Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Computer Technical Support Needed (Vanity)
Alberta's Child | 7/23/06 | Self

Posted on 07/23/2006 4:40:15 PM PDT by Alberta's Child

I'm looking for some advice from someone who knows a bit more about personal computers than I do. I've just ordered a new computer for home/work, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to protect it from spyware, adware, viruses, etc. I've used ZoneAlarm Security Suite in the past, but the latest release of that software has been a total disaster and has left many users without any firewall protection at all.

My question is this . . . What is the difference between internet security software and something like a Netgear router when it comes to protection against unwanted intrusions? Would I be better off with the router or the software, or should I use them both in tandem to provide the best security?


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: computers; frismypersonalitdept; internetsecurity
Sorry for the vanity, but I've been dealing with a disaster here over the last couple of weeks since my ZoneAlarm software basically shut itseld down. Any help would be appreciated!
1 posted on 07/23/2006 4:40:16 PM PDT by Alberta's Child
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

Use a hardware firewall as your first line of defense. Any hardware router will do that trick. Some will interface with Zone Alarm for configuration. Change all the default passwords on new hardware.

Enable the software firewall on your computer. If you don't have one, you can buy one. You only need one software firewall. It would be redundant however, a backup to the hardware firewall.

Do not install software off of the internet, unless it is obtained directly from the publisher. Do not download music, porn, or unlicensed software. Set up a limited user account for general, non-work use. Log into that user account when you anticipate that you'll be accessing sites on the internet of dubious safety.

When done for the day, flip off the router. That is turn it off.


2 posted on 07/23/2006 4:46:14 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

both in tandem..The firewall is going to stop intrusions into your PC (by keeping many ports shut down). The anti-viral software stops malicious code from running on your system.


3 posted on 07/23/2006 4:46:44 PM PDT by Michael Barnes (May Satan grip the souls of those with American blood on their hands)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: coconutt2000
Enable the software firewall on your computer. If you don't have one, you can buy one.

Do you have any recommendation as far as a specific program? ZoneAlarm worked fine for 18 months, but after this last episode I'm not in a hurry to use it again.

Do not install software off of the internet, unless it is obtained directly from the publisher. Do not download music, porn, or unlicensed software.

I assume this would not apply to something like iTunes?

4 posted on 07/23/2006 4:51:56 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Michael Barnes

I think the new computer comes with anti-virus software package that can be upgraded for 12 months, but usually this is not a full-blown "firewall" program, is it?


5 posted on 07/23/2006 4:53:33 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

iTunes is fine.

I don't think you need a fancy software firewall that generates detailed reports.

Do you use a Mac or Windows?


6 posted on 07/23/2006 4:54:48 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
uninstall the ZA Pro version & replace it w/ ZA std.

A router is better protection but not reqd.

7 posted on 07/23/2006 4:55:06 PM PDT by TheOracleAtLilac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: coconutt2000

I use Windows. Everything I use has to be compatible with my office server.


8 posted on 07/23/2006 4:56:28 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

I'll just add, here's some reviews of the suites available:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1918728,00.asp

And here's some others and some articles:

http://www.pcmag.com/category2/0,1874,4829,00.asp


9 posted on 07/23/2006 4:57:12 PM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

You're using XP Pro?

Rename the adminisrator account to something unguessable and give it a big password. Disable the guest account, in both places. Password generators are available at grc.com

Turn on the windows firewall, it works. Don't let ZA or McGagme or Symiantec turn it off.

Copy in a hosts file, a real one has at least 10,000 entries. Don't match to the loopback device, 127.0.0.1 . Match to the null device 0.0.0.0, or just plain 0 . komando.com will have a site, or you can google.

Run as a limited user, NOT admin or a power user.

Use FireFox with adblock + filter updater, noscript, user agent switcher, fasterfox, and scrapbook.

Do this, and be free.

You can add ZoneAlarm or Spybot Search and Destroy or Adaware if they don't drive you nuts.

And don't run as admin! And when you shut down, WinXP will ask if you want to install updates, never do so. Even though you've done all this, it's downloaded all sorts of spyware without installing. This is where you're pwnd.

Or you could have bought a refurb Mac Powerbook G4 15 inch like I did. Happy computing.

The hardware firewalls will let you put time restrictions and URL restrictions on your kids surfing. Not a bad idea if you have kids.


