PC Protection Guide

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Thread Starter
Mar 10, 2004
PC Protection Guide
Windows Based
For the Beginner

This is a PC Security tutorial I wrote out of being bored one day. It was originally meant to go on a website of mine, but I changed my mind. If anybody has any comments to add or notices something wrong in this, feel free to correct me. I simply wished to create a somewhat medium sized tutorial on how to keep from being subjected to the malicious elements out there.

Welcome to the PC Protection tutorial. In this tutorial you will learn how to configure your Windows based PC to be near-completely invulnerable. The reason that so many computers are attacked, or infected with virii/spyware, is simply because not enough is known about computer safety. This tutorial is aimed at helping someone who knows very little more than how to turn on his/her computer. There are 7 steps. I promise you that if you follow these 7 steps your PC will be healthy and happy. Further more, this guide will help protect you and help you identify popular forms of identity theft.

The 7 steps are split into sections as seen below:

o Step 1 - The Dangers of PC Vulnerability
o Step 2 - Identifying Open Wounds
o Step 3 - Protection, General Windows
o Step 4 - Protection, Anti-virus
o Step 5 - Protection, Spyware
o Step 6 - Protection, Firewall
o Step 7 - Protection, Identity Theft
o Related Links

Step 1 - The Dangers of PC Vulnerability

Is my PC vulnerable?
Yes. Even after you follow this guide. Even if you're the smartest most awesome PC enthusiast. Even if you know everything about computers.

There is a popular saying among people in the business of computer security:
"The only safe computer, is one that's completely turned off."

This sounds like an intelligent observation, but in reality even that's not accurate. The only safe computer is one that does not exist! I doubt you're willing to incinerate your computer for the sake of security, so this tutorial isn't a guide on how to make your PC completely 100% secure. Instead, this guide will attempt to make your PC as close to that percent as you can possibly get.

Why is Windows so vulnerable?
Well, it's really a combination of things. First off, in an exchange for the ease of use, Windows is without a doubt the most vulnerable operating systems out there. Windows is targeted almost exclusively for the fact that people use it above any other operating system.

Are there alternatives?
Yes! And plenty of them, most of which can do everything Windows can. The only problem (and I do mean the only problem) with other operating systems are their lack of capability. Everyone and your mother uses Windows, so most popular software are written for that exact operating system. Another loss for alternative operating systems is the ability to play PC games. Near all game developers refuse to put out ports for anything but Windows. Other operating systems are however, the most secure. The reason for this is simply because malicious people would rather aim at the fish in the barrel than the shark far off in the bay. If you enjoy your PC and want to try another operating system, I very much recommend that you check one out. I personally like Linux, it has a very large community compared to some other non-Windows operating systems and it's very stable and secure. This guide is about Windows, so...

What kind of malicious elements are there?
Plenty. With the invention of the Internet, PC vulnerability has gone worldwide. A malicious person on the other side of the world can now send you a Trojan, connect to your PC via the Internet, and leech every little detail about you. What passwords you type. Credit card numbers. Bank account numbers. Even your exact address could be traced with very little work! You don't even have to know the person, your email address could be taken from anywhere. Other than Virii and Trojans (we'll take a look into the nature of both in a little while), we've also had to deal with a new kind of threat: Spyware. There are two types of spyware, both are used to (as you probably guessed) spy on you. This isn't a far cry from a Trojan, but the companies and websites who infect you claim otherwise. This tutorial will tell you how to protect yourself from most all spyware out there with minimal effort. Other than the Internet, people also can gain access to your PC manually and uncover things you probably don't want them to see.

Step 2 - Identifying Open Wounds

Everyone is Different
Depending on who you are and what you use your PC for, your vulnerabilities will differ. The first thing you want to do is determine where your "open wounds" are at. What specific software do you use that sends/receives information to or from the Internet? Those are generally your most dangerous software as they provide a green light opportunity into your PC. Email is still one of the leading causes of Virus infection to date. Browsers also offer open unfiltered access to the web, and thus open you up for infection. Yes, that's right, you can get infected just by visiting a website.

