Safe Computing - Is It Possible?
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Thread: Safe Computing - Is It Possible?

  1. #1
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    Safe Computing - Is It Possible?

    Various reports have in recent months stated that 80% or more of computers have some type of MalWare (malicious software). That implies that the same amount of people do not practice safe computing.

    My question is this. What would anyone be giving up on the internet that they have now if they did practice "safe computing"?

    I am really curious about people's thinking on this subject. And any and all input good or bad would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Well let's see..

    I gave up a lot of advertisements. I don't know half of what's for sale anymore.

    My email gave up having to deal with stupid jokes people send. They come in as attachments (fwd turns into an attachment) and I can't view them anymore...sorry... (rolleyes)

    If people send me internet greeting cards, I can't view them either and I don't get the spam from verifing emails...so sad!

    It DOES bug me that I can't use the emoticons at forums though. I do like those and I do see them as necessary for conveying mood in the absence of body language. Unless I happen to know the code for the emoticon, I can't use it.

    And, it can be an annoyance when you submit posts, or logon to forums and don't get redirected. I have to click manually for that.

    On the other hand, I'm not plagued with viruses/trojans/worms anymore.

    There have been attempts from outside forces from time to time, but it never ammounts to anything. Just recently I fell for a new tactic and got a partial coolwebseach varient that got removed immediately. 'Sisid' or something like that...a map viewer..I was looking at maps and it said i needed the viewer to see them. dumb me...but I got suspicious and killed it. Watch those canadian sites, as well as genealogy sites..those places are BAD!

    Let's see....I've had to suffer with faster internet speeds, on my dialup connection, I had to sacrifice about 4 minutes to open an online free webmail to act as a collection for the junk mail you get from hidden crawling spiders when you register for forums.

    Bigger time sacrifices had to be made helping friends and family get their computers cleaned up, protective programs installed so that I wouldn't be plagued with their worms and viri...

    I no longer listen to internet music because I learned that the priviacy policy of my favorite program reveals it's a spyware program. I am grateful to them for being honest, and I am able to make the decision neither to use their freeware nor their purchased software. So, I've had to let go of those who would follow me around..getting to feel lonely out there! :P
    Now I'm stuck listening to my cd's.

    In truth and on a serious note, I've had to give up a lot of bells and whistles but the gain, faster browsing and not having to contend with the backlash of junkware, getting my money's worth of my internet connection, the speed I paid for in my computer has been worth it.

    I read somewhere that if your pc is being used as a Zombi for malware, trojans etc, that YOU can be held liable for that. So, another benefit is not having to explain to the feds as they haul me to jail that I am ignorant and innocent....while they tell me that ignorance is no excuse. Safer computing in my opinion not only gives me my money's worth in time and pleasure, better browsing, peppier pc..but also my freedom and my dignity.

    I don't do ANY online gaming at all, nor is anybody allowed to use my pc for that. Children's sites are BANNED on this pc since they're the most dangerous of all for many reasons! Sometimes children use my pc so I keep a very large collection of games for them to play. But no online games allowed.

    I keep the reccomended safety net anti virus/malware/adware, make adjustments in pc settings to reduce impact and incidence, keep up with security updates for os, and try to be selective as to where I go on line.

    My paranoia comes from experience...the misery of dealing with junk, loosing precious files, and all that goes with thinking nobody would want to break into MY pc..I don't have anything they would want...well, I'm here to tell you they just want your pc and they could care less about you or your convenience. My paranoia is the fruit of thinking certain companies had integrity, only we found out later they did'nt, and still don't.

    Why do I hate automatic downloads? Because I've had worms and trojans use what ever software they could shutdown and or configure to get themselves online. Now it's my policy that NOTHING goes on line with out my express knowledge. I tend to be suspicous of everthing until it proves itself clean and clear..and innocent. Once guilty, always guilty. The end, done.

    I no longer use irc programs of any kind. The first program to get disabled and then deleted on my computer is messenger. It's gone. If I could make it go away, the next would be media player. There are no media players on this pc other than what I've chosen to install, the other one is disabled and disassociated with files.

