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Secure Yourself
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Psychosematic
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Default Secure Yourself - 12-31-2003, 17:19 | posts: 1,939 | Location: Massachusets, USA

A lot of people neglect security on their computer systems.

It varies in seriousness, but I prefer to be extra safe. You should at LEAST use Anti-Virus and Firewall protection, if nothing else.

For AV I recommend PC-cillin ( www.trendmicro.com ) or AVG Anti-Virus ( www.grisoft.com )

For firewall I recommend Kerio ( www.kerio.com ) or Sygate ( www.sygate.com )

But beyond thins, you should also run weekly or monthly adware/spyware searches using Ad-Aware ( www.****softusa.com ) and/or Spybot ( www.safer-networking.org ). This will eliminate web trackers and other obtrusive applications that piggy-back on other software. It's also a good idea to add some preventative measures as far as adware and spywar are concerned. For that, I suggest Spyware Blaster ( http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html ). This will prevent malicious ActiveX scripts from finding their way onto your system in the first place.

Now you should protect your e-mail. This means password-protecting your Outlook (or whatever) Personal Folder File (.pst). By default, your e-mail, contacts, and basically all your mail settings are stored in one huge file and this file is totally unprotected. Password it and give it at least SOME level of proteciton.

Open Outlook, go to File > Data File Management > Settings > Change Password. You can also set the encryption level here too.

You probably have a lot of internet accounts. They may or may not have the same password, and you probably even forget a few of them. Whatever the case may be, I try to take some time each month to change all my account passwords. This means creating a new password at least 8 characters long, with letters and numbers, prefereably random. I usually create three random passwords and distribute them among my accounts. Say for example I have 9 accounts online. I would use Password #1 on Accounts #1-3, Password #2 on Accounts #4-6, and Password #3 on Accounts #7-9. This way you're secure, and if one password is compromised, you haven't lost all your accounts.

The next step is to get some OS-level protection. Make sure your user account has a password and that no important files are viewable on a LAN. Next, I would use an encryption program such as PGP ( www.pgp.com ) or TrueCrypt ( http://truecrypt.sf.net ). These programs will let you encrypt files or even create an entire encrypted "disk" for you to store files on. I recommend either 256-bit AES or 4096-bit RSA keys, nothing less.

You should also clear out any cached passwords on your system. A quick way to do this is with Can & Abel ( http://www.oxid.it/cain.html ). Install and run Cain and then hit the + icon. Now delete anything that contains personal info, especially passwords.

Last edited by Psychosematic; 02-23-2005 at 14:55.
   
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David
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Default 12-31-2003, 18:57 | posts: 3,402 | Location: Kansas

Yes, Anti-Virus and Firewall programs are essential for today's computers. Here is a list of some FREE Anti-Virus programs for those of you without the bucks for Norton or MacAfee.

AVG AntiVirus Free
http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_index.php

Avast! Home Edition
http://www.avast.com/

AntiVir Personal Edition
http://www.hbedv.com/

Also on the note of passwords. To make them even more secure, use a non-standard character (ie not a letter or number) like ! @ # $, this makes the password significantly harder to crack.

I have stickied this thread. Those of you who have links to other useful free pieces of antivirus and firewall programs feel free to post.


One builder to rule them all.

Last edited by David; 12-31-2003 at 19:00.
   
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Misdirection
 
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Default 01-17-2004, 23:22 | posts: n/a

Can u clarify what PGP does? is it really worth it for me to install it on my computer? Thanks..
   
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BLyarx
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Default 01-25-2004, 04:51 | posts: 2,983

Quote:
Can u clarify what PGP does? is it really worth it for me to install it on my computer? Thanks..
It encrypts your outbound and or inbound email's among other things it's basically uber encryption 2000+ bit to be exact the bad thing is the party you're sending it to has to have it also. It deals with public and private keys also public being anyone can read it and private well I'll let you figure that one out. "Pretty Good Privacy" if anyone is wondering.

Last edited by BLyarx; 06-21-2004 at 16:08.
   
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Beavis
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Default 02-09-2004, 09:49 | posts: 2,032 | Location: Australia

Is the windows XP built-in firewall sufficient enough?