10 posted on 07/23/2006 4:57:25 PM PDT by spudsmaki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheOracleAtLilac
That doesn't work. ZA's problems since their latest version was released since mid-June have been well documented. I've uninstalled the program and now I can't install any ZA at all -- not even the "old" one that I paid for about three months ago.
11 posted on 07/23/2006 4:58:08 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
I don't know if anyone else will agree with me on this, but I'll tell you what's worked for me for Internet security for the last five years.

I simply keep ONE computer dedicated to being online and it does nothing else: no other programs besides browser, e-mail, printer and CD burner. I don't have ANY security on it at all and I don't even check for viruses. The computer always works properly but about once a year (to clean out any bugs or glitches which may have unknowingly accumulated) I backup any files I want to keep on the secondary partition (D) and reformat the primary partition (C) and then do a clean install of Windows and reinstall the browser, e-mail, printer and CD burner. The computer I use for this is a cheapo "obsolete" model that never needs upgrades because Internet browsing doesn't really require much in the way of performance.

I have other computers that I use for other purposes and I make sure that I never transfer anything from the Internet computer to any of them without being absolutely sure the transfered files are clean.

I was first advised to do this by a friend of mine who is a system administrator and he does this himself. He said he's never had problems doing this either.
12 posted on 07/23/2006 4:59:09 PM PDT by spinestein (Follow "The Bronze Rule")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

Caution with too much protective software, as it can bog the system down.

I use Ad-aware for periodic scans, AVG free version for virus & email scanning, and Zonealarm free for firewall.

I used to have McAfee Virus and it got to be glutware. I then tried Trend Micro and it got to be glutware.

Allot depends what kind of surfing and downloading you do.


13 posted on 07/23/2006 4:59:57 PM PDT by TomGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
The best antispam is free from M$
HERE

A good /free/unobtrusive anti-virus is AVG
HERE

14 posted on 07/23/2006 5:02:34 PM PDT by TheOracleAtLilac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

An office server complicates things. I would suggest paying a local professional to set everything up. A real professional. You can then post questions about what you're being told by whoever you hire here.

If your office server is located elsewhere, you may need to interface with your work IT people. But if your office server is located at your home office, then whatever security profiles who enable for your machines need to be compatible with how you share devices and data on your local network.

If you're not a techie, and your time is valuable - then put out some dough for a pro. The installation should be fairly quick. Insist on the simplest, most robust set up for a non techie. If you have to fiddle with security settings daily, then the setup is wrong. It should be set and forget.


15 posted on 07/23/2006 5:03:00 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

Also check out a little program called sandboxie (sandboxie.com). It creates a sandbox to contain your internet travels. If a problem occurs, etc., you just delete the sandbox. Be sure to move any keepable downloads outside the sandbox before deleting.


16 posted on 07/23/2006 5:03:26 PM PDT by TomGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spinestein
That's an intriguing idea -- I never thought about that.

I might be in a good position to do this, too. I have a pretty large desk at home with plenty of space on it (I use a 7-foot buffet table, going back to my days in engineering school when I needed the room to unfold drawings). My new computer will be a laptop for portability (I'm on the road maybe once a week), but since I hate laptop screens and small keyboards I plan to use a docking station so I can connect my desktop keyboard and my desktop monitor. Is there any way to connect the two CPUs to a single router so I can transfer files between them if necessary?

17 posted on 07/23/2006 5:07:07 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
If ZA doesn't blow yer skirt up...try Outpost from Agnitum
18 posted on 07/23/2006 5:09:02 PM PDT by TheOracleAtLilac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: coconutt2000
Thanks for the advice.

For now, I really only need to connect to a web-based e-mail system. But I know there are some plans in the works to potentially give us access to the office server as remote clients.

If they go that route, I'll have the company's IT guy give me his recommendations for dealing with compatibility issues.

19 posted on 07/23/2006 5:10:28 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
Maybe a silly question....
when you ran the ZA firewall...you did turn off the WinXP firewall - so no conflicts ?
20 posted on 07/23/2006 5:11:46 PM PDT by TheOracleAtLilac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: TheOracleAtLilac
I don't have an XP firewall. I'm using Windows 2000 (this computer is a few years old).

The problem with ZA -- from what I understand -- is that its protection is almost "too robust." I may not be describing this very well, but I read somewhere that uninstalling the software triggers some kind of defensive mechanism that prevents the user from over-writing the old ZoneAlarm DLL files. So when you try to install the new version, there is some sort of incompatibility between the "old" DLL files and the "new" ones.

