Tag Archives: firewall

Panda Cloud Antivirus & Firewall Beta 1.9.2 – Ready To Hit The Road

Testing anti-malware applications takes considerable time in order to get to the heart of the matter – does an application work in the “real world?”

Meaning

Will the application do what an average user expects – does it block malware effectively and efficiently? Particularly new, or emerging, malware threats.

Is the interface crafted in such a way that an average user doesn’t need to digest an instruction manual in order to navigate the application?

Is the application capable of providing adequate protection without stressing system resources?

I’ve been running various versions of Panda Cloud Antivirus – on and off – on a secondary system, since April 2009, and in this extensive testing, Panda Cloud Antivirus has met, or exceeded, all of those requirements. I will point out however – I’m an extremely cautious and aware Internet user.

Since Beta 1.9.2 (release date June 4th), is Windows 8 compatible (which, I’ve been running on my main system since day one of the first release), it’s time to kick the tires. According to Panda – “This new beta version includes better malware disinfection capabilities and even lower impact on system performance.”

Installation:

Pay particular attention at the Install screen. Once again, you’ll be asked to accept a Toolbar and a change in your Homepage – annoying as hell. Surely we’ve reached the point where developers are more than aware that additional Toolbars installed on a system can lead to problems.

In the past 7 days I’ve tested 15 or more applications (many of which sucked), and each and every one offered a Toolbar – in some cases, in a deceptive manner.

Enough already!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The initial download is an installer (not the application) – which explains the following screen.

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Following the application download, installation continues seamlessly.

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On successful installation, the application will immediately launch into an optimized scan – effectively, a “Quick Scan.”

 

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Scan time: under one minute – 22, 267 files. A dramatic improvement in scan speed over previous versions.

Comparable Quick Scan Speeds:

MalwareBytes: 2 minutes 7 seconds – 190, 557 files.

SUPERAntiSpyware: 2 minutes 3 seconds – 35,173 files.

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Panda is obviously convinced that the “more is less” GUI approach, is suitable for most users. Kudos – I couldn’t agree more.

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You won’t be left in the dark on questionable items as per the following screen shot – you have the option of blocking any application which you may be unsure of.

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The built-in Firewall is reasonably configurable.

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You may add – edit –delete rules, as per your preferences and requirements.

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In this example I’ve shown the “Edit Rule” screen listed under Factory rules (the presets).

Note: Since Beta 1.9.2 is integrated with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 Security Center, you have the option of turning off the Firewall component in favor of your existing Firewall.

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Overall application advanced settings are readily accessible. I suggest that at least initially, you carry on with the default settings.

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Some of the most notable changes implemented for 1.9.2 Beta include the following:

  • New firewall platform for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  • Intrusion Detection System protection against network attacks.
  • Ability to adapt firewall behaviour by zones.
  • Registration of the firewall component in the Windows Security Center.
  • Deactivation/activation of the built-in Windows Firewall when the Panda Cloud Antivirus firewall is activated/deactivated.
  • New technologies for improved malware disinfection.
  • Improved detection of in-memory malware.
  • Improved disinfection of packed/compressed malware.
  • Improved quarantine management.
  • Process monitor without the URL monitoring.
  • Activity monitor in the main interface window.
  • Last detection show in the main interface window.
  • Added advanced configuration to enable/disable detection of potentially unwanted programs.
  • Added advanced configuration to enable/disable background scan after cache synchronization.
  • Added advanced configuration to enable/disable on-demand scan within compressed archives.
  • Added advanced configuration to exclude elements by extension.
  • Improved scanning architecture and integration with Quarantine and memory scanning module.
  • Integrated new toolbar with Google search instead of Yahoo.
  • Button to hide the promotional banners shown in the main interface.
  • Improved integration with the Windows Security Center for the antivirus component.
  • Improved integration with Collective Intelligence of unknown and new malware samples.
  • Performance improvement to lower system impact when treating files within Explorer and Recycle Bin.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 and Win 8.

Download at: Panda

Panda Cloud Antivirus is based on Collective Intelligence, a system for detecting and disinfecting viruses and other threats that feeds off the knowledge shared by millions of users. The computers that are part of the Panda Community – instantly share and benefit from all the information stored in the cloud. There are obvious benefits in this approach to the ever evolving threat landscape.

