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Spyware cures may cause more harm than good
C/Net News.com ^ | 2/4/2004 | John Borland

Posted on 02/05/2004 7:40:54 AM PST by justlurking

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1 posted on 02/05/2004 7:40:56 AM PST by justlurking
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To: justlurking
If everyone used Spybot, we wouldn't need these articles.
2 posted on 02/05/2004 7:42:49 AM PST by Terpfen (Hajime Katoki. If you know who he is, then just his name is enough.)
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To: Terpfen
yet another iece of third party software you need to buy to make a usable windows system somewhat safe..
3 posted on 02/05/2004 7:44:39 AM PST by N3WBI3
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To: Terpfen
I use Ad-Aware. Glad they have a clean record.
4 posted on 02/05/2004 7:46:23 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: Terpfen
Yes but it should be used with Ad Aware, a good anti virus program (updated at Least once a week) and a firewall.
5 posted on 02/05/2004 7:47:30 AM PST by dts32041 (Will Kerry ever call his wife and African American?)
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To: justlurking
I had to send my computer to the doctor because of this Spyware that invaded my computer without my knowing it. It completely screwed my puter' up. These guys that do this should be castrated with a dull knife or if its a woman have their nipples cut out. I felt as if I had been robbed because they invaded my computer without my permission.
6 posted on 02/05/2004 7:47:56 AM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: justlurking
Spyboy is awesome! If I ever become rich, I owe them a goodly donation for all the problems they've helped me fix on various computers over the last few years.
7 posted on 02/05/2004 7:48:22 AM PST by RosieCotton
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To: N3WBI3
Unless you're so stupid you don't know how to configure your Windows platform to be immune to such things.
8 posted on 02/05/2004 7:50:01 AM PST by xrp
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To: All

Spybot Search & Destroy is the best. End of story.

:-)
9 posted on 02/05/2004 7:52:05 AM PST by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: dts32041
Firewall; built in to my DSL modem. Virus scanner; AVG Anti-Virus 6.0.
10 posted on 02/05/2004 7:52:14 AM PST by Terpfen (Hajime Katoki. If you know who he is, then just his name is enough.)
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To: dts32041
Ad-Aware is fantastic. And it's free.

Run it once a week and you think you've got a new computer after running it.

All this spyware slows down an older computer significantly.

11 posted on 02/05/2004 7:52:57 AM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: N3WBI3
The situation is like this because 95% of all computers use Windows; if that OS was Linux instead of Windows, I guarantee many of the same problems would still exist.

Other OSes are safe only as long as they're perceived as l337 by the script kiddie h4x0rz.
12 posted on 02/05/2004 7:53:49 AM PST by Terpfen (Hajime Katoki. If you know who he is, then just his name is enough.)
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To: dts32041
Yes but it should be used with Ad Aware, a good anti virus program (updated at Least once a week) and a firewall.

Any ports open on that firewall? Ever load Java or ActiveX? BAM, right through the firewall ;-)

13 posted on 02/05/2004 7:54:05 AM PST by xrp
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To: newgeezer
Absolutely!
14 posted on 02/05/2004 7:54:32 AM PST by wireman
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To: justlurking
And if you don't even want to see the "offers" to install, try this.
15 posted on 02/05/2004 7:56:01 AM PST by js1138
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To: xrp
You still have to practice safe computing even with all this, thats why the other software.

What really bugs me is I use opera 7.23 as a browser and zone alarm as a firewall, and have to deactivate it to log onto rush 24/7.

Haven't been able to figure out what is going on with that, only thing I can figure is zone alarm doesn't like Rush :-)

16 posted on 02/05/2004 7:59:01 AM PST by dts32041 (Will Kerry ever call his wife an African American?)
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To: dts32041
That's cuz Zone Alarm is just a FW and you need to find the port that Rush uses for streaming. You might want to get more than just a firewall for your desktop.
17 posted on 02/05/2004 8:04:03 AM PST by xrp
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To: dts32041
Also, run Spider to delete your Internet Explorer index.dat file which contains the sites you visited.
18 posted on 02/05/2004 8:04:16 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: justlurking
These programs are a form of breaking and entering, and all those involved with developing and distributing them, as well as those advertising through them, are members of criminal conspiracies to break and enter. Long prison terms are the correct method to deal with such criminal conspiracies.
19 posted on 02/05/2004 8:04:24 AM PST by per loin
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To: robertpaulsen
delete=purge
20 posted on 02/05/2004 8:08:05 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Terpfen
If everyone used Spybot, we wouldn't need these articles.

