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How safe am I with just Windows Firewall?

Discussion in 'General Security' started by jmc, Mar 29, 2008.

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  1. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    I suddenly had problems with ZoneAlarm, and could neither uninstall nor reinstall it. I *think* I've successfully uninstalled it but am now afraid to try reinstalling it. I know Windows Firewall is only one-way, but for now am I safe enough using just that, and no third-party firewall?

    (XP Pro sp2, updated recently)
     
  2. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I'm not sure yet .. but I have a hunch M$ updates might be hurting ZA ... (which version ??)
    I don't think any AV or Firewall is perfect ...

    Just in Case ... Are you running Acronis True Image to one of those extra JBOD's
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/
     
  3. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    Moot point now, I finally got ZoneAlarm up and running again. And yes, I'm running TrueImage, various backups every day:)

    FYI, I did the full uninstall that ZA suggests, that didn't work by itself, but turning off Spy Sweeper before reinstalling seems to have done the trick this time.

    jmc
     
  4. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Just Babbling .. But my neighbor is supposedly an expert in this field.
    He even has all the hacker tools ... It's a part of his job to keep up on this stuff.
    What he tells me (has shown me) .. has me totally Paranoid.

    Cutting to the end of this story .. I hope your scheduled ATI backups are Data only, and not the OS.
    Otherwise, You may be backing up a problem you don't know you've acquired .. Till it's too late.

    Anytime I do an ATI OS recovery .. It's a total "Fresh Install" of the OS, installed Programs, and updates only ... That was never exposed to the internet.
    My Data is hiding elsewhere ... not in my OS partition.
     
  5. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

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    Noyb points out a very good strategy that most installations of Windows do not follow - i.e. create separate partitions for the OS vs Data and installed programs, etc.

    -- Tom
     
  6. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Just a quick picture ...
    What doesn't appear, is more JBODs running eSATA (bootable) or USB ... not normally running.
    D is a bootable OS tool (fresh install) ... Data 2 is Primary Data ... Data 1 is first order Data backup.

    Primary (operational) Data and OS are not on the same physical HD
    Don't use ATI scheduled backups ... ATI is not even installed ... use boot CD only.
    Data is Copy n Pasted to backup(s) as acquired or created.

    Maybe I should change my screen name to Paranoid .. You think ??
    I've had to recover many times just because windows got confused for no good reason.
    Can't seem to find any protection from the Bill Gates "Virus"
     

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  7. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    yea, I do use separate partitions - OS on one, apps on another, downloads on another, and data on the rest. I even have a swap partition like Linux. OS, swap & apps are on one HD, rest are on different HDs - so not so different from your setup.

    Yes, I do back up the OS, but if I needed to do a reinstall to recover from anything other than a clear hardware failure - I'd start from scratch. I split my backups up based on what I'm backing up - so the OS is in one backup, photos in another, documents in another... like that. And on different backup drives as well.

    When I can afford it, I plan on moving the data off the PC altogether, to a linux-based server, or perhaps a NAS.

    I know a "white-hat" hacker or two myself. Yea, knowing a hacker does make one much more paranoid :)

    jmc
     
  8. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Once upon a time ..
    I had to revert back to an earlier ATI version, before I found out the IE7 update broke my Scanner.
    Another time .. I backed up 2 ATI versions before I figured out that WMP11 update broke my Sonic Record Now.

    Now that I've played with Vista, I don't think much of the M$ Programmers that have forgot there's a difference in the Definition, Purpose and Display of (Details, Thumbnails and Icons) .. To mention one of many issues.
    Thank Heavens, I could revert back to XP.

    M$ even scares me now.
    I see theres a couple more XP updates waiting on me .. I Hope M$ is holding their breath.
    Every time I see the Ford Commercial about "Powered by M$ .... I have to Wonder ??
    Hackers/Bad Boys seem to be the least of my problems.

    Why Spyware protection ??? ... I just run CCleaner - And never find any.
     
  9. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

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    Yea, but is that because there is none - or because CCleaner didn't find what was there? My spyware protection - SpySweeper, Ad Aware, Spybot and sometimes AVG Anti-spyware - usually finds something, especially if I had to use IE to access a site.
     
  10. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    It's my thinking, FWIW, that those are just data mining cookies that scare everyone into thinking there's something bad going on ... and they need to run active spyware software.
    CCleaner gets rid of these cookies/temp files very quickly.
    Run CCleaner first .. Then see how much "spyware" you find.
     
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