Secure Yourself

Discussion in 'General Software and Applications' started by Psychosematic, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Psychosematic

    Psychosematic Ancient Guru

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    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.lavasoftusa.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: Feb 23, 2005
  2. David

    David Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2003
  3. Misdirection

    Misdirection Guest

    Can u clarify what PGP does? is it really worth it for me to install it on my computer? Thanks..
     
  4. BLyarx

    BLyarx Ancient Guru

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    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: Jun 21, 2004

  5. Beavis

    Beavis Ancient Guru

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    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)...???
     
  6. BLyarx

    BLyarx Ancient Guru

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    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/free/1012_zl/zlsSetup_45_538.exe
    PGP:
    http://www.pgpi.org/products/pgp/versions/freeware/winxp/8.0/

    And here is a PGP FAQ:
    http://www.mccune.cc/PGPpage2.htm
     
  7. Psychosematic

    Psychosematic Ancient Guru

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    Open Outlook, go to File > Data File Management > Settings > Change Password

    You can also set the encryption level here too.
     
  8. Psychosematic

    Psychosematic Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
  9. manothehour

    manothehour Master Guru

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    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
     
  10. Halo 273

    Halo 273 Master Guru

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    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.
     

  11. rsjrv99

    rsjrv99 Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
  12. BLyarx

    BLyarx Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
  13. pimp_gimp

    pimp_gimp Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
  14. PinBot

    PinBot Master Guru

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    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?
     
  15. Psychosematic

    Psychosematic Ancient Guru

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    AVG ( www.grisoft.com ) barely uses any resources... great free AV
     

  16. PinBot

    PinBot Master Guru

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    That's great, it's better because is freeware, thanks Psycho!
     
  17. dfwny

    dfwny Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
  18. Geecko

    Geecko Guest

    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
     
  19. Kyaner

    Kyaner Hellenic Guru

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    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 :)
     
  20. twtaylor

    twtaylor Ancient Guru

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    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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