    Safer computing is as important to me as independence and freedom because that's what safer computing is. It's part of that freedom. I do what is within my means to do to keep things clean.

    When I learn a different os, this one is history as far as my own personal use of it goes. I'll maintain learning so that I can assist others, but once I find something I like and can work with, the pc's of family members will adapt accordingly. Taking down numbers of my equipment was the last straw. Registering with microsoft or anyone else everytime I install a different program and then go online is more than I'm willing to put up with. That is a violation of my privacy. I will not tolerate it for any longer than I have to.

    Safer computing is a very good thing!!

    l2l2

  3. #3
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    I see nothing as "being given up" ... In the early days it was just one big happy family out here on the 'net. Now it's become a place where you often leave feeling dirty! ;-) Sure, that's a bit over the top in some respects, depending upon your browsing habits it can be quite true!

    The only downside is that the "user" needs to know more, understand how to use a few programs. And must also know what to trust...!!!
    And there lies the rub... so many folks just don't care to constantly 'maintain' their systems! Or learn/keep up with all the BS...

    And I can't really blame many of them! Many folks get on their systems a couple of three times a week for 2 hours at a shot let's say. And they're supposed to double or triple their computer time in order to load/update & scan their systems ??? I don't see it happening.
    Windows 10 on: ~Asus P5B-E ~Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3GHz ~G. Skill (2 x 2GB) PC2-6400 ~EVGA 7900GTX ~Kingston SSD (for the OS) ~Western Digital 650GB Hard Drive (Data), Turtle Beach Santa Cruz w/Klipsh 2.1 Pro Media Speakers ~ Twin BenQ FP202W 20.1" LCD's

  4. #4
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    Luv2Learn2 and Abhoth thank you for those inputs. Alot to think about in both posts.

    From Abhoth - "And they're supposed to double or triple their computer time in order to load/update & scan their systems ???"

    Given the current situation indicates that this is necessary. But is it really? Is there a better way?

    From Luv2Learn2 - "Safer computing in my opinion not only gives me my money's worth in time and pleasure, better browsing, peppier pc..but also my freedom and my dignity."

    What are you doing that 80% of the users are not doing?


  5. #5
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    As a senior citizen I see lots of older people getting their first computers to communicate with their children and grand children. Within a month or two I'll get a call from them with the old complain " my home page has changed and I can't change back" and "my computer is so slow". I will spend an average of 3 hours cleaning and explaining what happened and how to protect their computers from the garbage that lurks on the internet. Usually, during my explainations, I'll see wondering expressions on their faces and I know they don't understand what I'm trying to tell them. Another problem I run into with the grand parents is " well my granddaughter
    said it was OK to install Kazaa". Many kids don't understand computer security issues any better than their grand parents do. It's time for programs to educate people of all ages concerning the security issue they face while using the internet. Our schools, universities and businesses need to hold classes and seminars concerning security issues and the internet. People assume that a new computer right out of the box will be protected. They're very upset(and rightly so) when after a few hours of operation thier computers are loaded with virii, trojans and malware. Education is the answer, better educated computer users will mean less profit for the adware, spyware and trojan writers and less chance of virus infected computers.
    The true test of character is not how much we
    know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do

  6. #6
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    Re: Safe Computing - Is It Possible?

    Originally posted by greengoose1
    My question is this. What would anyone be giving up on the internet that they have now if they did practice "safe computing"?
    Nothing - I've switched to Linux
    Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday

  7. #7
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    No, don't think Linux is the answer... not for the 70 - 80 percent that can't figure out a PC. ;-)

    GG asks if there is a better way? I don't believe so, not with the given situation... To be certain government legislation might reduce some of the spam annoyances and the like. Hell, if Microsoft would pay even the slightest attention to security and a proper browser a huge number of issues could be prevented! (not MS bashing there, just a statement of fact)

    For my part I'm a freelance tech/web design type... when I'm done cleaning a client's system they get an itemize list of what was done and why. What programs I loaded for them and written instructions regarding their use... I give them the tools, it's up to them to use them after I've done the heavy lifting. That's not to say I don't get repeat business either! ;-) I have one client who just has to see the latest and greatest in the area of Paris H. video... he'll dig and dig. Until they flat out lock him up and he can't boot the system! I give him a bad time about his browsing habits, gently...

