Your mother's PC

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by msingle, Jan 28, 2003.

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  1. msingle

    msingle Registered Member

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    Hi,

    *I posted this at another forum but this one seems to get a lot more "action" than the other so I posted here as well.*

    Hypothetical situation:

    Your mother just bought a PC for chatting, email, and checking out cooking and crafts sites amongst other things. She's also thought about learning how to auction things off at Ebay to make a little extra money.

    She knows how to turn it on and understands the very basics of getting around Windows and her software.

    You want to help her protect herself from all the threats out on the net today and want to educate her on basic security. She agrees to listen and to let you install some software under these circumstances: you can't install more than 5 programs, they must be completely free, must be easy to learn and use, and must not use too many computer resources so they don't mess up her surfing and chatting and other web activities.

    What would you recommend to your mother and why?

    Same exact scenario as above but she has agreed to spend no more than $100 total on these 5 programs and that $100 should protect her for an entire year with updates, etc.

    In this second scenario, what would you recommmend to your mother and why?

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    OK. I´ll take challenge nr. one because I recently did that for someone. I used more then five programs though, but I´ll try to use the most important ones.
    Remember: just my personal preferences and some tweaking will have to be done to get the security level up a bit more.
    1. Avast
    2. Sygate PF
    3. Spybot S&D
    4. Spywareblaster
    5. SpywareGuard

    Why? Because of the demands "your mother" made.
    Ease of use and freeware being the most important ones.
    As you can tell the emphasis is on spyware, this is because she will be surfing in search of.... whatever. Spyware is the biggest threat in that scenario.
    I hope more will take this challenge. It will be interesting to see what others come up with.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  3. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Your mother would need security protection more than privacy protection (yes, there's a difference!)....so here's my stab at it:

    1. AV running resident
    2. AT running resident
    3. SpywareBlaster
    4. SpyBot S&D
    5. Personal Firewall
    5. IE-spyad if using Internet Explorer

    All pre-configured with little to no user intervention. If mom is close by - you can stop by now and then to grab updates for her.

    Good luck!

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  4. msingle

    msingle Registered Member

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    Of course this isn't for my mother or your mother but I don't want to recommend things to people that I don't feel comfortable with and applying the "mother" comparison helps sometimes to make good recommendations.

    Luv2BSecure you didn't mention which AV or AT or firewall you would recommend in this situation. Care to share?

    Pieter_Arntz can I ask why you chose Avast over AVG and Sygate free over ZA free?

    Thanks for your responses.
     
  5. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    In both cases, because I do not like to recommend anything I haven't tried myself. The choices at the time were made based on test-results and a lot of reading on forums (focused on ease of use).
    Indeed the final candidates were the ones you mentioned.
    I would not try and stop anyone from choosing AVG or ZA.
    As long as it's protecting you properly everyone should use what they like best.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  6. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    I used Avast for a while and have used AVG for some time; I have to say I recommend AVG above Avast as Avast had a lot more false positives including pointing out the virus signatures my Bitdefender for ICQ has in it. AVG also updates quite frequently and if my memory serves me correctly it's more often than Avast.

    OK so the list for me would be
    1)AVG
    2)Sygate (because I use it and ZA had compatability problems for me; also horror stories about uninstalling ZA without being aware of special instructions)
    3) *insert AT here* but to be honest I'm lacking in this area now as I use TrojanCheck which is far outdated...
    4)IESPYAD is using IE like meeeee
    5)Spybot S&D
    6)Proxomitron

    I'm just gonna hafta talk mom into letting me put 6 on there. I know Proxo has that learning curve but to be honest I've simply installed it and left it at default and it makes me pretty happy. One day I'll work on it some.

    now 7) When mom starts having trouble with spam b/c those silly friends of hers send those online greetins cards then I will talk her into letting me install Mailwasher!

    OK I cheated but my mommy will listen to my advice 100% when it comes to the puter ;-)

    *edited - to add the fact that my Avast experience was 32 not the new version (4) they have out; and after my initial post I saw a thread on this board where they have openedtheir own forum; Avast may well be a better choice than AVG now! I can't make that judgement but thought in all fairness I should add this to my post.*
     
  7. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Hi MSingle!

    Your question was:
    I answered that portion of your question which didn't necessarily ask for names of the products. I didn't list an AV or an AT because some are better in one area where the other is better in another. Ease of use comes into consideration. I just didn't offer a particular product. You also said, "Thanks for any input." Listing what KIND of protection rather than name particular products was, I thought, input that might help. Hypotheticals are very hard when you're talking about this stuff. What is good for one, is not so good for another. I didn't even know what platform you are running - and that's important.

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  8. controler

    controler Guest

    The Beta of AVAST 4.0 I tried was for XP only. I liked it.
    I won't recomend any certian firewall except that one is a must.
    If you are on DSL or Cable, please use a good router if your ISP hasn't allready provided one.
    Spybot is a great choice.
    There are many good AV's out there now. I actualy recomend using more than one and only leaving one resident (scanning in the background)
    Gladiator is a nice upcomming AV. AVG is a good free one too.
    I have to say I don't understand why so many people like to protect their mother with all the free programs they can get their hands on.
    The plan truth of the matter is, You can't be as safe with the free software as you can the purchased versions.
     
  9. Tassie_Devils

    Tassie_Devils Global Moderator

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    OK, I'll have a stab at it.

