Simple Setup for my Sister?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Luxeon, Mar 22, 2009.

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  1. Luxeon

    Luxeon Registered Member

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    My sister purchased a nice laptop with Vista 32bit. I asked about her security setup, and she knew she needed an antivirus...and that was about it.

    She had a Norton trial which expired, so she downloaded AVG, but had trouble installing it...so she has no antivirus!

    I checked her computer: Defender was enabled, but Spynet was not. It was NOT up-to-date! I checked, and she had Microsoft's automatic updates disabled. She said that she took the computer to "Firedog" or whatever, and they stated that she should manually update to ensure that the update won't cause any harm. Oh, boy.

    I immediately enabled auto updates and a bunch of patches streamed in for Defender and her OS.

    Her firewall is on, and she mostly uses Firefox.
    I was going to troubleshoot the AVG issue but had to get home. Also, I forgot what setting is best for Defender's Spynet (advanced membership?).

    So...What would be a simple setup for her? She isn't a total moron, but babysitting her security applications isn't for her, so my home setup wouldn't be best.
    I think I know the answer to my question, but prefer to get some more knowledgeable opinions first.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I would put Avira free v9 on for her and disable Defender. It requires no extra maintenance or attention and should do fine. And it's the best of the free AVs by far.
     
  3. PROROOTECT

    PROROOTECT Registered Member

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    Of course, Kerodo. And look for my signature, Luxeon ...:-*


    PROROOTECT
     
  4. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    I would teach her what UAC is about and when to accept and not. It is not rocket science so even the less knowledgeable can grasp it if tutored right. That goes a long way. A firewall that monitors outgoing connections is never wrong. Vista Firewall Control from Sphinx Software has a free-ware version that doesn't bother much after the initial questions for the frequently used apps. And of course a crash course on when to accept or deny outgoing connections
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    What's wrong with manual updates? As to having a firewall and firefox, that's pretty much enough. No need to cut your veins over malware hysteria. Just use a bit of common sense, avoiding downloading anything and everything, and you should be quite all right. If she really must, AVG can do the job fine.
    Mrk
     
  6. RAD

    RAD Registered Member

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    Norton/Symantec is notorious for leaving behind traces of istself all over you system after "uninstall". That is the main reason I won't use any otheir products. But my computer came with it, just like your sister's. Then I switched to AVG Free.
    Use the registry editor and search through the registry deleting all references to those words. The check the Programs Files folder and delete any folder it left behind.

    Reboot and retry installing AVG.

    I do not leave my windows update on auto. There have been times when the updates are flawed and cause crashes. I just remember to check frequently. Then, if it causes a crash, at least I know why. If you just come home to a dead computer it is hard to establish exactly why it died.
     
  7. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    The best update setting is download but notify IMO.
    Change her account to limited user and have another account which is the only admin account.
    Then just add a decent AV and make sure she is careful in what she downloads.
    I would also reccomend installing superantispyware and running say a weekly or monthly scan with it and she should be fine.

    There is no need to go overboard.
    uninstall avg then reboot.
    run the symantec removal tool and reboot.
    symantec norton removal tool

    now you should be able to install a decent av no problems.

    For free av I reccomend avast but to each of his/her's own.
     
  8. Luxeon

    Luxeon Registered Member

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    Lodore, that strategy looks promising.

    Should I continue with Defender for real-time protection and enable Spynet (or whatever it is called)?

    So it looks like:

    1. Auto update, but notify.
    2. LUA.
    3. Superantispyware as an as-needed scanner (?)
    4. Defender (?)
    5. Windows Firewall (though, I could tweak it to prevent outgoing stuff).
    6. Remove AVG, use the Norton removal tool, and install whatever AV is desired (I have also heard great things about Avast!. She chose AVG because she uses it at work. Probably a good program.)

    7. and of course, practice safe computing (she tends to download stuff people send via e-mail--like pictures, movies, etc. I have to warn her to be careful with that stuff).

    I forgot: teach her about user access control (UAC).
     
