Security for a beginner?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by laststopsuburbia, Feb 5, 2007.

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  1. I'm a beginner in security, and am trying to learn as much as possible. Besides having a firewall, what are the best options for protecting my computer from trojans, viruses, keeping a hacker off my computer, etc?

    I have AVG Free Edition for the AV, but would like to know if I need more protection to keep hackers and trojans/viruses out.

    The software doesn't have to be free, but because I'm not very familiar with security programs, files, etc. it does need to be user friendly, and also light on system resources. Any help would be very much appreciated. I guess I'm looking for user friendly programs that would delete trojans and other stuff, but more importantly, programs that would prevent any "hacker" and viruses in the first place. Thanks a lot in advance!
     
  2. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Add AVG Antispyware or SUPERAntySpyware :)
    You should learn how to develop a security strategy which doesn´t depend on blacklist scanners (antivirus/antispyware/anti-trojan/antimalware)
     
  3. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    alternite browser like opera or firefox should help.
    what firewall do you use?
    do you visit any dangerous sites?
    have you been infected with any malware?
    nod32,kaspersky,bitdefender or drweb all have better detection than avg free.

    lodore
     
  4. JerryM

    JerryM Registered Member

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    Dr Webo_O?

    Jerry
     
  5. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    (1) You don't say whether you have a Hardware firewall or software. If you are using a usb modem I would look to replace it with a good ( but inexpensive) hardware firewall router.

    (2) Then consider using Firefox with NoScript add on.

    (3) Pay for an e-mail service that runs a virus, and spam check. I use www.netaddress.com .

    Provided you don't open the spam that does get thru or deliberately try to get infected you should be safe enough.

    I don't run a software firewall and have not seen a virus in years
     
  6. pipester

    pipester Guest

    The Windows firewall and AVG Anti-Malware 7.5 will suffice.
     
  7. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Add BOClean to your free AVG and you should be fine with a occassional scan from say SuperAntiSpyware just as a double check. I think you will be fine with BOClean pay one time and it is good for a long, long time no annual renewals, updates nearly daily.:thumb:
     
  8. LoneWolf

    LoneWolf Registered Member

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    Don't forget about BOClean's top notch support.It's a great app,well worth the money IMO.
     
  9. Thanks so much for everyone getting back to me.

    Well, I have one computer and that's all. My surfing habits are basic websites, like sports, news, google, and other sites, but no adult sites. I am sure I have typed in the wrong website addresses in the past that took me to websites that could have spyware. I use Outlook 2003 for my e-mail & IE 6. I have Windows XP SP2 with all the patches. I do not do anything online related to music, and haven't downloaded many programs besides AIM, Windows Media, Real Player, Adobe, and those basics.

    My AV is AVG Free. I have had some kind of virus or attack in the past, where someone changed all my passwords. I did reinstall my Windows XP after that.

    I'm just trying to get the best protection while being user friendly. I know that doesn't always go hand and hand, but I feel it's counter-productive to let certain programs have access to my computer because I "let them in" soley because I didn't know if I can trust the program or not.

    I guess I'm looking for a user friendly anti-trojan and/or anti-spyware program like AVG Free, where it's light on resources, user friendly, and hopefully solid protection. I do not want it to affect my internet speed since I use that the most. If the programs aren't free, that's okay.

    What would you suggest for solid protection for a beginner under those corumstances? I know it sounds like I want to have my cake and eat it too, but I'm just looking for solid protection being a beginner. I don't know if I need "on demand" "scanning", etc.

    Thanks a lot for all your help!
     
  10. JerryM

    JerryM Registered Member

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    SuperAntiSpyware Pro. I would also add a-squared free for periodic scans. Win Patrol is a useful application, and there is a free version.

    Best,
    Jerry
     
  11. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

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    Get Nod32 and Superantispyware free, for weekly scans, and you will be as secure as you can be.
     
  12. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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  13. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    Another approach is virtualization of your system, that is booting your computer into a mode that whatever happens in terms of malware, can be totally deleted with a simple reboot.

    There are many applications to choose from and they are all safe: ShadowSurfer, ShadowUser Pro, DeepFreeze, First Defense ISR, DefenseWall, and the 'new' PowerShadow, to name a few.

    The good thing about virtualization is that basically you need to have only an outbound capable firewall (Windows' firewall is not), and a safe browser like Firefox and Opera.
     
  14. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    As some said, don't use IE. Use Firefox or Opera. Both are safer than IE, and better overall.
    Firefox is highly customizable with extensions.
    Opera has pretty much what you want from start. Even a torrent client, and mail client. And for me, it makes life easy like no other browser.

    Firewall: i use Comodo PF, and it's very easy to use, and one of the best AFAIK.
    A good complement for the firewall is a sandbox. Look it up on the forum, you'll find plenty of threads that cover this. Some are SandboxIE, GeSWall, Defense Wall, Bufferzone.

    Free AVs: Avira, Avast! and AVG. Seems that Avira and Avast! are better. I use Avast! and it covers alot of ground.

    IMO, you can build a defense with freeware. Also, try to keep it minimal, or layered as Rico said. That way you cover different vulnerabilities with more efficiency. Also try not to use similar programs with similar features. You'll be asking too much from the computer, without much advantage.

    Get them one by one, and learn to use them as you go. If you don't know how to use them, they won't do much (there are exceptions, but these are to me the basics to start looking into this).
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2007
  15. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    One helpful step already mentioned is using Firefox and/or Opera as your browser.

    I would consider BOClean.It's worth the $.