    AV: AVG [free, tried it, very easy to operate, have set it up on friends' systems as they refuse to pay for AV. I personally use another with GAV as back-up]

    AT: TDS [$49.95] I use it exclusively, can't comment on others never tried.

    AW: Wormguard [$30 I think] Reason I put this in is simply the vast majority of nasties appears to be worms. Also no need to "update" until you get the NEW Version 4.0 which will be FREE after paying for v3.0. Works in background. Check out at: http://wormguard.diamondcs.com.au/

    Also with above WG, get Script Defender, you simply install, put in list of scripts you do not want to run and "set" it. Very easy FREE. This is a great back-up to WG.

    FW: Kerio FREE[I really liked Sygate, but it conflicted badly with my AV. ZA just could not work for me properly]

    General malware tools: FREE

    BrowserHijack Blaster
    SpywareBlaster
    SpywareGuard
    MRUBlaster
    Spybot S&D
    AwAware when FREE version released

    You will get out of that for $100 plus have heaps of nice freeware tools.

    Cheers.
     
  10. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Controler had a VERY, VERY good point. If on DSL or cable I agree a router is a must. Most people use them to simply network the house and share the Internet connection. But, even if yours is the only computer in the house, a router is a must to work behind. I have taken all software firewalls off before and run all the port tests - stealth/closed. A perfect "personal router" would be the Linksys BEFSR41 EtherFast Cable/DSL 4-port Router. I saw it on sale the other day for $43.95 and a used one can go for $20 on eBay. A VERY good investment - good thinking Controler!

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  11. solarpowered candle

    solarpowered candle Registered Member

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    I would definitely add mailwasher to my mums pc.
    But if I had $100 to spend and wanted to keep my system safe and freakquented chat and MSN rooms and such and only the occassional sites, which is what I do anyways , I would invest in a excellent combined antitrojan- virus-malware with KAV3.5 (which is what I now have done)and keep the settings as the default download, and one real lite firewall in Look@stop 2.04 and set it up on enharnced ruleset. Then add javacools Spyware blaster and spywareGaurd (as spyware will be one of the things most incountered possibly, in chat and communities, apart from the usual hackers in those places) and Spybot search @destroy, I have taken off my MSN messenger and have now Trillion , which is spyware free and a great programme with access to MSN- yahoo -- ICQ- IRC
    I know many say that KAV is resource hungry , but I recently have brought a second hand dell with 98SE and only 128 rams and running it is not at all a problem.
    These are my choices for cruisin chat and community and the odd sites

    Look@Stop $39
    KAV 3.5 $49

    Spybot search and destroy
    spyware blaster
    spyware gaurd
    Trillion
    Mailwasher

    and it goes with out saying adjusting ones settings high enough , but not too high so that one cannot get into those sites and places.
    But , these may never wiork well on another system anyways - but as I spend a lot of time in those sort of places that you spoke of (apart from when Im not lurkin around here listenig to it all go down ) they work for me - so what the hell , my tuppence worth :)
     
  12. msingle

    msingle Registered Member

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    Hi luv2bsecure. You're absolutely right and you did answer the question as asked and it's appreciated. I know that hypotheticals are hard to answer because there are a lot of issues that may change the recommendation.

    Again, thanks. When I come up with hypothetical questions in the future I'll try and make myself more clear. :)
     
  13. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    Free:

    AVAST! 4 (resident)
    AVG or f-prot (on-demand)
    ZA+
    ScriptDefender
    AdAware 6 (I'm hedging here, but it looks promising)

    100 Bucks

    AVAST! 4 Pro
    BOClean
    ZA+
    ScriptDefender (so easy, and ingenious)
    AdAware 6
     
  14. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    DOH!
    I had f-prot on the brain yesterday--we were installing it here on a Linux box. f-prot isn't free unless you use DOS or Linux.
    ZA+ isn't free either. Try ZA (free version)

    I'll go back to sleep now...
     
  15. controler

    controler Guest

    Thank you for the compliment luv2bsecure
    At the lake I am using a linksys on my wireless network but here in the big city
    I am on DSL and I really really love this new actiontec gateway.
    I made a post a while back with some good info on it.
    Has the Chat, netmeeting blocking abilities. I am currently not using it's wireless cababilities. I plan on using the wireless soon though. The gateway boasts 128 bit encryption on data sent and received inside the LAN
    I have it set on high security without any problems at all.
    The Actiontec 1520 is a wireless ready device that can be upgraded to support wireless networking by simply inserting an Actiontec provided PC Card into the Actiontec Wireless-Ready DSL Gateway. All devices on the LAN you want to connect via wireless will need a wireless 802.11b adapter.
     
  16. Mike_Healan

    Mike_Healan Registered Member

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    I've done this for my mother.
    I installed ZoneAlarm (free) and surfed with it for a few days so I could get some rules built up.
    I installed Proxomitron with a very unobstrusive set of filters going. Basically, all it does it stop pops and javascript hijack attempts.
    AVG for anti-virus.
    I've run SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard on it, and about once a month I go over and update them, as well as run Spybot on it. So far, I've discovered Savenow and Gator on it. Since SWGuard and SWBlaster, no spyware.
    I can't do anything about her spam problem. She uses yahoo mail and she tends to give out the address too often.
     
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