Security advice requested

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by NDBrandon, Apr 11, 2007.

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  1. NDBrandon

    NDBrandon Registered Member

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    Hello, this is my first post on these forums. I have been reading and learning for about a week and I have decided to start a thread of my own. I have seen similar threads and have been impressed with the quick and informative responses.

    I am a computer novice that has been recently informed of the many security threats I am exposed to by being connected to the internet and I have found these forums to be an excellent resource for my research on how to protect my home computers/network.

    I am writing to request general guidance and advice regarding my home computer network security.

    Hardware
    I have 2 home computers: a desktop with Vista and a laptop with Windows XP Media Center. They connect to the internet through a Linksys WRT54GS wireless router. The firewall is enabled. I do not broadcast the wireless signal.

    Activities
    I generally use my computers for online banking, personal e-mail, shopping, and gaming.

    What I think I know
    I avoid including deleting suspicious e-mails, not opening up unknown e-mail attachments, surfing with Mozilla instead of IE, etc.

    What I don't know
    I am generally naive about internet security and am hoping for some advice about activities to avoid and ways to protect my personal information.

    Key goals/criteria
    I am most concerned about identity theft and bank account theft. I want to keep my online communication secure and private. I am not as concerned about if my computer and/or files is destroyed by a virus, although of course I want to take steps to prevent that from happening Ideally, I want a simple solution that requires little input/maintenance from me. Cost is not as important as being able to install a program, make a few tweaks, and let it do its job quietly and effectively.

    From what I have read from various sources in the forums, Spysweeper sounds like a highly-rated AS program. Is this program comprehensive enough where I can install the AntiVirus version (along with my router firewall) and feel reasonably well-protected? If I coupled NOD-32 with Spysweeper, would this provide significantly better protection, or is the AntiVirus that is packaged with SpySweeper "good enough"?

    I look forward to your replies and please ask me any questions and feel free to hack my post to pieces, I'm just fishing for advice. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
  2. oldshep

    oldshep Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I use Spysweeper and Nod32. These work well together. Nod32 does detect spyware as well as virii but I have been a loyal customer of Spysweeper for 3 years and after its install, I've never had a spyware problem. So I use both.

    The AV packaged with Spysweeper is Sophos. I have it as well (disabled as it is not wise to use 2 AV at the same time on one machine). The reputation for Sophos (from what I've heard) is that its corporate version is highly rated but its personal version has not had good reviews lately.

    You might also want to consider a software firewall. If you are a careful surfer you might could just rely on the XP or Vista firewall (along with your router firewall and NAT). I am a bit of a paranoid so I use a software firewall to contain any malware that might have slipped past Nod32 and Spysweeper. I'm currently trialing ZA Pro. There are several other good firewalls. Check out the Look n stop forums here on Wilders along with the "Other Firewalls" section as well.

    Of course, if 3 different packages seems too much, you can check out some of the security suites like Norton (NIS) 2007 or Kaspersky (KIS).

    Oldshep
     
  3. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    hello Ndbrandon,
    since version 5x seris of spysweeper it has given me quite a few bsod's so i couldnt not reccomend it.
    nod32+superantispyware would be very good thou.
    www.superantispyware.com
    have you changed the default username: admin
    password: admin
    there settings are for the router have you changed them?
    or you could try out the execellent kaspersky internet secuirty 6.0
    www.kaspersky.com
    as you said cost isnt a problem if it does its job and doesnt get in your way.
    if you decide to try kaspersky internet secuirty 6.0 make sure you choose basic mode.
    lodore
     
  4. Sjoeii

    Sjoeii Registered Member

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    I would suggest the KIS 6 suite as well. If you set it to basic mode you are very well protected and it is just set and forget.
     
  5. Siro

    Siro Registered Member

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    To add to it I would also recommend the KIS 6 Suite its very good and once you set it up it works like a charm and hopefully most of your problems should be solved.If encryption is enabled on your wireless network aside the firewall that is also a very good step and keeping the SSID broadcasting signal off is a very very sensible move.On all fronts Kaspersky should take care of most of the things you need it for.Hope so this helps.
    If you are an online shopper and banking online also another alternative aside for phishing is to use Norton Confidential although I have never used it, it seems to offer protection for online transactions,banking etc.Maybe other users who have had their experience with the software can give their input.
     
  6. Hangetsu

    Hangetsu Registered Member

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    While its still new (which should give you pause), something else to consider is Norton 360. Its very light on resources, has a very easy setup, and is pretty much maintenance-free.

    To be sure, products like KIS and NOD32 are more powerful (I use KIS myself), but you've mentioned you're a novice; Something that comes pre-configured with a firewall may be to your benefit. While KIS and NOD32 are great, if you're not careful and don't know what you're doing, you could inadvertently make mistakes with pop ups that leave you unsecure. Symantec has fixed their performance problems (finally!), and their AV has always been good. I have Norton 360 on my parent's PC.

