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Thread: Protecting your windows PC?

  1. #1
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    Default Protecting your windows PC?

    I use XP Sp2 occasionally on my dual-boot system with Ubuntu Jaunty(9.04).

    I've grown tired of a bogged down system and running a google's worth of programs to try and protect my system from attacks.

    I have been using McAfee since it is free for Comcast subscribers. It is running
    MBackMonitor
    mcagent
    mcmscsvc
    McNASvc
    McProxy
    Mcshield
    mcsysmon
    mcuimgr
    Total: ~80MB of memory at the moment.

    I don't believe this is necessary to protect my PC. I also use SpywareBlaster, AdAware, and Spybot. It seems to be a lot of trouble to protect my PC since McAfee wants to control everything and doesn't let Adaware or Spybot really do their jobs properly. McAfee will also take forever to run 8 to 10 hours in some cases for a virus scan.

    I use Firefox most often for browsing and have NoScript and WOT installed. I also control my cookies pretty well and block a lot of third-party cookies when I visit sites. I approve the cookies and javascript sites before they are allowed on my system. This is a tedious task I know but for me it's worth it especially when the popups don't happen very often after initially setting it up with a few sites. I do use Chrome occasionally for browsing also and use IE only when required by certain sites.


    My question for the experts here is what software should I have installed and running in order to protect my system. What would be your recommendations?

  2. #2
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    EDIT:
    I just installed AVG Free. I am also running Windows Defender.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Matt's Avatar
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    Hi cajunlibra,

    choose one of the following software firewalls and install it.


    You've already installed AVG Antivirus. Good.

    You can use Spybot, Ad-Aware and Windows Defender as "on demand scanners".
    Well, another good tool hear would be Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. But three tools should be ok.

    Do you have TeaTimer en-abled?

    SpywareBlaster is a good tool for prevention.

    It's always better to protect your computer from being infected with Malware. Therefore, I've some tools for you, which can help you. Look through it and install the ones you like.

    You don't have to install all of these tools. Look through it and choose one or two.


    Moreover, please read the thread So how did I get infected in the first place? from Tony Klein.


    ATF Cleaner
    Cleans temporary files from IE and Windows, empties the recycle bin and more. It is a great tool to help speed up your computer and knock out those nasties that like to reside in the temp folders.

    Well, a software firewall, AVG AntiVirus, Spybot, Ad-Aware, Windows Defender and SpywareBlaster are already very good.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to answer.
    Last edited by Matt; 2009-04-12 at 22:15.
    Best regards - Beste Gre,

    Matt

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    As an FYI to those of you who are sick of managing your computer security rather than just using the PC. Within the next few months, Microsoft will begin providing a free comprehensive anti-malware application without all the additional bells and whistles that usually bog down the operation of a PC.


    Microsoft Announces Plans for No-Cost Consumer Security Offering
    http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/p...ecurityPR.mspx

    This application will contain the anti-malware guts of the OneCare program which is being phased out over the next year, specificially to reduce the overhead on system resources and simplify operation. It will not include an outbound firewall since these have been found to be generally ineffective in the hands of unskilled users, but nothing will prevent you from adding a third-party firewall if you wish.

    Morro, as it is currently code named, will likely be most effective on the Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, since these have better internal security than Windows XP. However, it is expected to also support Windows XP Service Pack 2 or newer, so it will be useable on roughly 95% or more of the existing PC systems.

    The purpose behind creating Morro is to better protect those who won't purchase or install a current anti-malware product either due to cost or lack of system resources. It's not intended to replace the better products that currently exist, but rather to complement these for the less well informed or well off monetarily or those who just prefer not to deal with all the security management as you metioned here. It also will be provided worldwide eventually, though it will initially be supported in the 17 countries where OneCare was originally sold.

    Bitman

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    Thanks for your thorough help. I don't use Teatimer because it doesn't provide enough information about the changes and I don't want to refuse something that should be allowed. Teatimer could be more helpful if it provided a description of the file in question. I've heard various professionals recommend not using it unless you know what you are doing. I think I do but I'd rather be on the safeside.

    Is the Windows Firewall ok to use?

    PS. Could you sticky this thread? I'll bookmark it myself on Delicious.

  6. #6
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    Will the running of any of these interfere with others running properly?

    I turned on the Windows Firewall and installed WinPatrol, ATFCleaner, and MVPS Hosts file. Should this be enough?


    How long does it take these programs to scan on yoru systems? This partition is about 40GB.

    THanks

  7. #7
    Senior Member drragostea's Avatar
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    Will the running of any of these interfere with others running properly?

    I turned on the Windows Firewall and installed WinPatrol, ATFCleaner, and MVPS Hosts file. Should this be enough?
    1. No.
    2. It's been discussed before, the conclusion was that you should install the programs that fit your motive (what you are attempting to achieve). Need an anti-spyware application? -Matt-'s list has some good ones.

    Just keep your security applications updated and patched.
    I don't use Teatimer because it doesn't provide enough information about the changes and I don't want to refuse something that should be allowed.
    Not all the time though. The new TeaTimer builds have another way of monitoring and it'll automatically allow legitimate processes (and that's only a few of it's functions).

  8. #8
    Senior Member Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunlibra View Post
    Is the Windows Firewall ok to use?
    The Windows Firewall is ok. Well, some experts would recommend an third party software firewall instead of the Windows Firewall, but there's no need for you to install such a firewall.

    Do you have a hardware firewall ?

    Quote Originally Posted by cajunlibra View Post
    PS. Could you sticky this thread? I'll bookmark it myself on Delicious.
    I'm not sure, whether Bitman can sticky a thread...?? But a Member of TeamSpybot could do this... if it sounds useful...
    Last edited by Matt; 2009-04-13 at 11:05.
    Best regards - Beste Gre,

    Matt

  9. #9
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    To be clear, as Matt indicated the Windows XP firewall is fine, but specifically for inbound protection which was its original design purpose. It has no outbound blocking capability at all, which is why some believe it to be unsafe.

    The problem with this idea is that using a software firewall for outbound protection is generally quite 'noisy' with user prompts and requires understanding by the user involved when the prompts occur. Since this has often been proven ineffective due to user apathy or lack of understanding, it really depends upon your personal situation. It 's also quite common that recent malware will disable all forms of protection once installed, including firewalls, so outbound protection may not always be as effective as it seems.

    Since you already seem unhappy with all the maintenance overhead, it may not be helpful in your case, though you do state a willingness to manage cookies which are really much less of a threat. The decision is really based on who will be using the PC and how willing they are to deal with the notifications that are absolutely going to occur.

    BTW, I can't sticky a thread, but I really don't believe that more than a handful should be anyway, since searching is really a more effective method of finding such past discussions.

    Bitman

  10. #10
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    Well searching doesn't always work if you aren't sure how to search for your problem. I've had difficulty finding what I am looking for in forums because I'm not sure how others have worded their issues. I tried to use tags that might be helpful in a search.

    Initial prompts don't really bother me that much because i know that they are drastically reduced over time. I have my wireless router. That's the only hardware firewall that I have at the moment. I know that some firewall programs provide enough information to make it easier to choose.

    Thank you all for your incite. This is has been really helpful.

    Now how can I speed up my system? I have sifted through what's running via WinPatrol and I didn't see anything that I felt could be disabled. I have "Advanced SystemCare" installed and was wondering what your opinions are of this program.

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