Beyond the Technical Outlook
Besides the Internet and technological aspects of it, what about things outside of the box? Think about the people you live with, your room mate perhaps. He or she has access to your PC by law. If you don't trust the people you live with, I'd suggest investing in a way to lock people out of your PC completely. This is especially important if the people you live with are good with computers, but still important even if they are less than experienced.

Step 3 - Protection, General Windows

The Nature of Windows
Windows is not an open source operating system. Whenever a problem exists with it there aren't millions of people to sit down and take a look at the code. Instead, several pasty-white faced Microsoft employees sit under fluorescent lamps that suck away their energy like cold magnets as they work out the bugs one at a time while sipping at endless cups of coffee. They are only doing it for the money. This means that a whole lot of bugs exist in Windows, which means a whole lot of vulnerabilities exist as well. Even though this is true, you should at least take advantage of what work -is- done for Windows by making sure you install Windows updates as soon as they come available. Of course, sometimes Windows updates cause more problems than they fix, but as I've stated before Windows is buggy as hell.

File Deletion
Okay, you've got your credit card number written down in a file. You no longer need it written down in a file, so you're going to delete it. Whoosh, there it goes to the Recycle Bin. Now, you're going to empty the Recycle Bin so that it's gone forever. Whoosh, there it disappears from the Recycle Bin. The file is now gone.

Or is it?

In reality the file isn't gone, Windows just "thinks" it is. What has really happened, is that the file has been moved to a sector on the hard disk which is marked free to overwrite. Whenever you make write something else to your disk, such as a new file, there is a chance that the file you deleted will be overwritten partially or fully out of existence. Unless you're in the process of writing huge files over and over to your hard drive, people can generally uncover every file you've ever deleted with a simple click of the mouse using data recovery software. The only way to make sure a file is complete erased from existence, is to overwrite it many times using data shredding software. The only other alternative is to either smash your hard drive to bits with a hammer or to not write the file to your PC in the first place. The later is probably the best solution. Sometimes you really have no choice but to write the file to your PC, in which I suggest a data shredder. As a general guideline, never type your credit card numbers, phone numbers, addresses, or social security numbers into a document of any kind for either storage OR personal reference. If it's really important information, for the love of all that is holy keep it on paper.

Step 4 - Protection, Anti-virus

What is a Virus?
To put it simple, a Virus is nothing more than a program (just like any other program on your computer). The difference between a Virus and a normal program on your computer, obviously, is that the Virus is malicious in nature. A Virus usually must be run to infect you, just as a program must be run to be used. However, their are exceptions or methods of which a Virus can cause itself to run. To put it vaguely, there are billions of different types of Virii that infect you in a billion different ways. The most dangerous Virus is a creative one, ironically enough.

What can a Virus do?
Most anything. Most Virii tend to do two things though:

1. Mess up your computer.
2. Spread itself through an open Internet connection.

Because it can spread itself through an Internet connection, you may end up infecting your friends and family without even knowing it. Virii have been known to auto-send themselves to everybody in your address book by using Outlook Express. They also can spread by auto-sending through instant messengers like AOL Instant Messenger or MSN Messenger. I've even seen them spread through P2P file sharing networks like Kazaa and the Gnutella network. Another important thing to note about Virii, is that most of them are on delayed time frames. It's like having a time-bomb that goes off at a certain date and time. This is usually done so that the Virii will spread and mess up computers all at once and all over the world, thus maximizing the total destruction possible before being countered by anti-virus updates. Sometimes it's done just for the hell of it. Besides doing these two things, Virii are also notorious for doing something even more dangerous. So dangerous that they were awarded a name of their own: Trojan.