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Filed under Windows Tips and Tools

Security Precautions For Your New Christmas PC

imageWe are now officially in the “Holiday Season”, (the “Christmas Season”, to we traditionalists), so along with those visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head, you just might have visions of a super hot, quad core beast, that you can rip the wrapping off – after Santa has dropped down your chimney.

So if you’ve been good this year, and Santa does drop off that new screaming machine, no doubt you’ll want to put it through its paces right away. But before you test drive this new machine, there are some fundamental precautions you need to take.

Patch your operating system:

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Download and install all available patches, and service packs – if applicable, by connecting to Windows Update. Security Gurus will tell you that 50% of unpatched, and unprotected systems, will be infected with malicious code within 12 minutes of being connected to the Internet. Believe it!

Install a Firewall:

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Windows 7 comes with a vastly improved Firewall – substantially better than in previous versions of the operating system. Still, many techies consider third party applications more effective.

There are a number of free firewalls that are worth considering. The following are three that do the job particularly well. (Choose only one)

Comodo Firewall Pro:

Comodo Firewall protects your system by defeating hackers and restricting unauthorized programs from accessing the Internet. I ran with this application for 18 months during a long term test, and I felt very secure.

PC Tools Firewall Plus:

PC Tools Firewall Plus is my Firewall of choice. It installed easily, set up quickly, and did not caused any conflicts on my test machine despite my sometimes esoteric running requirements. The default settings are well thought out, and provide excellent protection for less experience users.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall:

ZoneAlarm’s default settings are well thought out, and provide excellent protection for less experience users particularly. Experienced users on the other hand, can tinker to their hearts content, customizing and tweaking the application to meet their specific requirements.

Install anti-virus software:

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There is no doubt that an unprotected computer will become infected by viruses and malware within minutes of first being connected to the Internet. There are many free versions of anti-virus software available, and the programs listed below have a well justified reputation. (Choose only one – although Immunet Protect will run successfully as a companion application).

Avira AntiVir Personal:

This anti-virus program offers comprehensive protection with an easy to use interface. In the time that I have been testing Avira I have been impressed with its performance, and I have come to rely on it as my primary anti-virus program on an XP Pro system. I highly recommend this one.

Panda Cloud Antivirus:

I’ve been testing the Beta version of Panda Cloud Antivirus since the end of April 2009, off and on, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with it’s performance, particularly the light use of system resources. This application is definitely not a resource hog, and I found it outstanding at recognizing and blocking malware threats.

Immunet Free Antivirus:

Immunet Protect is a lightweight cloud based antivirus application, (available in both a free, and a fee version), designed to add a layer of protection while working in partnership with the most popular antimalware solutions. You’ll find Immunet straightforward to install, and easy to run without complication.

Install Anti-spyware and Adware Software:

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It’s not only a virus that can put your computer down for the count, but a multitude of nasties freely floating on the Internet. Listed below are a number of free programs that offer very good protection against malware.

Microsoft Security Essentials:

Microsoft Security Essentials, which incorporates antivirus, antispyware and rootkit protection, all under one roof, was released by Microsoft as a free  replacement application for Windows Live OneCare. Microsoft Security Essentials is easy to set up and run, particularly for new users. And, the interface is positively simple offering Quick Scan, Full Scan, or Custom Scan.

Spybot Search and Destroy:

Spybot Search & Destroy can detect and remove a multitude of adware files and modules from your computer. Spybot also can clean program and Web-usage tracks from your system, which is especially useful if you share your computer. Modules chosen for removal can be sent directly to the included file shredder, ensuring complete elimination from your system.

ThreatFire:

ThreatFire blocks mal-ware, including zero-day threats, by analyzing program behavior and it does a stellar job. Again, this is one of the security applications that forms part of my front line defenses. I have found it to have high success rate at blocking mal-ware based on analysis of behavior. I highly recommend this one!

Additional security protection:

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Web of Trust (WOT):

WOT is a free Internet Browser add-on which tests web sites you are visiting for spyware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, unreliable online shops, phishing, and online scams, helping you avoid unsafe web sites.

SpywareBlaster:

SpywareBlaster prevents ActiveX-based spyware, adware, dialers, and browser hijackers from installing on your system by disabling the CLSIDs (a system used by software applications to identify a file or other item), of spyware ActiveX controls. As well, SpywareBlaster can block spyware/tracking cookies and restrict the actions of spyware/adware/tracking sites in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and other browsers.

