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Windows 7: System Security... what exactly is it?


04 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
System Security... what exactly is it?

I may sound dumb around smart computer technicians on this forum, but I ask what system security exactly is? I've been reading about firewalls, anti-virus, Mal-ware removers, Virus scanner, etc, but I didn't get the chance to learn how important they are to my computer. Currently on my computer (Dell XPS M1530 Windows 7 Ultimate x64) I have NOD32 for anti-virus, and other programs like search & destroy spybot, Ccleaner, Malwarebytes, Defraggler to keep my computer clean. What exactly do these programs do? What else do I need to keep my computer clean? Are these programs good? If not, what programs do you recommend? Sorry I don't really understand much about computers

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Sep 2010   #2

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by machikun808 View Post
I may sound dumb around smart computer technicians on this forum, but I ask what system security exactly is? I've been reading about firewalls, anti-virus, Mal-ware removers, Virus scanner, etc, but I didn't get the chance to learn how important they are to my computer. Currently on my computer (Dell XPS M1530 Windows 7 Ultimate x64) I have NOD32 for anti-virus, and other programs like search & destroy spybot, Ccleaner, Malwarebytes, Defraggler to keep my computer clean. What exactly do these programs do? What else do I need to keep my computer clean? Are these programs good? If not, what programs do you recommend? Sorry I don't really understand much about computers
Hello machikun808;

Computer security is a lot like home security. Do you lock your front and back doors at night before you go to bed? Do you keep your windows locked when you are not at home? How secure is your home? Can someone through a rock through your window and get inside? Could a large person push your door in and get inside? After all what keeps the door closed is a small amount of brass ...

The only way to keep your home or your computer completely "secure" is to weld it into an airtight metal box where no one can get in. But what good is that if not even you can get in?

However, if you make it difficult enough, the bad guys will not bother with you because there are so many easy targets available. If you secure your Windows accounts with strong passwords, you prevent someone from sitting down in front of your computer and accessing it without your permission. That is like closing and locking your front door.

When you go online and surf the Internet, you expose your computer to other dangers. In computers they are called "Ports" and there are many of them. They are much like the windows in your home. If you leave them open, someone could sneak in when you are not looking. A firewall watches these ports and stops suspicious activity, but allows you to use your computer.

Antivirus software watches for known bad file names. It can both scan your entire computer at regular times and catch these bad files if they try to get in to your computer. You help yourself by not going to porn sites or sites that offer to let you download expensive software for free because they are usually already infected and are just waiting to give you their infection. Virus' can corrupt and destroy your computer.

Malware is different in that it tries to hide (it does not normally attack your computer) and steal from you. It wants your account numbers and passwords, or your list of the people you email. Do not ever open an email attachment unless you know what it is and where it came from. These attachments contain programs that will run as soon as you click on them and infect and hide in your computer.

It sounds like you are doing the right things, antivirus, antimalware, antispyware, etc. Keep your computer up to date with Windows Updates and other security updates. There are other things you can do to make surfing safer, like using the FireFox browser with addons like Adblock, NoScript, etc.

Mostly it is just using common sense and realizing there are bad people out there that want to hurt you if they can, so surf smart! If you make it difficult enough, they will go find the easier targets!

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Wow that helped a lot, thank you so much! Today, a person on this forum helped me out with BSODs on my computer. He told me to delete zonealarm which was causing the BSODs. My computer is running great, but my question is do i need another firewall? On my security window it says my firewall is on and active. But I don't remember installing any other firewall besides zonealarm.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Sep 2010   #4

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by machikun808 View Post
Wow that helped a lot, thank you so much! Today, a person on this forum helped me out with BSODs on my computer. He told me to delete zonealarm which was causing the BSODs. My computer is running great, but my question is do i need another firewall? On my security window it says my firewall is on and active. But I don't remember installing any other firewall besides zonealarm.
You are most welcome.

Windows 7 has a built in firewall. When Zone Alarm installed, it most likely turned it off then back on when you removed Zone Alarm. The Windows 7 firewall is not much, but for me, along with the Microsoft Security Essentials AV, it seems adequate. There has been a huge void of good "free" firewalls (in my opinion) although there are several paid ones available. Needing another firewall is a matter of opinion ...

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by machikun808 View Post
I may sound dumb around smart computer technicians on this forum ...

There are no dumb questions.
The dumb is wanting to know and not asking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Home Premium x64
 
 

System Security is also educating yourself and doing the one thing people scold me not to tell people... Be Paranoid.

The reason I say this, is that always treat everything out there as something out to get you. Reason: Everyone else isn't going to be as vigilant about the problem... Never assume that they will either.

Hackers are constantly making new programs every day. A new Virus or Malware goes out on the internet that no one but the hacker knows about and how to prevent it. 0-Day attacks happen when you are least likely to expect it.

Firewalls are only as good as what you put into it. If you are careful and paranoid enough, it helps. But there will be viruses and malware that will get past a firewall because of one simple thing. You.

You are the ultimate virus/malware. The reason why is that unless you take the time to treat every thing suspiciously, you are more times likely to infect your computer simply by not being paranoid enough. Things like attachments from friends or clicking on a link and providing information on a webpage is all dependent on you. Unless you take the time to research before leaping in, you managed to undo all the possible ways to protect yourself.

This is not to say the AV, Anti Malware and other items are useless. They help for things already known, but no AV, No Anti-Malware or UAC is ever going to be 100% effective if you, the user, aren't careful yourself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2010   #7

Windows 7 & Windows Vista Ultimate
 
 

Hi, Hi, machikun808.

Having Microsoft Security Updates, a firewall, anti-virus and anti-malware software are not enough. System security also includes third-party software installed on your computer. That means if you have Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Java (Java SE Runtime Environment), etc., installed on your computer, you need to keep those programs up to date as well since they have been the source of many critical vulnerabilities.

To check if your system is missing security updates or has insecure applications installed, visit OSI - Consumer - Products . The Secunia Software Inspector runs through your browser with no installation or download required and does the following:
  • Detects insecure versions of applications installed
  • Verifies that all Microsoft patches are applied
  • Assists you in updating your system and applications
An alternative option is to install the Secunia Personal Software Inspector from PSI - Consumer - Products which will detect vulnerable and out-dated programs and plug-ins on your computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thank you everyone, now I know a little bit more about security.

And thank you Corrine for the Secunia Software Inspector, I am gonna scan my computer right now.

Again, thank you guys for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2010   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would like to add one major additional aspect to the security question. That is imaging. Anybody - even the most careful person - can run into system trouble for one reason or another. Very often you are then faced with the pain of reinstalling the system that throws you back to the state of when your PC came out of the box.
If you use imaging, you can go back to the state when you took your last image (I take one daily, but weekly would be the minimum I recommend). Have a look at this video tutorial. It explains one of the popular options: Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I would like to add one major additional aspect to the security question. That is imaging. Anybody - even the most careful person - can run into system trouble for one reason or another. Very often you are then faced with the pain of reinstalling the system that throws you back to the state of when your PC came out of the box.
If you use imaging, you can go back to the state when you took your last image (I take one daily, but weekly would be the minimum I recommend). Have a look at this video tutorial. It explains one of the popular options: Imaging with free Macrium
So this program is like a back up and system restore am I correct? After installing windows 7, I never really backed up anything or should I say never really thought about it. Is that bad? I should start doing it. Will it be too late if I had BSOD's on my computer from a firewall?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Security... what exactly is it?




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