Conflicting security advice

  John 1819 13:29 03 Apr 2005

I have the following security systems :- Mc.Afee firewall,Aluria spyware,Ad-aware SE personal,Spybot search,CW Shredder and Norton antivirus.
I have been told I should have avg7 antivirus instead of Norton and should add Spyblaster.
As I am a complete novice to which security I should and should not have, your advice would be very welcome.
I also appologise if the title of the subject is a bit vague.

  VoG II 13:50 03 Apr 2005

Yes, download AVG from click here

Disconnect from the internet.

Remove Norton via Control Panel, Add or Remove programs.

Install AVG.

Job done!

  Fingees 13:57 03 Apr 2005

Do not have two virus programs running together.

They cause dangerous conflicts, as each one treats the other as a virus

  GANDALF <|:-)> 14:02 03 Apr 2005

All 'security' programme are good and all have their strong points and their weak points. There is an enormous amount of hype about security and if a computer does get infected it is usually fairly easy to clean it. there are a few simple steps to follow to ensure that your computer is not infected. Do not be put off by all the 'horror' stories floating around the net, there are some sites that positively wallow in the Arthurian dream of battling all sorts of 'nasties' but they rarely give sensible, practical advice.

AV programmes.....Tales of viruses eating hard drives are generally apocryphal, on home computers anyway. Any AV, provided it is regularly updated, will be more than enough to keep you safe. I use AVG and so do many others, it is fine and there are no reports of any problems. Most of the free AVs use little resources and all seem effective.

Firewalls...I have yet to see evidence of a home computer being hacked and all the information stolen or it taken over by 1337 hAX0rz. Hacking is more about networks, passwords and static IPs and in any case home computers, like mine, contain utter, mind-boggling drivel. If you want to get someone's bank/credit card details there are much easier ways than adopting a scatter-gun many people use a credit card at a shop, restaurant or garage without a second thought? Any free firewall will be more than enough and if you are on dial up, investing in the BT premium number blocking service will be wise. If a spotty, 17yr old youth can access 150 secure sites in the States, including the North American Missile defence system, then home computers have no chance. Most firewalls will hide your ports but this is any fule no, an IP address will have a full range of ports attached and it does not take a genius to work out which they are as they are a constant with home computers...the ports might be hidden or 'stealthed' but it does not mean that they are not there. Any 'alerts' that you get on a firewall will merely be handshakes from up to 50 servers asking if your IP address is still live so they can send you the requested pages. When you are on the net you do not 'go' to a site, your request that the site is sent to you and this is why you have a unique IP address so the servers know where to deliver. Remarkably these 'alerts' disappear when people buy the professional version of a firewalll...remarkable eh?

A decent spyware remover such as MS Antispy click here will provide real-time protection and is also excellent and free. Lavasoft Adaware click here is useful as a backup but I now only use MS Antispy which seems to have made the rest redundant.

A decent temp file cleaner such as Ccleaner click here will clear out all your temp files and is well worth the price...which is nothing;-)).

.....part 2 next..............

  GANDALF <|:-)> 14:02 03 Apr 2005

The following is all you need to do..........There is a huge amount of paranoia about security and I get the impression that a small number of people relish this. It makes them feel elevated that their home computer is so important that the hackers of the world target it on a regular basis. This is not true. I would bet that every infection is self inflicted from ignorance or laziness, so if this guide is followed I can guarantee that you will have no problems.....1) Keep your AV and anti-spy programmes up to date on a daily basis or every time you go on the net.

2) lay off the sites that display people who have had all their clothes stolen. They are generally not illegal and we live in a 'free' country, so remember that you must not click any 'yes' buttons and never agree to install any programmes, enter yes to join a 'survey' or toolbar buttons. View and never click is the golden rule. The huge amount of Pr0n addresses that I see in the history files leads me to believe that these sites are a lot more popular than is talked about in polite society and confirms the reports that they form 80% of all net traffic ;-))))

3) Children.....they are usually the #1 culprits. I can usually guarantee that any household with teenagers will have some sort of infection even with any firewall known to mankind. Children are targeted because they usually do not know the problems that downloading toolbar helpers and activeX programmes can cause. They must not download any free programmes no matter how enticing.

4) Spend half an hour reading about spyware etc., it is not rocket science and they all work on the basis that you will have given them permission to run. This will probably have been given unwittingly so you need to be aware of clicking on any programmes or dialogue boxes.

5) Get a good AV, MS Antispy and Adaware as a back up. Use a LITTLE common sense and you will never have a serious problem.

6) Do not share files. A shared folder on a computer is NOT safe. When you download a file you are giving permission for that file so a firewall or AV will let it through and they could easily miss a virus or Trojan. Lay off sharing on Messenger; this is probably the unsafest sort of file sharing and the root cause of problems on teenager's computers. If you get sent an attachment on an email be cautious about opening it especially if it is from someone who you do not know.

If anyone wants to add any please do but if you follow those 6 rules your computer will be safe.



  Totally-braindead 14:05 03 Apr 2005

Regarding using Norton or AVG this has been argued about for ages on this Forum and elsewhere. I've used Norton for a few years now and have just deleted it because my next years fees were due and they were very unhelpful when I had a problem last year and moved to using AVG. Thusfar I'm delighted with it but I wouldn't go so far as to say that you should definatly move away from Norton and onto AVG. I think thats a personal decision only you can make. All I can say is AVG is free and it uses less system resources, the advice from Fingees is good. Whatever you use make sure you only use one antivirus and one firewall, if you have more than one of either of them running it will cause you problems.

  anniel 14:26 03 Apr 2005

I have made sure my PC is served by the numerous free programmes such as Spybot, AdAware se, MS Antispy, A2,spywareblaster etc.

And yet having read about an AV programme that you could have sitting on your sektop ready to do a scan as a second precaution, I downloaded Clamwin and ran a scan.

It found 3 intances of the worm GibeF in my Thunderbird email,this despite the fact that my ISP has Kapersky scanning the email before delivery to me and I also have Avast scanning both inbound and outbound email.

This experience really freaked me out....and I am older than Methisalah and so do not frequent any porn or other dangerous sites.

How this worm managed to stay on my PC, I have no idea and now I am wondering as well as buying Trojan Hunter, i should look for an anti worm you know of one.

Talk about "Lets be Careful Out There!"

  GANDALF <|:-)> 14:48 03 Apr 2005

Gibef is an easy worm to get rid of as it is disguised as a MS security here. No programme will stop you receiving viruses by email and your AV programme will come into effect when you try to open the attachment. My advice about never opening attachments was given just for these occasions. Use MS antipsy and do not open attachments purporting to be from Microsoft...they will never directly contact you, me or anyone else on this forum .

You will be wasting your money buying anti worm or trojan hunter they will not stop people sending you these things. Follow the instructions above and you will have no problems.


  anniel 15:00 03 Apr 2005

but whilst it tells you it is easy to avoid and I am not as silly as to open any attachment I receive.

However, the Sophos article did not tell me how to get rid of the worm, once it was on my PC. I "Googled" quite a bot and did not fins a suitable worm remover.

I will certainlt be careful and I have read your posts diligently, but my point is that infections can and do happen even when you are aware of the dangers.

  John 1819 15:29 03 Apr 2005

I would just like to thank everybody that replied to my first question on PC Advisor.
I have taken onboard all the advice given and am now more wiser for it.Many thanks.

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