WinPatrol:

With WinPatrol, in your system tray, you can monitor system areas that are often changed by malicious programs. You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.

SpyShelter:

SpyShelter is an anti-keylogging, anti-spyware program that protects your data from Keylogging and spy programs: known, unknown, and under-development. It detects and blocks dangerous and malicious programs, to help ensure that your data cannot be stolen by cyber criminals.

Note: Keep in mind however, that even the best layered protection strategy will not make up for lack of experience, and intuitiveness, when surfing the Internet. So, I’ll repeat what I have said here, many times – “knowledge, awareness, and experience are critical ingredients in the escalating battle, against cybercriminals.”

This list is not exhaustive by any means, but it is a good place to start.

A final note: You may find that your new PC is loaded with preinstalled “trial” software. This is the type of thing that drives users buggy, since trying to figure out how to get rid of trialware is not as easy as it should be. But don’t fret.

Take a look at – Free PC Decrapifier – Bloatware Begone! – a free application designed to specifically uninstall these annoyances

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Malware Protection, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Protect Your Bits With BitDefender Internet Security 2011

imageIf it’s true that 50% of computer users run without adequate security protection, as some statistics indicate, then I can understand why. Given the complexity of a typical anti-malware product in both setup and operation, it’s little wonder that many users throw up their hands in frustration.

To be sure, computer security is a complex issue, but that shouldn’t mean that the average end user of a security application, needs to be exposed to a labyrinth of choices in either application setup, or in monitoring activity.

It’s hard to overstate the fact that typical computer users require a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface in order to get the most out of a security suite, and BitDefender’s Internet Security 2011 breaks new ground here. More on this later.

By combining an efficient Firewall, an Antivirus engine, an Antispyware engine, Spam filtering, a parental control system, privacy control, home network and game/laptop modes – BitDefender has built a suite of applications that provides powerful protection.

Taken together, the components provide excellent protection from hackers, cybercriminals, unauthorized software, network attacks, and more.

The application is straightforward to setup, customize, and run – as the following screen captures illustrate. (Click on any graphic to enlarge).

Following installation the application automatically runs a quick scan to ensure the system is clean prior to setup completion.

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Very cool! No malware found on the test system.

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BitDefender’s Internet Security 2011 is all about simple initial choices – average users can sit back and allow the application to choose the most appropriate settings.  Sophisticated users, on the other hand, can get their hands dirty.

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The user has an opportunity to choose a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface, rather than the more complex intermediate, or expert mode. When I installed this application, I did so with 10 average users in attendance – each one agreed that the “Basic View”, would be the most appropriate for their needs.

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The additional tools menu is push button simple, as the following screen shot indicates.

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On the completion of the installation, a summary of installed application modules is provided.

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Finally, a guided tour is a helpful tool which makes it easy for an average user to become familiar with the application.

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Fast facts:

Firewall

Antivirus & Antispyware

Antispam

Anti-phishing

Chat Encryption

Identity protection and privacy controls

Parental Control

Family Network Protection – Home network monitor

Smart Scan

Quick Scan

Smart Schedule

Smart Help

Smart Sense

System requirements: Windows XP SP3, Vista (SP1), Wind 7 (both 32 bit and 64 bit).

Note: Recommended hardware –

  • CPU: Intel CORE Duo (1.66 GHz) or equivalent processor
  • Memory (RAM):
  • 1 GB (Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows 7)
  • 1.5 GB (Microsoft Windows Vista)

Having tested this application on a number of machines, I suggest you don’t install this application unless your computer meets, or exceeds, these requirements.

Download 30 day trial version at: BitDefender

Purchase product at: BitDefender (3 PCs for 1 year $49.95).

A personal note: BitDefender is one of my favorite security providers, since it offers a bevy of free virus removal tools, as well as a number of free specialty security tools.

A final word: Choosing a security application correctly depends on a number of variables including – how you use a computer on the Internet. In the final analysis though, the application should simply work –  unobtrusively and silently, with a minimum of fuss and bother – without presenting complex questions that average users simply can’t grasp.

Overall, BitDefender Internet Security 2011 handles this issue very well, and its overall detection and malware removal rates, place it in the top tier of security applications.

