May 29th, 2004, 01:01 PM
It's full of holes, and we know it. How can you prevent these holes exploiting your system?
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ - Keep your PC up-to-date with the latest Security Patches, drivers and updates from Microsoft. This is the first line in your defence.
An anti-virus solution is highly recommended. Whether you buy, download freely, or scan online, the amount of viruses proliferating round the internet these days makes it a must.
www.symantec.com - Norton AntiVirus 2004
www.mcafee.com - Mcafee VirusScan
www.grisoft.com - AVG Professional Single Edition
www.pandasoftware.com - Panda AV Titanium
www.trendmicro.com - PC-Cillan 2003
Free to download:-
www.grisoft.com/ - AVG free version
www.free-av.com/ - AntiVir Personal Edition
www.bitdefender.com - [/b]BitDefender Free Edition v7[/b]
Free online virus scan:-
Whilst by no means a comprehensive list , you should be able to find a solution to your Anti Virus needs here. Remember, whatever method you use, keep it up-to-date!
Spyware is Internet jargon for Advertising Supported software (Adware). www.spychecker.com/spyware.html is a good guide if you've just said "wtf is spyware?"!
How do you find it?
www.lavasoftusa.com - Ad Aware is one of two spyware programs that come recommended.
The other is
www.safer-networking.org/ - Spybot - Search and Destroy.
Both these programs search your drives for any trace of known spyware programs and more. Like anti-virus software, they need to be regularly updated.
BHO Demon scans your Registry for BHOs, and presents any it finds in a list. By highlighting a BHO in this list, and clicking the "Details" button, you can see information about this BHO, and even disable it if you wish.
What is a BHO? A Browser Helper Object. Some are good, some are nasty. You keep the ones you want.........
What is a Trojan? Trojans are programs which will mostly be sent via email, instant-messengers or filesharing-tools. If you run a trojan file it will install itself on your computer to get run every time you boot up your machine. Trojans opens a port (channel) on your system which can be used by an attacker to connect to your computer. Trojans can enable almost everything for an attacker to do harmful things like viewing/modifying/deleting data, watching you when you are working or surfing the web, etc. Depending on the trojan there can be thousands of functions built in which can be remotely used by any attacker to spy you.
A good Firewall will combat most trojan activity, but it's still something you don't want on your machine. There are specific trojan removal tools written by the major AV providers, eg http://securityresponse.symantec.com , each of which will deal with a specific trojan. You'll first notice a trojan when your AV spots one, or your firewall asks for permission for it to access the internet.
Another vital security feature is the ability to control what comes into, and goes out of your machine. If you are running a router, it will probably be running a hardware firewall, which you need to configure according to the manufacturers instructions.
Hardware firewalls are far more effective than software firewalls, and they don't suck system resources. Most routers have firewalls built in. If you don't have a router, but you have an old computer (486 or better) and a couple NIC's, you can build your own firewall/router/proxy server using Smoothwall or Clarkconnect. Some prefer Smoothwall (very sleek and simple to install and maintain), but Clarkconnect offers more features, such as a web server, file server, print server, and other options.
Software Firewalls are programs that monitor the traffic flowing in and out of your PC. The different firewalls offer different features, nad you should do your homework before deciding whether to buy a fully-featured version, or take advantage of a free, less-featured version.
So what is there out there?
www.zonelabs.com - Zone Labs offers both free and paid-for Firewalls. Probably the most popular software firewall around these days.
http://smb.sygate.com/ - Sygate, again, offer both free, and paid-for firewalls
www.symantec.com - Norton Personal Firewall 2004 is the latest to-buy offering from Symantec
www.mcafee.com - Personal Firewall Plus is Mcafees to-buy firewall
There are many more software firewalls out there, and listing them all is far beyond the scope of this Tutorial, so for now this is the end, but i'm currently working on a Part 2 for this Tutorial.
Any and all comments and Suggestion on this Subject are more then welcome.