    Some freeware to use.
    Spyware Blaster.
    Comodo Firewall(there are other free firewalls that are good also).
    AntiVir PE Classic a/v(another category that has good choices for free).
    Win Patrol.
    Free scanners like A-Squared,AVG A/S,SUPERantispyware.
     
  16. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    You seem pretty savvy for a beginner. Your set up and habits are similar to mine. Everyone has given some great advice so I won't give any more, just let you know what I use due to our similarities: NOD32 AV, Comodo firewall, AVG antispyware version 7.5 paid running live, SUPERantispyware for on Demand scans, SpywareBlaster to block, and Firefox as my browser. I also use Mailwasher from Firetrust for incoming e-mail scrutiny, which is a simple app that will not let anything get past you. I've been using it for years and never opened an e-mail I didn't like. :D
     
  17. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    ...his surf useage habits are very similar to mine too. :)

    I don't want to sound like a broken record or like I am on the payroll or something but he says "light on resources, user friendly, and hopefully solid protection" still sounds like BOClean fits his needs.

    Oh yes and by all means support is in deed tops. No question there.:thumb:
     
  18. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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  19. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    @ twl845

    That review is over two years old. Not only that, a newer version is now available, and the price has been lowered to $29.95.

    There is an official online support forum here http://gladiator-antivirus.com/forum/index.php?showforum=158 and this is nscleans support page http://www.nsclean.com/supboc.html

    BOClean does have a file scan facilty, just drag any file into the GUI.

    Along with detecting and intercepting trojans, it's also excellent with rootkits and bots etc.

    FILEDATE: 2007-02-10 10:36:46 (UTC)
    SIXTY-FOUR new nasties for a total of 21159 UNIQUE infectors (251,469 variants (1135 added) including trojans, worms, bots, hijackers, downloaders, spam proxies, rootkits, adware, spyware, keyloggers, "dialers" and other malware in total, including all variants) covered in today's update for BOClean 4.22. http://www.nsclean.com/index.html


    StevieO
     
  20. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    No trial puts me off. Is it really worth paying when programs like AVG Anti Spyware are freely available ? Perhaps if you want to surf on the dark side but for more normal users ?
     
  21. LoneWolf

    LoneWolf Registered Member

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    No trial put me off from this program for a long time too,but after reading nothing but good reviews about BOClean I decieded to give it a try. BOClean has only stoped one bad piece off code.(If i remember it right it was a dll that had injected itself into another program or something like that)Worth every penny since it had gottin thru all my other security at the time.I consider myself a fairly safe surfer but there's way to much crap out there to take any chances(just look at my sig)BOClean will always be in my setup.
     
  22. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

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    ^:thumb:

    Virtualization should be the first layer of an indepth defense
    a popular freeware application not mentioned above would be Sandboxie

    also consider the advantages of proxy services such as IM via meebo.com
     
  23. itsmej

    itsmej Registered Member

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    hi My 2 cents worth Here .the most inportant thing i beleave is this have your system stealthed,not 1 port open 1-65535 of them ,a fire wall like Zone,tiny,outpost,would and should be ok, also you may want to look at a proxcy filter program to filter out any thing like adds,expliots,cookies,referings and so on, get hold of a program like protector plus or X-blocker,or what ever
    as already adviced by ather pll here, install a program like whatcher that scans your pc at boot time for any change ,that you can dissalow,or pass
    Its going to be up to you what and system you run,not one is the same as we all differ on our standerds we may set,never think or beleave the nett is a safe place ,any link can carry,try to explote, or try to download,bad stuff on your system,you can get programs like harden it,safeXP,free programs that shut the realy danger ports ,find them at google by typing in the names..look at the test sites to test for any open ports ,chase up all type of small programs that can help you secure your system like .http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/free/ Disable auto linking,to any sites,only upgrade when you think you need it, but block them from running,(allow only when needed) Also - only allow any program ACCSESS only -never server rights..no matter the program or Os and any EXE.that try to run.never allow windows exploror to run on the nett
    only your browser ,IE,fire fox,or whatever you like ..My simple rule is BLOCK..
    and then Some
    its always my hope ppl surf safe and the nett can be a fine place to surf on .
    Just watch the sharks that swim around ...
    itsmej
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2007
  24. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    StevieO - Thanks for the heads up. :D
     
  25. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi Guy's,

    Areas of computer security, need to be addressed, like links in a chain one weak link & the ballgame is over. So some of the areas to address are, & each area, could support a separate thread are:

    1. Evaluate/Audit - Users surfing habits, computer usage, are you a high risk surfer or low risk surfer etc.

    2. Education - Spend a few minutes reading in security forums, magazines etc.

    3. Passive Security - IE-Spyad, Spywareblaster, hosts file, other block lists.

    4. Avoid Active X when possible - Use alternative browser.

    7. Misc. - Increase browser security, via security zones, file sharing?, etc. Router if broadband which has 'SPI' stateful packet inspection.

    8. Real Time/OnDemand - FW, AV, AS, SiteAdvisor, perhaps depending on #1 AT, HiPs. And on-demand (waiting in the bullpen) AS, AT etc.

    9. Physical Protection - Chains, LoJack, passwords, encryption.

    10. Backup - Backup strategy

    Hay - You could spend hours of debate, on BOclean vs TrojanHunter, & SSM's better than ProActive, spend a bunch of $$$$. Only to have a burglar steal or swipe your desktop/laptop. The old weak link syndrome!

    Take Care
    Rico
     
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