Firewall protection runs on Windows XP from startup, before antivirus software begins to work
Q When I turn on my Windows XP PC each morning, I make sure my wired router is turned off. This is because, when the Microsoft Security Essentials icon first displays in the Notification Area, it is red with a cross in it. I assume this means it is not functional until it turns green with a tick, which appears after a short while. Am I being over-cautious by turning off my router during this time?
A The chances of a successful virus or hack attack on your PC occurring during the few moments it takes Microsoft Security Essentials to ready itself for action each morning are small, not least because your router (not to mention XP) will have firewall protection in place right away.
However, by disconnecting your computer from the internet until all its defences are confirmed as up and running, you can be certain that nothing from the outside world can get in. Of course, you don’t have to switch off the router for this supreme reassurance – because you’re using a wired router, you could simply disconnect the Ethernet cable from your PC – but really, we don’t think there’s too much to worry about.
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