THREE (3) Security Concerns

55 pts.
Tags:
McAfee Total Protection
Norton
Security
Software conflicts
We have a desktop with Windows XP SP2, Microsoft Office 2003, and a subscription to McAfee Total Protection 2008 that began in September 2007, among other things. We also just purchased a laptop with Windows Vista and Norton's Antivirus/Antispyware 2008 so far. We will eventually install Office 2007 on both the desktop and the laptop, and we have a Vista upgrade we plan to install on a portion of our desktop's hard drive. We have the following security concerns:

1. We will be traveling soon and will have to use a public wireless connection to access the Internet - one of us is in graduate school. What supplemental security would you recommend for the laptop?

2. We frequently have problems with McAfee not updating due to software conflicts. Which of these programs is/may be the cause?
* Addit
* Advanced WindowsCare 2.55
* Anark Client
* CAPICOM
* CleanMyPC
* Driver Genius
* IObit Smart Defrag
* Metafile Companion
* Nvu
* WebFerret
* Zinio Reader

3. What total security would you recommend for our desktop?

We are home users - one of us is very familiar with several software packages, neither of us is a programmer-type. Thanks for any help you can give us!

Answer Wiki

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1. A firewall is a highly recommended. http://www.zonealarm.com”>ZoneAlarm&lt may fit your needs. I would also recommend entering passwords and other credentials on websites with https:// as part of the address. This means that the information is encrypted between your computer and the destination. However, still be aware that criminals can create eerily similar websites using https and steal your identity. Take a look at http://www.google.com/search?q=phishing&btnG=Search”>phishing and this will inform you of the threats that are out there.

2. I have not seen problems with McAfee updates due to conflicts with other programs. I am not familiar with these applications. The problems could be caused if there is a conflicting application port in use on the computer and one of these packages uses that port before McAfee can take it for its own use. I would suggest posting a question on the McAfee support forums and provide as much detail including system logs and other information about your system.

3. Total security is a myth. The best security is to never get online and expose the system to the threats that are out there. However, you can mitigate some of the threats by going with some of the standard offerings of packaging individual products both free & paid, or by going with something like the Norton or McAfee security suites. Sometimes your internet provider may provide these applications with your subscription or for a small fee. This way you can get support for your use.]

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You have to make sure that a full, latest, and updated antivirus software is installed in your computer system. In addition, avoid opening files and webpages which are unfamiliar to you. Avoid clicking suspicious links and advertisements.

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  • Yorkshireman
    All of the above answer - tryu and avoid going to places where bad people live. In terms of Personal Computing. If it were me, then I'd remove the several layers of 3rd party PC speedup/cleaning type products, (and as much of Windows XP 'options' as possible. Fewer places for bad things to hide - less CPU being used to slow things down, less disk being stolen. Stick with one virus scanner per PC, and be rigorous in keeping it up to date, and scheduling full scans. Ensure that your product of choice examines ALL the system, Use the built in de fragment tool - may not be as fancy as a 3rd party one, and may be slower, but its one less source of infection. You may care to consider bringing XP to SP3. Vista didn't get a good press, and I appreciate you bought it, but if you want something resource hungry, then W7 could be the direction to go for your dual boot desktop, or even put XP as a dual boot on your laptop. As regards travelling, then of course you have to assume that EVERY public wiFi has sniffers on it and anything you send may be stolen. Record your passwords, safely, in some enrypted manner, outside your PC. Be prepared to lose the entire laptop content, so copy documents etc to some server in the sky, or back to your home PC. Keep your laptop very lean, with just the bare esseesntials, and you can feel comfortable at re-installing if you have any suspicions (rare) Change passwords frequently, and of course, you use strong passwords everywhere, and every service you use has a different one. A strong password is long, and includes numbers and non alphabetic characters like ^*() Don't allow passwords to be stored. When you get home, reload your laptop, take a breath, and consider whether you want passwords stored locally. Incidentally, I 'had to' upgrade to Office 2007. A month later, it was almost working as well as 2003. Unless you really need what it gives - like a 10x expansion of file sizes, and 'themes' you never use, then I'd avoid the expense. If you're needs are like 85% of us - turn out a discussion paper, letter etc with attractive formatting - consider OpenOffice across all PC's. It's not as glitzy, but does the job efficiently and understandably. .
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