Security Suggestions for Netbook

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by whitedragon551, Apr 8, 2010.

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  1. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    My wife picked out the ASUS Eee PC 1001P for her new netbook.

    Specs as follows:
    Intel Atom N450 1.66Ghz CPU
    1Gb RAM (Pretty sure I have 2Gbs out of the old laptop)
    160Gb HD
    Windows 7 Starter x86 (Pretty sure Ill be upgrading to Win7 x86 Pro)

    Looking for the lightest most secure setup possible. Ill probably use Windows built in FW. She mainly got the laptop for emails, light browsing, bill paying, and college course work.
     
  2. Matthijs5nl

    Matthijs5nl Guest

    Make sure her system is patched. Windows 7 Firewall is a great choice, you can disable Windows Defender, UAC is an option.

    avast! 5 Free (alternative: Panda Cloud Antivirus: really light, doesn't need user assistance), you can pick out what shields you need: at least install file, web and network shield.
    P2P shield: she probably won't download a lot, Behavioral Shield: just sits there doing nothing, Mail Shield: she will probably use webbased email, IM Shield: don't know if she is going to chat with it, but otherwise the file shield will pick it up.

    That would probably do.

    You can also run an on-demand scan (MBAM, ESET Online Scanner) from time to time.

    Browser: IE8 (SmartScreen-filter is really good) or Google Chrome (internal sandbox is really good).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2010
  3. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I think Ill probably set her up with Avast v5 Free, Windows FW, and MBAM for on demand only. Ill be removing access to IE and installing FF with ABP and WOT.

    How is Pandas detection rate compared to Avast? I know they are both light, but she is sort of tech dumb so the better detection rate the better for her and the less work I have to deal with in the future.
     
  4. Matthijs5nl

    Matthijs5nl Guest

    I have to say I don't really know the difference between the detection rate of avast and Panda. I think they don't really differ, as far as I know the paid Panda is a little better than avast. So I think they really won't differ. But something I know is that Panda Cloud 1.1 is coming quite soon with a lot of improvements. But both programs are good choices.

    My personal opinion that IE is not less safe than FF (when you install addons FF also quickly becomes quite heavy on a netbook), next to that some (not really techy) people might find Adblock annoying. And maybe McAfee SiteAdvisor might be a better alternative to WOT, since WOT is based on community reputation and not directly on safety.
     
  5. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    My $.02 on this - McAfee has tons of bogus/questionable 'red alerts' for completely legit sites and getting them rescan and reclassify those is about next to impossible unless they've misclassified someone like M$. So, I wouldn't really rely on this at all.
     
  6. papillonn

    papillonn Registered Member

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    I have a netbook too, you need to upgrade it's RAM first. Currently i use dr.web security space pro + mamutu + prevx, this is a good combination, my processor is n280 1.66.
     
  7. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    I used SiteAdvisor for some time and watched it grow to a bloated, running a full time service (even when you're not browsing) beast. I can no longer recommend it at all, as beyond the bloat, it often wrongly rates siites as doktornotor mentions. WOT is the real deal. In my experience, seldom is it wrong. User ratings is IMO, the best way to rate websites if it is policed well. And from my position, WOT is.

    One thing I have done to my Win 7 netbook that nabbed a bit of battery use time was to increase the minimum processor state (both battery and AC settings.) This made it noticeably more responsive. A trade-off for sure but worth it!
     
  8. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

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    I have a similar netbook and this is the exact setup I have right now, with the addition of Sandboxie.

    I am studying firewalls and have not decided. I'm not sure I know enough to use the windows firewall the way I want. I'll watch this thread.
     
  9. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I dont trust McAfee farther than I can throw it. Ive seen way to many issues with McAfee products in general on computers.

    She prefers FF over IE so thats what she gets. Shes not getting a ton of add-ons. Just the basic java, ABP, and WOT and thats it.

    Ive got 2Gbs of spare RAM in an HP laying around, but I havent swapped it out yet. The HP is up for sale and if it doesnt sell then Ill take it apart until then Id like to keep it in a single piece.

    The CPU in this particular netbook is the N450 which supposedly helps battery life last longer than the N280. It gets 11 hours of battery life which is insane. I think I can afford to trade some CPU power for battery life. Ill probably end up with 9-10 hours instead of 11, no big deal.
     
  10. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    In real-time all you need are these two: Outpost free (firewall plus HIPS) and Prevx free (antivirus). Light as a feather & trouble free.

