Holiday Computer Essentials CD

The holidays are here again.  A wonderful time to eat too much, exchange presents, and secure your family's computer systems.

Each year IT professionals travel to relatives houses, and are called upon as free tech support to remove the latest virus infections.

It helps if you have a CD-R burned and ready to go, so that you can properly clean and secure your family's computer systems.

So what should you include on your "holiday disaster recovery" CD? Fortunately you can assemble such a CD at no cost to you.

Note: These numbers assume you are using a 700 MB CD-R.


First item you'll need is a good Anti-Virus program.

My recommendation is to download the offline installer for AVG.
AVG Free direct download

This will take up 153 MB (32-bit version) and 172 MB (64-bit version) of space, for a total of 326 MB. When fixing your family member's infected PC, this will be the first piece of software you'll want to install. Also grab the latest virus definitions, ~70 MB. This comes to a total of 396 MB.

You have 304 MB left on your disk.


Next up is Spybot Search and Destroy, for Anti-Spyware.

Make sure to download the full installation (15.6 MB) as well as the latest detection updates (~7 MB), for a total of ~23 MB.

You now have 281 MB left on your disk.


Finally, lets download a firewall to help prevent infection.

My favorite is ZoneAlarm.
This free firewall is very powerful, and will stop most malware from communicating, as well as prevent external attacks.

Download ZoneAlarm Free Firewall Now!

This download is only ~5 MB. The catch is, you'll need internet access to install.
Fortunately you've already cleaned up the infected computer, and you're ready to add a final layer of security.

You now have 276 MB left on your disk. How you use the rest is up to you.

I would recommend perhaps a few educational ebooks/whitepapers to help raise your family's security awareness.

A couple suggested titles:
The (VERY) Unofficial Guide To Facebook Privacy
PC Security Handbook - 2nd Edition

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