This Holiday Season, Protect New PCs Before Connecting to the Internet

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 16, 2003 — Consumers who are planning to buy or think they may receive a new PC this holiday season will want to learn how to protect it right out of the box. With a few simple precautions, PCs can be better protected from computer viruses and other online hazards. Why should users take safety precautions with a new PC? Because they won’t have a secured connection to the Internet unless the new PC has a firewall enabled, is up to date using Windows® Update and includes fully updated anti-virus software.

Computers loaded with Microsoft® Windows XP have features to help protect them from online threats right out of the box. Windows XP comes with a built-in firewall that can easily be enabled. By turning on the firewall before connecting to the Internet, new PC owners can be better protected as they download anti-virus updates and visit Windows Updates to get and keep their PC up to date.

“Because of an increase in the number of malicious attacks made by computer hackers, consumers have asked for more protection,”
said Will Poole, senior vice president of Windows at Microsoft Corp.
“While we are planning to turn the firewall on by default in the next service pack for Windows XP, we’re taking steps to help educate our customers about the steps they can take today to help protect their PCs and their information.”

It’s easy to turn on the firewall in Windows XP. Here’s how:

  1. From the Start menu, click on Control Panel.

  2. Click on Network and Internet Connections.

  3. Look for the Network Connections icon and click on it.

  4. Right-click on the dial-up or broadband connection you plan to use and click on Properties.

  5. In the resulting menu, select the Advanced tab.

  6. Check the box that reads
    “Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet.”

After consumers have engaged the firewall and connected to the Internet, Microsoft advises them to update their anti-virus software and bring their PC up to date by visiting . Customers who want to learn more about PC safety can visit the Protect Your PC Web site at . The site is designed to help PC users learn a few simple measures they can take to decrease threats from viruses and other malicious attacks, and contains a tool that will walk users through each of the steps. Users of Windows XP will have the added advantage of being able to use the tool to automatically set up the Automatic Updates feature in Windows Update.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual products and services mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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