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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Perhaps a chance of a sticky. I have seen this question asked many times already on this forum so I thought I would type a nice lengthy post seeing as im at home ill and cant do much else. So grab a cup of tea/coffee and some biscuits and read on :)

Here's what I will cover in this thread (mainly for Teej and other porn fanatics :dddc:

Virus Prevention and Anti-Virus Software
Spyware and Anti-Spyware Software
Firewalls and Software + Hardware Firewalls

I hope this helps some of you out there. If you have any questions to ask then please just post a reply - don't be shy :)

Virus Prevention
Virii, as you may or may not know, can get onto your machine a number of different ways. The most common in this day in ages is probably the internet and the downloading of files and emails, however there are many other ways such as removable media (floppy disks, CD's, zip disks, etc). Believe it or not, common sense plays a big part anti virus (in my opinion) and there are a number of factors to think about before downloading that "patch.exe" for your game, or loading that "install-v1.bat" on that floppy disk you've just put in the drive. Here is a few things to think about:

1) Look at the file name. Is that patch for quake really meant to be called "InstallIt.exe"?

2) Look at where you are downloading it from. Is it really downloading from the website you have visited? Internet browsers tell you where it is downloading from.

3) Is the site you are downloading from well known and/or corporate? There's a big difference downloading files from microsoft.com and joebloggs234.geocities.com.

4) If you are installing/running from removable media, do you know the true source of the disk? It may have been fiddled with between sources.

5) Before you open that "Read this! Love Letter!" email, do you recognise the senders name?

If you follow the above rules, you'll find it helps greatly in preventing viruses (virii) ever hitting your machine BUT it's not the be-all-end-all of being safe. This day in age, files are hacked without the vendor knowing, files are altered and tampered with on the original servers and many can be effected by it. This brings me to my next part...

Anti-Virus Software
There are many different options out there to choose from when it comes to anti-virus software. Some are free, some you pay for, some are good, some are bad. Here I will show you the different options and explain them best I can. Remember people have different opinions and views on anti-virus software and which is best, I can just give my view of things. I am only going to discuss 3 options because I could be here all year telling you about every piece of software out there.

Name: AVG-Free
Cost: Nothing (Free!)
Link: http://free.grisoft.com/doc/2/lng/us/tpl/v5
My Rating: 4 out of 5

AVG Free is one of my favourites, simply because it is free and seems to do its job really well. It automatically updates likes the rest of them to keep you protected with the latest virii however many will say that it doesn't detect some of the really new virii that other pay-for products would. It also has a built in email scanner to help protect you from infected attachments etc.

Name: Kaspersky
Cost: £24.00
Link: http://www.kaspersky.com/
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Ive not really used this program but what I will say is that it is very popular, it's cheap and uses low system resources. It has email protection built in to it, there's new virus definitions every hour to ensure that you are protected against the latest and greatest viruses and has good technical support 24/7.

*****************The following from 25exec on products he uses :)*****************
NOD32 is probably one of the best AV solutions I've used in the past 6 years. It's very unobtrusive, consuming an average 23 MB in memory (this fluctuates with changes to the detection technology). This sounds a lot but is much lower then the likes of Norton or McAfee. ThreatSense updates, which include heuristics logic and signatures, are usually between 20 kB and 50 kB.

It uses a four pronged approach to protect your PC:

Antivirus MONitor (AMON)
An on-access (memory-resident) scanner, which automatically scans files before they're accessed.

NOD32
An on-demand scanner, which can be run manually on specific files or disk segments. It can also be scheduled to run during off-peak times.

Internet MONitor (IMON)
A memory-resident scanner that runs on the Winsock level to prevent infected files from reaching the computer's disks. Its scans internet web browsing traffic (HTTP) and incoming e-mail via the POP3 protocol.

E-mail MONitor (EMON)
An auxiliary module for scanning incoming/outgoing e-mails via the MAPI interface, such as Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Exchange.

Document MONitor (DMON)
Utilizes the proprietary Microsoft API for scanning Microsoft Office documents (including Internet Explorer).

NOD32 is not a boxed product, you download it from eset's website, www.eset.com, and it costs £23 for a year.

*******************Thanks 25EXEC :)*****************************

******************* With thanks to herbie*************************

Another Antivirus by Avira (free, gets my 5/5)
http://www.free-av.com

************************************************************

Spyware
What is spyware you ask? Well, spyware in a nutshell is basically something that monitors your every move and your activity on the computer, it then transmits this data to a third party without your concent.Again, if you take the "Virus Prevention" steps as a bible, you should find you have less chance of being affected by this. This is transmitted basically by being included within an application that you have downloaded or a component you have installed. For example, you download some shareware/freeware called "mp3app", when you install it, what you dont see is that it installs some software in the background (spyware) and runs it, without asking you.