    Even in Web Design there are measures you can take. If it's simply using a script for forms that stores the actual recipeint email address in the script, rather than it being right there in the source.
    Windows 10 on: ~Asus P5B-E ~Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3GHz ~G. Skill (2 x 2GB) PC2-6400 ~EVGA 7900GTX ~Kingston SSD (for the OS) ~Western Digital 650GB Hard Drive (Data), Turtle Beach Santa Cruz w/Klipsh 2.1 Pro Media Speakers ~ Twin BenQ FP202W 20.1" LCD's

  8. #8
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    Hi GreenGoose1,
    A little TIME is given up for the cause of SECURITY.
    It's not that bad.
    You have to allocate the time, or someone will be spending more time fixing a problem that was overlooked and not tended to properly earlier.
    The time dedicated is based on the extent of security implemented, for updating and using the services they provide to insure that the computer remains clean.
    Since I have two types of connection available, Dialup and Cable Connection (not my service, but available to me), insuring that the dialup system remains clean is accomplished quickly after every disconnect, whereas insuring that the Cable system remains clean relies more on a set schedule.
    For me, updating and maintenance is an everyday occurrence, and only takes a few minutes of my time.
    Regardless of whether I feel like doing it or not, it is really necessary, so that's what I do, like it or not.

  9. #9
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    From jmtjet - "People assume that a new computer right out of the box will be protected. They're very upset(and rightly so) when after a few hours of operation thier computers are loaded with virii, trojans and malware."

    Then what happened? Was this the user or the computer that caused this to happen?

    From mhl - "Nothing - I've switched to Linux "

    I plugged linux and malware into Google and came up with 718,000 pages on this subject. So what else might you be doing to be safe in your computer? Speaking for myself I am flat curious.

    From Abhoth again - "if Microsoft would pay even the slightest attention to security and a proper browser a huge number of issues could be prevented! (not MS bashing there, just a statement of fact."

    In reading and studying between the lines I am starting to wonder if MS and the other vendors are responsible for this very bad situation which seems to be growing worse every day now. Yesterday the news reported three worms.

    And from oldhermit - "For me, updating and maintenance is an everyday occurrence, and only takes a few minutes of my time."

    Only a few minutes? Nice. And good for you. This would be how much time in a week? For just a few minutes, it would sound as though you are doing something else also.

    I am truly appreciative of you that have posted.

  10. #10
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    Well, being specific:
    Auto updates occur while browsing, so the time really doesn't count.
    Scan for viruses every day = 10 minutes.
    Scan once a week using Spybot, 2 to 4 minutes?
    Clean out the tifs, cookies, history, deleted files, recent documents, maybe 30 seconds.
    So we are looking at less than an hour per week, in little 10 minute increments.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by greengoose1

    From mhl - "Nothing - I've switched to Linux "

    I plugged linux and malware into Google and came up with 718,000 pages on this subject. So what else might you be doing to be safe in your computer? Speaking for myself I am flat curious.
    greengoose

    Curiously my own Google search on the same 2 keywords turned up a mere 524,000 hits

    My own rig sits behind NAT/SPI firewall, HOSTS file, iptables, software firewall, FProt for Linux. So I'm not complacent about Linux not being a target. But I feel a whole lot safer with Linux than with Windows. If you read some of the Google hits you'll see why, eg -

    http://infosecuritymag.techtarget.co...art817,00.html
    http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/skoll/anti-virus.php
    http://egoburp.blogspot.com/2004/11/...-dont-run.html

    Just my 2 cents worth (free if you use Linux .... )
    Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday

  12. #12
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    From oldhermit - "So we are looking at less than an hour per week, in little 10 minute increments."

