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Newbie to broadband internet...

by bee / March 15, 2004 8:52 AM PST

Well i havent got it just yet, but have ordered it today. Just wanted to know what extra safety precautions i need to take once i have it, if any. At the moment, i have AVG Anti-virus and Zone Alarm, thats about it.

Is there anything else i should have to keep my computer safe, or that i need to know?

Thanks for any help Happy

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by DrPepper9 / March 26, 2004 7:05 AM PST

Hello......I've had cable since '99 and just love it. I also have ZoneAlarm and McAfee but just recently discovered a free program called "Spybot". As cautious as I am, unwanted programs still get downloaded on to my pc........but not any more. You can download this "Spybot" program here from CNET. It is really easy to use.
I do have one suggestion. Get a web based email address for subscriptions to newsletters, websites. etc. Save your IP email address for friends and family only and in fact, if allowed, get more than 1 email address from your IP. I have one for my kids, one for relatives, and one for my friends plus the email addresses I have at Yahoo and Excite. The reason I do this in case you start getting "spammed" or one of your email addresses starts getting suspicious email, you can stop using it and use one of the other email addresses. I know it sounds silly but I have found it quite helpful. It helps me know whether the spam is coming from family or friend or website.
Another suggestion, if you have cable, you might want to have a dialup ISP as backup for those rare occasions when the cable goes down.......even a free dialup like "dotnow.com". Dialup can't compete with cable but it's better than nothing when the cable is down!

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Get a HOSTS file.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2004 7:17 AM PST
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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by chuck60 / March 28, 2004 12:00 PM PST

Keep your virus defintions up to date. If you can afford it buy a broadband router that acts as a hardware firewall. If your on Win XP keep critical patches from Win update site installed. Routers are reasonably priced & you can hookup a second machine as a benifit.Have FUN! After your setup run a security check (free) from Symantec or GRC Shields Up sites. Again, Have Fun!

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by danfilipi / March 30, 2004 5:49 AM PST

I tried the free AVG Anti virus to compare with Norton and Mcaffee. I did the comparison for virus detection using a special script which exibits virus characteristics. Both AVG and Mcaffee missed detection, Norton caught it. During the same few weeks I left all three installed and running, Norton was the only one to catch a real email virus!
I know it sounds like I own stock in Norton, but I dont, I just know that it will definately catch virus before doing damage. I'd love to give the smaller companies a chance (especially the free AV )but Norton works so why take a chance with others.

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Re:Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by dbain2k / April 18, 2004 2:04 PM PDT

I hate to put a spanner in your works there buddy but I've just discovered that Norton AV 2003 let 7 Trojans go completely undetected on my system for SIX MONTHS! Not once did NAV detect any one of them. And how did I find them? When I decided to try Dell's AV Software of choice for their PowerEdge line of servers... Eset NOD32 (http://www.nod32.com). Weird name yes, but not only does this program have a very small footprint, it's interface is quite easy and it's scanner is VERY easy on your CPU. I was surprised when I was able to continue using the system normally while the scan was running. Which, by the way, only took 13 minutes to scan 156GB of stuff. And yes, it picked up everything. Happy

And along with that I use ZoneLabs' excellent ZoneAlarm, although some people would say that there are better software firewalls. I've been using this one for quite some time and it's great. I also have an ADSL Router so I'm pretty well protected.

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Re:Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by Chuckaway / April 18, 2004 4:22 PM PDT

I used to have Zonealarm and AVG but I found that AVG does not stop/filter viruses at all. Now I am on Avast anti virus and it's really good. It's also free!

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Re:Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by zanxxx / April 19, 2004 3:41 AM PDT

You are not the only one to give Norton and AVG a "real world" test. In my test Norton was installed and updated and found one virus. After installing AVG and updating minutes later it found an additional 3 viruses. So much for Norton's superiority!

