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labcoat

software against viruses etc?

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Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone could give me a good tip on what kind of software I should get to secure my computer against viruses and the like. I mean trojan horses, hackers, spammail and what have you - I guess a normal virus scanner won't do all that.

 

I would pwerfer if it could be dome without installing a gazillion separate programs, but really I just need to know what I can do. :confused:

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antivirus, antispyware, firewall, secure web browser.

 

if you dont continually installl stuff to your computer, then using a limited user account is possibly the most useful anti-malware step you can take, as is avoiding:

 

dodgy porn sites: find a few good ones and stick to them

 

crax: just no. crax are made by stupid hackers. or hackers that take money from other, stupid, hackers to infect your computer. you will, almost without exception, get so many infections that your computer can no longer work, including the infections that just got put on, thus making it a rather futile endeaver on the part of the hackers (hence: stupid). unless you are unlucky enough to find one of the rare crax that is actually a trojan for one, stealthed, bank-detail stealer, in which case your screwed.

 

ameture selebrety sites and song lyrics, for reasons that escape me.

 

 

software (all free):

 

(one and only one) firewall: zone alarm is good.

 

(one and only one) antivirus: avg or avast! are both good

 

antispyware/adware: both spybot and ewido anti malware are good. unfortunately, theres no real decent free antispyware. ewido has a free versin (with no active protection), and spybot has some half-decent active protection. if ewido slows your computer down too much, get ad-aware.

 

web browser that isn't shit: firefox and opera are common choices.

 

like i said: limited account is also good, as is keeping windows updated.

 

btw, theres lots of fake anti-malware programs out there, so follow the links on this page to get the gooduns.

 

http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm#trustworthy

 

apart from windows defender, which is made by a company with a dodgy reputation.

 

and, before any windows fan-boys attack me for that, other anti-malware programs are publically reccomended against for less than microsoft have done. :P

 

leave the active protection on, use a modicum of common sence when your firewall/any anti-spyware programs ask you something (do you want to let teenxxx.exe contact the internet? hell no), and scan with your antivirus and at least one anti-spyware say, once a month (more if your prone to infection, use your computer for online banking lots, etc)

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If you have a router you don't need a firewall.

 

Considering how much work you have to put in it, I would dual an easy version of Linux, Ubuntu. Use windows only for what you need it for and do your casual (or questionable) surfing in linux. You probably are not interested in this, but if you are it's pretty easy.

 

Good tutorial: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6104490811311898236

 

Then again, I'm just a Ubuntu fanboy.

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not entirely true.

 

one way (i.e. hardware) firewalls, as you'd find on a router, only protect you from stuff coming into your computer unsolisitedly (unles you set them up a certain way, which is, tbh, beyond most casual pc users).

 

to circumvent, it's as easy as sneaking something onto someones computer.

 

you visit a dodgy site in IE; it requests some data; this data is allowed thru the firewall 'cos you requested it; the data exploits an IE flaw to install an .exe; this exe requests info from the internet (say, a virus); this info is allowed through the firewall 'cos it's been requested by your computer. you now have a virus. it takes one exploit to essentially invalidate a one-way firewall.

 

software firewalls are two way, making it harder to do the above. you can use a flaw in IE to get onto the pc through the inbound protection, then have to, say, use another flaw in IE in order to get IE to ask for the virus to be downloaded to circumvent the outbound protection, or exploit a flaw in the software firewall to shut it down, or do something else sneaky.

 

it just makes it a bit harder, and most malware exploits unprotected people, so any protection is useful. outbound firewalls are good cos they will catch most stuff, even new, unknown malware (thus beating signature-based anti-viruses/anti-spyware/etc), (hence bad aswell, as they rely upon user choice)

 

not to mention that anyone else on your home network who gets infected can then cross-infect you, as your firewall protects your network from the internet, not you from the other people on your network.

 

as an aside, one of the reasons IE is so bad, is that active x technology makes it a piece of piss to trick IE into requesting data and circumventing the outbound firewall.

 

personally, for home use -- especially if you dont particularly understand the concepts and have to rely on (no offence) no-brainer 'do this, that, and the other' security measures -- i'd advice a software firewall for outbound protection and inbound protection from anyone else on your local network who isn't as good at protecting their computer as you are, and a router firewall because hardware firewalls are generally better than software reguarding inbound protection, and if something kills your software firewall you wont then be completely unprotected.

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you visit a dodgy site in IE; it requests some data; this data is allowed thru the firewall 'cos you requested it; the data exploits an IE flaw to install an .exe; this exe requests info from the internet (say, a virus); this info is allowed through the firewall 'cos it's been requested by your computer. you now have a virus. [b']it takes one exploit to essentially invalidate a one-way firewall[/b]
And by "one-way" he means a hardware firewall, like you find in a router.

 

A hardware router only stops the simplest of attacks. If Bob sends you a virus the router will say "alice hasn't asked for that" and reject it.

 

If however Bob puts his virus on a website and you go to the website then the router will say "alice wants this website, allow it".

 

This is the fundemental flaw in hardware firewalls.

 

Using software firewalls, such as Norton and the popular free Zone Alarm, patches this flaw in your security.

 

As for which programs, this is my list:

 

Firewall (stops hackers):

1) for free Zone Alarm

http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp?dc=12bms&ctry=GB〈=en

2) if you're willing to pay I prefer Norton Personal Firewall

http://www.symantec.com/sabu/nis/npf

 

Anti-virus (does what it says on the tin):

1) Avast (free)

http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

 

Anti-spyware:

1) Ad-Aware SE Personal

http://www.download.com/3000-2144-10045910.html

 

So that's 3 progs, which is as simple as it possibly gets! Unless you get two combined into one!

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