    Prevx free gives you alerts if it detects malware BUT it doesn't block the malware. Therefore, you also need Returnil free. Use Returnil to make an image of your drive C at least 2X/week. If Prevx ever reports malware, just restore a recent clean image.

    There -- a free solution that is 99.9% bullet-proof.
     
  11. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi Bellgamin

    Just how do you make an image of your C:\ drive with Returnil? Does it (Returnil) have imaging software built in?

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  12. A couple suggestions:

    - Turn on DEP for everything. At the very least it does no harm, unless you like to run tons of badly programmed Win9x apps. (And I'm not sure those would run on 7 anyway.)

    - Windows 7 doesn't have AppLocker but SRP can be enabled using Pretty Good Security. The combination of UAC at maximum and SRP (set up for a limited user) should be pretty strong I would think; if it's not strong enough for you though, you can use SuRun from a limited account. This setup is a bit inconvenient, because stuff can't be installed locally (you have to put apps in C:\Program Files if you want them to run limited), but I doubt that any drive-by download could get past it.

    You could obviously use third-party apps in addition, but that might just be overkill. The only issue, I'd think, would be recognizing when the system is infected, which I guess PrevX could do as bellgamin suggested.

    (Though I will be blunt: I do not like PrevX. The combination of high false positive rates in my experience, and asking people to pay for removal of present malware, strikes me as... well, not rogue-like, but too close for comfort. But whether you decide to use it is not my decision.)
     
  13. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I dislike PrevX as well. She wont be visiting sketchy stuff.

    I have Windows 7 FW, MBAM Pro, and Panda Cloud AV. Ill turn DEP on and probably leave it at that.

    I have to transfer some word documents, install some RAM, and configure BIOS for fast boot and it will be all set.
     
  14. mmatt

    mmatt Registered Member

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    On my Samsung NC10 I use DWPF. I'm wondering what other security programs should I use.
     
  15. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Apologies Terry. I had a momentary flatulence of the brain. A senior moment. :p

    I meant to say Macrium Reflect.

    Prevx-free, Op-free, Macrium-free -- 99.9% bullet-proof.
     
  16. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi Bellgamin

    Thanks for the reply, you had me wondering. I even downloaded the Returnil manual to check because what you suggested, if it were possible would be attractive to me.

    Terry
     
  17. Matthijs5nl

    Matthijs5nl Guest

    Perfect! Do not install something next to that, no need for and only will make it slow.
     
  18. Technic

    Technic Registered Member

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    I am using Samsung NC10 for my travelling needs.

    Avast Free/Pro is more than enough for me. Remember backup data too. :)

    EDIT:

    I wouldn't trust any cloud based AV unless you are online all the time (with speedy and stable connection...)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  19. mmatt

    mmatt Registered Member

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    Ok, I will think about it.
     
  20. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    If Im not online I cant download an infection and if thats the case every thing on the PC has already been scanned. Explain to me how I could get infected in the PC is cleaned and I dont have access to download malicious files?

    I may add GFI Backup to backup her school work to my external.
     
  21. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    You noted earlier...
    USB thumb drive from a classmate exchanging notes/project work/etc. You have a much better sense of whether or not that's a germane scenario, and it may not be.

    Blue
     
  22. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    That wont happen. Her course work is online. We just had a baby and shes recovering so she took online classes rather than at the campus. Im sure after she gets back into the swing of things course work will be emailed between the students and thats a moot point since she has to be online to receive the email.
     
  23. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I don't think it's germane. Italian maybe, or french, but not germane.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    But seriously...

    Malware Bytes MBAM-PRO's IP-Blocking is another good option.

    Many software companies offer free versions that lack some features present in their NON-free versions. Examples include but are not limited to Avira, Avast, & Outpost. I assume the free versions are to demonstrate a good level of utility & quality that will encourage the user to want to buy the full-featured NON-free version. Business is business -- otherwise: why buy the cow when they are giving away all the milk?

    The Prevx freebie is a superb watchdog, having all the *important* power of the paid version except for cleaning. When the freebie is used with an imager, it is a very strong set-up IMO. Besides, I do not have confidence in the ability of ANY program to remove ALL traces of malware that happens to infect my computer (heavens forbid).

    The absolutely BEST clean-up is an uninfected image. :thumb:
     
  24. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I think I may toss Avast on instead of Panda. Panda doesnt offer the customization that I would prefer and it doesnt offer options to eradicate "infections". God forbid an "infection" was a needed file and an FP at that.
     
  25. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    I was going to look @ Outpost free on my Win 7 netbook and it wouldn't install. Win 7 not supported! :(
     
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