Protect your PC on zero day

Zero-day exploits hit vulnerabilities in a program that the software's maker has not had time to patch yet. But even during this time of exposure, you have ways to help keep your computer safe.

1. Get rid of Internet Explorer 6. One of the best moves you can make to improve Internet safety is to ditch Microsoft's notoriously hole-infested browser. No program is completely safe, of course; but whether because it is inherently vulnerable or because its massive user base makes it an attractive target, IE 6 might as well have a giant bull's-eye painted on it. Upgrade to IE 7 or to an alternative browser such as Firefox or Opera.

2. Try alternatives to other programs that have been targeted by zero-day attacks. The free Foxit program displays PDFs, for instance, and OpenOffice works with many Office documents.

3. Enable automatic updates for Windows and other programs whenever possible. Patches won't help against zero-day incursions, but major vulnerabilities tend to remain targets even after the fixes are released, precisely because attackers know that many people don't bother patching. To check and change your Windows Update settings, click Automatic Updates in the Control Panel. To keep up with the changes to your system, we recommend choosing Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them.

Other programs make it more or less easy to find automatic-update settings. For example, in Firefox, head to Tools, Options, Advanced, and select the Update tab (again, we recommend selecting Ask me what I want to do as the standard course of action when Firefox finds updates). To find the settings in Adobe Reader, you'll need to check manually for updates under the Help menu, and then click the Preferences button.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Erik Larkin

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?