Windows Vista, which apparently has millions of users worldwide, is actually not a flawless operating system although Microsoft has worked a lot to make it pretty desirable. Windows Vista, as we all know, has a number of built-in tools which can be effectively used to make your operating system more secure.
There are a number of operating systems which have more security than Windows Vista. There is no built in antivirus in Vista and a few other sectors need to be fortified with third party software, so as to make the operating system quite secure, which still is open to harm. Using the built-in utilities in Windows Vista to our advantage can help us critically improve the security of the operating system.
If you can keep in mind the following tips and follow them accordingly, you will be able to see the difference in the level of security in OS.
Latest updates: Keep updating the Vista for the latest security fixes. Use the Windows Update tool for this purpose. This tool automatically checks for software updates of other nature from Microsoft. Opening the “Control Panel” by clicking on the “Start” button, you will be able to see the “Check for updates” option in the Security section. Click on it and follow the instructions. Opt for other Microsoft updates following the instructions and provide User Account Control User ID and password if prompted.
Update non-Microsoft software: Softwares like Nero, Adobe etc need to be updated. Certain softwares also come with update option. Download Secunia PSI from https://psi.secunia.com. Secunia PSI scans the softwares in your computer and checks if they are the latest versions. If not, you can update them.
Windows Firewall: Windows Firewall, which although succumbed to the domination of third party security apps, has some bright sides. Windows Firewall can block any inbound access from Internet while the update procedure is going on. Click the Start and go to Security in the Control panel. Select Windows Firewall in the Security option and click on “Change settings”. Ensure that Firewall is activated and then check “Block all incoming connections”. The user type should be ‘ordinary’ and not ‘administrator’ to make this tip effective.
Guest account: To limit the rights of other users, always use Guest account. For this, go to Control Panel and click on “User Accounts and Family safety”. Select “Manage other accounts” and click “Continue” when UAC prompt appears. Now click “Guest Account” and click on “Turn on”. Do the same and click “Turn off” to deactivate Guest account.
Public network: If you have doubts about the security and if Vista asks about the security type when you access a network for the first time, select “Public” type for network. To change this, go to Control panel and click on “View network status and tasks” in Network and Internet option. Click “customize” under the internet icon and then select “Public”. Click “Next” and Give password if prompted and click on continue. Then close the window.
DNS service to avoid contact with insecure sites: Using DNS service like ScrubIT, you can safely surf.