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Windows 7: Trying to secure my computer ?

26 Aug 2014   #11
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MicrosoftSlave View Post
Hello Guys and Gals so I am wanting to secure my computer the best I can I am skinto so payed programs arnt for me at the minute

Can someone tell me the best way to secure my computers from the scum that trys to get into it or do whatever it is they do

Any help would be much appreciated and thanks in advance
As well as the great suggestions offered, I have my standard reply to this as well:

I know this is a very long wall of text, But following the below will greatly reduce your chances of becoming infected again.

I advise you to install and use the following Free security programs/solutions so you do not get infected again:

-Panda antivirus -You can only have 1 antivirus installed at a time, I recommend using this one and uninstalling what you are using now.

-Malwarebytes

-Superantispyware

-Unchecky

-Should I remove it

-Web of Trust

-Set up open dns

Run the first 3 listed and scan around once every 2 weeks. Make sure you update them before scanning. Unfortunately no program out there is a silver bullet-there is no one program to protect you entirely. So due to this, it is necessary to have a couple of products to help keep you safe on all fronts.

Panda Cloud Antivirus: Panda cloud AV is a great free program that uses the cloud (the internet) to scan your pc for threats. This antivirus works very well at detecting the newest threats, as well as some unknown ones that have not yet been discovered. For information on how to use it, the manual is located here.


Malwarebytes: This is a great program to use to scan your pc for malware that your antivirus might possibly miss or not look for. A guide on how to use it can be found here.

Superantispyware: This is a great second opinion scanner which will scan for spyware and other types of PUPS. (Potentially unwanted programs.)

Unchecky: is a program that aims to keep unwanted programs from entering your pc when installing a new program. Most programs give you the option of express install or custom install. When you do a regular install of most applications, they add toolbars and other unwanted items to your pc. If you choose the custom option however, you can avoid most of these unwanted programs by unchecking them and then clicking next. This program does this for you automatically. It removes the checkmarks so that when you click next and next your way through the install proccess, you do not get a bunch of junk on your system. Keep in mind though, this is how most people get unwanted spyware etc on there pc. When installing any new program, google it and see if it has good reviews. Then during the install don't just click next and rush through it. Take your time to read what is in front of you, and uncheck anything you do not want.

The best part about unchecky is it's a install and forget. It updates automatically. And works to prevent unnecessary programs from sneaking in during software installs.


Should I remove it: This is not a malware scanner. What it does is it looks at all of the installed programs on your PC and gives you a percentage % of how many people uninstall the software. If the percentage % is high, I would remove it as it is most likely not a good program. It also gives a ton of information about what the program does and how it behaves.

WOT: (web of trust) is a very helpful browser addon that works with all web browsers and helps you to avoid nasty sites that have been known to host malware and the like. It uses a rating system by users as well as there own internal site investigations to place websites into categories and mark whether or not they are safe. It is a good tool to help you avoid clicking on a bad link in the first place.

Open DNS: is a service that helps you block known malware sites before they even reach your PC entirely. It also can be configured to block adult sites, and filter out other web sites based on categories. All for free. Not only does it protect your computers, but other devices as well.

For more information, see here:

https://support.opendns.com/entries/...g-and-Security

If it looks to advanced for you, it actually isn't very hard to set up. See the very first link above (set up open dns) which will take you to the setup page. You do not need to create an account if you wish not to. There is a link in the bottom right hand corner to avoid making an account if you do not want it. They have directions on how to apply it to your computer, or your router so that every device on your network can be protected.


Making windows security better for you and anyone using your PC:

Use the help and support which is found in your start menu for easy answer to questions and common tasks. The browse help (the blue book in the help an support window) will allow you to browse all the help documents Microsoft has available for the versions of windows you are using. Questions like how to uninstall a program, burn a cd can all be found there.

Keep windows up to date by using windows update and checking for updates frequently, or let Microsoft automatically update your pc which is the default setting.

Make sure your software that you use is up to date. This prevents security issues in the first place.

Adobe flash is a common one that should always be updated. You can download the newest version here. When any software prompts to update, and you recognize the name of the software-Do so. Software updates are important, and should be done regularly. Most programs checks for updates automatically.

Uninstall unwanted/un-needed programs.

Make a habit every now and then and go into control panel-uninstall a program. This lists all the software installed on your PC. If you see any software you do not use or need, uninstall it. If the software has your PC manufacturer mentioned in it, you can leave it alone.


I also suggest using a standard user account in windows, and only using an admin account when you need to install software. If you have family members sharing your pc, create standard user accounts for them. See this link below on how to do so:

User Account - Create


Why use a standard user account instead of an administrator account?

