Use a Linux boot disc for online banking and recovering a PC

The safest way to do online banking: Use a Linux boot disc

The best (safest) policy with regard to online banking is that you do all of your Internet banking outside of Windows and off your PC’s hard disk or SSD drive. The best way to do that is to use the Puppy Linux operating system. This version of Linux is so easy to use your grandmother could set it up and use it. It boots from a CD/DVD disc to which its ISO file (a free download from its developer’s website – http://puppylinux.org/) has been written/burned, or from USB flash drive, providing a full Internet-connected desktop in about a minute. It is not installed on your computer’s hard disk drive and records nothing on that drive unless you ask it to be installed there (as Windows itself is). It runs in the computer’s RAM memory.

Nothing can protect people from providing banking login information over the phone or the Internet, but Puppy Linux protects you against every other scenario and it’s a sheer joy to use. The only complicated things are that you have to know how to burn an image to a recordable CD/DVD disc and you may have to set your computer’s BIOS/UEFI setup program so that the first boot (startup) device is its optical CD/DVD drive.The following page on this website provides information on how to set that boot order of devices:

http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/the-pccomputer-bios/5/

Burning an image to a recordable CD/DVD disc is easy if you have the correct software. The following website provides free disc-burning software (supports Windows XP/Vista/7/8.1/10) and instructions on how to achieve that – http://www.cdburnerxp.se.  Then, whenever you want to do banking using the web, you just boot from the CD/DVD disc you burned Puppy Linux to and log on with complete safety because no malware (viruses, spyware, key-logging software, etc.) can interfere.

If you don’t want to take that route, the next best alternative is to use the free IBM software called Trusteer Rapport that most online banks provide. It is good when it works, but I have experienced occasions when it fails to work and has to be reinstalled or it forgets to protect a website that it has been set to protect. You have to click on its green icon that appears on the right-hand side of your web-browser’s address bar to make sure that it is protecting the site that you have set it to protect and that you want to use online or that it is automatically set to protect by default. The link below provides images of the icon it uses and where it appears in a web browser.

https://www.bing.com/images/…

Using a distribution of Linux as a boot disc to rescue your computer

Computers bought that have Windows 8.0/8.1/10 preinstalled use a UEFI BIOS and boot too quickly to boot into Windows’ “Safe Mode with networking” that can be used to access the web and/or run recovery tools by pressing the F8 or Shift+F8 keys at startup.

If your computer fails to boot into Windows or start up, the cause could be a hardware failure or a software failure caused by malware (viruses, worms, etc.). If your computer boots too quickly to boot into Safe Mode by pressing a key or key combination, if the UEFI BIOS is set to boot from a CD/DVD disc or USB flash drive by setting that device as the first boot device, you can boot the system with your Puppy Linux or Ubuntu Linux boot disc or flash drive and access the web to run free online malware scanners, which could remove the offending malware and allow Windows to boot the system.

The mere fact that you can boot from a disc or flash drive says that the computer is not suffering from a hardware failure. If you can’t boot from a boot disc or flash drive, either the CD/DVD drive or USB port is not working, or some other permanently-failed hardware needs to be replaced. (Try using another USB port if a boot flash drive fails to work.)

If you fail to recover Windows but can boot the system with boot disc or flash drive, you then know that you’ll have to restore a backup or system image to do so, or, if you don’t have a recent backup or system image, reinstall Windows by using its installation disc or the recovery disc provided by its manufacturer that restores the computer back to its factory state.

There are several excellent online malware/virus scanners that are free to use. Click the link below to see the search results of the query: free online virus scanners:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=free+online+virus+scanners…

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