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> Firewalls, Anti-Virus Programs, Spyware, I Need Your Advice
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lochnarus
post Jan 4 2005, 10:17 PM
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I've been having problems lately with trojans and worm files getting into my system, for some reason I get them just being on the net and coming here to post...I dont understand how that can happen, I dont go to many sites...but there it is, I run my AVG program and sure enough there's always some kind of trojan or worm making my comp slow. So I have decided to get one of the free firewall programs, ZoneAlarm. Here's my questions:

1. Is a firewall something that will prevent this trojan/worm infestation? Do they work at all

2. Does ZoneAlarm prevent unautorized access to my comp? Are there better FREE firewalls than ZA?

3. Is anyone else that comes here being 'attacked' like me? I think that most of the times that my AV goes virus alarm off is when I'm on THESE forums. I dont do a whole lot of browsing on the web, and I think I'm being targeted. Any thoughts on this?

I just want to be able to surf the web without having my system invaded. Thanks for your time and advice.


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I'm just wondering how many times Loch is going to bother to repeat what he does and does not do, before he just tells us all to jump off a cliff.
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Vampyre
post Jan 4 2005, 10:26 PM
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QUOTE(lochnarus @ Jan 4 2005, 10:17 PM)
I've been having problems lately with trojans and worm files getting into my system, for some reason I get them just being on the net and coming here to post...I dont understand how that can happen, I dont go to many sites...but there it is, I run my AVG program and sure enough there's always some kind of trojan or worm making my comp slow. So I have decided to get one of the free firewall programs, ZoneAlarm. Here's my questions:

1. Is a firewall something that will prevent this trojan/worm infestation? Do they work at all

2. Does ZoneAlarm prevent unautorized access to my comp? Are there better FREE firewalls than ZA?

3. Is anyone else that comes here being 'attacked' like me? I think that most of the times that my AV goes virus alarm off is when I'm on THESE forums. I dont do a whole lot of browsing on the web, and I think I'm being targeted. Any thoughts on this?

I just want to be able to surf the web without having my system invaded. Thanks for your time and advice.
*


1. Yes
2. Yes and mostly a matter of opinion
3. You can get attacked within 30 seconds of logging in. My parents dialup account would have gotten infected with something within minutes of logging in if it wasn't for me installing some stuff

Check out Sysgate Personal Firewall and Kerio Personal Firewall.

Sysgate is more user friendly
I would consider Kerio to be more powerful.
ZoneAlarm is good but it can do strange things on some systems.
especially if you try using it with programs such as Azureus.

Always try and keep your windows machine up to date
even if you are not going up to Service Pack 2 (I'm not)
you should still regularly check for updates.

This post has been edited by Vampyre: Jan 4 2005, 10:27 PM


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Hannah
post Jan 4 2005, 10:45 PM
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QUOTE(lochnarus @ Jan 4 2005, 07:17 PM)
1. Is a firewall something that will prevent this trojan/worm infestation? Do they work at all

They're only as good as the person behind the computer. The rule of thumb is to practice safe surfing by:

1. Keeping your OS up to date (i.e., installing Windows Updates)

2. Keep your anti-virus definitions up to date. At the rate of infection now-a-days, I have mine scan for updates every day. I can schedule this with Windows so it's a "set once and leave it" task.

3. Run a virus scan every week. Again you can set it to be automatic.

4. Run an online virus scan at least once a month or whenever you suspect your computer is infected. Virii are smart these days and can shut down your anti-virus program without your knowledge! An online virus scan like Trend Micro's cannot be shut down. It's free and comes with an "auto-clean" function.

5. Never ever open an email attachment that you weren't expecting or looks even slighly suspicious. If in doubt, always email the sender and ask "did you send this?"

6. Consider switching to another broswer that is more secure than IE. Firefox is a good choice as it blocks popups and prevents unauthorized installation of programs by websites. It also happens to be better at being a browser, but that's just my opinion ;)

7. Keep spyware removal programs on hand and consider doing scheduled scans with them. Spyware can sneak onto your computer without your knowledge, eat system resources, cause browser hijacks, and inundate you with pop-up ads. Spybot and Adaware when used together help remove spyware. Both are free and what one misses, the other one catches. Severe infections might require detailed removal instructions plus a program called Hijackthis.