  9. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    hello,
    Leave windows defender on but leave spynet off.
    Spynet in advanced mode can be quite nagging when installing stuff. It comes up with a window saying drivers etc have been installed and do you want to allow them.
    btw windows defender gets def updates roughly once a week. Sometimes multiple times a week via windows update.

    the reason I reccomend superantispyware as an on demand scanner is because I know how great the detection and removal is. so may as well use it.
    hope that helps.

    edit also use Secunia Personal Software Inspector

    I always forget to add that since it is bultin to kaspersky 2009 which I use.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  10. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    I have relatives who also receive and view similar stuff. My advice to them about a "set it and forget it" security configuration in Vista is:
    • Keep Automatic Updates on and make sure all software (including browser plugins) is updated automatically (this protects against exploits of known vulnerabilities, which is the overwhelming majority of malware sent via remote links in email, and also through drive-by downloads). If needed, something like UpdateStar can help automate updating non-Microsoft applications.
    • Use a firewall/router (even the simple Windows Firewall will protect a system from unknown or zero-day network-based attacks)
    • Run as a standard user (this protects the OS and other users on the system from unknown and zero-day exploits of vulnerabilities in browsers and browser plugins, as well as minimizing any damage done by malware accidentally downloaded and executed in the user account)
    • Use an AV or something like Norton 360 (this will protect the standard user account from malware, as much as possible for a set it and forget it approach; Norton 360 also does routine system maintenance, such as disk cleanup, defragment, and backup automatically for the user)
    • Consider an alternative browser as an extra layer of security from drive-bys for the user account (the attack surface is reduced compared to IE, and there is much less malware targeted at alternative browsers - though this won't protect you from vulnerabilities in the plugins that are exploited, and, to be fair, Vista by default makes breaking through IE more difficult than XP due to features like Protected Mode)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2009
  11. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    lodore, that's what I thought too, until I discovered this Install the latest Windows Defender definition updates page, in our own Update Alerts section of Wilders, and to my surprise, WD is updated 2 to 3 times a day!

    Why the Windows Update Yellow Shield Tray Notification for WD pops only a couple of times a week is beyond comprehension, when WD is regularly updated daily, as seen in the above page. o_O
     
  12. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    Hello JRViejo,
    i relised that also but only sometimes download it manually and update it daily.

    Surely if microsoft released the updates to windows update at least once a day users would be better protected?
    Surely if windows defender blocked most of the nasty malware ITW then people would like microsoft quite alot more?
     
  13. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Of course, but now we are trying to determine MS's mindset in maintaining WD as a second rate product, and that's a game we can not win. ;)
     
  14. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    I'm in the same situation as the OP. My sis's 2 month Norton Internet Security trial is over this week. I already set her up as a limited user before she touched the computer and I'm going to do the same things lodore suggested. I have to keep things simple for her machine and Avast, Windows Defender and Windows firewall are easy to use. I also like the Avast web shield that she needs. Later when Microsoft introduces it's free suite, I may change things depending on reviews.
     
  15. Luxeon

    Luxeon Registered Member

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    Wow, that is interesting.
    I wonder--can we set up Defender to update daily?
    Also...if Defender is set up to run a quick scan daily, does it check for updates first? I am not on a computer with Defender at this time, so I can't check.

    Thanks for all of the assistance. I feel more confident in getting her set up with a safer system.
    I'm also going to get her a backup HD and set up a simplified system for doing backups. I might look for assistance in that realm, as you folks have never steered me wrong.
     
  16. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    If you want a low-priced paid program that she'll be able to use, install prevx edge. www.prevx.com (the site is undergoing maintenance, but will be up in an hour or so)

    So easy to use, you can install the trial for free to see if your sis likes the program - free version doesn't remove infections, but functions the same as the paid version.

    And support for the program is a few keystrokes away. Some of the best support you'll find if you ever run into any problems. PrevxHelp (Joe) is on here every second of the day, the dude doesn't sleep - he's part human/machine, and he could help you or your sister out whenever needed.

    See this thread: :thumb:
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=225190&page=109
     
  17. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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  18. RAD

    RAD Registered Member

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    Yes. There are check boxes for exactly all those options.
     
  19. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    My son is off at college and is careless about computer maintenance. I don't trust him to monitor status. The best tool I have is teamviewer - I log onto his computer remotely to check status of the antivirus/malware programs, reimage the harddrive, check status of automatic data backup program etc.
    It is free for noncommercial use and works flawlessly. Nothing better than actually taking a look at what is going on.

    No matter how you set your sister up, you might want to consider taking a peek at it from time to time.
     
  20. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    RAD is correct. Yes, you can go to Tools > Options > Automatic scanning and enable Check for updated definitions before scanning. However, sometimes I find that WD says it's current, yet the page I quoted shows a higher definition number available. So I always check it manually before a scan.
     
  21. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    If I was you, I'd find a good price on Norton Internet Security 2009 and have her run it. It's simple to install, provides good protection and she really doesn't have to spend much time learning to use it. When I ran it, it pretty well took care of itself...
     
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