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Discussion Starter #1
Internet Security

The internet can be a very dangerous place. There are always stories about identity theft and credit card fraud. I have some hands on "insight" into these things and will be giving you some tips on how to keep yourself protected. First and foremost, get some computer protection. This includes anti-virus software, anti-spyware/trojan/bot/rootkit/malware software, and a firewall. In short anti-malware software. Although this can seem really technical and complicated, just follow my advice and things should be ok for most users.

Anti-Virus Software

For anti-virus software I would recommend downloading either Avira, Avast or AVG, I personally use Avira and would highly recommend it but AVG/Avast are just as good. The one downside to Avira is there is a popup that comes up each time the program updates (everyday), but this can be changed with a simple "hack". AVG is the easiest to install and the most user friendly but Avira has better protection/detection. A couple users have also highly recommended Avast so I'm going to put the good word for it here although I have not tried it myself. Just a random side note, good anti-virus programs start with A


-Note- Avira 9 now protects against all types of malware, not just viruses.

Tom's Hardware just did a full test of the top anti-virus competitors for 2009 and it looks like Avira came out on top


According to the Raymond CC blog, Avira is the best anti-virus when it comes to computer performance!


Lifehacker's Hive Five just voted AVG as the top anti-virus


Firewalls

For firewalls, either COMODO or Outpost will work just fine. I personally love COMODO and would recommend it to everyone. When you install COMODO make sure its in training mode so you don't get overloaded with popups about applications trying to run. Immediately after installing (DO NOT RESTART) go to Start > All Programs > COMODO. Let it boot, then right click on the icon and set the +defense and firewall to training mode. Then you may restart


-Note- Comodo just got a 5 star review from CNET and Editors' Choice Award from PC Magazine!

Anti-Spyware/Bot Software

For anti-spyware I would recommend Spybot Search & Destroy. Simple enough. Install and update, although I wouldn't recommend any the extra features (teatimer, skins, other languages, etc) because they can get kind of annoying. I would install the other feature (I am forgetting what it is called at the minute) but it is right next to the teatimer setting during the setup. This will allow you to close up some of the security holes in your browsers.

I just came across a program called Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware which is also an amazing program. I was trying to get an infection of a friends computer and this program did wonders in safe mode!

I currently recommend using a combination of Malwarebytes, Avira, Spybot, and Comodo for computer protection.

Did I mention everything above is free? If you some reason you don't trust the free stuff and would like to go with an internet security suite, I would recommend NOD32 or Kaspersky. Norton is borderline/bad, McAfee is pure %$&#. I hate both of them personally. If you don't believe me, check out these sites.

http://www.matousec.com/projects/fir...ge/results.php
http://www.anti-malware-test.com/
http://www.av-comparatives.org/
http://www.virusbtn.com/news/2008/03_13a.xml

Updating

Now that your computer has basic protection, you now need to run some updates and a full system scan. This should pick up anything bad on you computer.

Updates should be run every other day or so (or whenever your on the computer). A lot of the software updates automatically, but it never hurts to check for new ones. Also, run a full system scan about once every couple weeks.

Browsers

As for other security recommendations, download and use Mozilla Firefox. It is a faster, more secure, and easier to use. I would also recommend installing the addons Ad Block Plus and NoScript.

Don't forget to download windows updates and keep all your other software up to date!

Why macs are not as secure as you think

I would also like to make a quick note about all you mac users. Just because there aren't many viruses out there, I would still recommend getting anti-virus software. Because Vista was a huge dud more and more people have been switching over to OSX and because of this the black hat's are starting to look at attacking both operating systems. Although you have nothing to worry about right now, just keep that in mind. And yes macs are very easy to hack.

Just look at this list is known exploits http://www.milw0rm.com/platforms/osX
Also check out the mac that was the worst system at the PWN2OWN hacking competition. It was hacked in 10 seconds.

Speeding up your computer

Now, some of you might be wondering why you computer is running so slow. Odds are its either overloaded with %$&@ and/or it's infected. The software mentioned above should clear out the infections. As for computer cleaning software I would recommend CCleaner. Just click "Run cleaner" and "Scan registry for issues" (blue square) and that should clean out most of it. I would also check the boxes "Old Prefetch Data", "ISS Log Files", and "Hotfix Uninstallers".
Also, running disk cleanup and disk defragmentor should speed up your computer significantly (Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools). If you want a freeware alternative for the disk defragmentor I would recommend the IOBit Smart defrag (check download.com).

Also, after some experimentation I can also recommend Advanced System Care which is a cleaner just like CCleaner. If you really want to get rid of everything use this program as well.

Other tips

Other than that, avoid emails from people you don't know.
Don't download stuff you don't know anything about.
Avoid going to risky sites (you can probably guess).
Make sure you use secure passwords. These should be 8+ characters, consisting of numbers, letters and alphanumeric characters. It should also be something more complicated than a name or nickname. An few examples would be SkAl2134!$ or S0mT1Ng$%#.
Switch to a reliable email provider like gmail.

Also, I never really realized it until recently but System Restore can take up a lot of space. If you don't have to worry about drivers and so forth, I would turn this service off. I say this because I freed up 115GBs on a friends computer just by deleting all the saved recovery points.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or need some help fighting an infection
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Glad to hear that most of the people here are protected but I hope this can help the few people that aren't sufficiently protected or friends of OCN people that don't know anything about computers =3
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just to add, I did not copy and paste this guide. I showed Havegooda the my original facebook post of this I did on June 19, 2008 @ 11:00pm.

If I need to will upload confirming pics ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the rep everyone! ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter #8
-Updated-
Found another anti-malware program that does wonders.
 

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While you're doing updates, check out Advanced SystemCare Personal. It found a LOT of junk on an XP box I was cleaning out that CCleaner missed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the suggestion dhrandy, I was basing the AV program off my experience and AV detection reports. I will def check out tho.

error10 I use IOBits smart defrag so I know they have good software. Thanks for the tip!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Added some more stuff
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dhrandy View Post
Avast is awesome anti-virus program as well.
^I use Avast! as well, and confirm it's excellence.
In my experience, it's much better than AVG (or Norton).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the tip AOwpr!

Adding that into the guide
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quote:


Originally Posted by Oupavoc
View Post

for anti-virus, i use kaspersky with milware and firewall and for anti-spyware i use webroot spysweeper. also just an fyi, Spybot Search & Destroy has built in spyware just to let you know. great writeup


Thanks for the comments


I know Kaspersky is one of the top AV programs out there for a reasonable price but I had freeware in mind when I was writing this guide.

Also about S&D it a good extra set of protection because of the immunizations and the bot/spyware/trojan scan but thanks for the comment!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheGrayNobleman View Post
Thanks for the tip AOwpr!

Adding that into the guide

You're quite welcome. Not to nitpick, by the way, but you spelled it "arvarst."


Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
@AOwpr

I don't see where I misspelled Arvast. Thanks for the edit though!

Also, thank you everyone for the comments!
 
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