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How to protect your computer from attacks

A few members here and myself know our way pretty well around windows and the internet and can assemble a computer without directions. We don't know everything, but we'll be happy to help.

How to protect your computer from attacks

Postby Admin » 06 Feb 2011, 18:45 •  [Post 1]

Viruses, Malware, Adware, Trojan horses, infected programs, legit programs "calling home"...
we don't want that to happen.

You need two things to protect your computer:
- Antivirus software (which includes normally RAM scanner, resident guard, mail scanner, internet guard, etc.)
- A more advanced firewall than Windows' (a firewall is like a filter deciding which information is allowed to flow from your computer into internet and the other way around).

Personally I use Avast! free antivirus
http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download
(works even with SSL mail accounts, and reliably detects web threats)

and
Zonealarm free personal firewall
http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us ... signup.htm
(it will ask me when new programs want to access the net for whatever reason. It is possible to let it on "ask again" setting or to disallow a program from accessing the net completely - this is handy when you installed a "free" program and you notice it is "calling home" every time you start it, and want to search manually for updates)
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Re: How to protect your computer from attacks

Postby manarak » 30 Jan 2013, 00:35 •  [Post 2]

I come back to this thread, because some things have changed.

Zonealarm has become useless, so I use Comodo now. Avast is still fine.
http://personalfirewall.comodo.com/

Comodo does a mighty fine job at protecting the computer.

For normal use, I recommend you set both firewall and defense+ modes to "safe mode" with firewall behavior setting "medium frequency alerts"

If you want to prevent software from "phoning home" and writing unwanted stuff into the registry, you will need to set the firewall mode to "custom" and the behavior setting to "very high". defense+ should be set to "paranoid".
Then, the system will ask you for each new program you are launching what access level the program should get.
Launching Firefox after that generates about a gazillion alerts if you don't set the trust level for firefox to "trusted application".
Suspicious applications or software phoning home should be set on "isolated application" or "limited application".
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