What is a Trojan?
A Trojan is a Virus. The only difference between a Trojan and a Virus, is in what they do. A Trojan (named after the Trojan horse which was used to infiltrate the city of Troy in Greek mythology) makes use of an open Internet connection by opening a port to the outside world. This open port is usually used by the person infecting you with the Trojan to remotely do anything with your computer as if it were their own. Some Trojan clients are so advanced that they have their own little desktop GUI that lets them use your computer as if they were sitting right at the monitor. Some of the less complex Trojans simply do things like log the keys you press on your keyboard and send them to the attacker. Simple or complex, this is a serious and dangerous breach of your security which in turn could end up destroying your life, your credit, and even your own identity.

What is an Anti-virus
An Anti-virus is a software which sits in the background and monitors your computer. If you have a Virus on your hard drive, it won't tell you unless you scan your computer for it, but most Anti-virus Software have a resident shield which tells you the second a Virus attempts to be run and asks you what you want to do. At that point you should tell the Anti-virus to attempt to clean the file, and if that doesn't work you should just choose to delete it. There are many different types of Anti-virus software out there, some are free. In addition there are plenty of web-based Anti-virus scanners available, however you should always have an Anti-virus installed on your PC.

Anti-virus tips
First and foremost, make sure you update your Anti-virus EVERY DAY. I cannot stress this enough. If you don't update your Anti-virus you're open to thousands more Virii which are being created every second. Secondly, make sure you choose a Anti-virus with good Virus definitions. Norton is one of the most popular Anti-virus softwares available, but I personally find it to hog resources like mad. AVG Anti-virus is one of my favorites and they seem to have updates ready every day. Finally, you should remember that not every Virus out there is protected against by your Anti-virus software. You should use two or three web-based Anti-virus scans every now and then as well, and, still, be very careful with what you do on your PC.

Do you now have adequate protection from Virii with your current Anti-virus? Is it up to date? If so, pat yourself on the back for being one step closer to having a well protected PC. Like I stated earlier however, not all Virii/Trojans can be caught by your Anti-virus. There's not much you can do to stop a Virus from messing up your computer if you don't know it's there, but there is a way to stop Virii from spreading and Trojans from allowing access to your computer. This is explained thoroughly in Step 6: Firewall Protection.

Step 5 - Protection, Spyware

What is Spyware?
There are two types of Spyware. The first, and more dangerous type, is software which stays in the background of your computer and records everything you do. It's usually used to log keys you've pressing on the keyboard, and is much like having a Trojan. The only difference resides in the fact that the only way you can have your information spy-ed on, is if somebody uses your PC other than you. There are ways of making it so the recorded information which has been spy-ed out of you can be sent over the Internet, but that pretty much upgrades it from Spyware to Trojan horse. This type of spyware is a little harder to detect than other forms of security breach, but can be protected against by simply watching out for who has manual access to your computer. The other form of Spyware (the type which will be discussed here) is a little bit different.
This type of Spyware is acquired by installing software which has it bundled with the setup file or by visiting websites (a very popular way of spreading the stuff) which infect you with it. Spyware can do many things just like a Virus. The main purpose for Spyware, however, is money. Spyware sits on your hard drive, usually in the background, while demographics are collected about you. What websites you visit and everything else that you do is sent back to the creators of the Spyware. They then use this information in attempt to sell you stuff, spam you, know what to make more of in their greedy little sweatshops, or otherwise put numerous search bars and buttons on your Internet browser which take you to their sites (so you can get more spyware installed on your computer without being asked) to buy more of their crap or view their poorly encoded fifty foot wide ads.

Why is Spyware so bad?
Well, besides the fact that your personal information is being sent to people whom you have no knowledge of as a vicious form of invasion of privacy, Spyware is notorious for causing pop-ups to open up for no apparent reason at set intervals. Spyware also causes thousands of problems with your computer, and makes it run sluggish. If you're heavily infected with Spyware, or have a 56k dial-up connection, your Internet connection speed will drop drastically (because of course, your demographics are being consistently sent to various collecting servers despite it being against your will). Does your computer seem to crash every couple of minutes? Chances are you're infected with Spyware. Also, some of the more nasty Spyware infections can cause your Internet Connection to be completely shut off. Did I mention that it can also change your homepage to anything it wants as well as making it impossible to change back? As a matter of fact, some Spyware is even more dangerous than being infected by some Virii!