A word of caution here regarding tests carried out by antimalware labs. By and large, these tests are one time “snap shots”, and are not always indicative of an applications strengths, or weaknesses. Applications tend to change relative positions based on these tests, very often.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Antimalware Suites, BitDefender, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Malware Protection, Software, Software Trial Versions, spam, Spyware - Adware Protection, System File Protection, Windows Tips and Tools

PC Tools Internet Security 2011, Ten License Giveaway! – Reminder

imageAs part of Tech Thoughts “Stay Safe on the Internet focus”, PC Tools has generously provided us with 10 free licenses for their award winning flagship product, PC Tools Internet Security 2011, (retail value $59.95 ).

To enter the contest to win a free license, simply read the review here, and add a comment at the end of the article. On December 17, 2010, (just in time for Christmas), all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 10 names that come up, will win a free license (installable on up to 3 PCs), for this award winning application.

As with previous giveaways, you don’t need to write a paragraph – “enter me”, or something similar, is enough. There’s no need for me to acknowledge your entry, but rest assured, if you comment – you’re in.

Good luck!

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antimalware Suites, Contests, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Giveaways, Integrated Solutions, Malware Protection, PC Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 – Ten License Giveaway!

imageAs part of Tech Thoughts “Stay Safe on the Internet focus”, PC Tools has generously provided us with 10 free licenses for their award winning flagship product, PC Tools Internet Security 2011, (retail value $59.95 ).

To enter the contest to win a free license, simply add a comment at the end of this article. On December 17, 2010, (just in time for Christmas), all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 10 names that come up, will win a free license (installable on up to 3 PCs), for this award winning application.

As with previous giveaways, you don’t need to write a paragraph – “enter me”, or something similar, is enough. There’s no need for me to acknowledge your entry, but rest assured, if you comment – you’re in.

Good luck!

Read the following review, and I’m sure you’ll agree; this is definitely a contest worth entering!

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 review

Since I had test driven the 2010 version of PC Tools Internet Security, and had given it top marks, I readily accepted an invitation from PC Tools to test drive the 2011 version. And, I’m happy to say, (after testing this application for 30+ days), that this new version is even more impressive than the previous suite.

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 performed superbly in the “real Internet world”. The world that’s full of cyber criminals, scam and fraud artists, and worse. The world that reeks of tainted search engine results, malware infected legitimate websites, drive-by downloads and bogus security software.

By combining the highly regarded technologies of Spyware Doctor, a very efficient Firewall, an Antivirus engine, and ThreatFire’s heuristic detection engine (Behavior Guard), plus a Browser Defender, and more – PC Tools has built a suite of applications that provides powerful Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Firewall, and Spam protection. Taken together, the components provide excellent protection from hackers, cybercriminals, unauthorized software, and network attacks.

PC Tools has a knack for building powerful applications, but still manages to combine each component in a highly functional and easy to understand user interface – not as easy to accomplish as you might imagine.

It’s hard to overstate the fact that typical computer users require a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface in order to get the most out of a security suite, and PC Tools Internet Security excels in this department.

The application is straightforward to setup, customize, and run – as the following screen captures illustrate. (Click on any graphic to enlarge).

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Fast facts:

Built on award-winning Spyware Doctor antispyware technology.

ThreatFire Behavioral Intelligence features technology to block new threats faster than traditional signature methods.

Advanced rootkit detection technology identifies and removes hidden threats from your PC.

Memory Scanner helps eradicate threats lurking on your PC.

Download Guard stops new threats by checking your downloads against a cloud-based network.

Multi-layered browsing protection against web-based attacks including phishing attempts, scare tactics and silent automatic malicious downloads.

IntelliGuard™ technology stops potential threats before they infect your PC.

Automated Firewall defends against cybercriminals seeking to gain access to your PC. It analyses network traffic and automatically makes intelligent decisions for you to reduce annoying alerts.

Advanced spam filtering utilizes intuitive behavioral technology to detect spam and effectively block phishing, unsolicited and malware emails.

Smart Updates provide automatic updates to combat the newest malware by silently installing product updates and upgrades that keep you protected without interrupting your online activity.

24/7 Global Malware Research Center constantly tackles the latest threats and implements new technology to quickly combat cybercrime, keeping your online network safe.

Network Awareness: Set “trust levels” for each network you connect to and let the firewall automatically adjust rules to match.

Designed to reduce impact on your PC system and your network – perfect for memory-intensive tasks such as playing games, watching movies and streaming content online.

Improved AntiSpam features. Improved accuracy and performance give you better and faster filtering of unwanted email.