How do I encrypt my outlook.pst file. I tried by right clicking, properties then encrypting it but it said access denied (I have admin rights)...???
   
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BLyarx
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Default 02-10-2004, 14:52 | posts: 2,983

Quote:
Originally posted by Crisis King
Is the windows XP built-in firewall sufficient enough?

How do I encrypt my outlook.pst file. I tried by right clicking, properties then encrypting it but it said access denied (I have admin rights)...???
Here disable your windows firewall and use this firewall it's better .. And you have to download PGP to encrypt your emails its third party software.

Zonealarm:
http://download.zonelabs.com/bin/fre...tup_45_538.exe
PGP:
http://www.pgpi.org/products/pgp/ver...are/winxp/8.0/

And here is a PGP FAQ:
http://www.mccune.cc/PGPpage2.htm
   
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Psychosematic
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Default 03-16-2004, 05:46 | posts: 1,939 | Location: Massachusets, USA

Quote:
Originally posted by Crisis King
Is the windows XP built-in firewall sufficient enough?

How do I encrypt my outlook.pst file. I tried by right clicking, properties then encrypting it but it said access denied (I have admin rights)...???
Open Outlook, go to File > Data File Management > Settings > Change Password

You can also set the encryption level here too.
   
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Psychosematic
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Default 03-16-2004, 05:47 | posts: 1,939 | Location: Massachusets, USA

It's also a good idea to add some preventative measures as far as adware and spyware are concerned. For that, I suggest Spyware Blaster ( http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html ). This will prevent malicious ActiveX scripts from finding their way onto your system in the first place.
   
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manothehour
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Default 04-05-2004, 17:24 | posts: 923 | Location: california wOOT!

i just use the XP firewall. i tried sygate personal firewall and it just locked up my internet connection and idk how to open ports and stuff
   
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Halo 273
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Default 06-26-2004, 01:24 | posts: 625 | Location: London

Originally posted by Crisis King
Is the windows XP built-in firewall sufficient enough?

The windows in built firewall is good but i recommend a good firewall like Zonealarm

The windows firewall only protects information coming in not information going out.
   
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rsjrv99
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Default 07-16-2004, 05:03 | posts: 2,438

Are firewalls really necesary if you already have Norton Systemworks 2003(everything is disabled thats running in the backroudn for games), and Ad-aware? What do firewalls do exactly. I think they block out hackers but i am not perfectly sure.
   
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BLyarx
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Default 07-18-2004, 10:42 | posts: 2,983

It's a wall of code that blocks certain or all ports to the internet. But if you block all ports you will not have access to the internet at all. So a complete blackout, of all ports is not recomended. Although some firewalls are programmed better than others .. Take Black Ice for example it's a pretty Sh***y firewall basically "what, not" to get when it comes to internet security.

And then there's Zonealarm one of the best firewalls around. Also they patch and update their firewall a lot so the support is good. Just go to www.grc.com and you can learn more about internet security. But the basic Windows firewall is sufficient and with SP2 coming out it'll get better.
   
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pimp_gimp
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Default 08-25-2004, 09:15 | posts: 6,570 | Location: Tacoma, Washington

The built in Firewall of my D-Link Router does a pretty fair job of blocking stuff, I rarely get spyware, adware, never have gotten a trojan, blocks virus's awesomely (I didnt get the Sasser or any variant of MyDoom), also I can choose what programs send and recieve data though it.
   
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PinBot
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Default 11-21-2004, 22:15 | posts: 550 | Location: Hrvatska

At the moment, I'm not using any Antivirus software, because I can't seem to find apropriate program. I have used Norton Antivirus an it was resource hog and I hated it!
Can someone recommend any Antivirus that will not work in background and eating my RAM for no reason?
   
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Psychosematic
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Default 11-22-2004, 00:19 | posts: 1,939 | Location: Massachusets, USA

Quote:
Originally posted by PinBot
At the moment, I'm not using any Antivirus software, because I can't seem to find apropriate program. I have used Norton Antivirus an it was resource hog and I hated it!
Can someone recommend any Antivirus that will not work in background and eating my RAM for no reason?
AVG ( www.grisoft.com ) barely uses any resources... great free AV
   
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PinBot
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Default 11-22-2004, 16:36 | posts: 550 | Location: Hrvatska

That's great, it's better because is freeware, thanks Psycho!
   
