Posted 18 June 2009 - 07:38 AM
Hi. I am trying to maximize/optimize my security (and functioning) on my laptop (Dell Dimension M6300 running Windows Pro XP SP3). I have wireless internet connection (used primarily in my house) using an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection adaptor via router to cable high speed internet.
I am currently using the following security/updating/patching methods:
1. AVG Free 8.5
2. SuperAntiSpyware (Free Edition)
3. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (Free Edition)
4. Spyware Blaster
5. Windows Firewall
7. FileHippo Update Checker
8. Microsoft/Windows Update & Automatic Update
9. Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer
10. Windows Disk Defragmenter
11. Sysinternals PageDefrag
12. Sysinternals AutoRuns
13. Sysinternals ProcessExplorer
15. Chkdsk (checking "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors")
16. Disk Cleanup
17. Host File using Windows XP MVP List
18. Glary Utilities
20. ERUNT & NTREGOPT
21. Online scans using the following: Kaspersky A/V, WindowsLive OneCare, Panda ActiveScan, TrendMicro HouseCall
So I have a couple of questions about this (overkill). I feel like I am spending more time running security scans, checking for updates, etc., etc., than the time I spend doing all other things combined on the computer, which is not a good thing. I am not knowledgeable enough to know which of these things are complete overlap, or a complete waste of time, or how frequently to run each of these utilities. But I've had a myriad of bugs in the past before I started using the above collection, and that was no fun either. I would appreciate anyone's advice as to what would be an effective, while also efficient, protocol to keep a system secure.
Secondly, does anyone see any holes? For example, does Windows Firewall offer enough protection? I tried the trial version of AVG Internet Security, which came with a two-way firewall, but I didn't have enough sense to configure it, so I ended up removing it from my system after only about a week.
And, as my topic title indicates, I have been researching AVG Free to some extent and have some concerns. Some reputable forums state that it offers zero rootkit protection, while others state that it is the best of all the free antivirus software programs. Even on AVG's website, there is a comparison of the various products, and there is a checkmark to indicate that AVG Free v8.5 does indeed offer rootkit detection. Because I am a bit skeptical, I was considering changing to avast for my primary antivirus/resident protection since everyone agrees that it does offer rootkit detection. However, since so many experts seem to think that AVG is superior, I decided instead to find a free, easy-to-use rootkit detector. Ths led me to Panda's anti-rootkit detector called "PAVARK.exe". But I would like to know others' opinions on whether this affords me adequate rootkit protection. And can anyone who knows such sorts of things clarify whether AVG Free (v8.5--the most recent version) does or does not offer rootkit detection?
Sorry for the long message. But I feel like I am slowly developing OCD-like symptoms with respect to computer security, and the first step is to admit that I have a problem, right? (That's a joke. Well, kind of.)
Thanks a plenty,