Anti-Spyware Software
Like Anti-Virus Software, Anti-spyware software is just a matter of choice. Again, some pick up more things than others and some use less system resources than others. I haven't really had much experience with anti-spyware software (If any moderator or person has, feel free to edit this part or PM me).

Name: AVG - is what i recommend. Similar place to their antivirus and free also
Cost: Free
Where: http://free.grisoft.com/doc/20/lng/us/tpl/v5

Name: Microsoft Windows Defender
Cost: Free
Link: http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx

I have used this in the past and what I will say is that it seems pretty system resource hungry but being microsoft, its probably expected.

Name: Ad-Aware
Cost: Varies
Link: http://www.lavasoftusa.com

Although you have to pay for this software, it is widely regarded as one of the best pieces of anti spyware software that you can get. Its full of features, it does its job well and is kept up to date constantly. If you can afford to part with the cash, this is highly recommended. Otherwise, go with one of the other options.

Spybot is another and is easy found via google. This is free and has options to try and block spyware before it gets to your PC aswell as searching and removing spyware which is already on it. :)

Firewalls
You keep hearing about firewalls right? you might have heard people say "firewalls will stop you getting viruses" which to be honest, its rubbish. With every single computer you get what is known as a port. These are not physical ports, but virtual. A port can have a number from 1 to 10000's, what certain pieces of software do (usually games) is open up a port number so that it can use it to transfer data between the client (you) and the server. Ports are for communication between one machine and another i.e networks/internet. If your computer does not have a connection to any other machine or the internet, you do not need to worry about this section.

What you sometimes get is that "application1.exe" program that you have installed opens up say port number 689. What joe bloggs in Brazil can then do is connect to this port on your computer and communicate to a certain degree with your machine. If "application1.exe" is what is known as a trojan then the damage can be quite substantial. It could allow joe to control your mouse, browse your machines hard drive, log your keyboard strokes, anything! it is scary. What a firewall does is block ports from being opened, unless you allow it. That way, "hiddenapp1.exe" cant open port 450 for hacker X to connect to you.

There are 2 main types of firewalls, there are software firewalls and hardware firewalls. I will now explain the differences.

Hardware Firewalls
Alot of the routers that you buy from a store today have firewalls built into them. Port opening/allowing is usually controlled by a web interface or an application that has shipped with the product. A hardware firewall is generally regarded as better protection against attacks than that of a software firewall, but again, hardware costs money.

Software Firewalls
There is many options when it comes to a software firewall and like the anti-virus and anti-spyware software, everyone has their own favourite and their advantages/disadvantages. Software firewalls are not as good against certain attacks as a hardware firewall but most see past the point that nobody would be that dedicated to attack your machine.

Personnaly I recommend the AVG stuff first and foremost. There after you may download spybot to run along side AVG. What misses the other will find.

I wouldnt run too many antivirus softwares as these tend to be a bit more resource hungry and too many of these will slow your computer down just as badly as a virus.
 

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Okay then:

NOD32 is probably one of the best AV solutions I've used in the past 6 years. It's very unobtrusive, consuming an average 23 MB in memory (this fluctuates with changes to the detection technology). This sounds a lot but is much lower then the likes of Norton or McAfee. ThreatSense updates, which include heuristics logic and signatures, are usually between 20 kB and 50 kB.

It uses a four pronged approach to protect your PC:

Antivirus MONitor (AMON)
An on-access (memory-resident) scanner, which automatically scans files before they're accessed.

NOD32
An on-demand scanner, which can be run manually on specific files or disk segments. It can also be scheduled to run during off-peak times.

Internet MONitor (IMON)
A memory-resident scanner that runs on the Winsock level to prevent infected files from reaching the computer's disks. Its scans internet web browsing traffic (HTTP) and incoming e-mail via the POP3 protocol.

E-mail MONitor (EMON)
An auxiliary module for scanning incoming/outgoing e-mails via the MAPI interface, such as Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Exchange.

Document MONitor (DMON)
Utilizes the proprietary Microsoft API for scanning Microsoft Office documents (including Internet Explorer).

NOD32 is not a boxed product, you download it from eset's website, www.eset.com, and it costs £23 for a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good work there marsh. I thought Norton AV hogged system resources though? :dunno:

Rich.
A bit, most modern PCs/Laptops dont have issues but some of the older ones will most likely struggle. Thats the reason i recommended one of the AVs but best to have a couple Anti Spywares. Ive amended my post, i was doing a bit of copy and pasting to save typing. So some of the AVg stuff sneaked into the norton area :lol:
 

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A bit, most modern PCs/Laptops dont have issues but some of the older ones will most likely struggle. Thats the reason i recommended one of the AVs but best to have a couple Anti Spywares. Ive amended my post, i was doing a bit of copy and pasting to save typing. So some of the AVg stuff sneaked into the norton area :lol:
Nice on. I'm happy now! :lol:

Reppage added accordingly:)

Rich.
 

