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Keepng safe - A tutorial for beginners/intermediate
Chaos.Lady 
16/6/08 12:03:05 PM
Mod
SuperHero

Titan


Viruses, malware, spyware - the nasties are out there. So how do you keep yourself as protected as possible?

Okay, for a start, this tute is aimed at WINDOWS XP users. If you are a 'nix (including linux) user and don't know how to plug your ports to stop intruders, then you are using the wrong OS. If you are an apple user then head for the mac forum.

Right, let's start.

If you are using any other Windows - forget it. Microsoft no longer supports 98 (and so there are no patches) and the others are slowly losing support as well. Head for the linux forums and look at putting linux on the box.

Windows XP

First you should head make sure that your Windows is as up to date as possible. Go to Windows Update and get down all patches.

Once you have done that, check that your antivirus system is up to date. The currently recommended ones are AVG, Avast and AntiVir.

I like AVG for my clients as it has the easiest to use interface. Avast is a good system, but I find people have trouble with it. I don't have a great deal of experience with AntiVir, so I don't generally recommend it to my clients.

If you are not running a business, you can grab a free edition of AVG version 8 from http://free.grisoft.com

Once you have it, update it completely then do a full scan. If you already have it installed, just get it right up to date and then scan.

If you are using Firefox, grab a copy of http://noscript.net and install it. This stops scripts running.

If you are using Internet Explorer, go grab a copy of firefox from http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/ :)

If you MUST still use IE, consider using the "NoAddons" version of IE routinely.

A shortcut to this is automatically added to the All Programs Menu in the System Tools folder (All Programs, Accessories, System Tools) when Internet Explorer 7 is installed. Alternatively, you can create a shortcut on your desktop or QuickLaunch bar with the following target path:

"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -extoff

Create a shortcut on the desktop (right click on the desktop, click "New" then "shortcut", then copy and paste the above line into it.) Once you have this shortcut on the desktop, always use that instead of the regular IE icon.

If you are using Outlook Express, consider switching to Thunderbird which is somewhat safer. You can also grab that from links on http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

Using Thunderbird and Lightning together, you can have a very simple, but fairly full featured mail/calendar/todo list program.

Once you've done all that, grab down a copy of Spybot from http://www.safer-networking.org and install it.

I usually turn off the "tea-timer" when I install it (you'll see it as an option when you are installing) as it uses resources, however if you leave it on, be aware that whenever you make changes to your registry (as you are installing or uninstalling a program), then you will be asked to confirm them.

Once you have it installed, run it and update it.

Once you have updated it, Immunize your system.

Once you have done that, Check for Problems. Fix any that are found.



ONLY FOR INTERMEDIATE USERS
Once you have done that, go into "Mode" (on the menu), then "Advanced Mode". You will get a warning here, so be careful what you do while this mode is turned on.

Once you have okayed the warning, you will see three new menus appear on the bottom left. One will be "tools".

Click that then click on ActiveX. Checkout anything that doesn't have a green tick next to it. If it doesn't seem to be coming from a reliable program, get rid of it (remove button).

Do the same on the BHO's.

Now go to System Startup.

If you see ANYTHING red, click the red line, then click "Delete" at the top. Then start looking at the others.

Green is fine. Leave those. Anything that starts with WinLogin is fine. Leave that.

You should see an area with 2 big triangles. If you click that it expands an area on the right hand side which can tell you information about the currently selected line.

You can deselect stuff by unticking the box next to it. This is safer than deleting it.

If you aren't sure - ASK! Don't play around in here blindly.




Once you have finished this, for extra security you can grab a copy of Lavasoft's adaware from http://www.download.com/Ad-Aware-2008/3000-8022_4-10045910.html?tag=lst-1&cdlPid=10844457
and install it. I don't use it unless I know there is something dicky with the system though, as I've personally found Spybot to be better. But it's there if you want to use it.

I have been told that Windows Defender http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/defender/default.mspx is pretty good as a third line of defense as well, however I've had some poor results with it. So again, I wouldn't bother unless you know there is a problem.


ONGOING MAINTENANCE

Your virus scanner should be set to update EVERY DAY. If you don't turn the PC on every day, make sure it updates whenever the PC is on and connected to the web. You should also check at least once a week or so that it's done a scan and come up clean.

If you aren't getting your windows updates automatically, you should be doing a windows update at least once per week.

Spybot should be run at least once a fortnight. When you run it, don't forget to update and immunise BEFORE you run the spybot scan.


By following these steps, and making sure you do routine maintenance on your system, you can keep yourself reasonably safe on the net. That's not to say some nasty out there won't still get you. But by doing all this, you can at least be confident you have done everything you could to prevent it.

Hopefully this may help some of those who are concerned for the security of their system. :)


Edited by Chaos.Lady: 16/6/2008 2:37:00 PM

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http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=1&c=24&t=74

Alien Intercourse 
6/9/08 10:54:51 AM
Champion

What about Firewalls? i see all the antivirus stuff is there but what about some firewalls or complete packages? Comodo comes to mind and kaspersky internet security. Do you think that maybe you coudl do a more advanced add-on here with hardware firewalls and switch/router protection stuff? or is that asking too much?

Otherwise great guide, seems a little over-the-top for me personally with all that programs you recomend to install (feeling cluttered) but i have a good selection of stuff to choose from i guess :) thanks. i'll be sure to run through it after my re-install soon.

o yeah, when browsing use your head adn think about how you use the internet - that will keep you really safe ;) software can only do so much for you afterall.

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Anything you do out of love is beyond good and evil.
Nothing is evil by nature, only by choice.

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