Building a secure computer, help.

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by gracie123, May 23, 2006.

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  1. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I subscribe to a newsletter from Download.com and they offered this link: http://www.download.com/Security-Starter-Kit/1200-2023_4-5159800.html?tag=nl.e415

    I am curious if the programs on the different pages to make your computer safe are the best programs or not...?

    Whether the programs cost money or not, could you please offer your opinions on what programs I could use to make my computer secure?

    Also, I am seeking a firewall to buy but the problem is when I used ZoneAlarm, I lost internet connectivity several times on my LAN. I had to uninstall it immeaditly. Thankfully, it was a trial version of ZoneAlarm Pro. I am wondering if Outpost Firewall would give me problems on my LAN like Zone Alarm Pro did for me or not.. or if there is a better firewall than even Outpost that's known?

    Thanks everyone, hope you all can help me! :)

    Gracie
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    All in all, their advice is ok, but it's the little things that do the magic!
    Furthermore, I don't know how well-acquainted / comfortable with / afraid of the computers you are, so I will drop my minimalistic approach and try to give you a nice flexible formula that on the other hand is not too heavy or expensive.

    Firewall - Sygate or Outpost.
    Anti-virus - AVG can be just fine.
    Anti-spyware - none, or if you must Spybot S&D.
    Anti-trojan - ewido (in real time, will work against spyware as well).
    Browser - Firefox (don't forget adblock and noscript extensions!).

    Now, free magic:

    You can download backup anti-virii to work with suspicious files.
    Kaspersky activex plugin for IE - gives you an online version of their very powerful scanners, takes very little space and no resources when not used.
    Dr. Web extension in Firefox - you can check what you download before you download.
    ClamWin - free on-demand anti-virus scanner.

    If you have more than one pc, connect them using Internet Connection Sharing. Your gateway pc will become a sort of a router and even if your firewall fails, you will still be protected against inbound threats.

    Remember to install latest java update, latest flash player -> and configure it using their online settings panel to reduce access to your microphone, webcam and if you wish, the storage of flash cookies.

    Remember to remove the remnants of the old MS java - only if your OS is less than SP2.

    Use OpenOffice rather than MS Office.
    Use Thunderbird rather than Outlooks.
    Use GAIM rather than other IM.
    Use IrfanView rather than the default Windows Picture and Fax Viewer or whatever it's called.

    You can also use A2, Ad-Aware SE as backup on-demand scanners.

    If you opt for Spybot, use its immunize function; in that case, you might also like SpywareBlaster, which will also further impregnate your IE.

    Other useful things (this can cost money):

    Have at least 2 partitions on your primary hdd - one for programs, one for backup data, separated from OS - so you can easily backup and not lose it even if you have to format and reinstall.
    Try to have 2 HDD if possible.
    An external HDD might also be useful.
    Make regular weekly / biweekly / monthy / whatever updates of your data on fresh cd / dvd every time -> they have limited life and damage easily.

    If you like, download and burn an Ultimate Boot CD for Windows as a very good rescue tool - even if OS gets cankered, you can still boot and burn your data, provided you have 2 cd / dvd trays - or at the very least copy your data to a usb stick.

    You could also hoard a couple of Linux distro live cds.

    AND FINALLY, DON'T DO FOOLISH THINGS!

    Mrk
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    "If you opt for Spybot, use its immunize function; in that case, you might also like SpywareBlaster, which will also further impregnate your IE."

    Classic freudian slip.:D

    It was however in all seriousness an excellent post.

    Pete
     
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    I'm not very strong about Freud ... Care to elaborate, please ... :)
    Mrk
     
  5. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    Hello all :),

    Thanks for the great information! I am pretty comfortable with computers.. I've used several firewalls and antivirus's and currently have NOD32 and Spy Sweeper...

    I have no software firewall though and I use Internet Explorer. I don't use a firewall because I am not sure if it's easy enough for somebody to get around it...

    But any ideas for someone whos comfortable with using their PC and is a "advanced" though not expert user would be great!!

    Thanks again,

    Gracie :)
     
  6. pojispear

    pojispear Registered Member

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    gracie you need a firewall especially if you are not behind a router w/ hardware firewall. try the new kerio 4.3.246 it's free and very good and i have not had any internet connection conflicts with it in the past year (with the 4.2) do a search in this forum on kerio
     
  7. gracie123

    gracie123 Registered Member

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    Aug 4, 2005
    Posts:
    397
    Hi :)

    Currently, I am behind a Linksys router.
     
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