Does that make any sense?

21 posted on 07/23/2006 5:15:26 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
ZoneAlarm software basically shut itseld down

No, it probably didn't. I don't know what your system is like, but I'm sure- from the sounds of things- that you are running some version of Windows. One of the very first things the new malware programs [viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, etc.] do is try to disable or shut down Zone Alarm and any anti-virus programs running or installed. I seriously doubt that your problem was ZoneAlarm. Your problem was that you don't know anything about computers (no offense), and some malware zapped everything it could while infecting (or trying to) your system. And it probably happened way before you started seeing problems with "ZoneAlarm". Your machine was infected by something and that started causing problems with the anti-malware software. Believe me, I know. If you had a very good computer savvy tech look at your system, I'm sure he would find many malware files in it.

You should NEVER connect to the internet without being behind a router/firewall or some software firewall-- preferably both.

I think the new computer comes with anti-virus software package that can be upgraded for 12 months

Yeah, probably a rather useless "package" from one of the below compromised "security vendors".

I would recommend that you have someone [or pay someone- it will be worth it] to setup your system with hardware firewall and software firewall, plus a good anti-virus software. DO NOT use/subscribe to/rely on Norton or McAfee/NAI or M$ anti-virus programs- or Security Suites. They have all been and will continue to be, by company policy, compromised programs that won't really protect you. Surprisingly enough, there are actually free anti-virus programs that are better than the "package" you will buy or get with a computer.

Again, from what I have read in your postings, you should hire someone technically competent to setup your complete system and be able to call them to get you out of trouble when it happens. It is really worth the little bit that it will cost you- compared to the vast amounts of time, frustration, and business losses by trying to do-it-yourself to save money. You just don't know enough technical stuff and it will take much more to get to that level of knowledge, so paying someone who has gotten there and can do it right is worth it... and that doesn't mean taking it into the local CompUSA or Fry's "repair" shop.

Sorry to be such a pessimist, but I've been working with PC computers for over 25 years and know whereof I speak. When it takes about 3+ minutes before a new, clean computer connected to the internet is compromised by malware, it's gotten beyond doing it yourself for the average Freeper/computer user. Just 'cuz you know what a Netgear router is doesn't mean that you can set it up, set up the computer and all the anti-malware software and maintain it in the face of minute-by-minute changing threats.

Or you could move to something other than Windoze, and lower your threat levels exponentially.

22 posted on 07/23/2006 5:23:22 PM PDT by hadit2here ("Most men would rather die than think. Many do." - Bertrand Russell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

You have an XP firewall, it comes with one, it's in the settings along with Display, Network, etal.

Use it, it's very good. It turns on immediately, at the beginning of bootup and stays on through shut down. These are critical phases that can allow your computer to be killed. All the third party firewalls are off during these times. They bite. Leave it on even with a third party firewall.

If you follow my suggestions, you'll be fine. If you must use IE, install Spybot Search and Destroy and Spywareblaster. They'll preload the settings to save you headaches.


23 posted on 07/23/2006 5:25:49 PM PDT by spudsmaki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

Don't login with an admin account for daily use. Make your self an user account. This keep new software(spy ware and other junk)from have the necessary rights to be install. Only log on as admin if you need to change something or add software.


24 posted on 07/23/2006 5:26:35 PM PDT by ThomasThomas (Red is good)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
Certainly it's possible (and easy with XP) to network your browsing computer to any of a number of other computers you have, but doing so introduces a risk of contamination even with firewalls enabled. I would never do it because then I'd want to install antivirus software on the networked computers (which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place).

Not everyone can benefit from using my type of setup (some may not have a spare computer). My reasoning for having my setup this way is to prevent contamination of my good computers which have lots of software and sensitive or fragile applications running on them by COMPLETELY ISOLATING them from the Internet, which for all practical purposes, is the only real source of viruses and such. That lets my cheapo computer take all the risk, and even if it does get loaded up with viruses, I don't care because there's not much on it to be affected anyway. I also find the performance hit that antivirus programs put on my computers to be unacceptable.

If you NEED to transfer files you've downloaded from the Internet to other computers, you'll need to isolate any suspect files on your hard drive and run an antivirus scan on them which doesn't need to be running all the time (only when you want to scan something). Keep in mind any antivirus program needs to be constantly updated and there is no guarantee that they'll catch everything even if they are. Then transfer clean files by burning them to a CD or DVD or by using a thumb drive or something similar via a USB port.