Indeed -- it's awesome and it's free, so nobody has an excuse.

21 posted on 02/05/2004 8:10:48 AM PST by Sloth (It doesn't take 60 seats to control the Senate; it only takes 102 testicles.)
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To: per loin
These programs are a form of breaking and entering, and all those involved with developing and distributing them, as well as those advertising through them, are members of criminal conspiracies to break and enter. Long prison terms are the correct method to deal with such criminal conspiracies.

Yeah right. When you leave the confines of your own network or PC area (in other words, your house), you are in public as far as the Internet is concerned.

What you suggest would be the same as locking up someone who follows you as you perform your daily routine of leaving your driveway, going to McDonalds for breakfast, stopping by your bank, going to the dry cleaners, visiting your grandmother at the retirement center, stopping by a bar for a beer on the way home, then finally stopping the chase once you hit your driveway.

Maybe all private detectives should be locked up.

You want COMPLETE privacy? Don't traverse the Internet.

22 posted on 02/05/2004 8:10:59 AM PST by xrp
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To: xrp
What would you suggest?
23 posted on 02/05/2004 8:12:09 AM PST by dts32041 (Will Kerry ever call his wife an African American?)
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To: robertpaulsen
Don't use IE, use Opera and Mozilla.
24 posted on 02/05/2004 8:13:05 AM PST by dts32041 (Will Kerry ever call his wife an African American?)
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To: nuconvert
I use Ad-Aware. Glad they have a clean record.

Do they? I tried sorting out what they were talking about in the article that is linked in the original post in this thread. They mention AdAware but can not figure out what they are saying. Anyone have detail on AdAware?

25 posted on 02/05/2004 8:14:44 AM PST by BJungNan
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To: dts32041
Something that has an intrusion engine in there. Sygate and ISS (formerly NetworkICE's BlackICE) offer these on the desktop.
26 posted on 02/05/2004 8:14:50 AM PST by xrp
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To: BJungNan
Yeah. Here's what it said.

"A few independent antispyware companies, such as Lavasoft's Ad-Aware and Spybot, have been around long enough and have been used by enough people to have gained a reputation as safe. "

I think it's good. But I'm not an expert by any stretch.....
27 posted on 02/05/2004 8:18:37 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: newgeezer
Just to be sure, I use BOTH Ad-aware and Spybot S&D.

I volunteer as the network admin at my kids Catholic school (nights & weekends). They have 50+ PC's and the battle against this stuff is staggering.

The so-called "drive-by downloads" are what causes a lot of it, but also trojans inside screensavers and wallpaper downloads. I'm about ready to ban those and lock down the desktops.

We have several walls up against it - a proxy server, firewall in a DSL router, web filtering software, Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition, Ad-aware, NO Outlook Express (web mail only). But it still gets through.

28 posted on 02/05/2004 8:19:29 AM PST by Mannaggia l'America
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To: BJungNan
You gotta be careful.
AdAware is spyware.
Ad-Aware is the real thing.
29 posted on 02/05/2004 8:26:03 AM PST by AlBondigas
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To: xrp
What you suggest would be the same as locking up someone who follows you as you perform your daily routine of leaving your driveway, going to McDonalds for breakfast, stopping by your bank, going to the dry cleaners, visiting your grandmother at the retirement center, stopping by a bar for a beer on the way home, then finally stopping the chase once you hit your driveway.

If the chase stopped at the driveway, no crime. But the spyware continues on into your house (continuing your analogy) posts advertisements on your living room walls, unlocks your back door, and alerts other criminals to it being unlocked. It also partially disables your car to make it easier to follow you.

30 posted on 02/05/2004 8:27:37 AM PST by per loin
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To: per loin
Good call, but the ad/spy catching programs are installed by the user, so in essense, it is as if the private detective stops at your driveway and then you go out to your mailbox and invite him in your house for tea and crumpets. Then you give him a paintbrush and paint and tell him to paint some graffiti on your walls.
31 posted on 02/05/2004 8:30:06 AM PST by xrp
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To: dts32041
All of the below listed software is, as of this writing, freeware. Vendors who do have “Pro” versions of their software have the tendency to try to hide the link to the freeware version in the hopes that you'll click on the "Pro" versions. Make sure you get the freeware versions, which are adequate, unless of course, you want to pay for the "Pro" versions.

