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  1. #1
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Secure your computer! NOW.

    I've started to see an increasing amount of threads here with people getting infected with various viruses, getting hacked etc. This is in 99.9% of cases due to carelessness and/or ignorance. In this day and age, you have a responsibity to keep you computer from getting hacked and used in attacks towards other computers. I equal this to careless or drunk driving, only that people fortunately don't die from it (yet).

    So here goes my quick and dirty guide to securing your computer.

    1. Get a firewall

    2. Get an antivirus program
    (Nod32, which I linked to there, is very small, fast, cheap, and updates totally automatically)

    3. Set windows to download updates automatically

    Control Panel -> System -> Automatic updates
    Check the checkbox, and tick the second or the third radiobutton.

    This will be available if you are running Win2000 (latest Service Pack) or Windows XP. If you don't have the latest service pack for 2000, get it NOW. If you run Windows 98 or ME, don't run Windows 98 or ME. You can also go to Windows Update on a regular basis.
    Last edited by M. Johansson; Sep 19, 2003 at 05:48.
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  2. #2
    Shiver me timbers!! anthony_irl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    I equal this to careless or drunk driving, only that people fortunately don't die from it (yet).
    That's a bit over the top. It's computer security and it's the responsibility of the individual. All we can do is inform and hope they act on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    If you run Windows 98 or ME, don't run Windows 98 or ME.
    That's ridiculous. A lot of home users are still using these OS's and they don't update until they buy a new machine/upgrade. Also, are we not furthering Microsoft's business by "having" to upgrade our OS's to make sure that we are secure? It's a contentious issue but I believe there will always be people and software which make it easier for security breaches to occur.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    I have to agree.

    Practically everyone I know who isn't either "tech related" work wise, or just naturally geeky runs '98 or ME, go easy!

    People can "not" run virus software for a variety of reasons... as has been mentioned in another thread, I didn't run AV software for ages when I was on a slower machine because it brought everything else down to a painful pace (I did however do "ad-hoc" installs and checks).

    I don't run 2000 or XP anymore (in fact never have, or will run XP)...../me got a shiny new RH box

    If consumers wanted to save themselves the hassle of AV software, firewall software, spyware removers and gynormous service packs....Linux, FreeBSD et al would be a far simpler solution, no?
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  4. #4
    ..back with a vengeance... Ingoal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    I have to agree.

    Practically everyone I know who isn't either "tech related" work wise, or just naturally geeky runs '98 or ME, go easy!
    True, but Windows ME should really be prohibited by law
    Win98(SE) is fine though...


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Mushroom
    I don't run 2000 or XP anymore (in fact never have, or will run XP)...../me got a shiny new RH box [img]images/smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

    If consumers wanted to save themselves the hassle of AV software, firewall software, spyware removers and gynormous service packs....Linux, FreeBSD et al would be a far simpler solution, no? [img]images/smilies/wink.gif[/img]
    Errrm cough... http://www.linuxsecurity.com/advisories/redhat.html


    Besides: it's just a matter of time until linux will get more attention of the evil exploit/virus ppl, just wait and see....
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  5. #5
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    If consumers wanted to save themselves the hassle of AV software, firewall software, spyware removers and gynormous service packs....Linux, FreeBSD et al would be a far simpler solution, no?
    It's a common misconception that Linux for some reason is magically exempted from exploits, but the reality is that it's not. It's also not secured out of the box in any way.

    Debian exploits and vulnerabilities:
    http://www.linuxsecurity.com/advisories/debian.html
    Mattias Johansson
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  6. #6
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony_irl
    That's a bit over the top. It's computer security and it's the responsibility of the individual. All we can do is inform and hope they act on it.
    That's what I said. Responsibility of the individual.


    That's ridiculous. A lot of home users are still using these OS's and they don't update until they buy a new machine/upgrade. Also, are we not furthering Microsoft's business by "having" to upgrade our OS's to make sure that we are secure? It's a contentious issue but I believe there will always be people and software which make it easier for security breaches to occur.
    I'm speaking to the crowd on this forum, not the average home user,
    but fair enough. I've changed the post.

    However:
    Windows 98 is 5 years old. It's time to upgrade and ME is just plain horrible and should not be used at all.
    Mattias Johansson
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  7. #7
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingoal
    Errrm cough... http://www.linuxsecurity.com/advisories/redhat.html


    Besides: it's just a matter of time until linux will get more attention of the evil exploit/virus ppl, just wait and see....
    Yep, the reason Linux and OSX don't get much in the way of viruses is because Windows viruses can do much more damage in terms of sheer numbers of infected PCs. However, as everyone tells Microsoft, "security through obscurity" doesn't work, even if it's you running an "obscure" OS.*


    *By "obscure" I don't mean to disrespect, however, 9 out of 10 computers in the world tend to run Windows.

  8. #8
    ..back with a vengeance... Ingoal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Yep, the reason Linux and OSX don't get much in the way of viruses is because Windows viruses can do much more damage in terms of sheer numbers of infected PCs.
    Yup, exactly what i think, and add to this my post above (wait until more and more ppl run linux, which is already a steady increasing trend) - and then it's "my turn" (as a "windows believer") to wait and see how this is going to work out (more and more exploits appearing etc)
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    Whats wrong with 98? latest vulnerabilities was for XP/2000 but I catched some calls for those RPC holes.
    and for zonealarm, there was discovered a new DoS vulnerability in it this month and skript kiddies can download the exploit all over the net.
    and for viruses I think Norton AV is a better choise

    I cant believe ppl on *nix boxes not taking security serious, there are vulnerabilities and viruses there too and exploits for skript kiddies to download. there are cross platform viruses as well and I think we will see more of it in the future.
    If you secure your box you will be alot safer

    Im on a win98SE IE5.5 box on my main puter and Im not planning to upgrade in a while, but when I do it will be to XP Pro.
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


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  10. #10
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    It's nothing wrong with 98, really, it's just that XP/2000 is MUCH better.
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  11. #11
    The Legend Indian's Avatar
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    And what is wrong with Windows Me? I don't have any problem with it; so I really want to know what is wrong with ME.