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by Savoir Faire / April 13, 2004 9:03 AM PDT

Get a router/switch, might as well be WRT54G wireless Linksys, for a hardware firewall built-in. Get rid of whatever that AV you have and get Trend Micro PC-cillan $50 (Their website allows you to scan your system for free). Trend is on top of it. Norton is garbage. Norton misses more than they detect. Trend issues bulletins that the industry picks up before they know what is released out there. Turn off your email preview screen. Nice feature with a huge exploitation hole. (No one recommends this but it is (and will be reported later this year) the way viruses, spyware and attacks can happen.

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by WiBrid / April 14, 2004 3:29 PM PDT

I disagree w/Faire about AVG. IMO it's better than all the rest 'cause it doesn't suck up resources like the rest of them. Faire is right about the router/firewall. Wireless is okay as long as you're not going to broadcast anything you want to keep secret.

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by CindySue48 / April 18, 2004 1:16 PM PDT

I use an antivirus program that automatically checks for updates (and I check weekly). I have this running in the background...and also run a full scan at least weekly.

I also have a router (which has a firewall), and weekly (at least) run 2 spyware detection programs. Spybot and Adaware.

I never open emails, let alone attachments unless I know who it's from. And I virus scan all attachments before I open them.

I'll admit, I'm a bit paranoid...but I had to pay to have my computer reformatted once because of a trojan horse virus.

Hope this helps....Cindy

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by Marlene / April 18, 2004 1:24 PM PDT

first you need a good fire wall such as kerio, black ice or sygate that will keep all your ports in stealth mode from hackers. stealth makes you machine invisible to hackers pings. you simply dont exist on the internet in stealth mode. http://scan.sygate.com/ is a sight to test how secure your ports really are. http://www.pestpatrol.com/, I find pest patrol a must for detecting any type of bugs. set it to search for everything. adaware6 is another good program and avast virus detecter. I dont put much trust in mcaffee or norton anymore after I found the bios port wide open and the fact they missed a trojan. TD3 is another excellent trojan finder. if money is a problem, cnet and zdnet both have an assortment of decent free programs to download.

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Re:Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by pooch / April 18, 2004 1:53 PM PDT

I have found that using with AVG viruscan,adaware, and
the free version of Zonealarm that I have had no big
problems. Also use spybot Search & Destroy. Also use
Housecalls,trendmicros online virus scan once a month.
Between the above apps they pickup all of the nasties

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by aussie_8 / April 18, 2004 2:07 PM PDT

Hi Newbie...
I've been running broadband for some time now with very little problems using XP Professional. I'm very concious of the need for personal/computer security because of the fact that the computer is connected to the net full-time, so I personally installed a decent firewall (Sygate Personal Firewall .... a freebie), a very good anti-virus program (NOD32 Anti-virus), a good program that notifies me if anything tries to install on my machine without my knowledge (WinPatrol v 7.0.0.0 ..... another freebie) and a spyware/pop-up/trojan/worm/advert blocker (Spyblocker). Whilst a lot of people pay lip-service to computer security I've always found that the integrity of your security is governed by the regularity in which you keep it updated, and I might add this includes the Microsoft Security and Critical Updates. Hope this helps.....

Aussie_8

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by medicineman / April 18, 2004 3:38 PM PDT

I use McAfee for my anti-virus and have used Zone Alarm and other various "soft" firewalls in the past. As I'm sure others have said (without reading every single response...) any good spyware or adware scanner is a must any more.

BY FAR... the safest and most secure way to keep you rig free from unwanted intruders, is to simply cut the power to the power to your broadband modem or d/c the connection when you're gone for the day. Simply put, if there is NO connection to begin with, you don't have to worry about any of the other stuff to begin with.

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by Mighty / April 19, 2004 2:48 PM PDT

I'm afraid turning off your machine when you're not using it won't help, much. People who have run tests have recorded that the average Windows machine gets probed within 15 minutes of being turned on.

