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How Much is Enough?

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#1 DDay


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Posted 17 March 2004 - 08:51 PM

After deciding to get serious about security on a new machine, and reviewing various forums (including this one and ComputerCops) and software reviews, I'm wondering how much security is enough and is the security net I've built good enough to do the trick -- especially with the keyloggers that I keep hearing about. I'm not a security professional -- far from it -- but just a conscientious user who would like to feel a sense of control over my home/small business systems.

I've currently got the following installed:

Symantec AV
ZoneAlarm (freebie)
Spybot S&D
Trojan Remover (trial)
Popup Blocker (installed w/ AShampoo WinOptimizer)

I briefly installed Proximatron and I liked how it killed banner ads -- especially the movement -- but it kinda felt like it took all of the fun out of the web. I was unable to show my wife a hysterical British TV ad I'd received as long as I had it installed -- not for the easily offended.

Is the stuff listed above enough to keep out worms, trojans and keyloggers? Do I need to suck it up and reinstall Proximatron (and learn how to customize it to a lower security setting than the lowest provided with the program) or maybe WormGuard, DNSKong, DSO Stop, HTA Stop, Unplug 'n' Pray, Shoot the Messenger, etc. (see Sponge's Checklist)? Some of the advice I've seen seems extreme, but maybe I'm just naive. Do these all of the above programs and share lists of malware in their updates? Or do you need to have each of these programs installed (or some other ones) to get full coverage? Any opinions on these subjects would be warmly welcomed.

While I'm asking, are there any decent backup utility programs and/or utilities suites that are (1) preferably freeware and (2) suitable for a novice to intermediate user. I've run OneClick Optimization Utility on AShampoo's WinOptimizer Platinum, but boy did that thing knock out a lot of .dll files. I'm waiting to see if any of my programs stop running before trying to decide whether it's worth buying. On the other hand, maybe it is too dangerous for someone like myself to even be fiddling with temp files, dll's and registries.

Thanks for all the great info posted around this forum. This is quite an impressive community. Cheers.


Edited by TheSentinel, 22 April 2010 - 05:54 PM.
Broken link removed

#2 CalamityJane


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Posted 17 March 2004 - 10:56 PM

Hi DDay and welcome to the forum flowerz.gif flowerz.gif

Your list is very similar to mine with the exception of the popup blocker...I found I didn't really need one and it did interfere with other stuff I needed to popup up, so rather than hassle with it, I found that using IESPYAD and a secure IE browser takes care of most of them. Recently I have switched to using Firebird (now Firefox) and really enjoy surfing hassle-free with that. I have IE onhand for things that I know need ActiveX, or don't render properly in Firefox.

I've had Trojan Remover for about 2 years and it's nice and light and doesn't run any resources. I wanted a simple on-demand scanner for checking files. I now also use the KAV online file check which is great for checking for trojans and viruses both (and it's free ahah.gif ). It's really great with the packed files, many others can't identify.

Single file check (KAV)

Since I don't do file sharing or download much from the internet (except from program authors sites), I'm not a real big risk user. I also know how to handle email securely (I use mostly web-based email) and never even download an attachment I'm not expecting. Even when I do I am sure to scan it first with ALL my stuff, before opening it.
Some others will be along I'm sure with some more input for you. Meanwhile here are some really great links to bookmark for basic PC security reference. Perhaps these will help you to have on hand. I'm more a believer in education of the user and the risks to avoid rather than dependence on software (which can lead to a false sense of security).

Home Computer Security

Protecting Your Home Network

Home Network Security

Malicious Code Propagation and Antivirus Software Updates

CERT? Advisory CA-1999-02 Trojan Horses

National Institue of Standards and Technology
Computer Security Resource Center

Stay Safe Online

We have some great references pinned about this forum too of interest if you browse around in the Security areas a bit :)

I think getting serious about PC security is probably your best protection :thumb:

#3 bluesman821


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Posted 18 March 2004 - 01:27 AM

I use some of the mentioned along with Mailwasher to view my email on the server instead of just downloading everything. http://www.mailwasher.net/
There is a free version and a paid version. :thumb:

#4 toadbee


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Posted 18 March 2004 - 03:25 AM


I think you're doing just fine there ;) You've got a great mix of anti-malware software running.

I see your Anti-trojan is trial, and In my opinion i think its important to have an anti-trojan running along with your anti-virus these days. So - make one of them permanent one of these days ;)

but it kinda felt like it took all of the fun out of the web

Well you kinda answered you're own question - "how much is enough?" :) You just found that level. When you're not having fun, whats the point?

All in all I think you're doing great, pick the products that work well on your machine and that you are comfortable with - and most importantly -

Also keep your OS up to date as well ;)

Back your data up!

And watch those emails!!!! If its not something you think is super important - let it sit a few days, get a few more updates from symantic, then open the attachment if you must.

Oh my , if you're using software like Kazaa (file sharing), well, good luck :blink:

Be careful out there :)

#5 TeMerc


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Posted 18 March 2004 - 06:29 AM

Well, now that ya got the goodies to try and stay clean, time for testing:
Scanit Browser Test
Browser Spy:
Shields Up:

Good luck!!!

#6 Moore


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Posted 19 March 2004 - 02:14 PM

Hi DDay heres a list of some of the freeware tools i use , SSM is a great free way to make sure only the things you want to run on your computer are allowed to. ahah.gif


#7 DDay


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Posted 11 April 2004 - 05:03 PM

Thanks all for your replies. Your expertise is greatly appreciated. Cheers.