    Edit
    a little late...
    Death --the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.

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  12. #12
    ..back with a vengeance... Ingoal's Avatar
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    Well...then you gotta be the one and only person on earth having no problems with ME, or is it just that you just reinstalled it and never installed/deinstalled anything yet?
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  13. #13
    The Legend Indian's Avatar
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    I got Me pre-installed with my computer when I bought it (2001). I never reinstalled it. I had a problem with shutting down. But I disabled "Exit Windows" sound and never had that problem again.
    Death --the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.

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  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    I know other ppl too who like ME and never had problems with it, but the ones I know only use it for chat and writing letters. but they are satisfied with it and wont change, wich I respect when they have no problems with it.
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    It's nothing wrong with 98, really, it's just that XP/2000 is MUCH better.
    Well I guess it depends on your need or what you think you need
    I have no problem with using my puter to whatever I want but I agree XP is good, and when I do upgrade it will be to XP
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


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    The Legend Indian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazybanana
    I know other ppl too who like ME and never had problems with it, but the ones I know only use it for chat and writing letters.
    But the one I know uses his computer to play demo games, write buggy codes, create weird graphics, play pirated songs and browse SitePoint Forums.
    Death --the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.

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  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indian
    But the one I know uses his computer to play demo games, write buggy codes, create weird graphics, play pirated songs and browse SitePoint Forums. [img]images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

    Who can it be ?
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


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  18. #18
    100% Windoze-free earther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingoal
    Well...then you gotta be the one and only person on earth having no problems with ME, or is it just that you just reinstalled it and never installed/deinstalled anything yet?
    I have been using ME for nearly three years without a problem. I am also using the original installation. I download and install/uninstall programs all the time and use the comp at least 8hrs a day including Photoshop. I also have Zone Alarm, McAfee , Spybot and SpywareBlaster helping to keep me safe. I don't play games though and have flash disabled most of the time.

  19. #19
    Non-Member XX7509's Avatar
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    I used ME for a long time, and never had much problem with it. I had less problems with ME then I did 98. But I needed the better features and powers of XP Pro, so I needed to upgrade, otherwise I'd still be using it. [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    I think the entire process of keeping a computer up to date can be a pain. Most program come with auto updates now, but even so, on a lot of the AV's you get from the store you'll have to start paying for updates sooner or later (money is an issue for some people), then you've got the firewalls, windows updates, and all the other various programs that need updates so they can be infected or hacked. It's a big PITA, (some users can barely run a computer, let alone keep track of all that stuff. I've been programming for years, and I still have a hard time [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] )... there's really not a good automated way to keep your computer updated, mostly because most people are still using 56.6K, not only are some updates rather large, but getting booted after a 20MB DL is 95% done and needing to start over is common for me

    [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

  20. #20
    SitePoint Addict hurricane.uk's Avatar
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    No problems with winME here either - as with any OS, if you take care of it it will work as intended.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Smile My $0.02

    Hello,

    The main issue with Microsoft Windows Millenium Edition in my opinion is the ancient legacy MSDOS code. I love Windows XP because it's the rock-solid Windows 2000 code, with a few addons.

    I know several people with ME, and they all tell me it's nothing but trouble. It seems that every time they reboot the confounded Active Desktop resets to an error message. Apparently it's also slow as molasses in January.

    As for the whole security stuff... It's atrocious these days how many people just don't realize the security risks of running a computer with broadband, no firewall, no virus scanner, no nothing! Here's a nasty example: I was doing some unofficial computer work for an acquaintance of mine who barely knew me. I was setting up an new computer for them, and they asked me to set up password-protection for them. And instead of entering the password, they actually told me the password and had me enter it. How did they know I wasn't going to jot that down into my brain and remember it to break into the system later?

    It's just outrageous...

    Compuwhiz7

  22. #22
    Non-Member XX7509's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know some people that are the same way. They dont believe that they could ever be hacked. But then when something does go wrong who do they call? Yup you guessed it. Not to say I'm much better, seing as how I wasn't useing a firewall or AV program, but I knew the risk was there, I just didn't feel like dealing with all the "resource eating" programs. [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    Now that I think about it, I do remember that there were some problems with the Active Desktop in ME and the "security" for ME was a joke, if you ask me. In XP it's a lot better, but I'm still not to happy with it, I mean I have different user accounts setup, and for most things a "guest" has the same access as an "Admin". I mean I can log in as a guest and with the default settings I can still uninstall (and more importantly) install programs on the computer.

    As for MSDOS... yea.. that was a joke [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] But sometimes I still miss it, when I need to do some things, like FDisk.

  23. #23
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Don't worry, Longhorn is a lot nicer....

  24. #24
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmann
    Don't worry, Longhorn is a lot nicer....
    Off Topic:

    That's the big reason I don't want to upgrade yet. If I'm going to need all new hardware in a year I don't see much point

  25. #25
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Well some new Hardware will probably be needed. I am pretty sure you are safe with your gfx card, hd's, and processor... The only thing I can think of that may need to be replaced is the mobo and maybe adding a little RAM


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