    This comment says to me that what is needed is a little discipline each time you come up on your computer to spend a few mintutes checking out the computer. I had not thought of it in this manner. That would sure beats how much time a person spends on repairing their computer once it has been infected. (Look at all the help sites on the net working in this area.)

    From mlh - "So I'm not complacent about Linux not being a target. But I feel a whole lot safer with Linux than with Windows."

    It's nice we have a choice on what we can do. Here is a point though. Microsoft has 90% of the market. So if you were a cracker (that's the bad guys) and were trying to make a name for yourself would you target XP or linux? (Don't know why there was a difference in searching for Linux and Malware, but once you get above a half million what's another quarter million or so? We both made the point. )

  13. #13
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    That's my take on this, GreenGoose.
    Spend a little time now to avoid a potential catastrophe later.
    A non-admin account has lots of protection built into it, so that's a step ahead in itself. But these days, it's not enough protection.
    Everybody has their favorite places to browse, so the more exotic the place, usually the more popular it is, and so the greater the risks.
    So, even more precaution may be necessary for some than others, such as checking for modified or new created files before ever shutting the computer down.
    Or checking for unidentified running processes.
    The idea is to catch a worm or virus before it has the opportunity to spread.
    Totally ignoring the need of a check on things may prove the following bootup to be disastrous.
    Also, although I am protected against popups, some sites are still able to sneak them through, so I use an antivirus program that will accept additional popup ads to suppress. That's the end of these ads, but there will always be more, and some are spyware.
    All these little precautions help, and the time associated with updating is not excessive when performed regularly as a part of browsing, and certainly before ever shutting down or rebooting the computer.

  14. #14
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    Hi all.

    A senior's viewpoint...I'm 73 and I started computing in the spring of 1999....with W98 and with in a few months updated to W98SE....knew nothing about the workings, protections, and nuances until I joined VDR in Oct of 2000. ......I used to go pretty much anywhere on line and then I became contaminated with a trojan, spyware, scumware and other annoyances and the biggest annoyance of all "my privacy and anonymity" was broached and that was more than I could take!!!.....it is "MY COMPUTER" and you don't come in until I invite you!.....excuse the rant

    Pretty much since I joined VDR I've had very " few" problems because I have the following list of programs installed and operative, as well as updated.....and I check for updates almost daily.....none are automatic......plus I clean files, registry, etc.......daily.....

    eTrustEZ Antivirus
    Zone Alarm
    Tauscan
    Jammer
    Pop Up Stopper
    Spybot S&D
    AdAware
    SpywareBlaster
    Spywear Guard
    Start Page Guard
    Startup Cop
    Script Sentry
    CookiePal

    Don't mind the time doing it...1) I have more time than money.....and to the point of this thread....2)...since I no longer go too as many places on line, (as) I don't want to 'catch' anything, I have even more time.

    Computing is now a compromise for me in light of the Jefferson quote in my sig.

    hope this adds to the thread.
    Last edited by poppy4; February 4th, 2005 at 09:02 PM.

  15. #15
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    Hi All, You people are really coming in with some good thoughts and ideas on how you do things to combat Malware. Again,I appreciate the inputs as just one person might miss something. Your methods are similar but vary in exactly how you do things.

    From oldhermit - " So, even more precaution may be necessary for some than others, such as checking for modified or new created files before ever shutting the computer down.
    Or checking for unidentified running processes."

    This is interesting. Catch stuff that hasn't been able to work on your system. I have not tried this approach as I recall other than clear the internet temp files and a disk cleanup. How do you do this oldhermit? Anyone else do this?

    From POPPY4 - "the biggest annoyance of all "my privacy and anonymity" was broached and that was more than I could take!!!.....it is "MY COMPUTER" and you don't come in until I invite you!.....excuse the rant "

    That is no rant. I feel exactly the same way. Maybe all of us do when we stop and think about it.

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