The other suggestions on this thread are mostly sound and I'd recommend one of those instead of my setup if you really aren't able to have a single browsing computer totally isolated.
25 posted on 07/23/2006 5:43:54 PM PDT by spinestein (Follow "The Bronze Rule")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: hadit2here
Your problem was that you don't know anything about computers (no offense), and some malware zapped everything it could while infecting (or trying to) your system. And it probably happened way before you started seeing problems with "ZoneAlarm". Your machine was infected by something and that started causing problems with the anti-malware software. Believe me, I know.

You may know a lot about computers, but on this point you have no idea what you are talking about. The problems I've had with ZoneAlarm began within the installation process for an upgraded version of the software.

Here's the link to the ZoneAlarm message board for product installation, new upgrades, etc.:

Click Here

Just go through that board and see how many ZA customers are pulling their hair out over the same issue. There's no doubt in my mind that there is something wrong with Version 6.5.722 of the ZoneAlarm software.

If I have a problem with malware it wouldn't be the first time, but it's not the case here. I've run scans with AdAware SE and Spybot several times each day since my system crashed, and I track any changes in my registry file by using HijackThis to compare current to previous versions of the file.

26 posted on 07/23/2006 5:50:00 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt

It's the URL for the hosts file. It can be used pointing to localhost, but it works better pointed to 0.0.0.0 or just 0 . Do the search and replace in a spreadsheet or Word, save as text. Just preserve that localhost entry it warns you about. It will improve your internet experience like you wouldn't believe.

Your current Win2000 may be damaged beyond repair. After your new puter is settled in, you can do something drastic, like reformat it.


27 posted on 07/23/2006 5:59:35 PM PDT by spudsmaki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: spinestein
I'll take all of these into account, but your suggestion is a very good one for my home setup. I'll keep my old computer handy just for web browsing, and keep all my sensitive files on my new one.

Of course, I would still have to use some kind of protection on the new one for those times when I am on the road and must use the web browser to access my work e-mail account.

28 posted on 07/23/2006 6:00:25 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
I'm trying to figure out the best way to protect it from spyware, adware, viruses, etc.

Would I be better off with the router or the software, or should I use them both in tandem to provide the best security?

IIRC Routers only stop inbound packets. A software firewall will allow you to also control outbound traffic, and can (hopefully) offer a last line of defense against spyware, trojans, etc. IMO A good firewall will check MD5 signatures, and run as a service (very deeply in the system).

And now it's time to dust of my list...

PC security-related links.   All software listed is freeware or open source.

Last Update: 07/22/2006
Anti-Virus:

Antidote SuperLite
Windows 95/98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
On-demand virus checker. Detects, doesn't clean. No installation required.

AntiVir® Personal Edition
Windows 98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.

Avast Home Edition
Windows 95/98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.

AVG Anti-Virus
Windows 98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.

BitDefender Free Edition
Windows 98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
On-demand anti-virus program.

ClamWin
Windows 98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
On-demand virus scanner. Detects, doesn't clean.

F-Prot Antivirus
The MS-DOS version is free.

McAfee Stinger
On-demand anti-virus/trojan. No installation required. Fits on a 3.5" floppy.
Alternatives to MSIE, Outlook & Outlook Express:

Mozilla.org
Firefox browser, Thunderbird E-mail client, Mozilla Suite (1.7.13 is the final release).

Opera
Supports tabbed browsing, etc. Easier on resources than Firefox, Mozilla/Seamonkey. Unlike Mozilla, Opera currently has no plans to drop support for Windows 9x/ME.

Off By One
The world's smallest and fastest web browser. No installation required.

Popcorn E-Mail
Small, no-frills e-mail client.

Seamonkey
The successor to the Mozilla Suite.  Web-browser, e-mail/usenet client, IRC client, HTML editing, all in one application.

Xnews
Usenet client.
Anti-Adware/Spyware:

Ad-Aware SE
Windows 98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
On-demand scanner (Select "Ad-Aware Personal").

SpywareBlaster
Windows 95/98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
Prevent the installation of spyware and other potentially unwanted software!

SpywareGuard
Windows 98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
Full/real-time protection against spyware/malware.

