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Give me advice on security

1948 Views 25 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  brendandonhu
Well there you go, I never had any problems with any viruses and didn't own a virus software either. I guess I was lucky.
But........anyones luck has to end one day and it did. We are running 3 family computers at home, all on win98 and a
homenetwork, 2 computers are hooked on the internet via dialup, and one is not on the internet. But we had all 3 infected with
the pe_funlove.4099, one was infected additionally with the pe_spaces and two of the opa virus's. We spent the
last 2 days scanning/removing/reloading etc. I hope we got rid of them, but who knows for sure.
Now, I need some down to earth advice here, not so much about the particular virus's, I saw there was another post
about the same problem, but more about security.
Honestly, I don't want to go overboard with a million programs running in the background trying to protect me and
slowing my computer down to the unbearable, our internet connection is slow enough with 33,6 kbps at the most.
But I do want to do something to save me more grey hair when it comes to virus/hacking etc.
So what do I need, Firewall, Virusscan what else.
Does a firewall have to be updated like a Virus software? Which Virus software do you think is best? I heard that
pc cillin is too complicated, McAffee too memory hungry, there is symantec, I heard good things there, but of course
that is all bias to other peoples experiences with them.
Give me some more informed opinions, of course, money matters too, if I can get it cheap.......the better, or even free?
I know I'm asking too much.
Anyway, give me some more ideas to think about.
And what about adaware, somebody suggested that a while back here at the techguy's posts I had, but now I read it is outdated
and the adaware 'maker' abandonded it? What program would be there to replace it?
Thanks a bunch.
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anti virus:AVG
adaware is very good to have
spybot search & destroy:does the same job but finds things that adaware misses(and vica verca) get both.
spywareblaster: stops most spyware from installing itself.

all are freeware and dont eat much

hope this helps............have a nice new year:cool:
i have just been looking through spyware info
and they are advising us to remove adaware as it hasnt been updated since sept 24
they are saying it is dangerous to run, i have replaced mine with spybot and it seems fine :)
Nope, you shouldnt be using AdAware anymore.

Just so you know, Spybot and SpywareBlaster dont need to always be running in the background, I run them about every 2 weeks.
I agree Zone alarm is a must. Avg is good too. And run spybot every week or two or if you notice performance going down.

Highly recommend all three.

I don't believe that any of these programs effect your modem speed.

I also eliminated adaware.

good luck

I read that about adaware too that's why I was wondering what to do with it, but if it is not
updated, how soon will the program be outdated? So I will try the programs that you
Now you guys tell me though, what is the difference between the high priced let's say
Norton Internet Security pack and the programs that you guys suggested.
Would they be doing the same trick, and the only difference is a high price or what other
differences are there?
Thanks again.
Norton's package has a whole set of utilities, like CleanSweep and a Crash Protector and a few more.
But I believe virus definitions are 20 bucks a year!
AVG is antivirus only, but totally free. Most of those utilities can also be found free if you get them separate.
Both packages get virus definitions just as soon. AVG definitions rarely come more than 1 day after Norton's.
I have heard that Norton is better at cleaning than AVG. I have never had this problem out of the 4 viruses ive gotten. If this is the case, you can go to the Symantec site, and they offer free removal tools or instructions.
Ok, so more or less you are saying that you personally don't find it worth it to buy norton
or similar, that the freeware is more or less doing the same service, for less.
I wouldn't need crash guard etc. as I find some of those programs are just a tad too much.
I have checked already zonealarm and avg, so I will start downloading them probably asap, just
one last question, I haven't updated win98 lately, are there any patches that you would
consider worth downloading i.e. security in win98?
Yup there have been a few critical updates lately.
I would download all the patches you can get, as MS is dropping 98 at the end of June.
Ok, so I have everything downloaded except a windows update, but why I'm replying is
Zonealarm is giving me a headache, the download link redirects to Cnet, but when I try
downloading from there, (and they give just one link), I get an error message that 'server has
internal error'. Is it just me or is the link down for everybody else too?
Ok, I have downloaded that now too, I tried with netscape originally, and it always gave me an err
now I tried with IE and that worked right away.
So I'm set, I installed Zonealarm, and will work on all the other stuff too.
Thanks a bunch guys, as guys rock.
I would not consider myself a security expert personally, but if your really looking towards some overall security, like internet security as well as general security, then you might want to consider switching off Windows 98 (as well as 95/ME) as they have a lot more vulnerabilities than most any other OS's.

I know your looking more in terms of viruses and that sort of thing, but your not that secure on Windows 98 to begin with. As I said, if you want to be secure in general, switching off of 98 to like 2000/XP or even going to other (Mac, Unix, etc... although Windows would generally be better for most people) can help out in terms of security, more or less hackers and such along that line (Windows 2000/XP will not give A LOT of protection ITSELF, but as I said, Windows 98 and the 9x line are not that stable and overall vulnerable, so you may wish to consider it, but it is purely up to you!!!).
If you have a good firewall, it does not make 1 bit of difference what OS you are using.
Thank you for the further replies. I know that Windows isn't the best in Security, but..........I'm not much of a fan of
Windows XP or similar, I wouldn't even be able to explain why, friends of ours bought Windows XP last summer thinking of upgrading
from Win98, the amount of hardware conflicts/non compatibility etc was just unreal. I know...many are going to reply
now that it probably was a bad coincidence. Anyway I don't like Windows XP all that much, also it is my understanding
that I can install XP only at one I'm not 'lending' my program and serial number to other people,
but as I said in the first message..............we run 3 computers in this family, so I would have to buy the same program
3 times over?
Plus,my husband likes to play around with hardware on his computer............which at times more or less means reinstalling
Windows, so how many times can I reinstall XP without having to contact Microsoft? It is my understanding that I only can
reinstall a limited times? Anyway, this is off topic, at this point and time I'm not ready to switch to XP, I know though
that sooner or later that decision will come up.
I did test my firewall with 'Shields up" and it worked pretty good. I'm happy, for now.
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Some excellent programs are free, you don't have to buy them even once, I use these myself:
AVG antivirus from
Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.4 from
Spybot S&D, mentioned aboce.

There is also a good Zone Alarm free firewall.
I can understand your situation and it is completely understandable. I was merely trying to inform you as to Windows XP, because there are those that simply have no idea how unstable/unsecure/etc the 9x line is until they have a lot of experience with both the NT and 9x line.

XP unfortunately does have hardware problems and such, but this is because, as said, it is meant to be secure, and thus "unsecure" hardware which can make the system vulnerable (usually this is older hardware, most all hardware produced coming upon and after XP do and should work 100%). Chances are likely that they just had an older computer.

As to using Windows XP on multiple computers, it can be done. But I must strongly urge and note that it is illegal.

Considering your situation ingeneral, I would now suggest only to consider upgrading if you happen to get of some of your computers, buy a new computer, etc. Otherwise it really is sort of at a disadvantage for your situation.

As for reinstalling Windows XP, I do not believe it has a SET number of times you can do it, this should not be however because you do own the "program", and I do believe you paid for it as a whole, and not for a "period of time".

For your viruses and firewalls, I wish you goodluck in finding a good one.
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XPs limitation is that it checks your hardware, once you change a major piece of hardware, you have to call microsoft and have your computer "re-enabled". People had big problems with this before XP came out, but after it started shipping I havent heard complaints. Maybe its not as bad as it sounds.
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