az0000000

Urgent Security Advice Needed

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Here is my situation,

For some reasons i am on an old AMD Athlon 600 MHz CPU with 512 RAM junk machine (Windows XP SP2 Pro), and will have to stay on it for a while.

After the last virus attack I hardly recovered from, I feel I can’t rely anymore on Windows Firewall, it just doesn’t do anything to protect me.

I would really appreciate an advice for an alternative Firewall that would be protecting better than Windows Firewall, but would take just as many resources as Windows Firewall does.

Please consider seriously that I am on an old machine and working with monsters like Photoshop, every bit of RAM and CPU power matters to me, and i would kindly ask you to advice me only software you are sure about (not just for advertising purposes), and have tested it and know what you are talking about.

p.s. by the way I am really want to know:

1. How many resources take Windows Firewall and where can I check such data?

2. How exactly can I check if my Windows Firewall is really running (and doesn’t just appear as ON in control panel, or Security Center) because after the last attack I am not sure anymore if my firewall is running at all…

Edited by az0000000

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A firewall is not going to protect you if you don't take steps to protect yourself. You need anti-virus anti-spy/adware programs to help combat infections.

Even more so stop downloading from p2p, and getting programs from the hacker sites.

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How about a NAT ROUTER? Hardware firewalls out perform software firewalls.

Edited by irregularjoe

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For what it is worth I have found these free ones:

Comodo Firewall Pro

Outpost Firewall Free

GhostWall Firewall

R-Firewall

Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall

ZoneAlarm Basic

Unfortunately, I have never used any of them, but you can always check out their system requirements. I find that the Windows XP Firewall is all I need.

I agree with the other posters, however. No one is 100% secure, although that doesn't stop us from taking precautions to begin with. These precautions require a change in attitude towards internet activity, one of which is being more responsible.

Some things you can do:

1. Start using a different browser - Internet Explorer 7 may be more secure than IE6, while at the same time bing faster than other 3rd-party browsers, but more attacks can get through. Firefox is one good alternative and even allows you to add extensions such as NoScript and AdblockPlus, which greatly reduces your vulnerability.

2. Install, update and run antispyware application scans. The most common ones are Spybot S&D, Adaware and A-Squared. Spybot S&D and SpywareBlaster also have the ability to block bad sites by default and perform various "immunizations" on your PC.

3. Get a good antivirus. Keep the subscription updated, but most importantly, keep the definitions updated.

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So like, what was the urgent need you expressed in your message title? Sounds like you need to be more selective with your surfing habits in the future. All the programs and firewalls will not prevent bad surfing form exposing your system to all the evils lurking out there.

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So like, what was the urgent need you expressed in your message title? Sounds like you need to be more selective with your surfing habits in the future. All the programs and firewalls will not prevent bad surfing form exposing your system to all the evils lurking out there.

I agree with this poster. There are other things in life more urgent, such as my catch yesterday >>>>>

8vzyat.jpg

Edited by sultan_emerr

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So like, what was the urgent need you expressed in your message title? Sounds like you need to be more selective with your surfing habits in the future. All the programs and firewalls will not prevent bad surfing form exposing your system to all the evils lurking out there.

I agree with this poster. There are other things in life more urgent, such as my catch yesterday >>>>>

8vzyat.jpg

That's quite a catch, Sultan.

What'd you use for bait?

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You need several things to adequately protect a machine these days.

A firewall is just one of them. It prevents unauthorized persons and programs from accessing the machine from outside and it lets you know if an unauthorized or new application tries to connect to the outside world from your machine. That is the biggest drawback of the windows firewall, that it used to be only one way (protecting against internet worms and hackers but not letting you know what was outbound). Even now, although it provides two way protection it is a little to hard to find out just what it has allowed, and it tends to be a little to permissive about not notifying you about new applications seeking access. But it is better than no firewall, and if you combine it with a router it provides fairly good protection. Many people do still prefer a good software firewall which notifies them of each connection attempt; but often this just prompts users to turn off their firewall or get upset and accidentally block a program they want to allow to connect.

The second line of defense you need is an antivirus program. Viruses are programs which do two things, they replicate and they either modify or replace files in the process of replicating themselves. But an antivirus program alone is not sufficient.

There are trojans, these are programs which pretend to be one thing but are actually something else. They do not self install, you have to click on something to make them install so most antivirus manufacturers view this as its your decision and your fault. (Like you click on the "your computer may be infected, click here to make sure "(Yeah, make sure that it is infected). Or the "You can't watch this porn without this special codec for WMP which you can't get anywhere else so click here to watch the porn" These tend to do nefarious things like try to steal banking and password information , make your machine part of a botnet which distributes spam or porn or other nasty things. There are dedicated antitrojan programs.

Then there is spyware and adware. Adware does what it implies, it serves you advertisements . It may also track your surfing habits and what ads you have seen or clicked on to better plan the next ad to send you. It may affect just advertisements embedded in web pages or it may spew out additional popup ads. Because of the tracking , it tends to be lumped with spyware; applications which are spying on you , including keyloggers and other trackers. Antispyware applications also tend to target trojans which try to collect data.

So you need a firewall, an antivirus, an anti trojan , and an anti spyware application. You can either get them individually or bundled as an internet security suite.

Secondly not all of these provide realtime protection; scanning all traffic and pages you visit. Some people do not like the impact on their computer of having to scan all traffic to make sure it is safe and constantly monitor what is running to make sure it is not acting like any of these. But to be really protected you need immunization, real time protection , Heuristic scanning, and regular scans of your system . And these protections are only as good as the definitions so you need to keep them up to date and use them .

Finally you have to keep your applications up to date to ensure that none of them have known exploits and security holes.

The software inspector at secunia is well worth checking to ensure you do not have unpatched programs running

http://secunia.com/software_inspector

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