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 , which is available in 28 languages, offers all of the protection that a top notch anti-malware suite should, in an easy installation package leading to a “dead simple” interface, and then does what it sets out to do – protect the user efficiently, against the epidemic of malware and additional dangers circulating on the Internet waiting to trap the under protected, and the unaware.

System requirements: Microsoft Windows 7 (32bit, 64bit), Windows Vista SP1+ (32bit, 64bit), Windows XP SP2+ (32bit)

You may buy PC Tools Internet Security 2011, ($59.95 direct, for three licenses), or you may download a free, limited, trial version , at PC Tools. Please note that the trial version offers time unlimited real-time protection (free threat blocking), but does not remove threats detected during on-demand scans.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antimalware Suites, Contests, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Giveaways, PC Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, Software Trial Versions, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Jealous? Cyber-crooks Have You In Their Sights

Jealousy_by_EvilTelephone Physiological studies have observed jealousy in infants as young as five months old and surprisingly, in elderly people. Many psychologists hold the view, that jealousy is a normal and appropriate reaction to the fear of losing a loved one to someone else.

It’s no surprise then, that Cyber-crooks are continuing to use jealousy as a social engineering email hook, to entice potential victims to click on an email containing enclosed links which can lead to the installation of malware.

The following screen capture (from one of my email inboxes, yesterday), illustrates the type of crafty email currently circulating on the Internet. Consider carefully – would you follow the links in this email?

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If you had attempted to do so, in this case, you would have been cautioned by bit.ly (a free service that shortens long links), since the original link has been shortened using this service. Kudos to bit.ly for being on the ball here.

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(Click pic for larger)

The following is the text of another email of this type, currently circulating on the Net.

Hello,

I apologize for my frankness. I’m sorry for not being able to speak to you in person, but I can only talk to you via email and I feel obliged to notify you to open your eyes, you are being betrayed.

I know it is difficult to prove, but every picture tells a story, I’ll send you these pictures so that you can see it with your own eyes. Take care…a big hug

From a good friend who is very fond of you

View photos here

In this case, there is no intermediary, like bit.ly – so you’re on your own.

It may well be that certain individuals are not prepared to take the fidelity of a loved one at face value, but these same individuals have no hesitation in opening an email from an unknown sender, it seems.

Do these types of emails work for scammers, do you suppose? You bet! Let me give you an example of how foolish people can be –

Several months ago, I wrote an article “Nude Pics Of Your Wife/Girlfriend Attached – Click Here”, as another of my frequent tests of Internet user gullibility. This is the very type of article frequently used by cyber-criminals to launch penetration attempts. Much to my surprise, the article is now one of the most frequently read articles on this site. I ask you – how careless can people be?

Regular readers of this site are familiar with the following safeguards:

  • Install an Internet Browser add-on such as WOT (my personal favorite), which provides detailed results on a site’s safety; protecting you from security threats including spyware, adware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, and online scams.
  • As well, WOT now checks links embedded in your email, and warns you of dangerous web sites so that you can avoid spyware, spam, phishing, identity theft and other Internet scams; before you click on dangerous embedded links.
  • Don’t open unknown email attachments.
  • Disable scripting features in email programs.
  • Make regular backups of critical data.
  • Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised.
  • Turn off file and printer sharing on the computer.
  • Install a personal firewall on your computer.
  • Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet.
  • Ensure the anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments.

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Filed under cybercrime, Don't Get Hacked, Drawing Software, Email, email scams, Freeware, Internet Security Alerts, Online Safety, Windows Tips and Tools, WOT (Web of Trust)

Planning On A New Christmas Computer? Security Precautions To Consider

imageWe are now officially in the “Holiday Season”, so along with those visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head, you just might have visions of a super hot, quad core beast, that you can rip the wrapping off of after Santa has dropped down your chimney.

So if you’ve been good this year, and Santa does drop off that new screaming machine, no doubt you’ll want to put it through its paces right away. But before you test drive this new machine, there are some fundamental precautions you need to take before you connect to the Internet.

Patch your operating system:

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Download and install all available patches, and service packs – if applicable, by connecting to Windows Update. Security Gurus will tell you that 50% of unpatched, and unprotected systems, will be infected with malicious code within 12 minutes of being connected to the Internet. Believe it!

Install a Firewall:

image

Windows 7 comes with a vastly improved Firewall – substantially better than in previous versions of the operating system. Still, many techies consider third party applications more effective.

