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Author Topic: Going "Online"  (Read 4197 times)
JJP
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« on: April 16, 2006, 05:56:48 AM »
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The new PC I purchased some time last year (the one i use to process images in PS) has never been online.  
However, my older PC is used online.  Many times, while it's on and no software is opened, the hard drive will startup for no reason, even though I've got the Norton enabled.  This happens at least once a day.
  I realize that there are times when Norton software will automatically download to upgrade virus definitions or whatnot, but when it does, at the end of the download a window appears on desktop to let you know that so&so have been updated.  I've got a gut feeling that some @$$hole is using spywear to gain access to my online computer.  In the last year, many times I've had to re-activate Norton....for no reason.  
Furthermore, if you ask me, all this AV software and firewalls really drains a computer's resources.
The woes of being online,
jules
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JJ
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2006, 07:26:54 AM »
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I've got a gut feeling that some @$$hole is using spywear to gain access to my online computer.  In the last year, many times I've had to re-activate Norton....for no reason. 
Furthermore, if you ask me, all this AV software and firewalls really drains a computer's resources.
The woes of being online,
jules
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62697\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Norton in particular drains resources bigtime.

First for spyware - google 'spybot', download it (free) then install, update the definitions, then let it run (might take a while). It will kill whatever has gotten past your firewall/anti-virus.

As for firewalls - they destroy system resources, about 50% speed reduction on my P3 (newer machines may do better). I updated windows to XP Pro - SP2 and used the firewall in there, it's great and barely slows it down. Deleted my other firewall after I got this.

For anti virus - Norman (comes standard with Fujitsu laptops) kills all viruses without fuss, don't ask me why they chose such a similar name to Norton, but hey it works a treat. Highly recommended.

Chris.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2006, 09:33:06 AM »
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More things besides Norton regularly contact their parent company online to check for updates.  MS Windows, Adobe, and I don't know what all else.  I believe Windows also decides to do various tasks at automated times.  These could explain the mysterious hard disk usage...

Lisa
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DaveLon
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2006, 09:37:08 AM »
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More things besides Norton regularly contact their parent company online to check for updates.  MS Windows, Adobe, and I don't know what all else.  I believe Windows also decides to do various tasks at automated times.  These could explain the mysterious hard disk usage...

Lisa
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62700\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

On the Mac system, there are programs to allert you to programs calling home and allow or block the call. There must be similar programs for Windows.

Dave
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Jay Kaplan
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2006, 06:08:05 PM »
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For a software firewall, I have been using ZoneAlarm Pro for several years with no problems. I will block input/output to programs that you do not grant access to and works in the background.

I never had to use a firewall until I started using broadband, first DSL and now cable.

I also regularly use Spybot and Ad-Aware to check for tracking software/cookies that get past the firewall.

Also, if you are using cable, Comcast in my case, they provide users with both firewall and anti-virus software as part of your monthly fee.

The firewall in XP is rudimentary at best, and I went to PCMagazine for a recommendation for firewall software.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2006, 07:20:13 PM »
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Many times, while it's on and no software is opened, the hard drive will startup for no reason, even though I've got the Norton enabled. This happens at least once a day.
Don't worry about that too much. Norton could be doing some checks, or even Windows itself could be doing some random task requiring the drive to spin up. Without going into Activity Monitor and observing CPU and Ram use while the drive begins to spin up, you won't know what exactly it is.

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Furthermore, if you ask me, all this AV software and firewalls really drains a computer's resources
Welcome to the world of computers. Dedicated third party applications other than Norton, or McAffee won't be as big of a drain but it's a needed thing.

I personally only ran a firewall when I was using a PC. Never ran the AV software constantly or any Spyware software constantly. Then again, I am a PC tech, know what I am doing and I never used any MS software for internet browsing or email. If you are not familiar with PC security and/or like to use MS software for e-mail web browsing then having the AV software running is a good idea.

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First for spyware - google 'spybot', download it (free) then install, update the definitions, then let it run (might take a while). It will kill whatever has gotten past your firewall/anti-virus.
Let me elaborate on that as there are some sleezy programs out there that take advantage of name reconiton to fool people into buying/downloading their crud. The specific name is "Spybot Search and Destroy" or "Spybot S&D."
http://www.safer-networking.org/

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I updated windows to XP Pro - SP2 and used the firewall in there, it's great and barely slows it down. Deleted my other firewall after I got this.
The windows firewall is a joke. Any program can simply alter a registry entry (a trivial task) and completely bypass it. You're better off with a third-party app such as Outpost or ZoneAlarm.

There is another thread somewhere on the boards that goes into more detail on firewall and AV software recommendations.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2006, 07:22:38 PM by 61Dynamic » Logged
cgf
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2006, 09:22:32 AM »
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The windows firewall is a joke. Any program can simply alter a registry entry (a trivial task) and completely bypass it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62874\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If running the windows firewall, and with Spybot set to watch the registry (teatimer? resident? feature) is this still a problem?

On my rapidly ageing machine I found software firewalls all sucked the performance out. With this combination I keep the speed and have almost nothing get past the firewall - based on the very few things Spybot finds when I run it.

Am I wide open? I thought this was at least reasonably safe.

Thanks.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2006, 10:22:53 AM »
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If running the windows firewall, and with Spybot set to watch the registry (teatimer? resident? feature) is this still a problem?

On my rapidly ageing machine I found software firewalls all sucked the performance out. With this combination I keep the speed and have almost nothing get past the firewall - based on the very few things Spybot finds when I run it.

Am I wide open? I thought this was at least reasonably safe.

Thanks.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Spybot may prevent unauthorized changes to the registry but that doesn't guarantee the change can't happen. Many malicious programs are quite sophisticated and could make changes during startup long before Spybot even loads.

You aren't wide open. Windows Firewall is better than nothing but it's not that much better.

If you want a firewall that doesn't take up much resources, Sygate Personal firewall is a good choice. The company got gobbled up by Norton but the older, and good version of their free FW can be found [a href=\"http://oldversion.com/program.php?n=sygate]here[/url].
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2006, 10:33:36 AM »
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I thought the later revisions to windows firewall were actually pretty okay.  The implementation with the windows one care product is actually kind of nice.
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Jay Kaplan
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2006, 05:31:44 PM »
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I run both Spybot - Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware SE Personal. I run Spybot first and then Ad-Aware. Spybot does not catch everything and Ad-Aware grabs almost all of what Spybot misses. Even Zone Alarm has a spyware module and it also finds stuff.

Still the best of what I have found is Ad-Aware, it and Spybot - Search & Destroy are a good combination.

If you really want to find out how vulnerable your system is go to Gibson Research Corporation. Run some of the free tests and you will learn the extent of your vulnerability.  
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