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dfwny
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Default 01-17-2005, 05:21 | posts: 3,055 | Location: California

I use the zonelabs zonealarm free version on my personal machines, I also load it on systems I'm troubleshooting for viruses and spyware, as it identifies the IP of incoming and outgoing requests. In the case of spyware, it helps you track down the nasty party responsible. Firewalls are kind of a pain when you first install them, but once you get your trusted programs identified, they practically disappear into the background, until you need them!!!!

For IP identification, I use www.dnsstuff.com which has a bunch of online tools you can use to identify Owner, ISP, etc. of a given IP or domain name.
   
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Default 04-20-2005, 01:35 | posts: n/a

My combination is SYGATE 5.5.2710 PRO / ANTIVIR (www.free-av.com).

for spyware i use SPYWARE DOCTOR / Bazooka Spyware Scanner, besides HiJackThis which is excellent.

you can get em all from www.download.com
   
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Kyaner
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Default 04-26-2005, 07:48 | posts: 2,993 | Location: There.... Right there i tell ya...

There seems to be some kind of problem between Sygate and winxp SP2 cause as soon as i installed the SP i couldn't use sygate anymore :/ So i turned to zone alarm.

As for anti-virus, i think panda antivirus is the best out there, but due to the fact that i don't want to spend any money on software i use AVG's free edition.

As for spyware and exploits, between Ad-aware and Spybot S&D my pc is always clean
   
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twtaylor
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Default 05-12-2005, 13:22 | posts: 2,943 | Location: Barrie, ON Canada

I prefer just using my firewall in my router, it blocks everything on the inbound side and have never had any problems. Having a SW firewall and a HW firewall together, slows down your connection. If I need two way communication, I enable the DMZ setting. (useful for online gaming)

I have the SMC7004VBR and it works great and yes I did change the default password.
   
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Darrin
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Default 07-13-2005, 03:02 | posts: 1,738 | Location: Australia

Hmm, i never have bothered with a firewall. whats the point? If a hacker really wants to break into my computer to steel my pron then he will no matter what i am using.

If you are dfumb enough to use banking online and keep personal info like pins number and passwords then thats just insane.

I agree with virus software and spyware tools. I use NAV corp and i run adaware PRO - spybot and Xsoft pro.

Other than that, you have NO chance of a stopping a hacker at all. Unless it a script kiddy then the tool he is using will simply do a scan for what ever he is looking for and then leave to the next victim.

Why spend your entire time online freaking out.
   
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Darrin
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Default 07-13-2005, 03:04 | posts: 1,738 | Location: Australia

on a side note, why use outlook anyway, thats just asking for trouble IMHO.

I use my ISP email, no fuss no bother
   
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r3g
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Default 08-30-2005, 20:29 | posts: 1,169 | Location: Bay Area, California

of all the free antivirus programs out which is best?
   
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GODzillaSDM
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Default 09-20-2005, 20:44 | posts: 1,708 | Location: San Diego, CA

Quote:
Originally posted by Darrin
Hmm, i never have bothered with a firewall. whats the point? If a hacker really wants to break into my computer to steel my pron then he will no matter what i am using.
There is a point. A hacker can hack anything, but it doesn't mean we should just let them walk right in. Firewall will block viruses and worms. For a hacker to hack your pc, won't he have to manually, and attentively work on your individual pc? Unless u are a big company like MS, i dont' think u'll be a target to those hacks.

We are basically trying to prevent worms and viruses to enter our pcs through the general internet way.

Why lock your door @ home? If burglars want to break in, they can right?
   
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god4sure
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Default 09-24-2005, 19:50 | posts: 1,262 | Location: In Pixel's Monitor

yeah, I use mcafee and ad aware on my home pc
and avg and ad aware on my laptop.

No complaints with either. I used to use Norton but I found that it slowed the system down
   
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