There are a number of free firewalls that are worth considering. The following are three that do the job particularly well. (Choose only one)

Comodo Firewall Pro:

Comodo Firewall (last updated November 11, 2010), protects your system by defeating hackers and restricting unauthorized programs from accessing the Internet. I ran with this application for 18 months during a long term test, and I felt very secure.

PC Tools Firewall Plus 7:

Having tested this application for more than six months I was impressed with its performance. It installed easily, set up quickly, and did not caused any conflicts on my test machine despite my sometimes esoteric running requirements. The default settings are well thought out, and provide excellent protection for less experience users.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2010:

ZoneAlarm’s default settings are well thought out, and provide excellent protection for less experience users particularly. Experienced users on the other hand, can tinker to their hearts content, customizing and tweaking the application to meet their specific requirements.

Install anti-virus software:

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There is no doubt that an unprotected computer will become infected by viruses and malware within minutes of first being connected to the Internet. There are many free versions of anti-virus software available, and the programs listed below have a well justified reputation. (Choose only one – although Immunet Protect will run successfully as a companion application).

Avira AntiVir Personal:

This anti-virus program offers comprehensive protection with an easy to use interface. In the time that I have been testing Avira I have been impressed with its performance, and I have come to rely on it as my primary anti-virus program on an XP Pro system. I highly recommend this one.

Panda Cloud Antivirus:

I’ve been testing the Beta version of Panda Cloud Antivirus since the end of April 2009, off and on, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with it’s performance, particularly the light use of system resources. This application is definitely not a resource hog, and I found it outstanding at recognizing and blocking malware threats.

Immunet Protect 2:

Immunet Protect is a lightweight cloud based antivirus application, (available in both a free, and a fee version), designed to add a layer of protection while working in partnership with the most popular antimalware solutions. You’ll find Immunet Protect straightforward to install, and easy to run without complication.

Install Anti-spyware and Adware Software:

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It’s not only a virus that can put your computer down for the count, but a multitude of nasties freely floating on the Internet. Listed below are a number of free programs that offer very good protection against malware.

Microsoft Security Essentials:

Microsoft Security Essentials, which incorporates antivirus, antispyware and rootkit protection, all under one roof, was released by Microsoft last year as a free  replacement application for Windows Live OneCare. Microsoft Security Essentials is easy to set up and run, particularly for new users. And, the interface is positively simple offering Quick Scan, Full Scan, or Custom Scan.

Spybot Search and Destroy:

Spybot Search & Destroy can detect and remove a multitude of adware files and modules from your computer. Spybot also can clean program and Web-usage tracks from your system, which is especially useful if you share your computer. Modules chosen for removal can be sent directly to the included file shredder, ensuring complete elimination from your system.

ThreatFire:

ThreatFire blocks mal-ware, including zero-day threats, by analyzing program behavior and it does a stellar job. Again, this is one of the security applications that forms part of my front line defenses. I have found it to have high success rate at blocking mal-ware based on analysis of behavior. I highly recommend this one!

Additional security protection:

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Web of Trust (WOT):

WOT is a free Internet Browser add-on which tests web sites you are visiting for spyware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, unreliable online shops, phishing, and online scams, helping you avoid unsafe web sites.

SpywareBlaster:

SpywareBlaster prevents ActiveX-based spyware, adware, dialers, and browser hijackers from installing on your system by disabling the CLSIDs (a system used by software applications to identify a file or other item), of spyware ActiveX controls. As well, SpywareBlaster can block spyware/tracking cookies and restrict the actions of spyware/adware/tracking sites in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and other browsers.

WinPatrol:

With WinPatrol, in your system tray, you can monitor system areas that are often changed by malicious programs. You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.

SpyShelter:

SpyShelter is an anti-keylogging, anti-spyware program that protects your data from Keylogging and spy programs: known, unknown, and under-development. It detects and blocks dangerous and malicious programs, to help ensure that your data cannot be stolen by cyber criminals.

Note: Keep in mind however, that even the best layered protection strategy will not make up for lack of experience, and intuitiveness, when surfing the Internet. So, I’ll repeat what I have said here, many times – “knowledge, awareness, and experience are critical ingredients in the escalating battle, against cybercriminals.”

This list is not exhaustive by any means, but it is a good place to start.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Cloud Computing Applications, Comodo, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Firewalls, Freeware, Malware Protection, Microsoft, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools