Security concerns

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by mwa1945, Jul 27, 2006.

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  1. mwa1945

    mwa1945 Registered Member

    Jul 9, 2006
    Hello everyone!

    I'll be grateful for any and all opinions and advice from forum members on this issue. Here's my story:

    I consider myself to an "average" computer and internet user. I do internet banking, and I make online purchases for various items; I email and surf the net regularly and download various items like screensavers and other computer utilities; I also listen to hours of internet radio broadcasts. I avoid P2P file sharing, "chat" rooms, internet gambling and things like that.

    I'm very security conscious and I have attempted to establish a "layered" internet defence, the main ones being: NOD 32, Outpost Pro, ewido anti-spyware, and TrojanHunter. I always keep these applications updated. I'm running Windows XP which I keep "patched" each month on Tuesday.

    So here's my question: Is this enough? Because I'm now reading about the threats of rootkits and "drive-by downloads." Are my present security applications enough to avoid most problems, or should I consider something more?

    Once again, TIA for your views.
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    May 9, 2005
    Ewido and Trojan Hunter are a bit redundant. I'd keep Ewido.
    I would also recommend a browser other than IE - Firefox, for example.
    I would refrain from downloading screensavers.
    What client do you use for mail?
  3. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Mrkvonic is right.
    Anything that is attractive is a target for the bad guys and screensavers is certainly one of them. Most people like a screensaver and Windows has very ugly screensavers.
    Screensavers aren't just pictures, they are executable files and once they are activated, your computer can be infected.
    Any download from an unknown source can't be trusted.

    Emails are another big source of malwares. Any email from an unknown source has to be considered as dangerous.
    Unfortunately most users can't control their curiosity and
    - open them, which can be already a trigger to infect your computer
    - touch images of the email with their mouse, which can be a trigger.
    - believe the contents which usually ends up in identity theft and fraud.
    - buy unreliable products or services with their credit card.
    - open their attachments, which is usually a trigger to infect your computer.
    Good spam-emails don't exist, they are all psychological traps with sometimes serious consequences.
    Try Mozilla Thunderbird (freeware) and you will be able to read your emails in text mode and it has also an anti-spam function.

    Browsers are another big source of malwares.
    Firefox + extension "Adblock" + extension "NoScript" (freeware) is a good combination to protect you during your surfings.
    Opera (freeware) is also a safe browser.
    You can even use both simultaneous along with MS Internet Explorer.
    Always watch out what you download because even the safest browser won't protect you against infected downloads.

    Using a router (inbound) in combination with a good firewall (outbound) is also a wise decision in security and recommended on most security websites.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2006
  4. mwa1945

    mwa1945 Registered Member

    Jul 9, 2006
    Thanks guys for your time and effort in responding to my post. Much appreciated!

    Running another browser other than IE deserves serious consideration. I particularly like the idea of being able to run IE and, say, Opera simultaneously.

    I use MailWasherPro in tandem with Outlook Express which allows me to "view" the contents of emails at the server. I delete (and report to Spam Cop) anything that looks suspect before downloading mail to my computer. Hopefully, I've got that threat covered.

    I must confess to being something of a screensaver junkie. Clearly, I only download from sites that appear to be reputable. And before running the downloaded file on my computer, I always scan the application with NOD/ewido/TrojanHunter and tend to feel safe when the scan results come up negative. Am I living in a fool's paradise?

    Finally, I do understand that there's no one collection of security applications that act as a 'silver bullet' against all net nasties. I also understand that ewido and TrojanHunter detect some rootkits. But my original question remains: Is my current security arsenal adequate, or would something like, say, SocketShield be worth having as a better defence against the rootkit threat?

    Once again, thanks for your advice!
  5. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

    Nov 28, 2003
    Sky over the Wilders Forest

    Looks to me like you have a good set up already. I prefer BoClean, but would not knock the others since I have not used them. sounds like your surfing habits are good too.

    Be careful not to waste money jumping around from security product to secutiry product in fear, unless it gives you pleasure to do so. Like many here do. They get enjoyment from tinkering and playing around with their security apps. Nothing wrong with that if you like but don't do it out of fear it will drive you crazy. o_O ;)
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