PC Security

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If your computer is showing any signs of an infection you should not complete the steps listed below in this guide. Instead please refer to the PC Cleanup wiki page and post on the Lunarsoft Forums.

This is a guide and tutorial for helping end users properly and safely secure their computers. Should you have any questions about any of the steps listed in this guide feel free to ask on the Lunarsoft Forums.

Windows Update

Keeping Windows up-to-date is your best bet in keeping your computer safe and secure. The second Tuesday of every month is known as Patch Tuesday. This is the day that Microsoft releases monthly updates and service packs for software installed on your computer. Be sure you have the latest service pack, hotfix rollup, and/or updates installed on your computer. These patches resolve known issues and other bugs that would put your computer at risk.

Windows 10 Updates

Windows 10 handles updates for you automatically. You are able to update your Microsoft products when you get Windows updates. Simply see Windows 10 below.

Windows 8, 7, Vista, and lower Updates

It is recommended to use Microsoft Update to get updates for both Windows and other Microsoft software such as Office. On Windows 7 and Windows Vista click Change Settings and apply a check to the Use Microsoft Update box and click OK. You can install Microsoft Update on Windows XP by clicking the Microsoft Update link in the Windows Update page.

There are several methods you can use to keep Windows up-to-date:

  • Automatic Updates - This is the recommended method for keeping your computer up-to-date. This is a type of "set it and forget it" method. You can easily configure Automatic Updates to run on your computer at any given day and time.
  • Manual Updates - This is not recommended for most users. This is more for those who are experienced with their computers and have a better overall knowledge.
  • Alternative methods - Simply see what we recommend below.

Windows 10

Windows Update icon from Windows 10

With Windows 10, updates are automatically handled for you. Your computer will reboot during a timeframe that you are not using it. The reboot will occur outside of your active hours, which you can customize.


Checking for updates is handled automatically by Windows 10. If you wish to check for them manually you can go under Windows settings and choose Windows Update. You can see what that window looks like here. This is also where you can Change active hours.


Under Advanced Options you can set the following:

  • Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows. - (Recommended) - This will allow you to keep your Microsoft products (the Microsoft Office Suite for example) up to date.
  • Defer feature updates
  • Use my sign in info to automatically finish setting up my device after an update.

You can also configure a custom time to apply the updates. This would be a custom set time of your choosing to restart your computer and apply the updates when not in use and outside of the active time.

If you have your account password protected, you can also tell Windows to automatically handle the login to apply the updates.

If you have more than one computer you can deliver updates to other computers within your network, saving you some bandwidth. The options can also be found here.

Windows 8, 7, Vista

Windows Update Control Panel icon from Windows 7

You can access Windows Update by going to your Control Panel and clicking Windows Update. To configure your settings click on Change settings.

It's recommended to also use Microsoft Update. Do so by doing the following under Change settings.

  • Under the Microsoft Update section, apply a check to "Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for the new optional Microsoft software when I update Windows".

Recommended settings for Automatic Updates are:

  • Automatic (Recommended)
    • If you shut down your computer when not in use set it to Install new updates: Every day at 5:00 PM
    • If you leave your computer on all the time, set it to Install new updates: Every day at 2:00 AM

The above times are estimated times. If there's a time where it works better for you please set it accordingly.

If you're more experienced with computers you may prefer the following settings:

  • Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
    • This allows Windows to check for updates and detect if new update(s) are available. It will prompt you with a notification saying there are new updates available but you have control over when to download and install them.

Clicking View Available Updates allows you to review the updates before you install them. Depending on your version of Windows you may wish to exclude and hide the Language Packs. Select all the updates including the Optional updates and proceed to update your Windows install.

Updates that you may not want or need include the following:

  • Language Packs
  • Bing Toolbar
  • Bing Desktop
  • Skype

These show up under Optional Updates and can safely be ignored.

Driver updates are often better to get straight from the official manufacturer.

Windows XP

Automatic Updates on Windows XP
Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. Look into upgrading your Windows to a supported version, such as Windows 10, 8, or 7.

Automatic Updates will display a small globe icon in your system tray near the clock that will resemble the Automatic Updates icon seen to the right. It will notify you of all the activities occurring as your system is updated. This icon will only appear as it downloads updates and also when you have updates or a reboot pending due to updating your system.

To access Automatic Updates click Start and select Control Panel. Inside the Control Panel is the Automatic Updates icon which you can also see to your right. Double click the icon and configure the settings as you desire or like our example pictured in the image below the Automatic Updates icon image.

  • Windows Update can generally be accessed by clicking Start -> (All) Programs -> Windows Update. This will cause your your Internet Explorer web browser will open up and it will automatically direct you to the Windows Update page on Microsoft's web site. You may be prompted to install an ActiveX component for Windows Updates. This ActiveX component is safe to add and install.
  • When checking for updates you will need to choose either Express or Custom. Express will download and install all of the High-Priority updates needed for Windows as a totally automated process. Using the Custom section of Windows Update allows you to select the updates that you want, including Optional updates that will also benefit your system.

