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How secure is your PC?

ayushpant

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Dear All,

Pretty much all of my day was wasted today because of some "stupid" virus on my laptop. It is so bad that when I do google search of something, it shows completely irrelevant results, the only search engine I'm able to use is Ask.com.

And, I use McAfee virus protection, damn how could at happen. I am in the process of backing up my data and formatting my computer as this virus is just not leaving my PC.

So, wanted to ask you all how do you protect your PC? What softwares you guys use? For my desktop I use Norton, and Zonealarm and pretty happy with that. Anything you guys have to share here?

Also, it just reminded me that how important it is to back up your data. I signed up with some online storage company that will back up my data automatically. I don't want to lose those precious new websites I am developing on comp. ever :)
 
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Linda Buquet

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So sorry to hear. That's such a pain and a time-suck to repair.

I surf a TON and just use Firefox and Microsoft anti-spyware (free).
Also use a router, which I think helps prevent anything getting in.

I never catch anything, knock on wood. Do you use IE? Try FF.

Also for email anti-virus I use a free program that our local PC repair/tech support company recommends. They say all the bad guys target and find ways to get around the big names like Norton and McAffee - similar to the way IE is targeted more than other browsers.

It does a daily update and works great.
AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic - More than Security

Oh and BTW I don't use these things cuz they are free. I can afford to and gladly
would pay for programs that work well. Just so happens these work better for me than
the name brand programs.

Zone Alarm and Norton both started causing me problems.
The 2 free ones above work like a charm for me.
 

ayushpant

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I agree with you Linda that programs like Norton and McAfee are more targeted. Unfortunately, it turned out to be pretty bad situation for me, as I did not have WinXP CD with me, and I am in Washington DC, not in my campus (R.I.T) else I'd get Windows XP CD for like $3 with student discount.

Now, I have to pay the full retail price because I am not in my city, and I need it to be urgently fixed. Those viruses have cost me time, money, and pain. I hope everyone else keeps their security tight. Fortunately for me, I was able to back up everything.

Btw - Windows System Restore is a useless thing, didn't undo a single "harmful" change to my computer.
 

ayushpant

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I did not have my desktop, so bascially didn't have computer access at all. However, during the time I could not do anything with my computer - I went to "Books-a-million", and started reading "The Seven Minute Difference" by Allyson Lewis. Already half way through in just one day.

I am in a way glad that I got back into my reading habit as I used to read a lot, but had not been reading at all lately. I guess everything happens for a reason. :)
 

yanbiz

New Member
Hi everyone,

Like Linda mentionned, I have a wireless rooter (encrypted), that puts another wall for anything that would try to enter your computer.

I use AVG (AVG Anti-Virus and Internet Security - Welcome) and since I use this program (2 years), I have never got a virus yet. It's probably not well known but when I installed it 2 years ago, I had scanned with Norton, everything was clean, then I uninstall Norton to install AVG and it has detected few virus!

However, it's not free but I don't mind to pay 30 or 40 dollars for a reliable anti-virus program that I put on my business expenses (income taxes) :)

Good luck!
 

kevin7890

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Hi-

Sorry to hear about your troubles. I certainly have been in your position many, many times. :(

Couple of suggestions for future:

1. For XP, purchase Norton Ghost to backup your drive image; make sure to save frequently (the entire drive, not just restore points) since you most likely will not know when the infection occurred

2. As someone mentioned, carry a router with SPI firewall when traveling; also install a freebie software firewall (zone alarm or my favorite, AVG or Commodo). For spyware tools, again, I recommend AVG (FAR at Frys)

3. Use virtual PC image (MS or VMware) when surfing from an unknown/unsecured hotspot; MS product is free, VMWare 6 is $100 for upgraders/education - I recommend VMWare because you can have iterative images

4. I know this sounds crazy, but plan on "fresh" OS install every 3 months or so...

It takes a lot of work, but it's well worth it!

Good Luck!

Kevin
 

ayushpant

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I really like the idea of virtual PC image as I surf from hotspots a lot (T-Mobile), as I am sitting there most of the day, and I know that its unsecured.

About the OS install, I cannot agree with you more. The computer is so much faster after format because all the corrupt files in the registry are gone. It even has increased my productivity ten fold.

Thanks for replying. Forum members here are simply "awesome"


Hi-

3. Use virtual PC image (MS or VMware) when surfing from an unknown/unsecured hotspot; MS product is free, VMWare 6 is $100 for upgraders/education - I recommend VMWare because you can have iterative images

4. I know this sounds crazy, but plan on "fresh" OS install every 3 months or so...
Kevin
 

Edwin

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A good AV solution would be Kaspersky or Nod32 or the AV solution from gData : G DATA Software AG

These are the top of the bill AV solutions.
Should you encounter another similar situation i would proceed to do some online scans.

Almost all of the bigger companies have online scan options where you can scan your computer for free.
Kaspersky is a powerful scanner and they also have an online version.

Also don't rely on one scanner alone, install a couple of them and only use one background guard that comes with these AV solutions.

Ewido is compatible with a lot of existing AV solutions and you can have multiple AV running at the same time contrary to belief this isn't possible.

You can run for instance Ewido and Kaspersky at the same time which would mean you have two powerful scanners in your arsenal.
 

nubbinns

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Virus solution

A more pricey suggestion for fighting viruses is to move over to a Mac or Linux system as they are significantly less prone to viruses. Don't get me wrong, I use WinXP and plan to move to Vista soon (which is also supposed to be much better in way of security), but I've also been running a system with a free build of Linux called Ubuntu. There's just not the same need for virus protection. Again, I've also heard a lot of good about MacOS. Just some helpful suggestions. Aside from that, what you're doing sounds right. I use an online backup service and just reload every now and then.
Good luck!
Ron
 
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