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I'd just like to mention that SpywareBlaster is a good, free product that blocks spyware. It doesn't scan, just runs in the background, blocking any spyware it knows of. A good product to complement Spyware Search and Destroy, and Ad-Aware (which does have a free version, or at least did do).

Here's the link:

http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html

(By the way - DO NOT go to spywareblaster.com as this is a hoax site that is loaded with malware/viruses).
 

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I'd just like to mention that SpywareBlaster is a good, free product that blocks spyware. It doesn't scan, just runs in the background, blocking any spyware it knows of. A good product to complement Spyware Search and Destroy, and Ad-Aware (which does have a free version, or at least did do).
Spybot also does this, under an option called "Immunize".

Rich.
 

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Nice article, but most the way through it I was itching to use an imaginary "find and replace" for "virii" to "viruses", the correct plural for computer viruses :)

Definately a good idea having a sticky of some description as an easy reference for users savvy or otherwise anyhoo, nice one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
post updated a little. cheers for the input guys :broon:

this should go a long for teej and his computer problems. alternativley stop downloading dirty stuff (no not mud the other stuff):lol:
 

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May I wander of topic and ask about larger scale protection please? I am 'honourary unpaid' (translates as: 'grossly out of my depth') IT Aministrator for a local charity with about 30 pc's, a Linux and (soon) MS SBS Servers. We have been using Symantec Corporate Antivirus 7.5 but it is seriously out of date now. We could either buy SCY 10.1 or change to something else which is client/server or something like a Watchguard box. Because we have public access machines there is a vulnerability from internal as well as external pests.

Your advice would be VERY much appreciated.

Malcolm
 

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May I wander of topic and ask about larger scale protection please? I am 'honourary unpaid' (translates as: 'grossly out of my depth') IT Aministrator for a local charity with about 30 pc's, a Linux and (soon) MS SBS Servers. We have been using Symantec Corporate Antivirus 7.5 but it is seriously out of date now. We could either buy SCY 10.1 or change to something else which is client/server or something like a Watchguard box. Because we have public access machines there is a vulnerability from internal as well as external pests.

Your advice would be VERY much appreciated.

Malcolm
Have you looked at trying McAffee. That's what we use at the 13 schools I work for and it's been very good for the past 2 years I've been using it :broon:
 

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Thanks for your reply Gotenks1321. Do you use the SMB or individual version? If it's the SMB I hope there is some hefty reductions for charities as it seems to work out jolly expensive. I really do need a client/server version.

Malcolm
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for your reply Gotenks1321. Do you use the SMB or individual version? If it's the SMB I hope there is some hefty reductions for charities as it seems to work out jolly expensive. I really do need a client/server version.

Malcolm
We use mcaffee active virus defense. Stops all before getting to individuals PCs. Everything caught before it reaches individuals and tends to work well.

As for cost :dunno: I dont deal with the money, not my department. Perhaps look into it and see how much it costs, then see about discounts for charities and other non-profit organisations
 

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You recommended norton! :err: I would only install norton antivirus for people I had a grudge against lol. I wouldn't recommend it to anyway, I use Avast! which is pretty good. Have used AVG for a while and that was pretty good as well.
 

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You recommended norton! :err: I would only install norton antivirus for people I had a grudge against lol.
Ain't that the truth! In my experience most Symantec software is horrible bloated bug-ridden trash. They grow by acquisition, then ruin the software they buy. Peter Norton's stuff was once well respected. Symantec bought it and now it's bloated rubbish. They bought Veritas, and now Backup Exec is bug-ridden trash. (OK, it wasn't great when Seagate owned it, but it was miles more stable than ArcServe). Symantec, J'Accuse! :cus:

Can say similar tings for Mcaffee too. The only AV vendor who shipped an update which does more damage to your PC than *any* virus or malware would! These are companies with big R&D budgets. It's inexcusible for them to ship such rubbish, using their loyal customer base as beta-testers.

The AV bit of AVG is quite good - not heavy on resources, but I've experienced problems on mail servers with it of the blue-screening variety, so no marks there.

I use a combination of Avira, Sygate Personal Firewall (bought by Symantec, then buried as a non-product - you can still find it if you dig hard enough), Spybot SD and Ad Aware. All lightweight, performant and free for personal use.
 
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