Can This Even be Legal?
For the most part, yes! It's up to you to configure your web browsers to reject Spyware correctly, or to understand what you're installing. That's what this section of the tutorial is all about. Once you've completely read this page, you will be almost completely Spyware-proof.

Protecting yourself from Spyware takes a little bit longer than setting up protection from Virii, but in the end it's worth it. Think of protecting yourself from Spyware as the same way you protect yourself from STD's. Yes, you read that right. Sex and Internet browsing have a lot in common. You never know which websites or installation files will give you an infection. You can also get more than one infection. The only way to protect yourself is with layered protection. There are 3 major ways to protect yourself from Spyware and each way will be described below. Please follow each of the 3 steps in order to ensure you're protected to the maximum effect.

-------#1 Scanning-------
This is the most important step. There are a few Spyware scanning programs you can use to scan for Spyware on your computer, each of which are very good at what they do. Using one of these cleaning agents, you can completely get rid of most or all of the Spyware which has infected your computer. Remember though, some installed software in which Spyware comes bundled purposely with the software can't be removed without the software itself ceasing to function. Personally, any software which requires me to purposely install Spyware on my computer isn't worth using anyway. As with an Anti-virus, make sure you update consistently and scan regularly. Some spyware cannot be fixed with spyware scanners, for the real nasty ones (like WWWcoolwebsearch) you'll need extra help. In these cases, it's best to post your problems on Spyware related forums (such as this one) on the web and get specific help. Most forum spyware experts will ask you to post a HijackThis log. HijackThis is a tiny program that scans your computer for possible browser hijacks or Spyware infections. It also reports everything that runs at your computer's start up. This is a valuable resource for troubleshooting your PC in any situation. See bottom for links to good and free Spyware Scanners and HijackThis.

-------#2 Browser Settings-------
After scanning and cleaning any current spyware, you'll want to make sure that spyware can't weave it's way through your browser to your hard drive. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to correctly adjust your browser's settings. If you use Internet Explorer, you're at a greater risk for getting spyware than if you use a less used web browser (and much more secure) like Firefox. If you're not willing to switch to Firefox or something similar, first make sure that Internet Explorer is updated to it's latest version (very important) and here's what you can do to at least make it more secure than it is by default.

Firstly, open up Internet Explorer. Go to Tools then select Internet Options. You'll see 7 tabs here (Only 6 if you have 5.5 or lower, as cookie settings weren't present in those versions). Change all the settings as described below:

General Tab:
Open up the following:

Accessibility->User style sheet->Format Documents using my style sheet
(Make sure this does NOT have an entry, if it does, uncheck it and scan for spyware)

Security Tab:
Open up the following:

Internet->Custom Level... (Click on the Planet and click "Custom Level")
Change all options for both of these (IF you see the options) to:

Automatic Prompting for ActiveX Controls
(o) Disable

Binary and script behaviors
(o) Enable

Download signed ActiveX controls
(o) Prompt

Download unsigned ActiveX controls
(o) Disable

Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe
(o) Disable

Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins
(o) Enable

Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting
(o) Prompt

Automatic prompting for file downloads
(o) Disable

File download
(o) Enable

Font download
(o) Disable

Access data sources across domains
(o) Prompt

(o) Enable

Allow scripting of Internet Explorer Webbrowser control
(o) Disable

Allow script-initiated windows without size of position
(o) Disable

Allow script-initiated windows without size of position
(o) Disable

Allow Web pages to use restricted protocols
(o) Prompt

Display mixed content
(o) Prompt

Don't prompt for client certificate selection
(o) Disable

Drag and drop or copy and paste files
(o) Prompt
(ONLY if you regularly drag files out of your Temp Internet Files, otherwise, set to Disable)

