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Security software, etc

  1. Apr 16, 2004 #1
    Hey guys

    I figure you guys are among the most saviest of computer users on the net, so I want to get some expert advise.

    What do yall use for all of your vairous types of security software? (I run WinXP)

    I'm running ZoneAlarm Pro for my firewall. I use McAfee SecurityCenter for my Antivirus (and it has caught a handful of viruses! it also catches a lot of spyware). I use CloudMark Spamnet for my Outlook Express spam catching.

    I have Adaware 6, Spybot S&D, and Registry Mechanic to keep spyware off and my registry somewhat fixed.

    Do you have any other recommendations? Specifically, any of the other McAfee tools? Or what about Norton tools? I'm looking for what yall reccomend to keep my system safe, clean, and running at optimal levels. I run the spyware tools frequently, and my anti-virus software runs constantly. I defrag and run the Disk Cleanup utility frequently.

    I just don't want to degrade my system into running like crap, to the point where I have to reformat and re-instal my OS, etc. I *hate* doing that. I'm doing all I can to avoid installing software that I may end up uninstalling, because I dont want my system running slow.

    Anyways.. So I guess I'm looking on advice for security software and system optimizing software.

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2004 #2
    I recommend doing a fresh install of windows. Don't install any extra software just windows and all the drivers necessary for your system to run. Get windows up-to-date then create a master disk image.

    Now install all the software you plan on keeping around for a while. Make another disk image.

    Once you have the master image and you basic recovery image you can easily recover your system to some known condition should a catastrophy befall you. From this point, I recommend a weekly image. I keep 8 weeks of images on CDRW's which I rotate through. I burn a new image over the week 8 image for my wifes computer.

    The weekly image allows you to step back easily to a know condition with only minimal loss of data.

    Now install all the software from now until the cows come home.

    The other two images allow you to step back even further should you need to. The master image makes reinstallation of the OS go much quicker because you don't have to reinstall all of the drivers should you have to do a reinstall. Just do a basic install and then update the system using your master CD.

    That's what I do on my Mac, my Linux box and my wifes XP box. It comes in handy from time to time.

    The other steps your taking seem OK. Don't install software from unknown sources. Set IE to prevent automatic software install. Set IE to only accept cookies from the originating source (no third party cookies). Use Pegasus mail instead of outlook. Don't read e-mail in html format. Don't read e-mail from senders you don't know or know to be spam. Don't download e-mail attachments unless you are expecting an attachment from someone.

    I don't know if you have XP or not, but if you do you can improve system performance by installing a second HD. Put a swap partition on both your main and new HD so XP can write to the disk with the lowest load. Basically XP will be able to read/write from one drive and use the swap on the other at the same time instead of working the same HD to read/write and use the swap.
  4. Apr 16, 2004 #3


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    Staff Emeritus

    Wow, your system must take forever to boot.

    I use gentoo linux with netfilter/iptables.

    I've wanted to try the NSA's SELinux to harden my linux box, but I haven't had the time.

    [edit] Here is a machine running Gentoo Linux with SElinux security:

    ssh root@selinux.dev.gentoo.org

    The fingerprint for the RSA key sent by the remote host is

    root password: gentoo

    Try to hack the computer if you can.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2004
  5. Apr 16, 2004 #4
    Ha Ha too funny. A dare, a dare!!!

    Also, I recommend the FireFox web browser (its based on the Mozilla Gecko web engine).
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