Spybot - Search and Destroy
Windows 98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
Offers on-demand scanning and full/real-time protection.
Firewall:

New! Filseclab Personal Firewall
Supports Windows 95*/98/ME, NT 4.0, 2000/XP.
(*With Winsock2 update and IE 4.01 or later.)

Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.5
Windows 98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
(Last freeware version)

Tiny Personal Firewall 2.0.15A
Windows 95/98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.

Tiny Personal Firewall 2.0.9
Windows 98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
(Last freeware version)

ZoneAlarm Free Download
Note:  Zonealarm is dropping support for Win9x/ME.

Zonealarm at Oldversion.com
For those who need a version compatible with Windows 9x/ME.
Technical Help:

CastleCops Security Forums

Cyber Tech Help Support Forum

SpywareWarrior.com Forum

VirtualDr Forums

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
This guide will teach you how to ask questions in a way that is likely to get you a satisfactory answer.
How-to and Tutorial:

Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a HOSTS File
Don't surf the Net without it!

PCWorld: How to Install a Firewall

Using Ad-Aware SE

Using Spybot - Search and Destroy
Useful sites, etc.:

Firewall Test, Security Test and Security Scan

Leak Test
Test your firewall against internal extrusions (leaks).

Shields Up
Firewall Test.

Spyware/Adware/Malware FAQ and Removal Guide

SpwyareWarrior.com
Waging the war against spyware!

U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team

Miscellaneous Software:

Dr. Web CureIT!
Windows 95/98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
On-demand, anti-malware (anti-virus/spyware). No installation required.

Ping Plotter
Internet diagnostic tool.

Proxomitron
Windows 95/98/98SE/ME, 2000/XP.
A free, highly flexible, user-configurable, small, but very powerful, local HTTP web-filtering proxy.

WinPatrol
A robust SECURITY MONITOR.  WinPatrol will alert you to hijackings, malware attacks and critical changes made to your computer without your permission.

29 posted on 07/23/2006 6:05:06 PM PDT by holymoly ("A lot" is TWO words.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spudsmaki
Rename the adminisrator account to something unguessable and give it a big password. Disable the guest account, in both places.

Why?

Turn on the windows firewall, it works. Don't let ZA or McGagme or Symiantec turn it off.

So run two software firewalls?

Copy in a hosts file, a real one has at least 10,000 entries. Don't match to the loopback device, 127.0.0.1

Why not?

And when you shut down, WinXP will ask if you want to install updates, never do so.

Why?

30 posted on 07/23/2006 6:42:37 PM PDT by Luke Skyfreeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
You may know a lot about computers, but on this point you have no idea what you are talking about. The problems I've had with ZoneAlarm began within the installation process for an upgraded version of the software.

Was just trying to help. Based upon my experience, ZoneAlarm is one of the best software firewalls available. So when a client tells me that ZA was the problem, I've almost always found otherwise.

But then, I don't recommend upgrading and installing the absolutely newest, slickest, full of bells 'n'whistles software for any reason. The ZA that is on the computer I'm using to type this is ver. 5.5, probably a year old. The free, personal version. I don't "upgrade" unless there is a specific reason to do so. Like they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

From what you say, there probably was a problem with your new version. Which exactly illustrates my point about you not being computer savvy enough to set everything up correctly. If you don't NEED the newest version, you don't NEED the new version. Wait until a bunch of other guinea pigs have tested it and yelled about the problems on the forums. Easy, huh?

If I have a problem with malware it wouldn't be the first time, but it's not the case here. I've run scans with AdAware SE and Spybot several times each day since my system crashed, and I track any changes in my registry file by using HijackThis to compare current to previous versions of the file.

Wow! Many here have given you good advice, but now you start giving the impression that you weren't quite as naive as your original post indicated. Am sorry now that I even tried to offer assistance. Badmouthing a good product like ZA really gets you - or anyone else- nowhere. YOU were the one who downloaded an untried software upgrade.

AdAware, Spybot and HijackThis are great. It's good that you have them. Unfortunately, just reading about them and installing them isn't enough to protect you. There are threats that all of those won't find or handle. But if you know so much about malware and computers, why are you asking in a vanity here for help when you don't know whether you should have a hardware router/firewall combined with software firewall/anti-malware? Your original query was a pretty basic one and indicated not a deep knowledge of the subject.

Then we find that you have IT people at your work that you could have consulted with. Why didn't you, instead of posting here? Your question was a pretty basic one that they would have quickly been able to answer.

