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Administrator seb
(founder) Sun 05-Oct-03 06:13:10
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On the internet there are many dangers and so you need to make sure that you have adeqaute protective measures in place to secure your pc/network. You do not even need to pay money to get these protective measures as many are freely available on the internet and these will be listed later. First of all we shall start at the most common threat to computer users, Viruses and trojan horses.

A virus is a program or piece of software that replicates itself, infecting files, boot sectors, partition sectors or macro-supporting documents. Most viruses just replicate, a lot also cause harm. A trojan horse efers to a virus that makes no attempt to replicate, but delivers damage or compromistes computer/network security. Often embedded in joke programs or software applications (hence the name), it requires the victim to replicate it. To protect yourself againts such threats you can do the following:-

AntiVirus Protection

1. Install a piece of Anti Virus software such as:-

F-Prot Antivirus - An Antivirus product with various modules for server based applications also supporting linux. Highly commended.
AVG Antivirus - This can be downloaded for free, so it is woth trying out and many users recommend it.
Symantec Norton Antivirus - Norton Antivirus is a very popular Antivirus product and it is well worth the 35 that it costs to buy, it is packed with features and is very easy to use.
Mcafee VirusScan - This Antivirus product is used by quite a few businesses and also many home users.
Sophos Antivirus - This is a very corporate Antivirus product and tends to be only used by companies and it is especially popular in the US.


2.Run a free online scan:-

Trend Micro Online Scan - This is a free online scan, which is provided by Tren Micro
Symantec Online Scan - This is a free online virus scan provided by Symantec

Trojan Horses

So, as you can see from the above list, there is no reason why you shouldnt have virus software installed and you can even do free online scans as an improved to scan for viruses. I would recommend that you install an Antivirus product and scan at least once a week and then run an online check every two weeks or so. This helps to improve your security as some viruses disable your antivirus software, so then you can use an online scan to detect and remove the virus. Now we move on to trojan removal tools:

DiamondCS Anti-trojan Software - This can be downloaded for free as a trial, which is useful if you need to remove a trojan, but not so useful if you want it installed all the time as you would then have to pay.
Trojan Hunter - An excellent program, again with a free trial download version.
PestPatrol - This also has a free download
BoClean - No free trial unfortunately, but a brilliant product none the less.
TheCleaner - The cleaner is a good trojan removal program that i have used before and i would recommend it and it also has a free trial version.

Firewalls

Now that we have covered viruses and trojan horses we will now move on to firewall protection, to protect your computer againts unwanted guests. A firewall is a network security device designed to reinforce the security of communications between two networks, usually an organisation's internal network and the Internet. Although most commonly used by businesses, firewalls are also beneficial to individual home PC users, especially those with an ADSL connection. There are many types of firewalls, but they can be categorised into two distinct groups; hardware and software.

Hardware (Router / Modem) firewalls

Misleadingly named, a hardware firewall is actually just a software firewall running on a dedicated hardware device. This often provides better protection however than a firewall running on the home PC or business server itself. Performance of the computer remains unaffected by the presence of a hardware firewall as all security processing is carried out within the firewall.

Software (Personal) firewalls

Software firewalls, often referred to as personal firewalls, work between a computer's network card drivers and the operating system intercepting incoming attacks before they can even be acknowledged by the OS. The best software firewalls keep track of incoming and outgoing traffic, and can be set-up by the user to control which programs can establish Internet connections.

Software Firewalls available:-

Free Firewalls:
Kerio - This is also a free software firewall.

Costing Firewalls:
Symantec Firewall - This is popular software firewall that can be pucrhased together with Norton Antivirus, which saves money.
Black ICE Pc Protection - Black ICE is a very good software firewall, which has won many magazine reviews.
Outpost Firewall - Outpost firewall is currently Pc Pro's recommended software firewall.

We have now covered the basics of computer security for internet users whether you are on broadband or dialup, there are still risks, but those risks increase dramatically when you are on broadband. The last final note is adware and spyware, which includes programs that relay information about you to remote computers and this tracking information could be something as simple as a computer cookie which is determining which adverts to display on your computer or it could range to porn premium rate diallers and browser hijacks, which is where your broswers homepage is changed to that of one that the program changes it to. Also many users are unaware of home much adware kazaa installs on peoples pcs and they need to be aware of this. Beware though, removing adware and spyware may mean that some programs stop functioning, but any programs that include adware and spware aren't worth keeping anyway. Heres a list of decnt spyware and adware scanners:-

Adaware - This program is brilliant and very easy to use, i use this program a lot and it is very easy for novices to use.
Spybot Search and Destroy - This is another brilliant free program, which i also use in conjunction with Adaware.

Windows Critical Updates

There are lots of new threats that target Microsoft Windows systems and therefore you need you need to make sure that you have the latest updates by going to Windows Update which checks your hard drive to see what patches and updates are available for your operating system.

Also, a useful tool which can provide additional scanning than Windows Update for Windows 2000, XP and 2003 Server is the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer


Thanks to m1ke_hawkins for drafting this.


Sebastien Lahtinen
Co-Founder,
ADSLguide
seb@adslguide.org.uk

Edited by seb (Mon 11-Apr-05 03:23:17)

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
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