Launching programs and files in an IFRAME
(o) Disable

Navigate sub-frames across different domains
(o) Disable

Open files based on content, not file extension
(o) Disable

Software channel permissions
(o) High safety

Submit nonencrypted form data
(o) Prompt

Use Pop-up Blocker
(o) Enable

Userdata persistence
(o) Disable

Web sites in less privileged web content zone can navigate
(o) Prompt

Active scripting
(o) Enable

Allow paste operations via script
(o) Prompt

Scripting of Java applets
(o) Prompt

...after all that, open up:
Trusted Sites->Custom Level... (Click on the Green Plus and click "Custom Level")
Change all options for both of these (IF you see the options) to:

The same as above.

After that, open up:
Restricted Sites->Custom Level... (Click on the Red Minus Sign and click "Custom Level")
Change all options for both of these (IF you see the options) to:

(o) Disable

Privacy Tab:
***NOTE: You will not see this tab if you have Internet Explorer 5.5 or earlier!
Open up the following:

Advanced->Override automatic cookie handling
First-party cookies (Accept/Prompt) (Your choice, accept is less annoying)
Third-party cookies (Block)

Content Tab:
Open up the following:

Certificates->Publishers->Trusted Publishers

Remove any entries in the Trusted Publishers section, ANY. Basically, any entries in this section are allowed to whatever they want to your computer. Anything period. That's not a good thing.

Connections Tab:

Programs Tab:

Advanced Tab:

Whew, glad we've got THAT part over with. Setting your browser up to reject spyware is one of the most exhausting parts of this entire setup. Pat yourself on the back though! Spyware will fear your browser's wrath!

-------#3 The Spyware Shield-------
Okay, you're spyware free and you've adjusted your browser to be a spyware handling guru. You've taken care of most of it, but let's add in the finishing blow. Everything in this section is optional, but recommended!

The HOSTS File

What is a HOSTS file? This question gets asked a lot. A HOSTS file is nothing more than a text file named HOSTS and missing the ".txt" file extension. It sits in your Windows directory (provided you have one). Basically, all a HOSTS file does is redirect things. For instance:

www.msn.com www.google.com

If that were found on a line inside of the HOSTS file, when you typed in google.com into your browser, instead of going to Google, you'd go straight to MSN.com. It redirects. Another example:

www.amazon.com amazon

This would take me straight to amazon.com, just by typing amazon into the browser.

This may sound really neat, but you're probably wondering what it can do for you to protect against spyware. Well, basically, you can use the HOSTS file to redirect bad Internet addresses that install spyware or other nasties onto your computer to another location. So when you visit a web page, and it tries to contact the website address of the spyware laced pages, the HOSTS file will say "STOP, HALT, RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!" and redirect it to someplace else of your choice. The most popular redirection is to simple redirect the bad address to your localhost. Your localhost is, so basically you'd put a line like this: www.were-bad-people-who-install-spyware.com

...and every time that your PC tried to connect to that address, it wouldn't connect and give you a 404 page not found.

Luckily, there are people out there who specialize in finding these evil URL addresses, and compile their own HOSTS files for you to use. The best and most updated one I've found yet can be found in the links section at the bottom of this guide. It's important to update your hosts file every month or so, so make sure if you use this method of protection you keep it updated. Just stick the file itself in your Windows directory, that's all you have to do. Nothing else is required. There is one disadvantage to using a hosts file though, slow computers may find themselves with a little bit of lag from using ultra large HOSTS files. Most computers are okay, though. My computer is over 5 years old and it runs just a smooth with a large one than if it had none at all. Also, make sure not to put http:// on the front of your addresses you add to the HOSTS file, or it wont work!

What else is there? Spyware Blaster!