Sorry for trying to share some experience based upon your short request for assistance. I've just found in my experience that ZA is reliable and the problem is most often is BCAK [between chair and keyboard]

For others who may be following this thread for information about similar problems or information, I'll post the following, in addition to what's already listed:

1. Don't even hook a computer up to the internet (network, broadband or dialup) until you have firewall/router and anti-malware programs installed, setup and working. If you don't know how to do this, then have someone who does, do it for you. Don't even get online to get "updates" before you are protected.

2. DO NOT EVER use Internet Explorer or Outlook/Outlook Express on ANY computer that connects to the internet. These two programs are THE reason WHY there are networks of compromised computers, which account for most all malware propagation and about 60%+ of all spam. Neither of these programs can be patched in ANY way to make them completely safe. Their code is deeply embedded in the operating system itself and you cannot "fix" or "patch" it to make it secure. Use FireFox, Opera or other browser. Use Thunderbird, Eudora or other email programs.

3. NEVER open any email attachment, even from someone you know, unless you know what it is and have scanned/checked it first. This currently includes Excel spreadsheet files, PowerPoint presentation files, Word document files.

4. NEVER buy anything from spammail or respond to it.

5. DON'T go to any banking, auction or other website you get in an email, unless you know how to tell if it's legitimate or not. It's called Phishing and you don't even have to click on an email attachment to be infected by a malicious website.

6. NEVER upgrade any software just because there's a "new" version. Let others try it out and see what problems they have, if any. That's not saying not to update any signature or data files that the existing program requires or uses.

7. Don't rely on ANYTHING from Microsoft for "security". They wouldn't know security if it bit them in the a$$. Their software is the reason for zombied computers, and spammail.[They've already acknowledged that their "security suite" won't stop "MS Friendly" corporate malware, or their own for that matter.]

I wish you luck with your new computer. If we can be of any assistance, I'm sure you will just ask and the kind people here will help.

31 posted on 07/23/2006 7:20:23 PM PDT by hadit2here ("Most men would rather die than think. Many do." - Bertrand Russell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Luke Skyfreeper

Rename the adminisrator account to something unguessable and give it a big password. Disable the guest account, in both places.

Why? Because administrator comes without a password, and any spyware can and does log in and have free run of the computer, thilly.

Turn on the windows firewall, it works. Don't let ZA or McGagme or Symiantec turn it off.

So run two software firewalls? You betcha dupa, and they don't conflict. And the WinXP firewall does work.

Copy in a hosts file, a real one has at least 10,000 entries. Don't match to the loopback device, 127.0.0.1

Why not? Because the machine actually pauses to look up loopback, but not null. Null B fastuh.

And when you shut down, WinXP will ask if you want to install updates, never do so.

Why? Because it just flipped into admin mode and installs spyware along with any legit upgrades. Kind of defeats running as limited user, dontcha think?


32 posted on 07/24/2006 12:33:50 AM PDT by spudsmaki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: spudsmaki

Thanks for the replies, spuds!! :-)


33 posted on 07/24/2006 12:39:25 AM PDT by Luke Skyfreeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: spudsmaki
Why? Because it just flipped into admin mode and installs spyware along with any legit upgrades. Kind of defeats running as limited user, dontcha think?

So do you have an alternate preferred method for installing win updates? Because they're there to patch specific vulnerabilities.

34 posted on 07/24/2006 12:41:53 AM PDT by Luke Skyfreeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Luke Skyfreeper

You can also disable multiple simultaneous logins to minimize the download without installation of spyware, but basically, this "feature" of Windows has made a lot of people rich. It's download'n'pray, like plug'n'play. I'm pretty unhappy about this bug, and it is a bug.


The press releases and early reviews for Vista tell me we'll have new headaches.

I tell folks if their biggest need for compatibility is Word, just use Office for Mac. At least I'm advising people to do what I do.


35 posted on 07/24/2006 5:18:49 AM PDT by spudsmaki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child
Give this a try
download a new copy of free ZA (it's 65_731 not 65_722)

Get off the internet
From control panel >add/remove & remove old ZA (if no removal icon look for a Zone labs folder in windows explorer & delete)
Reboot in safe mode (F8 on boot up) & install new ZA download.

36 posted on 07/24/2006 8:51:55 AM PDT by TheOracleAtLilac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson