Make your OS better the easy way
Some people complain that Windows Vista is so loaded with features it hogs their PC's resources. Even worse not all such features work as they should. Here's how to banish the Windows Vista's biggest blunders, because good ideas seldom survive bad execution.
The one-way firewall
Windows' built-in firewall has always suffered from the same flaw: although it blocks suspicious stuff that comes in, it does nothing about what your PC sends out. Since an infected PC can mass-mail spam and forward your credit card numbers to someone without your better interest in mind, that's an important shortcoming.
Vista supposedly fixed this problem with the addition of a firewall capable of watching and blocking outbound traffic. But that capability is turned off by default. And Vista's designers forgot to put the controls that turn it on in a place where you're likely to look for it: the Windows Firewall Settings dialog box.
Here are two solutions:
1. Go to the secret place where you can turn on outgoing protection: click Start, type firewall, and select Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. Click Windows Firewall Properties. The first three of the resulting dialog box's four tabs contain an Outbound Connections drop-down menu. In all three, select Block.
2. Get another, better firewall: Even with two-way protection enabled, Windows' firewall is a feeble guardian. On the other hand, the free Comodo Firewall Pro came out tops in independent testing, even compared with well-known commercial products such as Norton Internet Security (according to Matousec's Firewall Challenge).
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