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Defence In Depth

Posts: 791
Registered: 04-08-2007

Defence In Depth

HI. Here's a nice little Sunday Morning Thread.

I think we all accept that a combination or suite of security applications are required on all PC's / Systems nowadays, in order to surf safely.

However I have yet to find any articles / web pages that show what combinations work best together. (Or perhaps more importantly, which ones conflict with each other).

For example ...... for my kids home PC, I use Windows Me, with the free editions of Zone Alarm / AVG / Ad Aware and Spy Bot.

I still let them use IE and Outlook e mail, as that's what they use at their school (and probably what they will use when the start work).

But apart from that vulnerability, is this ( Zone Alarm / AVG / Ad Aware and Spy Bot) the most secure combination? (Bearing in mind value for money).

Should I add anything else ? Am I overdoing it ?

What's the best combination when running Windows 2000 or XP ?

Do the "paid for" Mcafee or Norton Suites. work better together than those we make up ourselves ?

Questions Questions.

Although I appreciate this is all very subjective, and user preferances play a big part in any choice, I (and I expect others) would be interested to learn what other combinations are used by some of the more knowledgable out there.

Thanks in anticipation.

Defence In Depth

first off, ME is a pile of crap, no offence, but if you are going to run a box that cant support XP, run 98SE or linux Wink ( )

Secondly, ZA is ok, however syagate scores better in a lot of tests that have been done, is is also free, unless you upgrade to sygate pro which is about £30

AVG is one of the better free AVs out there and can stop nealy all virii, ergo a good choice.

Spybot and adaware, are the two front runners for spyware removal and for a good reason, also a good choice by you.

however, using outlook express and IE are BAD choices. Both are full of insecurites etc etc. personaly i would recomend using firefox as the browser of choice,, as this will stop nearly 100% of spyware even getting onto your PC, plus it has a really nice pluggin for blocking adds which is simply great Smiley.

for the mail client, thunderbird (made by the people that make firefox) or Bat are both excelnt clients, which are more secure than OE.

And to finish off. to make a secure box, education is needed, teach them not to open spam mail, not to click on random links etc, if they understand what could happen then they will more than likly keep your PC in okish health just from that.

Posts: 791
Registered: 04-08-2007

Defence In Depth

Thanks for your contribution.

I fully understand the situation with IE and Outlook. Never-the-less I think I am being forced down that route. Their schools use them. And if all the big corporates continue to use them, then they'll expect their users to be able to use such applications. I am just trying to make sure my girls are given the best possible opportunities in the future jobs market.

Can I just ask ............ from a vulnerability point of view.

Why do you feel 98SE is better than Me Huh

Defence In Depth


I'll jump in on this one.

As buzz said ME is/was terrible. My company are MS Partners and as such can say with confidence that this was without doubt the worst product ever released by MS.

It is generally unstable, unreliable and full of holes. I would agree with the thinking of reverting to 98SE or better still upgrading to XP SP2.

The beneifts of the latter in terms of security and stability far outweigh the financial outlay.

Defence In Depth

A lot depends on your setup. How are you connecting to the internet? via modem or a router?

It also depends on whether you are looking for a free package, or are happy to pay.

For anti-virus I would recommend NOD32, it's not free but it's very good. It also has the reputation of never missing a virus in the wild. Kapersky Anti-Virus is also good.

As far as firewalls, there are many to choose from and again it depends on whether you want to spend or not.
The good free ones are Zonealarm, Kerio, Sygate and if your comfortable with firewalls then Jetico.

If your willing to pay, then Sygate Pro would be my choice.

If your connecting via a modem (and not using Sygate Pro or Jetico), I would also recomend CHX-I . It's a packet filter and will provide State Packetful Inspection (SPI) .

I would also recomend switching to firefox or opera, although it may be different from the schools, it's far safer and it's very easy to use.

Do the "paid for" Mcafee or Norton Suites. work better together than those we make up ourselves ?

Single solutions are often easier but that doesn't mean it's any better. Mcafee aren't too bad for anti-virus software, but I personally would avoid Norton all together.

I would also consider installing Spyware Blaster, and Spy Guard. Both are free and will help to cut down on spyware.
Posts: 15
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Defence In Depth

[Do the "paid for" Mcafee or Norton Suites. work better together than those we make up ourselves ?

I used to use Norton 2002 AV Suite and was pretty happy with it for a couple of years. This year my subscription was due and I decided to upgrade to the 2005 edition. I had several problems with it and quickly decided to ditch it in favour of Kerio firewall and Avast AV software, both of which seem pretty reliable.

I take issue about using IE and Outlook. Whilst many schools and companies use these M$ packages there is very little difference from a users point of view between them and Firefox and Thunderbird, the latter looks and feels very similar to Outlook (imho). Besides, if your children can use these packages and the M$ software, it will give them confidence and demonstrate flexibility to perspective employers.

Frankly I would recommend these packages to anyone.