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Defensive Mechanisms

by groovy3130 / May 23, 2013 4:40 AM PDT

There are too many anti-virus, anti-anything in the market
today - free and pay up. These are stuff that are "must
haves" if you own a computer or else you'll end up with
frustration of ownership of this technology. Viruses, malwares, etc. that put you on the defensive. Then we have this industry of thwarting all these intrusions in our
lives. Behind all these protection, you still get infected,
and yearly you need to renew these defensive mechanism.
Here's my question: So what is the use of buying these
anti-stuff if they don't get the job done anyway? My next question may sound silly - Why are televisions or radios not infected with viruses/malwares?

Finally, when are they going to come up with virus-proof computers?

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We have virus proof things.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2013 5:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Defensive Mechanisms

Have you seen a virus on say a XBox, PS3 or such?

If you continue to use a Personal Computer, then it's open to you making changes both bad and good. Are you writing you are ready for a non-Personal Computer? Such as that Windows 8 RT tablet?

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Virus proof
by groovy3130 / May 23, 2013 6:40 AM PDT

I have not used any of the aforementioned Xbox, /windows 8 RT tablet, etc.... So if there is
such a virus-proof INNOVATION, why can't that be APPLIED to personal computers? And do they
have the capability of the pc?

My writing was prompted by my frustration of all the software claims that do not hold water and
the inconveniences created.

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Because a personal computer allows such changes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2013 6:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Virus proof

If it was locked down that tightly then it's not a personal computer. And no, any locked down machine will not as capable due to the fact it's not as configurable.

I think you understand this now.

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PS. Flaw or feature?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2013 6:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Virus proof;forums06#message5459964

Microsoft has, to my knowledge claimed this is a secure OS. We may install drivers, apps, and those can be good or bad things.

Until we remove the option to install what we want or lock you out of writing apps and more, the Personal Computer will always be open to changes that we may or may not want.

I can only guess how many used computers prior to the introduction of the Personal Computer. Some want to go back to those (bad in my opinion) days.
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Huge challenge
by groovy3130 / May 26, 2013 5:22 PM PDT
In reply to: PS. Flaw or feature?

So here goes - We are looking at a huge challenge to the innovators of technology to not
allow these harmful intruders to the personal computers. To just allow it to happen and stand
down because "it is open to changes" is no justification. It is a flag of surrender. I believe it
is doable. They are smart. They invented the internet. The point I am trying to make here is
at this point what is available currently in the market are all "band aid" fixes of different types.

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I've heard that before.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2013 1:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Huge challenge

And as the user learns more about the difference between a locked down machine and a Personal Computer they learn enough to see why we may never see a non-hackable Personal Computer.

If you can't hack it, then it's not a Personal Computer.

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Not that difficult
by Jimmy Greystone / May 23, 2013 6:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Defensive Mechanisms

These tips aren't absolutely fool proof, but as stated, if you follow all of them you should live a rather blissfully peaceful and boring online existence.


The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. They won't solve any existing problems you have, but if you follow them all you should be able to avoid virtually all problems in the future.

Things you should NOT do
1: Use Internet Explorer (1)
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer (e.g. Maxathon and MSN Explorer)
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express (2)
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet (3)
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs

Things you SHOULD do
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser (4)
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running (5)
3: Always have a firewall running (6)
4: Install all the latest security updates (7)(8)(9)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address
9: Establish a regular backup regimen (10)(11)
10: Make regular checks of your backup media to ensure it is still good (12)

Being a considerate Internet user & other online tips
1: Do not send attachments in emails (13)(14)
2: Do not use stationary or any other kind of special formatting in emails (13)
3: Do not TYPE IN ALL CAPS (15)
4: Avoid texting speak or "l33t speak" (16)
5: Do not poke sleeping bears (17)
6: Do not use registry cleaners/fixers/optimizers (18)(19)

Offline tips and suggestions
1: Avoid buying Acer, HP. Compaq, Gateway, and eMachines computers (20)(21)(22)(23)
2: Avoid sub-$500 systems that aren't netbooks or part of some limited time price promotion (24)