8. Speaking of spyware, always double check free applications downloaded from the internet. They could be spyware! IBIS toolbar might look like a handy application for your search bar but it isn't. A quick Google search on the program name will let you know pretty quickly if it's spyware.

QUOTE(lochnarus @ Jan 4 2005, 07:17 PM)
2. Does ZoneAlarm prevent unautorized access to my comp? Are there better FREE firewalls than ZA?

ZoneAlarm, in my opinion is the best free firewall out there. As for preventing unauthorized access, yes, sort of. ZoneAlarm will put your computer and its ports into stealth mode. However, that's not to say that someone can't get in! If your system is unpatched or if you already have a trojan running, your system can be compromised. ZoneAlarm doesn't close all ports, but it does a pretty darned good job of it. Check out GRC's Shields Up! for more info on this and to see what other potential security problems your computer might have.

QUOTE(lochnarus @ Jan 4 2005, 07:17 PM)
3. Is anyone else that comes here being 'attacked' like me? I think that most of the times that my AV goes virus alarm off is when I'm on THESE forums. I dont do a whole lot of browsing on the web, and I think I'm being targeted. Any thoughts on this?

Not I! I'm thinking you're infected with something. It could be spyware, it could be a trojan. If I were you, I'd:

1. Run an online scan (linked above) with Auto-Clean turned on.
2. Download, install and run Spybot.
3. Download, install and run Adaware. Adaware will often ask you to reboot after a removal. Everytime you reboot after scanning and cleaning, always run it again. Some spyware can hide in the boot sector and just keep coming back! If that should happen, you'll have to go the Hijackthis route. Let's cross our fingers we don't (because it's a little complicated)
4. Once all signs of infection are gone, update your virus prefs.
5. Install and configure ZoneAlarm.

If you're hooked up to a network, disconnect your computer from the network first. Some virii are network aware!

Good luck! :)


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Keeper_garrett1
post Jan 4 2005, 10:54 PM
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Zone alarm is a very powerfull tool in which will stop any data going and coming to your computer, unles you give the data alloowancies... Every other port is blocked, and allows no data to be passed. I would recomend it.

Apart from that, I use norton system works to keep my system running fine, if your looking for a free virus killer, that wont just delete files that are virus infected, but will actually remove the virus, and attemp to keep the file without deleting it, i would recomend a virus killer called 'AntiVir' which can be freely downloaded from here:

http://www.free-av.com/

For spyware i use adaware, which can also be downloaded freely from here:
www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download

Ummmm...... Thinking thats all.....

Oh, the antivirus thing will run in the background when you start your computer up, if you dont want this, simple click START>RUN> and type 'MSCONIG' and go to startup tab..

Here is a big list of all the crap that can startup when windows does, to save recources i unticj almost all of them, leaving just a few running.. The antivirus, can still detect viruses even though it's not running, but you have to right click on the file and go to scan... I would recomend doing that...

Good luck!


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efin
post Jan 4 2005, 10:59 PM
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Get Sygate Personal Firewall. It's intuitive and easy, when compared to some others. I used ZA first, but like SPF much better. Combined with Spybot Search & Destroy, my computer seems to me to be pretty safe from almost all attackers.

And yes, being on broadband, I get a TON of attacks, port scans, etc.

EDIT: For antivirus, I use AVAST! Antivirus, which is free. It also gives you 14 months of free updates to the program and definitions.


This post has been edited by efin: Jan 4 2005, 11:01 PM


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lochnarus
post Jan 4 2005, 11:02 PM
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Well the combination I have at this point is AdAware (had that forever, use it everyday), AVG (which seems to work well but is sometimes buggy on updates) and now ZoneAlarm, which I presum is working because since I installed it ten minutes ago have had 11 attempts to access my comp blocked.

I will try the online scanners and thanks for all thew advice. Cheers!


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I'm just wondering how many times Loch is going to bother to repeat what he does and does not do, before he just tells us all to jump off a cliff.
- Gren
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