Spyware Blaster is a program (rather unique of it's own type) that basically defends against bad URLS in the same way the HOSTS file does, but better. It can be updated at the click of a button, and doesn't even need to run in the background. Spyware Blaster adds entries into the restricted sites area of your browser. It blocks against bad URLS, tracking cookies, and things of that nature. It's mostly centered around being used with Internet Explorer, but has Firefox/Mozilla protection for cookies as of late. Very good addition to your layered protection. You can find a link at the bottom of this guide.

Congrats, you've blocked out the majority of Spyware out there from being able to reach your computer! On to the next step.

Step 6 - Protection, Firewall

What is a Firewall?
Ah, second to last step, we are almost finished with this guide! This section will be pretty short and straight to the point (I know you're probably exhausted from that LAST step).

You might be asking yourself, "Just what is a Firewall?"

A Firewall is basically like a flood gate. It controls the flow. It decides what comes in. It decides what goes out. It monitors every connection you have to anything over the Internet. At the click of a button, you can shut something off from sending or receiving information.

You might be asking yourself now, "Yeah, yeah, but what can it do for ME?"

The answer? A whole lot. As I've stated in previous steps, not every Virus, Trojan, or Spyware Infection can be caught. Some of them slip through the cracks. A Firewall is your LAST, and your FIRST, wall of defense. Every time a connection attempts to be sent or received, your Firewall will pop-up and ask you if it's okay. If the source seems suspicious, you can chose to have the Firewall block it off. This means that Trojans can't send information back to the host, Virii can't spread, and any infected Spyware can't drain your internet connection. You can also choose to have safe things which connect regularly to the outside sources automatically allow itself connection without asking you. Everybody should have a Firewall. Firewalls are so important, Windows XP comes shipped with one of it's own. If you don't have Windows XP, or don't like the one Windows XP provides, there are other Firewalls you can pick up. A really good and popular one is Zone Alarm (see bottom of guide for link).

That about wraps it up for Firewalls. If you've managed to follow the last five steps, your chances of being infected with Virii, Trojans, or Spyware are incredibly slim. Also, if you've followed this step, your chances of being exploited by them are even lower. You have officially protected your PC from technological downfall to the MAX. Only one step remains...


Thread Starter
Mar 10, 2004
Step 7 - Protection, Identity Theft

What is Identity Theft
Identity Theft is a crime which has been rising at incredibly rates in America just over the past couple years. The American government is struggling with detouring these criminals from stealing the most dangerous thing they could ever steal, you. It is important that people learn how to protect themselves from potential attempts at stealing their identity. Perhaps the most scariest thing you must realize, though, is that it's impossible to be completely safe from this. If somebody wants your identity bad enough: They can, and will, get it. The flaw lies in the system.

As few people may know, most identity theft is taken from dead people. It's the least dangerous way of stealing an identity. Identity theft is pretty much defined as someone who steals your personal information (credit card numbers, driver licenses, bank account numbers) and uses it to pretend to be you. The world has become so commercial that this is easily possible. Telephones and electronic transactions, and all you need to get a drivers license is a couple forms of identification. Think about how easy it is just to get a library card!

Protecting Yourself
Okay, so we can't do anything about all the different places that somebody can get your information, but we CAN do something about the protecting the one place where most identity thieves start. The Internet. Identity thieves aren't very picky. They'll steal whoever gives the information the easiest. By protecting yourself the aim is pointed at easier targets. This may sound harsh, but hey, it's up to you to protect yourself. As the saying goes, no honor among thieves.

There are two major ways that people can directly steal your personal information from you over the Internet. One is through email, two is through a Trojan. Since I've already discussed how to properly protect yourself from Trojans above, I will tell you how to protect yourself from email attempts.

Social Engineering
You may or may not be familiar with this word. A social engineer basically acts as if he or she is somebody they are not for personal gain. Social engineers don't have to know anything about computers. All a social engineer needs is a good imagination and a quick wit. The point is to be as convincing as possible. Computers have vulnerability, but human beings have something a hundred times worse: Gullibility.