Personally, for the last few years I've had a standalone Linux box that acts as a firewall. For my mom and a friend, I purchased D-Link or Lynksys firewall devices, since they're under $50 now. I just can't imagine putting a Windows machine directly onto the net regardless of which software "firewall" you have.

The "my virus scanner is better than yours" discussion so far has been entertaining. If you've paid any attention to reviews over the years you'll know that no virus scanner is perfect. Which is "best" varies depending on the tests thrown at it. All will miss some of the new viruses as they appear in the wild. Any of the popular ones are Good Enough and will catch most viruses, as long as they're kept up-to-date. I happen to use PC-Cillin on one machine, and Norton came with a Dell I just got. So I have two of the most popular running right now. I also use Spamcop to filter my spam, and it seems to catch most of the viruses before they ever get to my machine. I think PC-Cillin has only spotted one in the last year.

I also run Spybot and AdAware occasionally.

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by Xloggie / April 18, 2004 3:44 PM PDT

Zone Alarm is not nearly enough. Neither is Z A Pro anymore. I would go with Sygate Per PRO Ver. And I would go to AnalogX and download their Portblocker on top of that. When your done with doing the above go to the Sygate Home Page and do one of their PC security checks. I would also go to: http://www.symantec.com/freesecuritycheck/ and do their security checks as well; can't hurt to get a 2nd opinion.
Joe B.
Louisville, KY

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by michael77 / April 18, 2004 5:27 PM PDT

zone alarm is a very good program to start with
also i like the avast virus protection. the boot sector scan is a smart feature
i run a presario @ 512/128 configured to get about 94%
of my bandwidth utilized. i have no worries for protection, and no slow connection like with some of the other anti virus programs ive tried.
zone has many configurable features but it loads ready to protect your computer then as you go it will configure for your usage as you specify
and the support is great if you should run into problems though i never have
then theres the internet lock feature that will stop activity when your computer is idle very nice

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by michael77 / April 18, 2004 5:35 PM PDT

zone is all youll need havent used avg antivirus but if it works for you then great
ill check but there should be no problem switching
from whatever connection you have now to broadband
but zone will recognize a new network and configure itself for it though you may want to reset alerts and logs so you will have an idea whats coming at you
i have my alerts shut off so i dont see whats coming in but you even get the isp from where any attack comes from pretty cool just hit more info on the alert and you can get all kinds of info

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by fo33ie / April 18, 2004 5:37 PM PDT

I use Zone Alarm configured so that my computer is hidden from the internet. It is also important to have an anti virus regularly updated. I also use Spybot to see what nasty cookie my web browsing has left behind. If you use SOCKS protocol beware that some hackers use this to hack your PC and you may not know they have been. I only found out because I use Proxy Plus as a server on my home network to share the connection and the logs told me of unauthorised access. This was even with Zone Alarm Pro installed, but the latest version appears to have stopped this.

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by jrg / April 18, 2004 6:38 PM PDT

Everyone has metioned most everything, except that I don't see a suggestion to use some of gibson research's free programs, such as decombobulator, unplug 'n pray, and shoot the messenger. www.grc.com is the site. Also, I don't see any mention about using less popularly hacked email programs, such as Eudora. I use the email program built into Mozilla's browser, which let's me delete emails without previewing them. I also use 'Netpeeker', but it's pretty technical. Then, I am convinced it's good to find a list of XP services that aren't usually needed, and see if you can operate with some of them turned off. Of course, the only safe way to surf, is to stay off of any networks, especially the internet, but that's not much fun.

On Cable, I use a hardware firewall, the zone alarm pro software firewall, AVG, and PestPatrol always, plus the three Gibson Research utilties above.