    If you want to learn how these security products work, I would not recommend Norton 360, though. Its fire-and-forget.

    Believe it or not though, the three biggest things you can do for your security are the following:
    1) Download and use Mozilla Firefox w/ NoScript and SiteAdvisor add-ons, or the Opera browser. IE 6 and below are terrible browsers for security, and 7 is too new to make a call yet.
    2) Practice safe hex - Be careful about the sites you go to, and only download software from sources you trust.
    3) Make sure your hardware router's firewall is on.

    Good luck!
     
  7. EliteKiller

    EliteKiller Registered Member

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    N360 isn't anything to write home about IMHO. Too much fluff, no right-click scanning, etc. - More user feedback here: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=171427

    During the KIS 6.0 install you choose Basic Mode and you are not only well-protected, you also don't get bombarded with popups to allow/disallow programs by the firewall or PDM.
     
  8. coolbluewater

    coolbluewater Registered Member

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    I'd also recommend KIS 6.0 setup in basic mode during install.
     
  9. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Ime stay away from spysweeper.

    Another vote for KIS6.
     
  10. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    I'd look at a software firewall like Comodo Pro if you don't go with KIS.
    Opera is another good alternative browser.
    Definitely add Spyware Blaster for prevention of spyware.
     
  11. C.S.J

    C.S.J Massive Poster

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    this forum is biased!
    i recommend you give F-Secure a try,

    it will give you ALL the tools, for a cheaper price than kaspersky.

    dont use spysweeper.
     
  12. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    As you can see above, the general answers are fairly consistent, with variability with respect to the fine details (i.e. specific applications or system configurations used).
    The router protects you from unsolicited inbound probes and attacks. The firewall in these types of devices aren't firewalls in the conventional sense of the term although the end result is largely identical for inbound. The router generally won't do much with respect to controlling outbound (i.e. PC initiated) communications. Whether you need software firewall functionality (via either a standalone software firewall or a suite) really comes down to the granularity with which you wish to control outbound communications. I view it as an optional component.
    Since you use it for commerce, my suggestion would be a comprehensive solution. With respect to gaming, this is where is different options will start to separate with respect to overall usage performance. If the gaming is interactive, action oriented, live internet sessions, a small resource footprint is what is desired. NOD32/ESS (beta), DrWeb, Avira are all good in this respect. KAV/KIS tends to be a bit more machine horsepower dependent, but can be as good as those just mentioned. In terms of net detection performance, see av-comparatives.org. I tend to recommend any solution in the upper tier in that testing protocol, but all of the programs certified as Standard and above have worked quite fine in my hands.
    You're pretty much doing what you need to do to protect your personal information. For most of us, the major threat is likely something along the lines of looking for information using a google search and walking down an unfortunate path at some point...

    When the goal is as stated in the final two sentences, I tend to steer towards suites: Avira Premium SS and Kaspersky IS are current excellent choices. Eset's SS may be an excellent choice on release as well. I'm running the beta on a machine now with no problems. I tend to prefer the firewall implementation style of ESS and Avira over KIS - but that's purely a personal preference. My personal recommendation would be to try out a few suite style solutions that do well in comprehensive challenge tests. Avira/KIS mentioned above fit that description, ESS has not been directly tested in this respect, but there are other options as well and some are mentioned above.

    Blue
     
  13. NDBrandon

    NDBrandon Registered Member

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    First of all, please accept my sincere thank you to each of you who took the time to reply to my initial post. I greatly appreciate your time and recommendations.

    I further appreciate your replies because it changed the original direction/product that I was considering for a security solution. KIS seems like the favorite if I were to tally the votes of the replies. I also reviewed the other solutions suggested and they appeared to be good solutions as well, although in the end I decided to go with KIS since it received the most "votes".

    Based on the information received, I have downloaded the trial version of KIS for both of my home computers, running in Basic Mode. I appreciate having all of the security programs integrated into a single suite. KIS doesn't take up many resources and is "quiet", so it meets all of my key criteria. Barring any problems in the next few weeks, I intend to purchase a 1-year license for KIS at the end of my trial period. I really enjoy the minimal maintenance required for this solution, as well as the all-in-one integrated package.

    Again, thanks to all for taking the time to reply. I rarely post on bulletin boards and I am very appreciative and impressed by the quick and thoughtful responses that my post received, especially considering that this was my first post in the forums. Thank you!
     
  14. Sjoeii

    Sjoeii Registered Member

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    Good choice.
    If you have any questions about the suite please feel free to come to the Kaspersky forum
     
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