http://www.lavasoft.de or http://www.lavasoftusa.com to download/install/update then run the freeware program named Adaware and rid your system of spyware. You'll have to update and run it occasionally but if Spyware Blaster, ( second item down, ) does its job then adaware may not find anything new to delete.

http://www.enigmasoftwaregroup.com/jump7.shtml
to download/install/update and run. It is SpyBot Search and Destroy which is similar to Adaware. You’ll have to update and run this program occasionally if Spyware Blaster doesn’t do its job.

http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/hijacked/ scroll down to the Spyware Blaster link, ( which is freeware, )/download/install and update it then run it to stop spyware from getting on your machine before the fact. You'll have to update and run it occasionally.

http://www.panicware.com for the freeware version of Pop-Up Stopper/download/install/tell it to start with windows.

http://www.grisoft.com for the freeware version of AVG anti-virus software/download/install/update and run a scan. You'll have to update and run it occasionally.

http://www.zonelabs.com for the freeware version of ZoneAlarm which is a software firewall. It will stop a lot of the intrusions into your system.

http://freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/Access_Control_Utilities/Empty_Temp_Folders.html has a program named EmpTemp 2.8.1 which, when configured properly, will delete all unnecessary files and make your computer more secure by deleting your internet, history, cookies, and temp files.

If you have Microsoft.NET framework installed you should go to http://www.kalavath.co.uk to download and install then configure Ki-Washer. It has an additional feature that EmpTemp does not have in that it also deletes the *.dat files, ( which can still burn you even if the temporary internet files have been removed, ) in the Temporary Internet Files folders . It also has the added advantage of being able to “Keep” those files that are a necessity. However, the .NET framework is an absolute must or the program will not install. The .NET framework can be found at the Windows Update Site, which is here:

http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp

If you are concerned about spam email then you can go to the following link, scroll down to Mail Washer and click the Download link to download then install Mail Washer which is a program designed to let you check the email on your mail server before it ever downloads to your computer. You can then delete the email on the server before it gets to your computer.

If you are running WinXP then you may want to consider disabling Windows Messenger Service, ( not to be confused with MSN Messenger Service, ) if you are not on a corporate network whereby the dreaded system administrator sends messages to work stations using Windows Messenger then it can be disabled as follows:

Right-click My Computer/click on Manage/in the right-hand pane click the plus sign, ( +, ) in front of Services and Applications/click Services/look in the right-hand pane and scroll down, if necessary and find “Messenger”/right-click it/click on Properties/click the little down arrow to the right of the text box and click on Disable/click Apply/click the Stop button/Click Apply again, if necessary/click OK/at some point you may get a message telling you that you have to reboot/If you have already clicked on the Stop button then there is no need to reboot.

One or more of the above applications may give to you an error message that MSCOMCTL.OCX is missing. You can go to the following site to download either the zipped version or the unzipped version:

http://www.glrecordings.com/superyahtzee/mscomctl.html

One or more of the above programs, upon attempting to install it, may give to you an error message that you are missing the Visual Basic Runtime Version 6.0 files. The Visual Basic 6.0 install file can be downloaded here, on the link named VBRUN60.EXE:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=http://support.microsoft.com:80/support/kb/articles/Q192/4/61.ASP&NoWebContent=1

All of the above software has Help and/or Tour and Tutorial files that will assist you in learning how to operate and configure the programs.

Computer security is a major concern and you should be diligent in keeping the above programs installed, updated, run and scan your computer using the appropriate programs, where necessary, on a regular basis.

On a somewhat non-related issue you may want to go to the following site to download then install and configure the freeware program named framxpro.zip which will optimize your computer system memory:

http://sac-ftp.gratex.sk/utilmisc23.html

You’ll need Winzip, which is a “shareware” program that can be used on a “trial” basis, to unzip the zipfile which can be found at the following site:

http://www.winzip.com
One other note about spam and/or sites that would sell or share your personal information with other spammers:

Sometimes when visiting a site you are asked to “sign up.” They ask for your name, email address, home address, home phone number and similar information. Never, EVER fill out these forms with accurate information unless it is a site that you know can be trusted. For your name, misspell it. For your street address, misspell the street name or use the wrong address. For you telephone number, invent one.