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by nigelr / April 18, 2004 7:58 PM PDT

It is always a good idea to have a seperate firewall rather than working on the computer that you are using.
It is possible to buy a router but it is also possible to use an old computer (anything from an i486 and up).
I have one set up using nothing more than a floppy drive and two network cards -- one connected to the modem and the other to a hub, to which the other computers on our small home network are connected.
To make it all work I use Coyote Linux http://www.coyotelinux.com -- no need for a hard drive! and it's free Happy

Nigel

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Re:Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by bill1017 / April 19, 2004 8:08 PM PDT

I agree completly, one of the best things you can do is have some type of an external "firewall."

Even if you only have one computer connected to the your broadband connection you should get a broadband router. It makes your computer completly invisable to hackers. I have found that software firewall that run on your PC are a pain in the neck.

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by nigelr / April 18, 2004 8:11 PM PDT

Just another thought (without wanting to start any flame wars) but if you want to experiment a bit, why not give Linux a try? I've been using it for about 3 years now and don't have to worry about viruses, trojans, worms etc.

If you want to stick with XP then do as someone else suggested and use Eudora or Pegasus for your mail and switch browser, something like Firefox or even Opera; then there's less chance of someone taking advantage of security issues within IE or Outlook Express.

Nigel

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by LlewellynA / April 18, 2004 8:40 PM PDT

I have been a Broadband user for several years, during which time I have had some very nasty things happen several severe attacks from virus related stuff, which have shut down my entire system, at the time I believed I was protected by a certain virus protection system, and it turned out that the virus beat the updates.

I finally feel a lot more secure with what I installed a couple of months ago.

It is very powerful and auto updates 'virus signatures' very often.

This one product contains everything, real time e-mail, Firewall, anti-spyware,anti-dialer, and ability to filter out nasty web sites.

The only delima acording to cnet's provisions I cannot tell you what the product is, this could be seen as advertising.

Perhaps a small clue may be allowed.
Clue:- "a black and white endangered bamboo eating animal"

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by tfnewkirk / April 19, 2004 12:33 AM PDT

zone alarm should do it really. but always (in xp anyway) have the installed firewall checked under network connections. . . just as a precaution.

tim in florida

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by johnnyg / April 19, 2004 3:19 AM PDT

I've been on Cable Broadband for a couple of years now...on and off i've used Mcaffe, Norton, Zonealarm, Sygate....its hard to know where to stop!!

Most recently I upgraded to Windows XP and dare I say it had been running it on Broadband for ages with just the in built firewall and AVG free(really stupid!!! do not do this!!). Now I still have AVG free(ok its a little limited, but if you know what your doing its Ok) but I also have OUTPOST free firewall which again is very good if you know what your doing(they do a pay version which I must assume is very very good) I also have recently started using Spybot search and destroy.....this is great....but watch out for links to other similar named products...basically if you are asked for money then you are the wrong place the real Spybot search and destroy if FREE!

Oh and by the way I do not think anyone has mentioned yet...its really boring basic computer stuff...but MAKE BACKUPS of your important STUFF!!! regularily and if using Windows XP always use the restore point feature before installing any suapect software if you dare!!

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by demon_knight21 / April 19, 2004 4:15 AM PDT

hello there easy to sto ne1 gettin in jus run ipcop linux operating system can be downloaded for free user friendly and works on ip tables it also can be configured for all purposes as a normal net user or a small business i use a simple dell pentium 2 machine which cost

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Norton Internet Security!
by Balastrea / April 19, 2004 8:41 AM PDT

I would NEVER go Broadband with out it?
You get extra firewall protection plus Anti-Virus program.
Good luck Happy

Balastrea

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by Magic Raven / April 20, 2004 3:02 AM PDT

I recently installed Trojan Guarder for a minimal cost - have had no problems since. Was getting many Trojans previously. Norton Anti-virus has captured all the "netsky"'s so far.

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Re:Newbie to broadband internet...
by cuestuff / April 22, 2004 5:05 AM PDT

I use an email notifier (ePrompter) which allows me to review received messages prior to their being downloaded to my machine, and I assume this gives me an opportunity to delete questionable messages while they are still at the server level.

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