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Using A Hosts File


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#1 JoeyP

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 12:25 AM

I'm new here ,so I hope this is the right forum for this. I want to start using a downloaded hosts file,but I don't quite understand how they work. I read the tutorial offered here,but I'm kinda computer illiterate,and need more help. For starters,I want to use one of the hosts files that is already set up,because I would not know what to put in it.Secondly,which one to use,I just want to use it to block spyware/malware.The tutorial said I need to back-up my current file,re-name it and save it,and put the downloaded file in it's place,but wow ,that's over my head.I've just been told I need to do this ,because I get alot of ads,spyware,and pop-ups because our PC is used by the whole family,and they all visit sites that polute our PC with this stuff. I'm always afraid of screwing up my PC ,because I don't understand how to use these things,or other software for that matter. So you see,I need all the help I can get,and detailed instructions will be greatly appreciated.
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#2 tg1911

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 02:33 AM

You can use anyone of the one's mentioned in the Tutorial.

To locate the Host file:
In the tutorial, under Enter the Hosts File, you'll see a chart listing Operating System, and Location on Hard Drive.
Find your Operating System (XP Home, XP Pro, etc., ....), then follow the directions to the Host file.

For example, If you're OS (Operating System) is Windows XP, this is the location of the Host file:
c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

To get to the file, double click My Computer on your desktop.
Then double click Local Disk (c:). (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts)
Locate, and double click the windows folder. (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts)
Now locate and double click the system32 folder. (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts)
Double click the drivers folder. (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts)
Double click the etc folder. (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts)
In that folder you will find the host file. (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts)
Right click that file and select Rename.
Change the name from host to host.orig (for original)
Now put whichever host file you decide to use, in the same folder this renamed host file is located.

I also suggest you use these programs:
(They're all free.)

aČ free
ewido - Windows 2000 and XP, only.
Ad-Aware
Spybot S&D
Spywareblaster
SpywareGuard

These programs, updated and used regularly, will do a lot to keep your computer clean of spyware, trojans, keyloggers, browser hijackers, etc...

Download them, update them, and then run them.

Important:
Please read this tutorial on Spybot S&D before using it. Spybot can do SERIOUS damage, if not used properly.

Other useful Tutorials:
Using Ad-Aware SE
Using SpywareBlaster
Using SpywareGuard
Using Ewido

Also read this Tutorial, if you haven't yet:
Simple and easy ways to keep your computer safe and secure on the Internet

Edited by tg1911, 21 July 2006 - 02:38 AM.

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#3 rowal5555

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 05:18 AM

Hi JoeyP

I agree that updating a new hosts file can be a bit daunting although you can do it if you follow the instructions to the letter. I use an app called HostsSecure which pops up each time you reboot asking if you want to update - if you do this then minimise to the system tray, it seems to do the job without any hassles.

You can check it out here. Let us know how you get on.

Cheers

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#4 JoeyP

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 10:16 PM

Thanks for the quick response. I have a few more questions about the hosts file.If I change my hosts file ,what kind of changes will it make to how my PC works.Will it prevent me from going to websites,like game sites,my wife plays those all the time. My kids use Myspace,will that still be accessible? Can I add other IP addresses in the future I want blocked ,and how would I do that.Sorry to be such a bother,but like I said ,I don't know too much about this sort of thing. Also,I use all the spyware tools you mentioned except the a2 free,I don't know what that is,and I still get spyware,I guess because I can't control what my family does on our PC.I guess my main question is,just what does a hosts file do,in lamens terms,and do I need one?
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#5 rowal5555

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 07:13 AM

Hi JoeyP

A little more info HERE

Cheers

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#6 Orange Blossom

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 06:34 PM

JoeyP:

A question: Do you and each of your family members each have a separate account on the computer? If so, are they user accounts or administration accounts? Are the accounts password protectected? There should be only one administration account on the computer.

What you can do to make the computer more secure without going the route of a hosts file is to make sure that all accounts are user accounts accept one. The administration account should be password protected. In the administration account, you can set it up so that no user accept the administrator can download bad stuff or change the security settings. You might also consider creating content filters so that porn etc. does not come up on the computer.

Is Spybot, Spyware Blaster, Spyware Guard, and AdAware up-to-date? Ideally, you should check for the latest versions daily. Do you run Spybot regularly, AdAware, and Spyware guard on a daily basis?

You should also be sure to have a firewall installed. The firewall can block a lot of stuff too if it is configured correctly. ZoneAlarm has a free version. There are others listed elsewhere in the Antivirus forum. I'd post the link to the pages, but I have to finish preparing for tutoring now.

Be safe and have fun,

Orange Blossom
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