( While it is a shame that I have to suggest doing things that are less than honorable, I feel that in this day and age of the internet that one has to “fight fire with fire.” )

Now, as for your email address the following is what I do and recommend to others to do:

Create a Yahoo email account. Do NOT use the same prefix as your valid ISP email address. Now, whenever you visit a site that says you have to “sign up,” then you can use the Yahoo account email address. Also, on many sites where you have to “sign up” there are usually little check boxes that are checked by default. Some sites try to hide these check boxes just as you would see “fine print” on some contracts. Sometimes there is more than one check box. One check box might indicate that “I want to receive updates from you.” The other might say, “Yes, it is OK for you to share my information with partner companies.” On those sites that have only one check box there is usually a double statement such as, “I want to receive updates and important information from you and I also want to receive information from partner companies.” Uncheck those boxes unless you want to receive the information. ( By keeping these boxes checked then you are, in essence, agreeing to receive spam and have no recourse…..you asked for “it” and they are going to see that you get “it.” ) In this way you won’t start getting spam on your “real” ISP email address. ( Note: The Yahoo account has to be checked less than every thirty days or it is deactivated. Also, if the inbox of the Yahoo account fills up it is deactivated. ) Therefore, you’ll have to check the account regularly to keep it active. However, it is a small price to pay to keep your valid email address clean of spam. Yahoo’s email program has a built-in spam filter and it puts all suspect email in the “Bulk” email folder. Don’t give out your Yahoo account to any of your known good contacts. In this way you know that any email you do receive is unwanted email and all you have to do is to delete all of it without even looking at it.

If you want to have an alternate internet email address that can be used in the event that you do not have access to your ISP account from a remote computer and that can be given to your known good contacts then create a Hotmail email account.

Most ISPs will allow you to have more than one email account. If push comes to shove you can always create a bogus email address on your ISP account that you never intend to check. You can also use that email address at sites where you have to “sign up.”

Don’t EVER store credit card numbers on your computer. Hackers can find them. Don’t EVER give random sites your credit card numbers unless you explicitly trust those sites. You can give credit card numbers at the sites of your credit cards or if the site address begins with “https://” as opposed to http://. The “s” denotes a Secure website.

Don’t EVER enable “File Sharing” on your computer unless you are on a network and simply have to share files.

You can also find literally thousands of freeware programs at the following sites if you click on the Freeware link at the site. You may want to “experiment” with the various programs available at those sites if you want to find programs that you like better than the ones I have suggested above:

http://www.webattack.com

http://www.winsite.com

At the webattack site the freeware programs are arranged by category.

At the winsite site you’ll have to do a little bit more reading.

If you want a good search engine that I think surpasses Google then go to the following site to download and install the freeware version of Copernic Agent:

http://www.copernic.com

It has a feature that will let you search for “Exact Phrase” which Google lacks. I find that feature to be most useful. Copernice searches many of the major search engines simultaneously.

Finally, KEEP YOUR WINDOWS CRITICAL UPDATES UP TO DATE! KEEP ALL OTHER WINDOWS UPDATES CURRENT! KEEP ALL OF YOUR OTHER SECURITY AND ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE UP TO DATE! IF YOU ARE RUNNING WINXP KEEP THE BUILT-IN FIREWALL ENABLED!

I hope this helps you.
32 posted on 02/05/2004 8:30:56 AM PST by El Gran Salseron (It translates as the Great, Big Dancer, nothing more. :-))
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To: newgeezer
I LOVE Spybot. It's awesome.
33 posted on 02/05/2004 8:33:00 AM PST by kimmie7 ("The prayer of a righteous man availeth much.")
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To: MudPuppy

bump and mark
34 posted on 02/05/2004 8:33:08 AM PST by MudPuppy (Young Marines - "Strengthening the Lives of America's Youth!")
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FREE PC PROTECTION:
(Not an exhaustive list. Your results may vary. Void where prohibited. For entertainment purposes only. No wagering, please. Whattayawantfernuthin'.)

35 posted on 02/05/2004 8:38:38 AM PST by martin_fierro (Chat is my milieu)
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To: xrp
Good call, but the ad/spy catching programs are installed by the user, so in essense, it is as if the private detective stops at your driveway and then you go out to your mailbox and invite him in your house for tea and crumpets. Then you give him a paintbrush and paint and tell him to paint some graffiti on your walls.

Not so. More like the private detective shows up at your door disquised as a deliveryman with a large package for you. When you allow him to step into your house to set it down, he surreptitiously makes a copy of your house key, and returns later to defile your home.

36 posted on 02/05/2004 8:38:59 AM PST by per loin
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To: Mannaggia l'America
Just to be sure, I use BOTH Ad-aware and Spybot S&D.

