The Castellini Approach to Internet Security – Updated 2017


I originally posted this article in 2007. A lot has changed in 10 years, so I’ve updated the article with new information and links. Please heed the information here to save you time, money and frustration and pass along to your friends and family!

This past week I saw way too many people who are not taking advantage of the free information we give out on the show and the web site. Their computers were suffocating from a preventable disease…viruses and spyware. Yes, preventable, almost 100%. And fighting the war on our home computer security front does not have to be costly or time-consuming.

We talk about this subject frequently on the program and the web site because of its rapid growth worldwide. In today’s tip, I am providing you with links to information that we have on this site that have been up for months to years that contain the essential information about protecting your computer.

Alternative Operating Systems

I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest that any computer user who does not need specific Windows based programs like Quickbooks, Quicken, genealogy software, specific 3rd party games should seriously consider using a Linux (Ubuntu being the most popular) or Macintosh system. Check out these two links for more information about Ubuntu or just search the site for Ubuntu for more information:

And even more compelling in addition to cheaper and safer, for many computer users, is the Chrome Operating System found in Chromebooks and other ChromeOS devices or an iPad. A vast majority of computer users (even small business users) could survive and thrive with these devices.

And yes, I know that with specific skills and software you can run Windows with Linux or Mac, but I’m all about simple so no need to leave comments about virtualization, Bootcamp, Parallels, etc.

Alternative Browsers

Staying Virus Free

Windows & Firewalls

Fight Spyware

Control Spam

Use Good Passwords

Also falling into this category is the extremely important topic of backup. Search our website for ‘backup’ and you will find many great tips and resources for protecting your data.

If you share only one tip on our website with your friends, family, and co-workers, this is it. Stay safe and help others do the same!

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  1. Robert April 19, 2009 Reply

    I have a virus, that causes popups whenever I get on the internet. I have AOL and it has a firewall. We use Verizon DSL for our ISP and we pay $5 per month for the Verizon Security Suite. We have old AOL accounts that we use to access the internet. Usually when accessing the internet via AOL the popups are far fewer, but if I use Internet Explorer or click on a website via my Verizon email I get lots of popups. The popups say you have an infected computer and you need this “Antivirus 2008”, (or 2009) software – click here to download, but of course I never do.

    Scanning for Viruses does nothing.

    I have purchased a $30 software called “Fix-It Utilities 9” from Walmart. It is made by Avanquest,

    Do you think that might find this irritating virus, or do I need to take my computer in to a shop and have them erase the hard drive and start over?

    Thank You for your advice.

    • Author
      Rick April 20, 2009 Reply

      Reformatting is always the best and most thorough solution, but if you want to try one more option, download and install the ComboFix utility I have linked in the sidebar. Read the instructions first and always have a backup.

    • jimsing59 July 9, 2009 Reply

      Always reformat your harddrive before doing an install.

  2. Matthew Kettlewell July 8, 2009 Reply

    Great post Rick. Very through.

    Security is becoming more and more important to prevent fraud, identity theft, material theft (most businesses store proprietary info on unsecured computers). And with cyberwarfare starting, the unsecured computers are getting compromised and used for evil purposes.

    You provide great advice that is sound for personal use, and business use all the same.


    • Author
      Rick July 8, 2009 Reply

      Thanks Matt. Appreciate you stopping by and your comment is “spot on” as they would say across the pond.

  3. Roger July 14, 2009 Reply

    Hey Rick. Thanks for all you do. It makes a difference. I was looking at the extricating spyware page. There is lots of good info but it is three years old. Any new programs, links or advice?

    • Author
      Rick July 14, 2009 Reply

      You are welcome. I looked over that article and there isn’t much new I’m doing today except maybe using Combofix for some tough spyware problems. The big key is PREVENTION. Be cautious, use an alternative browser, and keep security updates and Windows updates current.

  4. Roger Swingle March 13, 2013 Reply

    Rick, I have been using Ubuntu ever since you came out (maybe) three years ago or so. I update regularly but stay with one previous version — now 12.??. Thanks for the encouragement to use Ubuntu. Roger

    • Author
      Rick March 13, 2013 Reply

      That’s great to hear! Thanks Mr. Swingle. I’m glad it is working out for you.

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