mail or a program on the Internet — may be a virus or prank that sneakily rearranges everything on your dashboard or causes a crash.

This chapter helps you recognize the bad streets in Windows' virtual neighborhoods and explains the steps you can take to protect yourself from harm and minimize any damage.

Understanding Those Annoying Permission Messages

After 20 years of Windows development, Windows 7 is still pretty naive. Oh, it's much better than Vista, of course. But sometimes when you run a program or try to change settings on your PC, Windows 7 can't tell whether you're doing the work or a virus is attempting to mess with your PC.

Windows 7's solution? When Windows 7 notices anybody (or anything) trying to change something that can potentially harm Windows or your PC, it darkens ...

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