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David Klug
07-26-2003, 12:22 AM
We have a new cable co. in town and they came out with a nice package that I decided to go with. What I am wondering is what kind of security problems am I going to have. I understand that when your computer is on you are on line all the time. Is there a way to turn it off or block it so someone can't get into your computer? Any ideas or suggestions for handleing this security issue would be appreciated.

Dave

Tom Sweeney
07-26-2003, 12:36 AM
I would not hook up your cable modem without at least a software firewall - you can download Zone Alarm for free - do a google search - or better yet a hardware firewall. I think you can find routers with a built in firewall for pretty cheap. Also make sure you have up to date Virus protection - I prefer Norton AV - & update it regularly & set it up to auto scan any incoming mail.

Also make sure the security settings on your browser are at a safe level & make sure you have installed all the latest updates & patches for yuour operating system, browser & email client.

Then you probably want a spyware detector program. I use Ad Aware which is from a German company & free. Someone, Jim Becker maybe, recommended a different program that works better but I forget the name. Maybe whoever it was will see this & post it.

This is all a lot easier than it sounds & is either free or pretty cheap.
Practice safe computing.

Brad Schafer
07-26-2003, 2:51 PM
We have a new cable co. in town and they came out with a nice package that I decided to go with. What I am wondering is what kind of security problems am I going to have. I understand that when your computer is on you are on line all the time. Is there a way to turn it off or block it so someone can't get into your computer? Any ideas or suggestions for handleing this security issue would be appreciated.

Dave

dave - ZA is a nice PC-based firewall, but it sucks up some significant in-box bandwidth on older machines. my daughter has a P2/300 laptop, and it just about kills the thing if you're doing heavy net stuff (like Windows updates). i have it running on a P3/450 and it does okay.

for the short term, ZA is a cheap way to go (www.zonelabs.com). for the longer term, you might want to think about a hardware-based box. if you have multiple machines in house, you'll probably want a router; some routers have NAT filters built in (e.g., Linksys). several vendors also make stand-alone firewalls.

i would also download a spyware detector just to be safe. go to google.com and search for SPYWARE DETECTOR. you'll get more hits than carter has pills (or peanuts, depending on your politics :) ).

either way, ZA is a good/cheap/easy first step if your machine is remotely recent.

good luck,

b

Ken Garlock
07-26-2003, 4:17 PM
I have an old Pentium Pro system which I use for a firewall. On it I run a free product called "Gnatbox Lite." It is a "stateful" firewall which means that it will not accept anything from outside that it can't verify as a reply to a previously outgoing packet. I have used it for several years and have NOT had a compromise. The nice thing is that it all fits on a a single 1.44 MB diskette!

Take a look at it at: http://www.gta.com/products/gblight/.

I am just a happy user of the product....

Bart Leetch
07-26-2003, 5:46 PM
I am running Zone Alarm on both of my home computers & the one at work on DSL & I downloaded it to my Dads computer it is on cable. I used to run it on a 200 megahertz PC & it works fine. I just use the free down load along with a free virus program called AVG & never have had a problem. AVG has up dates regularly. I also use a program called ieSpell for checking my spelling on post to this & other forums.

John Miliunas
07-26-2003, 8:54 PM
Then you probably want a spyware detector program. I use Ad Aware which is from a German company & free. Someone, Jim Becker maybe, recommended a different program that works better but I forget the name. Maybe whoever it was will see this & post it.

This is all a lot easier than it sounds & is either free or pretty cheap.
Practice safe computing.


I think the app which Tom refers to is, "Spybot". It can be found and downloaded here: http://security.kolla.de/ Also, FWIW, I don't use it instead of AdAware, but in addition to. They are both great programs and, I've even had "Spybot" literally "fix" a machine a client brought in for repair on campus. The puppy wouldn't even boot into "normal" mode. After "Spybot" did it's thing and got rid of a lot of nastiness, all was good with the unit! As suggested by others, I'd also try to incorporate some type of firewall, with the preference being toward a hardware solution (such as router, etc.) Good luck and enjoy your fast speeds! :cool:

Jim Becker
07-26-2003, 10:59 PM
Also, FWIW, I don't use it instead of AdAware, but in addition to.

I stopped using AdAware awhile back after discovering they left folks with no updates for close to 9 months. I switched to PestPatrol and couldn't be happier. Between it, ZoneAlarm Pro, my anti-virus protection and my Linksys firewall appliance, I feel quite secure.

John Miliunas
07-27-2003, 12:56 AM
I stopped using AdAware awhile back after discovering they left folks with no updates for close to 9 months.

From what I understand, it was some "growing pains", which caused the lapse for AdAware. They have since got right back on the horse and have been doing a great job. I'm also a bit partial to it, because the University has a site license for the full-blown version of AdAware 6 and it's sitting right out on our LAN for general consumption, as well as fast/easy downloads. Whichever you choose, though, one point which Jim brings up is important: Keep it updated! Just like anti-virus software, unless you keep the definitions up-to-date, it translates into false security and is of little use. :cool:

Dennis Peacock
07-27-2003, 10:22 AM
We have a new cable co. in town and they came out with a nice package that I decided to go with. What I am wondering is what kind of security problems am I going to have. I understand that when your computer is on you are on line all the time. Is there a way to turn it off or block it so someone can't get into your computer? Any ideas or suggestions for handleing this security issue would be appreciated.

Dave


Dave,

Don't worry about it. Just purchase you a Linksys Router/Firewall, set the router for DHCP, set you PC to a static IP address (internal network), install get the complete Norton suite of apps to include antivirus and internet security. The internet security is great and has parental controls built is that you can enforce if / when needed. I think everything from Symantec was $49 and the Linksys 4 port router / firewall is $69. You wont need Adaware apps and hits on your PC will come to a complete halt.....Besides all that? No real resource hits on your PC....

Just my 2 on this since this is that I did.

Jim Becker
07-27-2003, 12:37 PM
You wont need Adaware apps and hits on your PC will come to a complete halt

Unfortunately, I have to respectfully disagree with you on this. "Scumware" is delivered in a variety of ways to our computers; firewalls and AV don't stop them from being installed. Some of these privacy-invading trojans are delivered with software you buy or download. (You don't even need to be on the Internet!) Some use cookies. (There are good and bad cookies and the bad ones are the ones you want to exclude while letting the good ones be set)

I use a Linksys firewall/router, ZoneAlarm Pro and McAfee AV and PestPatrol is still constantly signalling "cleaning" of malicious cookies and other items that get past the other applications and security devices. That is telling as the other products I use are top-notch, yet even they don't catch certain things.

Fred Langa (http://langa.com/), a well-known writer in the PC world, says that he actually uses several anti-scumware products concurrently as each one tends to be more effective with some threats than others.

Brad Schafer
07-27-2003, 11:37 PM
Unfortunately, I have to respectfully disagree with you on this. "Scumware" is delivered in a variety of ways to our computers ...


yup - i'll 2nd that. and media players are some of the most nefarious pieces of software.

security is a *big* problem, particularly when fast network interfaces are involved. stuff that you'd notice over dialup (due to unusual blinky lites and slow-downs) is almost undetectable over cable. and, since cable/DSL is "always on", the window of opportunity for hackers is substantially wider. bottom line: practice safe networking. you *don't* want to try to undo identity theft ...

but this is the wrong forum to wax geeky over 'puters.


b