How to Protect yourself from malware!
Make sure you get your system protected from ocurrences of malware problems. Below are some simple steps you can take to reduce the chance of infection in the future. I strongly encourage you to do them all. There is no perfect solution for totally preventing malware from getting on your PC, however, these steps will help.
Please do not make the false assumption that this thread is old or out of date based on the date the thread was started ( 10-10-04 21:52 ). Look at the Last Edited date at the bottom of this message as this procedures does evolve with time.
1. Visit Windows Update: Make sure that you have all the Critical Updates recommended for your operating system and IE. The first defense against infection is a properly patched OS. For anyone who is not yet running at least Windows XP SP2 (which you really should be running at a minimum if your PC supports it) see the below link before updating. If you already have Windows XP SP3 then you don't need to worry about SP2 since you are more current already.
Before you decide to skip getting your Windows Updates for whatever reason you think you have, make sure you read the below link and understand the possible risks to your security.
Cleaning a Compromised System
2. Anti Virus: make sure you have one and keep it updated. Here are some good free ones if you don't have one already:
A firewall is software or hardware that acts like a gate to help protect your computer against hackers and some computer viruses and worms that try to find unprotected computers that are connected to the Internet. This gate allows you to you to accept connections from sources you trust, and it keeps the gate closed for ones you don't trust. A firewall works by examining information coming from and going to the Internet. It identifies and blocks information that comes from a dangerous location or seems suspicious. If you set up your firewall properly, hackers searching for vulnerable computers cannot detect your computer (often referred to as a stealthed connection
There are two kinds of firewalls:
Three types of tools exist:
Some malware can affect your browser's ability to connect to the internet. Since Internet Explorer is the built-in default browser for Windows, most people still have and use it. Thus it is the most likely candidate for being attacked by malware. At the current time ( Jan 2010 ), Internet Explorer is actually more secure than FireFox, Chrome, Opera and Safari. And IE8 does a better job at blocking malware too. In the past, people used to say use Firefox, it's safer, this is not the case anymore since Firefox's popularity grew and it is frequently now why people are posting requests for help in malware removal forums. In addition, recent reports show Firefox to have a greater number of security holes than IE.
The above being said, it is still a good idea to have a couple alternative browsers installed for the case where one gets broken ( either due to malware or for other reasons ) and internet access may be blocked with one browser and not the other. A few choices that you may want to look at are included below:
For people with young children, you may want to consider installing Glubble It is a FireFox addon for families with children under 12 years of age. It enables families to be sure they only see the best of the web. It allows you to control which sites your kids are allowed to access.
7) Make sure you are running the current version of Sun Java
See this tool: Autorun Eater - Note that some protection software may falsely detect this program as an infection. For example, Malwarebytes will detect it as a Trojan.Injector.OM. You need to add the C:\Program Files\Autorun Eater\oldmcdonald.exe ( for x 64 >> C:\Program Files (x86)\Autorun Eater\oldmcdonald.exe ) file9) Use Passwords & Create Restricted User Accounts
All user accounts should have password protection. Especially on Win NT, 2K, XP, and 2003 systems. Make sure you do not leave the Administrator password account password blank. This is the default. Also it is a good idea to completely disable the Guest account. When you choose your passwords, choose them wisely. Do not make them too short and do not choose anything that would be easy to guess. Make sure you use a strong password. This logic applies to everything you password protect. See the below link:
It the most secure option would be to never surf the internet on an account having administrator priviledges, but doing this will cause certain difficulties for some people.
10) Security starts with you! Becareful what you download and from where!
You are downloading unknown/untested files which may be infected from unknown sources directly onto your PC and while these programs are running you are sharing your PC with the whole world since these programs will allow others access to your PC bypassing the firewall and other security programs. I strongly advise avoiding these programs and servers completely. But if you must use them, choose more wisely. See the below link which can help you make a more educated choice:
First let's get right to the point. Cookies are not problems that you need to be concerned with. Too many antispyware programs flag cookies and make them sound like they are high risk items. The truth is that they are not high risk problems and in most cases are actually very useful to you.
This subject has long been debated on the internet and obviously there are many opinions about cookies. Cookies are not executable programs. They are simple text files stored on your PC to help websites (and you) track useful user settings and non-personal information, like which advertisement you last saw (which prevents you from seeing the same ad over and over again).
Yes some cookies are often referred to tracking cookies, but tracking is more complicated then just having a cookie. Every website you visit would have to have knowledge of the particular cookie so that they could use it to add tracking info to it and to make use of it. You will see many antispyware programs indicating various cookies as tracking cookies and this can artifically make detection counts look very high. It is also a sore point when doing comparisons between antispyware programs. If one program detects cookies and another does not, it can make the one that does not detect them look like it is doing a bad job.
Similarly it makes the one detecting them look like a great product since it picks up things the other missed. Thus most (not all) programs will detect cookies to avoid this hazard. Don't be fooled by cookie counting. If cookies are the only thing showing up, you are in good shape. They are not harmful and you can just ignore them or if so desired, you can easily clean them using your browser or other tools like CCleaner.12) What to do if you do get infected!
A very common question is how often should I run scans. A good rule of thumb would be to run full scans at least twice a month. If you do an excessive amount of surfing and downloading (especially P2P or torrent downloading) you may want to make it a weekly scan.
If twice a month is too much for your schedule then at a minimum you really should complete full scans once a month. And make absolutely sure that you keep all of your protection software up to date. Some scanners update multiple times per day so you should always update before running a scan.14) Miscellaneous Tips
"There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand binary and those who don't."
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Last edited by chaslang; 09-16-13 at 21:21.. Reason: Fix broken Autrun Eater link and MBAM false detection
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