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Is This Enough Protection


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#1 luciusad2004

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 06:56 PM

Hello all. I recently got my old comp up and running again and was wondering what else i should install / do to keep it safe.

I'm running Windows XP Pro and have installed all of the updates i could find.

As far as software, this is what i have installed on her.
  • AVG (whichever version is the free version[i am broke])
  • Spybot Search and Destroy
  • Ad-Aware 2007
I went through some of the stickies and found the one on securing Internet Explorer 7. In the options it seemed like most of the recommended settings were default except for one or two. Either way, I'm a Firefox user.

Is there anything I am missing? I went through a number of the stickies but have a hard time sorting through large chunks of information in a short period of time.

My machine specs:
  • Celeron 2.80 GHz
  • 448 MB Ram
  • Integrated Graphics
  • 100 GB hard disk. (windows is installed in a 10 GB partition the rest is still unformatted)
I guess that seems to be the important info.

IDK, i guess i just wanted to know if i missed anything or if anybody can recomend better software to replace anything i already have installed.

Also, Should i run more than one anti-virus software? I hear much talk about Avast. I've never tried it because i have been using AVG for years. Is either better than the other?

Thanks for any and all input.

---Computer Science Major---


Sophomore - I'll graduate... someday

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#2 SpySentinel

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:14 PM

Welcome to BleepingComputer

As far as software, this is what i have installed on her.

* AVG (whichever version is the free version[i am broke])
* Spybot Search and Destroy
* Ad-Aware 2007


The protection you have is good. If you want you can add two more free programs that will help stop spyware:There is one thing you are missing, you do not have a firewall installed. I recommend you install a firewall to protect yourself against hackers. Below are three free firewalls to pick from, choose one:

Also, Should i run more than one anti-virus software?


No, it is not recommended to run more than one anti-virus program, because two will conflict with each other. I would stick with the AVG Anti-Virus Free that you have.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you have.

Edited by SpySentinel, 03 October 2007 - 07:17 PM.

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#3 luciusad2004

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 08:51 PM

Do you have any insight as to wich of the three would be best for someone new to firewalls? I have never used one.

Also, I guess my other main consideration in choosing one would be: which one uses the least resources. As i mentioned I don't have much ram and untill i get a job i have to work with what i got.

Thanks for the input, I will look in to those either later tonight, or tomorrow after school. ATM i have to study for my poetry midterm :thumbsup:

Thanks again. : )

P.S.
- last minute thought. If i disconnect from my network, would it be ok to turn these things off? I'll most likely be connected most of the time, but in some instances i may not be connected. Would it be fine in those instances to turn off some of these applications to save resources?

---Computer Science Major---


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#4 jgweed

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 10:07 AM

I hope you pass your poetry midterm: the firewall creeps in on little cat's feet.

To answer the question in your PS first; if you are not connected to the internet, and are not opening files you just downloaded from it, it would be perfectly safe for you to turn off your AV and your firewall. I regularly do this when, for example, I am playing solo games or working of major documents/spreadsheets.

More firewalls are not RAM intensive once they launch. I use Comodo, since it seems to work best with my computer's configuration. The good thing about any of the three that you can always try out each until you find one that works well and you like.
Since you have never used a firewall, you would benefit from reading this quick BC Tutorial:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/understanding-and-using-firewalls/

Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#5 luciusad2004

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 04:29 PM

Thanks, I'll read that as soon as i get home.

As for the exam it was going great untill i ran out of time 1/4 of the way through the second essay. I wrote to much for the first, i think.

Thanks for the tips : )

---Computer Science Major---


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#6 tos226

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 07:57 PM

luciusad2004, I can't resist replying because of the kitty. What a face!

If you pick ZA free, please, use version earlier than 7. Version 7 is needlessly large for free users. ZA is wonderful - for ME - but you'll be happier with version 6.1 ot 6.5 or even 5.094 but 7 can bog you down.

jgweed, how is Comodo rule making working? easy to edit? easy to take stock of? Are default rules tight or did you need to tweak them a lot for security? -- if you want to sepearate this into another thread, please do so, as I suspect hijacking not allowed :thumbsup:

#7 luciusad2004

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 09:17 PM

luciusad2004, I can't resist replying because of the kitty. What a face!

If you pick ZA free, please, use version earlier than 7. Version 7 is needlessly large for free users. ZA is wonderful - for ME - but you'll be happier with version 6.1 ot 6.5 or even 5.094 but 7 can bog you down.


Alright, I'll keep that in mind when I'm deciding which firewall i want. I'm going to look around now and download one. Would have done it earlier but my baby decided to take her time formatting the second partition on my hard drive.

Also, the kitty picture is in one of the picture packs on the forums i think. I don't want to mislead anyone in to thinking i own him. I wish i could have one though.

Thanks as always,

Lucius

Edit: How would i find an old version of Zone Alarm as you mentioned? Also, don't firewalls have to stay updated like Anti-Virus or no?

Another edit: Should i disable windows firewall before i install or no?