That's what I do too, for two reasons. First, I figure I'm maximizing my chances of getting the most up-to-date definition files and have a better chance to catch any newly written malware. Also, what's the best program to plant spyware -- obviously a spyware detection program! So running two programs is a double check on the honesty of both.

37 posted on 02/05/2004 8:41:03 AM PST by Still Thinking
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To: per loin
Either one is arguable. Put plainly, if a user is too stupid to use traverse the Internet responsibly, maybe that user should take a hike. It sure would clear out a lot of the lame users out there.
38 posted on 02/05/2004 8:43:23 AM PST by xrp
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To: xrp
Not the point, Windows is sold as the OS that 'grandma' could use. Now grandma has to learn to harden a system?
39 posted on 02/05/2004 8:47:40 AM PST by N3WBI3
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To: N3WBI3
This has nothing to do with the OS. Any software package could install extra stuff you're not seeing regardless of your OS. Spyware comes in all flavors. And the best anti-spyware is free anyway.
40 posted on 02/05/2004 8:48:09 AM PST by discostu (but this one has 11)
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To: Terpfen
I have been using Spybot for about a year now and have been pleased.

However, I have recently started to wonder if it is not also the source.

Explain to me how it can find new spy-ware after it's last run, when I have had my computer off-line since then?

It may still be an outstanding program and I am most likely wrong.

41 posted on 02/05/2004 8:48:14 AM PST by Hunble
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To: Terpfen
False logic, thats like saying if 95% of cars were Volvo's they would be just as dangerous as any other car. sometimes something is safer because of its design..
42 posted on 02/05/2004 8:51:55 AM PST by N3WBI3
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To: dts32041
Agree with all of that. My security summary:

1) updated MS patches on OS and IE
2) regularly updated anti-virus software and definitions
3) hardware router on Internet connection
4) Spybot Search&Destroy and Lavasoft Ad-Aware updated and run, preferably weekly, but at least bi-weekly
5) Google toolbar, high privacy install, to block pop-ups. (603 and counting)
6) never open suspicious email attachments (just about any *.exes, no matter who from)



43 posted on 02/05/2004 8:56:39 AM PST by FreedomPoster (This space intentionally blank)
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To: El Gran Salseron; justlurking
I regularly run Adware and Spybot, but I still have an annoyance with my home computer (kids, you know). When online, I have incessant white background with print pop-ups that jump in every 5-10 seconds. To counteract them I have installed a pop-up killer but I still get the annoying visual blip of the pop-up. I am 99.9% certain there is malware on my machine that is causing the headache. Suggestions?

Lando

44 posted on 02/05/2004 8:56:50 AM PST by Lando Lincoln (GWB in 2004)
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To: N3WBI3
If she wants total security, yep. A car is sold as 'driveable', but you have to learn how to use it and be licensed.
45 posted on 02/05/2004 9:00:23 AM PST by xrp
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To: FreedomPoster
That about sums it up.
46 posted on 02/05/2004 9:03:20 AM PST by dts32041 (Will Kerry ever call his wife an African American?)
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To: discostu
Really? at the system registry level? Linux and Mac prevent user accounts from mucking around with the global libraries.. In addition they come *with* a firewall, you dont need to install third party software to get one..
47 posted on 02/05/2004 9:04:09 AM PST by N3WBI3
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To: xrp
THan I guess the old 'Linux is hard to use and windows is easy to use' is only true if you dont want a secure box..
48 posted on 02/05/2004 9:05:24 AM PST by N3WBI3
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To: robertpaulsen
Couldn't that be accomplished without running any software? A search for the file index.dat and then delete will do the same.
49 posted on 02/05/2004 9:09:05 AM PST by JSteff
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To: dts32041
Use Good Anti-Virus Software.

Use a good reg. monitor like Spybot Search and Destroy.

Use A good Firewall Product. Like ZoneAlarm Pro 4

If you are running a wireless network, use AIRSnare also.

Clean your caches regularly for best performance. There is a freebie called disk cleaner that works well, and supports Opera. Get it here. Disk Cleaner.

Defrag your drives once a week, or once every two weeks if you have minmal computer use.

DO NOT DOWNLOAD LOTS OF CRAP you don't really need. Don't load your 'puter with pirated software, half of it can have viruses, bots and trojans. Do not open attachments without scanning them first. Go to this site below if you want to learn just how secure (or not) your box is:

Steve Gibson Gibson Research Co.. Check out Shields Up! on his site, to test your security for free. Also has free security-related goodies.

50 posted on 02/05/2004 9:10:50 AM PST by wolicy_ponk
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