What security do I need

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by deny, Jan 3, 2006.

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  1. deny

    deny Guest

    Hi all and I want to thank you in advance for any help you can give.

    I have two computers one has and OS of Win98SE (I have to keep that OS due to an application that does not have drivers for XP) nd Win XP home).

    On the Win SE Using a Linksys router, 2.4 GHz I have hard wired to this comp
    Norton Anti virus
    Zone Alarm
    SpyBlaster (3.5.1)
    and a program called Start up Cop...which says I have 21 programs on start up of which 13 are running.
    Adware 6.181 personal which says I have 22 running processes.
    WinPatrol

    I think I may have some background programs running and want to check if that is true...any ways to do this??

    On the XP (this is a wireless connection and I have encryption enabled on the router) I have
    Norton Anti Virus
    Zone Alarm

    What are your recommendations for security.
    I am a grad student on very limited funds so if there are free ware solutions that would be great but am interested in information about any programs I any need on both systems.

    Again thanks for any help you can give.
    deny
     
  2. Chistine

    Chistine Registered Member

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    Well you have a firewall and antivirus which is good!

    Maybe you should get some anti spy/mal/adware scanner though. :)

    I'd say get: (Google for these)
    Spybot - Search & Destroy
    adaware SE
    spy sweeper (Get the free trial).

    As for the processes thingy, try this website, it looks at your pc then compares whats running with user-submitted reviews of that process to identify if its good or bad or something naughty... very clever lil thing :)
    http://www.hijackthis.de/en

    edit... just saw you already have spyware scanners, great! \o/ im sooo dizzy today :D
     
  3. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    A comment by the author of Hijack This here.
     
  4. edge79

    edge79 Guest

    When I went to hijackthis.de I got all kinds of false positives and what not. I wouldn't recommend relying on any results you get from them. Otherwise you can try it out safely, just for fun. :)
     
  5. Brinn

    Brinn Registered Member

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    You may want to look into some sort of process control like ProcessGuard (the free version) or AntiHook (free).

    There are a couple of free anti-trojan scanners out there, ewido and a-squared.

    I also have several usage history cleaners, CleanCache, MRUBlaster, CCleaner and a general deletion app, Eraser5.7. All of these are free.

    I'm not a grad student or on a limited budget. I'm just cheap. :D
     
  6. deny

    deny Guest

    Christine
    Thanks for you reply I went to th site you gave a link too and it said...
    " It seems that you don't use an anti-virus scanner or your scanner is not active. Only an anti-virus scanner can protect you against new viruses. You can look here for a good anti-virus scanner.
    No active firewall was found on your system or the firewall you use is unknown to us. If you don´t use a firewall you should download and install one or activate windows xp´s own one. In case you got questions or you want us to add the firewall you use to our database, contact us at our forum www.hijackthis.de/forum"

    Whcih makes no sense as I have a firewll (and I would think it is fairly common-zone alarm-which is working and norton antivirus-that is a virus scanner isn't it?).

    I went to the site a clicked on analyze. I assume this to be the right procedure.

    ronjor and edge 79 thank you both for your responses and may be the above is what you are talking about.

    Brinn I am searching for the programs you recommended.

    Again thanks so much and if you have any other comments or suggestions they are greatly appreciated.
    deny
     
  7. lookhere

    lookhere Guest

  8. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    What a person *needs* to be secure is generally unique to each person and their environment. To some your current setup would be more than adequate, others would replace it immediatly. My questions would be; are you finding your system infected with the way it is now? Is there any particular kind of threat you are looking to protect against, or what led you to conclude that you need more security? And do you consider yourself a technical user willing to invest some time into your security, or are you looking more for something you can "set and forget", that you don't have to pay much attention to?

    One thing you can do that's recommended for just about everyone, if you don't already, is to use an alternative browser and email. Firefox and Opera are both free, both offer free email programs as well (although the one for Firefox, called Thunderbird, is a separate download), and offer some great additional features. You should also set your email to view in plain text only, if possible.
     
  9. deny

    deny Guest

    lookhere
    Thanks for that thread link...I am investigating.

    Notok
    Thanks for the reply. Like many I am a beginner (or not real advanced)in some aspects (security, routers, ect) but above a beginner in certain softwares and some aspects of the computer.

    I am looking at those browsers...I don't know much about them. I have heard of Firefox. If I use that do I delete explorer? Is everything compatible?

    "Is there any particular kind of threat you are looking to protect against, or what led you to conclude that you need more security?"
    The main fact was that adware says I have more programs running (does not state what programs they are) than say start up cop which shows less.
    I have run different anti virus programs and they have conflicting reports of infection. I am deleting all of the reported infections from any of these sources. I really like that Kaspersky anti virus...they have an online scanner and it found some things that Norton did not (what id up with that?).

    I really appreciate all of you guys help
    deny
     
  10. Tassie_Devils

    Tassie_Devils Global Moderator

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    Firefox is completely separate from IE. NO, you do NOT try to delete IE. You simply install and use FF [upon install it may ask if you want it to be your primary browser, just say no]

    you still need IE to do updates from MS.

    Yes, KAV is an excellent AV/AT/malware program. I and a lot of others use it. But each person has their own opinions on that. ;) there are some very good others out there.

    TAS
     
  11. Be careful , there's a big difference between windows explorer and internet explorer (the browser). In any case as already mentioned I dont reocmmend you remove either. You can run equally well with a dozen browsers even.

    The two freeware ones you should try are opera and firefox. I recommend firefox if you are truly novice on the grounds that out of the box firefox works closer to IE then opera, though opera fans will no doubt disagree :)

    By "adware" you actually mean lavasoft's Adaware right? And you are using the pro version with adwatch?

    the difference shown between the two is not necessarily a problem since startupop and ad-aware might not look at the same startup sections. My guess is startupcop being older probably looks at less areas.

    What is important though is that you look at the items displayed, and ensure you recognise them. If you don't, use google to help you.

    Startup lists like here and here might help. Knowing your system...line first before adding additional security.
     
  12. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Ok, so basicalliy the feeling is that Norton isn't cutting it for you, that's fine. It also sounds like you want something relatively easy to use. Here's a few things that come immediately to mind:

    1. Definitely start with a different browser. I agree with DA that Firefox is probably a little easier to figure out from the start, although Opera has more options without installing additional extensions. I like and use both, Opera (with a minimum of customization) for work and Firefox (with tons of extensions, which are like plugins) for everything else, if that says anything :)
    2. You could replace Norton with something that you're more comfortable with. Not free, but may be cheaper in the longrun (depending). Try a few out and see what suits you. You already know about Kaspersky which is a very good one, my personal favorite is NOD32. Those are the two main ones you'll see discussed around here, but there are others as well.
    3. Use WWDC, but pay attention to the prompts. If you share files or a printer across a network then you'll want to leave port 135 alone. I would also use Harden-It, which secures the way your computer can communicate across a network (which the internet is). I have never had a problem with the default settings, so it's pretty much safe to click "next" on everything. Secure-It (on the same site as Harden-It) is a good one as well, but be aware that it may make Internet Explorer display some webpages incorrectly.
    4. Use an ad blocker. There are plenty of free ones out there that are good. Firefox has an extension called AdBlock. Once you have Firefox installed you can go to the page and click the "Install Now" link, and it will install it for you right from the webpage. The AdBlock Filterset.G Updater is a good supplement to that, it auto-updates your list of things to block. You can also use something like WebWasher, or if you're up for something a little more configurable, but complex, then Proxomitron is great, especially with Kye-U's filters (filters out known exploits that are used to initiate automatic downloading of malware without your knowing). Kye-U posts updates to his filterset here at Wilders in the "Other security issues" forum, check there for the link to the latest version. These are all free.
    5. Not free, but cheap, is an anti-trojan scanner to supplement your antivirus. Ewido and BOClean are both very good, and both catch a fairly broad range of malware. I use Ewido and NOD32 on my machine, and they make a very good combination. I feel that these programs are very much worth the price. Ewido has a free version, but it only scans on-demand, and doesn't have realtime protection like your AV does. The paid version does. (What you download is a trial for the full version which is fully functional for 14 days, after that it turns off the paid options and leaves you with the free version.)
    6. A free option that's available is VMWare Player with the browser appliance virtual machine. VMWare is a program that creates a virtual computer environment in a window inside your computer. The browser appliance is a disk image of a Linux Live-CD, if you're familiar with those. It literally boots up Linux in a window on your desktop. It has your basic internet software ready to go, but is impervious to malware for Windows. You would just use this to surf the internet, and you wouldn't have to worry about any spyware installing behind your back because it can't. This isn't hard to use, but it's not something everyone would like. It is, however, free. If you download something that you want to keep, you can easily drag it from the virtual desktop to your My Documents folder, or wherever you want, so you do still have to be careful about what you download.

    Since you've already got WinPatrol and SpywareBlaster, it sounds like you're fine for something that guards the areas of your system that malware would affect. If you want to switch from WinPatrol to something else, then we can most certainly recommend some programs - free or not, but you do already have something there so there's no reason to change unless you want to. Unfortunately there's no real good scanners that I can recommend that are free. The closest I could say is Prevx1 R, which is something of a hybrid between WinPatrol and an anti-trojan/spyware scanner. A little bit of both, but not really either. There's some threads around here for more info on that. Just be aware that the free version is their beta version. Beta software is the testing version for the next release, so you are more likely to encounter bugs with it than with the paid version, which should be reported to the developers so that they can be fixed. Their beta has always been pretty much fine for me, but you should be aware of that before trying it.

    Those are the easy programs that come to mind. If you are willing to invest some time into learning how your system works, you can enjoy some greater protection offered by some of the more difficult apps. Between my suggestions and the others made in this thread you should have a good start. Stick around for a while and you'll find many good programs to choose from. You can also check out the "Apps & Links" link in my signature for a page of links to many programs and resources. Since you're on a budget, I would recommend checking out the Links section for some places to get some good cheap and/or free stuff :)
     
  13. deny

    deny Guest

    Tassie Devil, deviladvocate,
    Thanks for your replies...this is really a VERY NICE site with VERY NICE helpful people...how refreshing...

    Notok

    I looked at WWDC and Harden-It and it seems they don't support Win 98 SE - I have to have that system on this machine due to one of my apps is not supported any more with any newer operating system.

    I am checking out everything you all have said and will probably be downloading Firefox (and probably Opera-I can always down load it and not install it right away).

    Again thanks for all you help and I am going to learn as much as possible with the time available.
    deny
     
  14. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Good stuff, definitely try both browsers :) One night that you have free you should spend some time going through the extensions available for Firefox (click Tools > Extensions, then click the link in the bottom right hand corner of that box that says "Get more extensions"), there's a LOT of really cool stuff available, and it can be a lot of fun going through them and trying different ones out. :)

    I didn't catch that you were using Win98, unfortunately that takes Prevx1 and Ewido out of the picture. BOClean works on 98, however. It doesn't have a trial, but it does have a money back guarantee and you can get it cheap at newegg.com.. there's also no yearly update fees, just the initial purchase, and you'll get all future updates (unless they change their policy later on).
     
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