how seriously do you take your computer security?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by nonsqtr, May 10, 2004.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Do you use firewalls? Scanners like Ad-Aware? Do you let other people use your computer? Do you disconnect your computer from the net when not in use? Has your machine ever been compromised?
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    At home? It's only connected a few hours a day because it's a dialup connection right now plus it's a Mac so it doesn't get affected by all the PC viruses and worms.

    I am setting up a small wireless network and I will be adding password protection and a firewall as part of that.

    At work, it's a different story. Every PC I have ever had at work has eventually been infected with a virus, attacked by worms, etc. It's "when" not "if". I do shut the machine off when I go home at night and reboot evry morning.
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I work for an Internet & Telephone company. We have machines watching machines watching machines here. From my desk I can see monitors that are connected to voice/data customers and see who is up or down. We scan/log and shut down infected data customers (and spammers).

    etc etc etc

    One of my duties at my last employer was Security and patching of the linux systems we had a various co-locations (funny side note.... my last employer just moved the colocated servers to my current employer's site. I'm sitting on a pair of OC-48 connections currently).

    At home, I have a Debian box routing packets to my LAN (2 pc and 2 Macs) I run Spybot, Ad-aware, Norton AV on all my machines and update/scan at regular intervals.
  4. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I have a hardware router/firewall and specifically determine which ports can be used. My home computer is a PowerBook G4 so I don't have to worry about much in the way of spyware, worms, trojans, etc. since they are pointed at Windows users. I keep software up to date, and have a non-admin everyday user account so things can't slip under the radar. I install patches as soon as they are released.

    So far, no problemos :)
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Firewall, NETBIOS disabled, UPnP disabled, the works.

    I did the same routine for a friend, and when he got cable, two technicians spent a whole day (unsuccessfully) hooking his machine up to the ISP. :D
  6. I use the following:

    Firewall - "Zone Alarm".
    Spyware scanners - "SpySubtract" and "Spybot". What one doesn't handle, the other will.
    Antivirus - "Norton AntiVirus".
    Misc - "SpamSubtract" and "AdSubtract". Also, I keep my system updates current.

    Other than occasional adware, I've never had anything give me a serious problem.

    In contrast, I had a call from my sister-in-law over the weekend. Her computer had gotten to the point that it was unusable. I had installed a firewall for her a couple of months ago, but she didn't have a current virus scanner nor any adware scanner. She told me she knew she should add those, but never did. After restoring her computer to an earlier date, installing a virus scanner, getting rid of about 300 adware/spyware, doing a virus scan and finding 14 of the bugs, and then doing normal file maintenance, I was able to get her running again (after spending nearly a day at their house).
  7. I just had to reformat yesterday because of all the crap that snuck it's way onto my computer. So we went and bought Norton2004 (had 2002 for like 3 years) and it seems to be catching some viruses that have tried to come in. I'm actually now contemplating getting a internet security program from the creators of Norton, but am not totally sure if I will yet. The only firewall I have is the cheap lil one that is built into my computer.
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Mac user here, I don't take it very seriously at all.


    Macs, while they are impervious to windows viruses, and there are no OS X viruses, they can still CARRY windows viruses and spread them.

    So, Mac users, while YOU don't need to care for the safety of your computer, there is no harm in running an anti virus from time to time to make sure you're not aiding in the spread of viruses.
  9. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I have had viruses and a highjacked browser at work (in spite of firewall) so now I use Ad-aware and Highjack This and things seem good.
  10. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Except that I kinda figure PC users get virii because they deserve them for their crappy taste in machine. ;)
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The correct Plural of Virus is Viruses. just FYI ;)
  12. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    I have a router and run NAV as well as the Norton software firewall. I regularly run Ad-adware. I update my virus defs and scan for viruses on a weekly basis.I feel pretty safe.
  13. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    You know, I actually almost used "viruses" instead of what I ended up using; but I'd seen them both used and wasn't entirely sure.

    Thanks for making me feel like an ******* again, though. 'Preciate that.
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    nothing to be ashamed about, it's one of the most commonly mistaken plurals. I used to type virii all the time, coincidentally, it wasn't until I got OS X with the built in spell check that I noticed it was incorrect.

    (maybe your spell check is turned off? right click a text input screen goto the drop down menu for "spelling" and have it "correct as you type" )
  15. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Should have let your computer think for you, mac boy. :rolleyes: :D

    Anyway, I use a software and router firewall, check with spybot, use AVG antivirus (passed the same "in the wild" tests that the pay ones did). Basically the same routine as JMX.
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Just using Norton, Pop-Up Blocker and Adaware (plus the Disk Clean-up function on Windows XP). The combo seems to do a decent job but, then again, I don't pretend to be very knowledgeable about PC security.

    FWIW, I saw a TV report last night where some computer techs flew over 2 areas in S. California with some kind of computer detection gear on board their private planes.

    By flying over these areas, they were able to get user info from thousands of households that use wireless laptops. They said if they were in cars instead of their speedy planes, they would have been able to even read users' emails.
  17. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I'm on a PC right now because I'm at work, and I haven't bothered to do any sort of setup on it with regard to spellchecking utilities since I don't reguarly use this machine (the other people that use it would just **** everything up anyway).
  18. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I know what you mean, work PC's (which sadly, I have to maintain) get abused the most.
  19. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    It's called "War-flying". An extension of "War-driving" which, itself derived from the term "War-dialling" ie. using an automated system that dials large groups of phone numbers automagically.
    War-driving (and flying) is the practice of passively detecting the presence of a wireless network by passing through an area with an appropriately equipped machine - usually a laptop and GPS unit in the back seat of a car or van, hence the name.
    Most war-drivers merely map these networks like this but due to the insecure nature of most wireless networks there is little to nothing stopping them being exploited for nefarious ends
  20. Microsoft router hardware firewall + ad aware + norton antivirus = my defenses

    Speaking of war-driving, there is an episode of Kevin Rose and Dan Huard of Tech Tv doing it here They also did a separate war-driving segment on the totally awesome show The Screensavers