When using a standard account and you make a change or install a program that affects the whole system, UAC will prompt you to continue. Make sure the setting or program you are tying to install is listed, then click yes to continue. If you are just browsing the web and the prompt appears with a program you have not heard of, or do not know what it is, it is much safer to click no then yes. No will block the action, and if you were trying to do something, you can always start it again and choose yes.

UAC makes this easy, see here:

What is user account control (UAC)?

I also suggest choosing always notify for UAC:

What are User Account Control settings?


Those are my recommendations to you, and I Highly suggest you follow them. Should you have any questions, post back.

Do not feel like you need to do everything above, if your computer knowledge is limited do what you are able and feel comfortable doing. If you read all the instructions though you should be able to do it yourself.

With the solution provided above, your risk of malware infection drops considerably.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Aug 2014   #12
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It surprises nobody mentioned setting up a firewall, configuring it according to your exact needs and blocking everything else by default. Windows built-in firewall is nice, but by defaultblocks almost nothing.

Here is also a great guide on Windows 7 security:
Harden Windows 7 SP1 64bit
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #13
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

True. It's probably assumed that either Windows firewall is enabled by default or you have another firewall installed with your antivirus product etc. The bad thing with Windows Firewall is that it allows ALL outbound connections by default. I use a program called WFC - Windows Firewall Control, that is an excellent complement to Windows Firewall. See my signature for info. But it's not perhaps for the average user as it can be difficult to know what to allow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Aug 2014   #14
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
It surprises nobody mentioned setting up a firewall, configuring it according to your exact needs and blocking everything else by default. Windows built-in firewall is nice, but by defaultblocks almost nothing.

Here is also a great guide on Windows 7 security:
Harden Windows 7 SP1 64bit
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tookeri View Post
True. It's probably assumed that either Windows firewall is enabled by default or you have another firewall installed with your antivirus product etc. The bad thing with Windows Firewall is that it allows ALL outbound connections by default. I use a program called WFC - Windows Firewall Control, that is an excellent complement to Windows Firewall. See my signature for info. But it's not perhaps for the average user as it can be difficult to know what to allow.
The average user who has a router (which in it has a hardware based firewall which should be on) combined with windows firewall is more then enough protection. A software firewall will only cause issues and drain system resources. In my opinion, they are completely unnecessary. A common argument is that with comodo or zonealarm and other similar firewalls you can block programs from connecting to the internet. I say if you do not trust the program to connect to the internet, you should not have it in the first place installed on your pc which essentially defeats that argument.

Also-average users do not understand how to respond to the prompt, also making them pointless as they allow everything anyway.

That is what Virtual Machines are for

However, it is up to you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #15
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

Good points. An alternative to VM could be Sandboxie and choose what programs are allowed to access the Internet. For example if you allow only a browser you'll soon notice that Flash Player wants to create connections when it's used. Why I don't know, it could be an update check or something else. For me it's also a privacy issue. I know of users who limit Windows own outbound connections simply because no one knows what they are for. Nowadays many connections are to Akamai services and similar so it's more or less impossible to verify, especially if encrypted.

Sorry that it became a privacy thing perhaps more than security
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #16
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I remove Akamai about a month ago from my systems and everything works as it should except one strange thing.

I use DSL and about 2 times a day I get a phone call of exactly 4 rings. It stops my internet for about 2 minutes then the internet starts up and works without me doing anything. No other phone calls do this. If I answer the phone before the 4 rings their is nobody there.

I have replaced the little splitter between the phone and DSL a couple of times.
I have even doubled up on the splitters with the same results.
Could it be Akamai is trying to sneak it's way back into my systems.
Akamai page states their programs is to improve my internet experience and used by many ISP's. Righttttttttttt. They want to spy.

I never had Akamai until my internet went very slow. They found a piece of their hardware some where needed replaced. After they did that they came remotely into my system and rechecked everything and presto I had Akamai.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #17
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
I remove Akamai about a month ago from my systems and everything works as it should except one strange thing.

I use DSL and about 2 times a day I get a phone call of exactly 4 rings. It stops my internet for about 2 minutes then the internet starts up and works without me doing anything. No other phone calls do this. If I answer the phone before the 4 rings their is nobody there.

I have replaced the little splitter between the phone and DSL a couple of times.
I have even doubled up on the splitters with the same results.
Could it be Akamai is trying to sneak it's way back into my systems.
Akamai page states their programs is to improve my internet experience and used by many ISP's. Righttttttttttt. They want to spy.
There privacy policy is interesting.

Privacy Statement
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #18
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Akamai is not bashful. They state right up front they are going to steal information.

I did solve the phone call problem. I just leave the phone unplugged. No rings, no problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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