It can’t be stressed enough on how important it is to keep your system up-to-date. This not only involves Windows Update, but also all the other programs on your machine. The vast majority of user problems (hijacks, adware/spyware) I see are due to failure to keep Windows patched, and lack of a proper “Layer of Protection”.
Some steps suggested by Troubleshooting Guide to Windows XP
- Prevent Vulnerabilities in Windows and Internet Explorer
- Prevent the spread of Worms and Spam
- Enable the Hidden Files Option
- Protecting your system from unknown Startups
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