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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

What I did was in my years of learning about computers, was to establish a general consensus of what every computer user should do to maintain their systems. This is based on the views of many people. Everyone SHOULD:

1.) Have an UPDATED anti-virus program. Keep this program updated at least weekly. If you have an auto-update feature turned on, still do it manually weekly, because auto update will often times miss things.

2.) If on a network (i.e any "always on") connection, you must have a network firewall. Both Windows XP SP-1 and XP SP-2 have built-in firewalls. If you are running a second or third party software firewall, turn off the one in XP if that is your OS. Two firewalls runnning together can deplete system resources and cause conflicts.

3.) Get a pop-up blocker and make sure it is turned on. Like a firewall you only need one. Lack of a pop-up blocker will cause open invites to spam/spyware.

4.) Install good spyware removal and adware removal software and like virus definitions, CHECK FOR UPDATES WEEKLY. Two of the best are Spybot Search and Destroy and Adaware. They are free and do a great job! (When running Adware for the first time, UNCHECK the option about searching for neglicable risk entries.) This means it will only search for Adware that it KNOWS is bad, not just what it THINKS is bad. (i.e false positives won't be identified.)

5.) Periodically clean out your browser's history and cache files.

6.) Never open an e-mail attatchment without first scanning it with your anti-virus software.

7.) Never give out personal information UNLESS you are on a site that you know and trust AND that site uses strong encription for your protection.

8.) Never respond to solicited e-mail (i.e mailing lists) Never respond to solicited e-mail that says it will remove you from a mailing list. This can alert a spammer that your e-mail address is valid.

9.) Have at least two e-mail addresses. One, a personal account that you use for friends and family and another that you can use if you WANT to be on a mailing list, or join forums and such. Don't give out any personal information when you register for the mailing list account. This will allow you to keep the "fun stuff" seperate from your personal information account.

10.) If a site or URL looks suspicious, it probably is, don't go there!

Jack
 

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poochee said:
How do you clean the cache file? I clean my history and cookie file regularly.
Cache is temporary internet files in IE or it's called cache in opera or Firefox and is emptied from tools/options (or preferences) in all browsers
 

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dvk01 said:
Cache is temporary internet files in IE or it's called cache in opera or Firefox and is emptied from tools/options (or preferences) in all browsers
Thanks, I have been doing that. Didn't connect it with "cache". I have a local ISP with an excellent filter called Barracuda. It stops all spam and potential viruses. I go to Barracuda and select delete or deliver. I prefer local companies. Better service and no junk.
 

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I would also include replacing IE as your brower in your top 10 list... Internet Explorer is the most predominate application used for exploit and system hacking... Firefox is the browser d'jour, while Avant Browser, IMHO, is light-years beyond anything out there. It is one of the net's best kept secret...
 

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dwolfe [nice moniker by the way... ;) :up:], was aware of Avant, but it is my understanding that it is not a unique, totally different browser - its more of an enhancement or add-upon IE. Whereas FireFox (for example) is a totally different animal. Good suggestion, but just wanted to clarify that point. :)

Jack - great tips!!! :up: Might be good if someone [hint, hint ;)] would combine posts such as yours, with http://forums.techguy.org/t322854.html, and other similar ones, and then make it into a sticky for all to review and update as necessary? Would be one post where all such protection goodies could be stored. Just a thought... :)
 

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Firefox is what you'd want(Avant is IE based), but hackable isnt the right term. Firefox is one of the most hackable browsers out there, but its one of the least vulnerable. Every firefox extension is someone who hacked the browser. Get the termonology right:)

By the way, IMHO isn't a browser, its netspeak for In My Honest Opinion
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ADD #11 to my Computer Protection List!

11.) When you run your Adaware/Spyware removal programs, close out of everything and TURN OFF your anti-virus and security software. (Do it JUST for those programs.) The reason is that these will deep scan your registry and sometimes virus protection doesn't like those programs doing that. Let the Spyware Removal and Adware removal do their things. When done with those programs, BE SURE TO REACTIVATE YOUR VIRUS SCANNER AND INTERNET SECURITY PROGRAMS BEFORE YOU REOPEN YOUR WEB BROWSER!

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
bkpeck said:
Then I shouldn't run Sygate Firewall and the one on XP at the same time? I guess I have been doing that!!
Right, for firewalls, you should only run one firewall and turn off the other one.

Pop-up blockers, don't seem to use as many system resources. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have two pop up blockers on, but you really only need one.

The firewall issue is very important though. BOTH XP SP-1 and XP SP-2 have firewalls turned on by default. If you are running SP-2, Microsoft will recommend that you turn off the XP firewall if you are running second or third party firewall software. In fact, if you have Norton Internet Security Firewall, it will do it for you after the SP-2 instillation. If you have SP-1 and another firewall, you should turn off the firewall in SP-1 as well. You will ONLY get a reminder about it in SP-2.

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Disabling the NETWORK CONNECTION FIREWALL IN WINDOWS XP SP-1

(Taken from the Help and Support Menu in Windows XP)

To enable or disable Internet Connection Firewall:

1.) Open Network Connections

(Click on "Start", "Control Panel")

2.) Click the Dial-up, LAN or High-Speed Internet connection that you want to protect, and then, under Network Tasks, click Change settings of this connection.

3.) On the Advanced tab, under Internet Connection Firewall, select one of the following:

A.) To enable Internet Connection Firewall (ICF), select the Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet check box.

B.)To disable Internet Connection Firewall, clear the Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet check box.

Notes:

To open Network Connections, click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.

You must be logged on as a computer administrator to complete this procedure. (Note from me: If you are a home user, you have nothing to worry about with this step.)

If you clear the Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet check box, the firewall on your computer is disabled, and your network is vulnerable to intrusions. (Note from me: But, if you are running another firewall, you will need to turn this option off (Clear the check box) so that the two firewalls don't conflict with each other.)

You should not enable Internet Connection Firewall on virtual private networking (VPN) connections or on client computers because ICF will interfere with file and printer sharing.

ICF cannot be enabled on the private connections of the Internet Connection Sharing host computer.

Internet Connection Sharing, Internet Connection Firewall, Discovery and Control, and Network Bridge are not available on Windows XP 64-Bit Edition.

Jack
 
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