What do you think is the single most important step in securing a PC?

Discussion in 'polls' started by Dogbiscuit, Jan 14, 2009.

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What do you think is the single most important thing you can do to secure a PC?

Poll closed Apr 15, 2009.
  1. Keep software updated at all times

    21 vote(s)
    16.0%
  2. Run as a restricted user

    10 vote(s)
    7.6%
  3. Use a firewall

    7 vote(s)
    5.3%
  4. Use an alternative browser

    3 vote(s)
    2.3%
  5. Use a hardware firewall/router

    10 vote(s)
    7.6%
  6. Use anti-virus and/or anti-spyware, anti-trojan

    13 vote(s)
    9.9%
  7. Use an alternative OS (Linux, etc.)

    5 vote(s)
    3.8%
  8. Use anti-malware software (HIPS, virualization, etc.)

    14 vote(s)
    10.7%
  9. Use backup/disk imaging software

    20 vote(s)
    15.3%
  10. Download only from known legitmate sites

    2 vote(s)
    1.5%
  11. Don't open unknown emails

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  12. Don't visit dangerous sites/surf safely

    10 vote(s)
    7.6%
  13. Other

    15 vote(s)
    11.5%
  1. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    Please explain why you chose one over the others.

    Note: (anti-malware software means: SRP, anti-executables, HIPS, virtualization, etc.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  2. Spiral123

    Spiral123 Registered Member

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    Actually I think Keeping OS and applications patched and restricting privileges are both the most important, and backing up is also just as important for security as well as for other reasons as well.
     
  3. Dark_Hanzo

    Dark_Hanzo Registered Member

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    Make sure your PC is off all the time :D.

    Jokes aside, since windows OS is targeted by almost every black hat on the planet, using another OS will probably keep you out of troubles :) .
     
  4. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

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    I think the most important is a updated OS and applications on hand.IMO a machine missing critical updates leaves a backdoor wide open to an attack.No matter what security is protecting the front door whats stopping the exploits entering the back door.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  5. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    The key word is secure so... keeping any and all software updated at all times is the single most important step anyone can take. The second step is using them!
     
  6. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

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    The first level of security is always physical security.

    Once the computer is physically secure, you can begin looking at the ways it can be accessed without touching it, such as through a network or through applications. Only then should one be looking at routers, firewalls, passwords, and other software.
     
  7. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

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    I voted for Other, and that would have to be education. You have to educate yourself... whether it is to select the proper software, to make the right surfing choices, to configure properly, how to update, how to create back ups, or how to select the right help and whose advice to take if/when you can't handle the learning curves. It's got to be education.
     
  8. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Not much anything can do if you're running as a restricted user, even if you did get hacked/hijacked/infected and are running out-of-date software. So that's on my most important thing.
     
  9. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    Get behind a hardware NAT box first.

    All the others are important. But say you only have a cable modem, no router. Say you just unboxed a brand new PC, or just installed Windows on your newly built PC. Windows is not up to date with Microsoft updates, your antivirus is not up to date yet, or..if you use a software firewall..it's not up to date yet.

    Plug a computer without updates directly into your cable modem..sitting on a public IP address. Your PC is, within a minute, subject to an infection from worms out there 'n other bad stuff. You're trying to get your updates downloaded to secure it..but..hey, within a minute, you could catch something that exploits a vulnerability from your non-updated OS.

    VERSUS

    Plus your PC behind a little old home broadband router...safely hiding behind NAT. You could take a PC with virgin Windows XP with no service packs yet...and you can take your time downloading/installing your Microsoft updates, antivirus updates, software firewall updates if you wish to run one. That PC can sit there running for days...weeks...and it's safe...unless you go do stupid things like open e-mail attachments, surf bad sites, download p2p warez stuff, etc.

    I never...ever...build computers without having them safely behind NAT.
     
  10. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    I voted Other for the same reason. Education is the most important.
     
  11. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

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    Imaging obviously.
     
  12. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    Blasters worm farm
    I voted for Other, Linux "is the single most important step in securing a PC"
     
  13. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    :thumb:
     
  14. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I can't look at that list and pick out one item that's more important than any other. Each of those items should be addressed in the security policy that governs how that PC is used. My choice is "Other", which is the forming and implementing a security policy that fits your particular needs. The software, security apps, even the OS are chosen based on that policy. Some items like system backups are universal for any setup. How everything fits together is more important than any of the individual pieces.
     
  15. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    1. Put it behind a router with NAT.
    2. Patch everything.
     
  16. HURST

    HURST Registered Member

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    Just USE YOUR BRAIN.

    I mean it. Understand computers. Understand malware. Understand malware vectors. Act accordingly.

    That's it.
     
  17. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    I second that. Once the people realize, that they can not rely just on the security aplications, they are on the good way to have their PC secured.
     
  18. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    That makes sense for XP before SP1 or even SP2. But would you give the same advice for systems running Vista SP1, or even XP SP3 now that WF is on by default and those earlier critical vulnerabilities in the services exposed to the internet are patched?
     
  19. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    The worst thing that can happen to a hard drive is to fail due to age, heat, all sorts of environmental parameters, and apart from expensive forensic analysis the only rational solution is restoring the OS with an image stored elsewhere.

    To protect data from being stolen, I think a good firewall and a virtualizer/sandbox properly used can be quite effective.
     
  20. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Other: Common Sense!
     
  21. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    I mandate it for myself when building systems for others and myself...yes newer OS's slipstreamed with most recent service packs and Vista and W7 are more secure...but who knows if a new exploit is spreading around <today>...exploits come out and spread all the time. Building and keeping a rig behind a little NAT box..it's 100% safe from those self spreading exploits. There is simply zero to worry about.
     
  22. emperordarius

    emperordarius Registered Member

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    Who cares
    Using an alternative OS: Mac/Linux.
     
  23. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

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    Everything u mentioned comes under education.:doubt:
     
  24. suliman

    suliman Registered Member

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    I chose "run as restricted user" for obvius reasons. Why in the lords name do anyone want to give full access to their computer to the malware?
     
  25. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Am afraid I'll have to be boring, and joint the "other" for Education, without it, you're not even going to know to look at many of the options listed above. I know many people who have never heard of a sandbox, a router is just a thing that sends the internet wirelessly around the house etc. A little bit of education dramatically will reduce most average folks' exposure to threats on the net.
     
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