(1) Sadly sometimes this is unavoidable, so only use IE when the site absolutely will not work with any other browser and you cannot get that information/service anywhere else, and only use IE for that one specific site.
(2) Outlook and Outlook Express are very insecure, and basically invite spam. The jury is still out on Vista's Windows Mail, but given Microsoft's history with email programs, extreme caution is advised. Possible replacements include Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, The Bat, and dozens of others.
(3) When it doubt over whether or not to allow some program, use Google to find out what it is and whether or not it needs access to the Internet. Otherwise, denying access is the safest course of action, since you can always change the rule later.
(4) On Windows your options include: Mozilla Firefox, Seamonkey, Opera, Flock, Chrome, and Safari. I would personally recommend Firefox with the NoScript extension for added security, but it the important thing is to pick one and use it instead of IE.
(5) AVG Free and Avast are available if you need a decent free virus scanner
(6) XP/Vista's firewall is probably good enough for 99% of all Windows users, but other options include ZoneAlarm, Outpost Firewall, and Comodo. If you have a router with a firewall built into it, there is no need for any of the aforementioned firewalls to be running.
(7) Microsoft's usual system is to release security updates every second Tuesday of the month.
(8) Use of Windows Update on Windows operating systems prior to Windows Vista requires Internet Explorer, and is thus a valid exception to the "No IE" rule.
(9) Service packs should ALWAYS be installed. They frequently contain security updates that will ONLY be found in that service pack.
(10) You can go with a full fledged backup program, or simply copying important files onto a CD/DVD/Flash drive.
(11) I'd recommend a tiered backup system. For example, you might have 5 rewritable DVDs, and every day you burn your backup onto a new disc. On the 6th day, you erase the disc for Day #1 for your backup, and so on so that you have multiple backups should one disc ever go bad.
(12) Replace rewritable CDs and DVDs approximately every 3-6 months.
(13) These dramatically increase the size of email messages (2-3X minimum) and clog up email servers already straining to cope with the flood of spam pouring in daily.
(14) If you want to share photos with friends/family, upload them to some photo sharing site like Flickr or Google's Picasa Web and then send people a link to that particular photo gallery.
(15) This is considered to be the same as SHOUTING and many people find it to be hard to read along with highly annoying.
(16) Unless the goal is to make yourself look like a pre-adolescent girl, or someone overcompensating for their gross inadequacies, and you don't want people to take you seriously.
(17) Most REAL hackers are quite content to leave you alone unless you make them take notice of you. No dinky little software firewall or consumer grade router is going to keep them out of your system. So do not go to some hacker website or chat room and start shooting your mouth off unless you're prepared to accept the consequences
(18) Most of these programs are scams, and sell you something you don't need. Most of them report non-issues in an attempt to boost the number of "issues". Sometimes using these programs can lead to a non-functioning computer.
(19) The Windows registry is not some mystical black box of untapped performance tweaks for Windows, that will lead to untold improvements in system performance. Most of the tweaks will lead to very modest performance gains of 1-2% tops, and probably less than 10% all combined. There is also a good chance that you will render your system unbootable if you make a mistake when editing. Registry default settings are set that way for a reason. Just do yourself a favor, and forget you ever heard of the Windows registry unless you are a computer programmer/debugger and your job requires knowledge of the registry.
(20) Acer now owns Gateway and eMachines
(21) HP owns Compaq
(22) Hardware failures seem far more common with these brands than can be considered normal
(23) These companies use cheap labor in Asian countries were working conditions are often what would be considered sweat shops, and are run by brutal dictatorships, which you are supporting by buying from these companies
(24) If you just do some simple math, and realize that the cost of individual components like the CPU are around 25-33% of the total retail cost of the system, and everyone involved in the making and selling of the system is looking to make a profit, how much money can they possibly be making on each system. And if you're only making a few pennies on every system, how much quality control do you really think is going to go into the manufacturing process?

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Lots of info
by groovy3130 / May 23, 2013 7:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Not that difficult

Great tips - only much to remember!

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Manual scan
by groovy3130 / May 26, 2013 5:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Not that difficult

How do you manually scan an email/attachment using virus scanner?

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Right click on the attachment
by glb613 / May 26, 2013 9:22 PM PDT
In reply to: Manual scan

and select scan with "your antivirus" program. If you have Malwarebytes installed, you can also scan with it.

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by Jimmy Greystone / May 27, 2013 2:33 AM PDT

Or, you can save the attachment somewhere, without opening it, and manually scan it there.

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No scan
by groovy3130 / May 30, 2013 2:27 AM PDT

Unfortunately, I did a right click on the attachment and there is no option to scan,
There is Inspect Element, Adblock Plus: Block Image. etc...

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In that case
by Jimmy Greystone / May 30, 2013 2:50 AM PDT
In reply to: No scan

In that case, you are using some kind of a web mail program like Gmail. The instructions given by glb613 are for programs like Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook that run on your computer. You'd have to use my suggestion of saving the attachment and then scanning it before opening it.

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