Updates that you may not want or need include the following:

  • Language Packs
  • Bing Toolbar
  • Bing Desktop
  • Skype

These show up under Optional Updates and can safely be ignored.

You should not install any drivers from Windows Update, always get them from the manufacturer.


WSUS Offline Update - For those on a high speed connection and having multiple computers in their homes, this is a wonderful application. WSUS Offline Update downloads updates for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2003 and up.

It then creates an ISO for a CD/DVD that you can use to update computers without an Internet connection. This is a great tool for technicians and can also be easy to use for most users too. If you are in need of a CD/DVD burning software then check out our Freeware section. We recommend using ImgBurn for burning ISOs.

Windows Update Not Working

  • Windows 10: You can use the built in Troubleshooting to resolve problems.
  • Windows 8, 7, Vista: You can use Microsoft Fix It's Reset Windows Update.
  • Windows XP or lower: You can also run Dial-a-fix.

Securing Your Computer

This section covers the programs that are recommended to users quite frequently. These programs have been selected and tested to be the best freeware available.


Avira - The Avira Personal Edition offers the effective protection against computer viruses for the individual and private use on a single PC-workstation. In order to make possible an easy operation, the Avira Personal Edition is developed to the essential points.

Sophos - Sophos Home protects every Mac and PC in your home from malware, viruses, ransomware, and inappropriate websites. It uses the same award-winning technology that IT professionals trust to protect their businesses. Best of all, you can manage security settings for the whole family from any browser.


GlassWire is a free firewall software that features a network monitor and security tool. GlassWire works with Windows Firewall to enhance security and allow you to monitor both application activity and bandwidth usage. You can review all of the [features] GlassWire has to offer.


Malwarebytes - A free (and also offers a Pro) anti-malware application for scanning and removing malware. One of the top rated and top recommended anti-malware solutions.

Securing Your Browser

Securing your browser is a great asset in protecting your computer. By properly securing your browser, you can stop all kinds of malware from getting in. This section will cover ways to add extra protection to the top three popular browsers.

There are also alternative browsers that you can choose from.

  • Firefox is an open source web browser that is highly customizable. You can customize it with helpful Add-ons and even Themes to change the appearance of Firefox.
  • Opera is another fast, easy to use web browser that has many common features integrated. Things such as a email client, torrent downloader and much more. Downloading the Classic installer is recommended.
  • Chrome is a browser that has built in plugins and other features. It automatically handles Flash, PDFs and more.

SpywareBlaster - This excellent product will protect both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Unfortunately it does not cover Opera according to the Brightfort Knowledge Base.

SpywareBlaster adds a large list of malicious websites to Internet Explorer's Restricted Sites list. It also restricts malicious ActiveX components and ad/tracking cookies. The Firefox protection also blocks ad/tracking cookies.

It would also be worth reading over and reviewing our Blocking Malware and Advertisements Safely wiki article.


uBlock Origin will help to block and stop numerous advertisements. Ads can sometimes contain malicious downloads though it is extremely rare for this to happen. Regardless, this will allow you to safely browse the web and filter out unwanted content, keeping you safe.

Firefox gets protection from SpywareBlaster, which blocks third party cookies related to ads and tracking. Though cookies are not a threat, many users value their privacy and security.

You can also use SpywareBlaster and Adblock Plus to help protect Internet Explorer.


Opera has uBlock Origin available to protect the browser from ads, malware, and more.


Microsoft Store - uBlock Origin - A fork of the uBlock Origin code is available in the Windows Store for Microsoft Edge.

Internet Explorer

Adblock Plus is available for Internet Explorer down to version 6 of IE. This is a highly recommended method to help protect yourself if you use Internet Explorer. uBlock Origin is not available for any version of Internet Explorer.

You can also use SpywareBlaster to help protect Internet Explorer.

Securing Your Internet

OpenDNS Filters

In this age of the Internet, adware, spyware and phishing attacks are on the rise. Thankfully you can add a layer of protection to your home network or computer by using OpenDNS. DNS stands for Domain Name System.

Many routers support adding OpenDNS in an easy to configure manner as well as several open-source firmwares. One such firmware is the Tomato firmware which is most commonly used on the WRT54GL router. There are also forks of the Tomato Firmware that work on modern routers supporting open-source software.

OpenDNS can help to filter out bad websites that contain adware and phishing attempts. It makes use of PhishTank which is a community based anti-phishing service. PhishTank is used by Opera, Yahoo Mail and by PhishTank SiteChecker.

OpenDNS is very easy to set up. Simply follow this guide to set up your router or computer (if you're not behind a router) to use OpenDNS. While an account with OpenDNS is not required, it is recommended. Best of all it's free. Having an account allows you to filter out all types of websites.

Using OpenDNS is highly recommended to prevent infections from adware, block phishing, and filter out other unwanted parts of the Internet.