Thanks again, sorry bout all the questions

Edited by luciusad2004, 04 October 2007 - 09:30 PM.

---Computer Science Major---


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#8 Animal

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 09:40 PM

Edit: How would i find an old version of Zone Alarm as you mentioned?

You can find it and many other applications here: Oldversion.com

Scroll all the way down, lower left column, last item. Good Luck

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#9 jgweed

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 07:58 AM

Tos226:

"how is Comodo rule making working? easy to edit? easy to take stock of? Are default rules tight or did you need to tweak them a lot for security?"

I find Comodo adequate without doing any tweaking, although there are certainly methods provided to do it (they are rather complicated and not quite user-friendly). Once you teach it what to allow, block, or question, it works very well.
I would prefer more logs (Sygate spoiled me) and its not automatically trying to update at awkward moments without asking or informing me of what is being updated.
Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#10 buddy215

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 08:16 AM

Since you use Firefox, be sure to get the NoScript extension. It will protect you from driveby installs of malware and future Firefox exploits.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/722

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss

A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”


#11 tos226

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 09:40 AM

Edit: How would i find an old version of Zone Alarm as you mentioned? Also, don't firewalls have to stay updated like Anti-Virus or no?

Another edit: Should i disable windows firewall before i install or no?


Official ZoneLabs/CheckPoint site for downloading any free version (my favorite is the last of 6.1 but 6.5 is good too)
http://download.zonelabs.com/bin/free/info...aseHistory.html

Firewall needs no updates. Virus and spyware and other malware signatures don't play any part in a firewall. That said, some firewalls include few non-firewall items. In those instances updates might be needed.

Windows firewall does no harm, until next firewall is installed. At that point, if the installer went ok, they should disable Windows firewall. To be safe, I'd first download a version, then disconnect from the network, disable the Windows firewall, finally install a new firewall, review initial settings, turn off the nag for updates to ZA-Pro and reboot.

jgweed, thanks for the info. Things are confusing who owns what. Is Sygate Kerio? Kerio logs are good.

#12 luciusad2004

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 01:44 PM

Thanks guys, At the moment i have Comodo on, but maybe I'll will try zone alarm in a day or so and see which i like better. If i try out Zone Alarm, do i just disable my current firewall, or completely uninstall it?

I also installed the noscript add on for Firefox. I never knew that you could get malware installed just by visiting a website. I thought that was an IE thing. It's a little bit frustrating at the moment because it seems like EVERY site i go to uses java script, and then i get nervous about what to do, but I'm sure its worth it when i can scan my hard drive at night, wake up the next morning and be presented with a pleasant message that i have no known malware.

Also, If i want to set this stuff up to scan at night:
  • Can i schedule to run these programs through windows, or do i use the schedulers built in to the actual software?
  • Will they automatically take care of any problems they find or will i have to do that manually in the morning?
  • If the programs can automatically take care of problems; is it even a good idea? No program is perfect, I wouldn't want them to go automatically deleting important files
Honestly though, I never realized that windows was this insecure. Almost makes me want to jump ship.

Thanks guys, this is really one of the best forums I've ever found.


Edit: Is there any were i can go to find help on how to understand the logs?
I have a ton of "Inbound policy violation"s. What do i do now to figure out what is going on?

Edited by luciusad2004, 05 October 2007 - 07:10 PM.

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#13 buddy215

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 08:10 AM

Using NoScript takes a little bit to figure out what it is doing. When you visit a site you are not going to interact with, click on links, etc., you probably want need to allow any scripting. If you are going to interact with the site, first allow the script for the site address that appears in search/address bar. You will soon learn that most of the scripts on popular sites are used by advertisers. You can also allow the script temporarily or permanently.
As to scanning every day, if you avoid visiting known bad sites such as gambling, porn, free screen savers, P2P programs, etc., don't click on any links in emails, IMs, open attachments that you are not 100% sure of who sent them and where the links are taking you, you can forgo the constant scanning with your security programs. Just about ALL malware requires the user to click on it to install. Be sure to read all EULAs, especially free software, before installing and scan the software before installing.
Another important security measure is to keep ALL your programs up to date. Secunia will scan your computer for missing updates for programs that are often exploited by malware.

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss

A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”


#14 luciusad2004

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 09:02 PM

Hey guys, I had a question about fire walls so i thought i would use the thread i already have open.

I've been using comodo for a while now and was wondering were i can go to learn more about firewalls. I read through the tutorial that was linked to earlier in the thread but not everything is quite clear to me. I understand why firewalls are important, and what they do, but I'm not quite sure i understand how to properly set them up and use them to their full extent. I read things about "rules" and editing settings in the firewall. Is this necessary? I have been running comodo as it installed with the default settings. Is this good enough or should i have a more advanced setup? Ive tried googleing for tutorials on how to configure firewalls but all i find is basic things on why firewalls are important and how they work. Where do i go to get more in to it? Or is it completely unnecessary to do anything more advanced than the default settings?

Thanks guys.

---Computer Science Major---


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