Recognizing Foul Play
Not everybody can realize when they are being scammed. Regardless of how much you know about computing, BE VERY CAREFUL WHO AND WHAT YOU TRUST. Not to say, be paranoid, but for the most part use common sense. If somebody sends you an email, claiming to be from your bank, or your school, or even your government: Make sure they are who they say they are. Many identity thieves send fake emails, that lead users to web pages that are -LIKE- the real thing, sometimes even having URLs that are very much like the real website, but are indeed not. For instance, if you have an online account at www.bankone.com, and you get an email from them, make sure any links take you to pages AT www.bankone.com.

Example of possible fake pages:
"www.bank1.com, www.bankone.org, www.banktwo.com, www.bankkone.com, www.bankone.cx, www.freehost.com/bankone"
The possibilities are unlimited!

Also, as a rule of thumb, never email ANYBODY with ANY personal information. Nobody will ever ask you for to email any personal information to them. Ever. No bank. No governmental agency. Nobody. If you get an email telling you that your account is being shut down, or you need to update your password information, or asks for your social security number to be sent through email. REPORT THE EMAIL TO THE FBI. Even if the email "looks" real. Even if it has flashy graphics and looks professionally made. REPORT IT. Any 12 year old with even half knowledge of HTML can build a professional looking email. Also, if you are given any links to web pages with forms of which to type out information into, make sure it's on the real company's website page. Investigate before you give your information away. If in doubt, call the company. People can be very creative when it comes to stealing your information.

I want to say in conclusion, that even though identity theft is so rampant these days you shouldn't be too paranoid about using your credit card or online banking. There is a lot of dangers in using the Internet, but there are just as many dangers in real life. Somebody can stab you in a dark alley and take your ATM card. Your information can be just as easily stolen from a grocery store as it can the Internet. The world is a dangerous place, but if you're scared to live in it: they win. I hope this guide has enlightened at least one person, if so, it was worth writing.


Windows Updates
Windows Updates at Microsoft.com

Alternate Operating Systems
Linux Resource
MacOSX Resource

Data Shredding:
Freeware Data Shredders

Anti-virus/Online Virus Scanning:
AVG Anti-virus
Panda Scan
Trend Micro

Spyware Software:
Ad-Aware (Scanner)
Spybot S&D (Scanner)
Spyware Blaster (Prevention)

HOSTS File Information:
HOSTS File General Information
HOSTS File as a .txt
HOSTS File in a .zip

Zone Alarm

PC Protection Guide written by: Krelian
Jan 11, 2004
Yes, thanks nice job.
One question or maybe a suggestion to cover it also.
How about your thoughts on using a pay for use computer ie; Kinkos, hotel etc.
Are you vunerable just by using it ,say for banking or?. Can someone retrive anything [from that computer] you imputed or received.Never have used one, but have wondered how safe they are.


Gone but always remembered
Jan 9, 2004

Sensational posting.

You are 21. Some might fear for your future. Or wonder about your past.

I think it likely your government will contact you with a serious job offer. Please do not accept it.

I have a suggestion for you. Write an article, post it here, give it a heading of 'Enjoying Your PC', this after you have watched the movie "Dr. Strangelove".


and after having read some more offerings here:



Thread Starter
Mar 10, 2004
Thanks for your replies, kind of forgot I posted this! Heh.

iaavagent, I'm not sure what you mean.

aarhus2004, but the American government has such great health benefits!

Also, I forgot to mention, if you download Hi-jackthis and scan, make sure you -don't- go and delete everything you see because most of what you see won't be malicious and could mess your computer up pretty bad. Get an expert on a forum instead.
Sep 22, 2007
I read your PC Security Manual. Thank you, I went thru all steps. The last thing I need to do is to dowload and install the freeware at the bottom of section, like the firefox, lavasoft, etc...before I install them, want to know if I need to remove NSW prior to install those.
My NSW online subscription is due for renewal tomorrow the 23rd. Can you let me know how to go about it?
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