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Let's try to create our own suite for internet security.

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Next question, is there another on-demand scanner that people prefer?-superboyac (January 12, 2011, 11:59 AM)
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Not really a full blown on demand scanner, but I often use VirusTotal Uploader to double check a file.
Also, I currently don't have any realtime scanner always running, and simply scan files when I download or move/copy them.

I'd like to suggest Secunia Personal Software Inspector.

Not really a security app per se. But it's useful in that it helps you stay on top of updates to your installed software, many of which have serious security implications (e.g. Acrobat Reader, Flash, etc.)

The scanning process is very quick. Subsequent scans take even less time once your profile is populated. And unlike many similar apps, Secunia provides explanations and links to any recommended updates. Free for personal use.

Let's try to create our own suite for internet security. Let's try to create our own suite for internet security.

Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI)

The Secunia PSI is a FREE security tool designed to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs and plug-ins which expose your PC to attacks. Attacks exploiting vulnerable programs and plug-ins are rarely blocked by traditional anti-virus and are therefore increasingly "popular" among criminals.

The only solution to block these kind of attacks is to apply security updates, commonly referred to as patches. Patches are offered free-of-charge by most software vendors, however, finding all these patches is a tedious and time consuming task. Secunia PSI automates this and alerts you when your programs and plug-ins require updating to stay secure.
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Note: the default installation is to load it on start up and to close it to the tray rather than exit out. I personally don't feel it's necessary to autoload or leave it running, so I suggest you just run it when you want to and close it completely when you're done.

A once a week scan is more than sufficient to keep your software current.

Very cool tool. One of the first things I put on any personal machine I'm setting up.  8)

re: 3rd party firewalls

The only possible reason I could think of for running a 3rd party inbound/outbound firewall is if you were interested in seeing what your apps were quietly getting up to internet-wise. Most will be checking for and fetching updates. But some programs will also try to do quite a bit more 'behind your back' than you'd expect.

If you're suspicious or concerned about any of that, you'll need something that monitors and reports on both directions. Otherwise, stick with Microsoft's built-in firewall. When used in conjunction with NAT, and the hardware firewall that's found in most home gateway routers, it will provide more than sufficient security for general use.

I used to use Comodo. It's a very capable firewall. And Avira - an excellent AV. And...  :tellme:

Nowadays I can't be bothered, so I just do the Win7+MSE+HW Router combo - plus a few browser add-ons (NoScript/Adblock+/BetterPrivacy) - and some common sense I'm when out on the web or reading email.

After that, I call it a day.  :Thmbsup:

I'll also use a few additional on-demand antimalware scanners if I'm particularly worried about something. But that's pretty rare.

So far (knock wood) I seem to be every bit as secure as I ever was without all the extra 3rd-party baggage bogging down my machines.

Note: if you're a heavy-duty "ru" TLD pr0n hound, or you like to cruise the warez and bootleg media sites, you might need something a little more industrial grade. But for the rest of us, Windows + hardware router will do it.

On a related note, what are some recommended on-demand scanning for antivirus, malware, etc.?
-superboyac (January 12, 2011, 11:59 AM)
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How about JottiQ?

I'm under the impression that the Windows firewall was extensively improved for Windows 7 (or perhaps Vista, I'm not sure), but that it's not so good for Windows XP.  Am I mistaken?
-cyberdiva (January 12, 2011, 12:08 PM)
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It was introduced with XP SP2, and it was just fine back then - what you really need is incoming stuff blocked, and the XP firewall does that just fine.
-f0dder (January 12, 2011, 01:12 PM)
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Since I rarely have any malware, perhaps I shouldn't be so concerned, but I don't like the idea that a malware program that managed to get on my computer could send out information without my knowing it.  Thus, a firewall that works in both directions seems to me a good idea.


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