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Niranahm

Protect your computer for free

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For excellent security, at no cost, and without clogging up your system with monster programs like Norton:

* Grisoft AVG antivirus is free for home use and does not eat up your memory. It's also cheaper than the rest for professional office use. Go to http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1

(yes, really free and is updated automatically daily)

* Zone Alarm from Zone labs has a *free* firewall for home use. Get it at

http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp

(when you first use this software it prompts you with a lot of questions. Be sure you understand your replies or you might accidentally stop some programs from working properly until the settings are corrected. If you really are a newbie, best ask a friend for some help here)

* Microsoft have a free anti-spyware program (beta) which takes out a lot of the worst offenders (rumor has it that it also identifies and removes Norton!)

Get it at

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=321cd7a2-6a57-4c57-a8bd-dbf62eda9671&displaylang=en

The protection is not 100% and you might hate MS so another good and free choice is

Ad-aware SE Personal edition. Get it at www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware

No harm in having both these anti-spyware programs installed

Someone can make a case why some expensive software that you have to buy will give you better protection, but the reality is that you are protected better than > 99.9% of home users with this set up, while using less memory than fancy programs like Norton will take from you with their wizards and fancy graphical interfaces.

DON"Tt bother with pirate versions of this kind of commerical software since they will not be updated and will quickly become worse than useless

DO install the windows update patches when you are prompted to by yoiur system, else you will be a little more vulnerable and more likely to be targetted by hackers

Niranahm

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Although Firefox is a great browser with arguably better functionality than IE, it's not a pancea for security issues.

For a start it won't work with many applications and websites that are essential to many people. Just as an example the Bangkok Bank internet banking website will not work with Firefox and neither will UBC's online TV guide. So if you have Firefox, quite often you'll still need to use Internet Explorer.

The same applies to Linux, only more so... It's a great OS but it doesn't support many applications that real people need to use in their everyday lives. Sure there are alternatives but often those are incompatible with the professional working world or simply not good enough.

Again, just as an example, if you are a professional translator you will need to use Computer Aided Translation software such as Trados. None of the major vendors support Linux. (if they did I could have switched 30-40 computers in my office from Windows long ago).

As for security, I am not sure Linux or Firefox are intrinsically more secure than the Microsoft counterparts. Their main security advantage is simply that because they are not so widely used, they are not the favorite targets for virus writers and spyware makers. Viruses and hacks exist for Firefox on Linux but it's true that there are less threats to them generally. However as Linux/Firefox become more popular, more hackers will target them. So it's not much of a solution in the medium term.

Finally the people who have trouble with security issues and ask questions in these forums are likely to lack the desire to change an OS whereas Linux/Firefox addicts nearly always know a bit more how to defend themselves so my post simply addresses the practical realities.

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Valid points you have raised, I agree with most of them. There has been so much development in the Windows/IE arena that most applications and database related applications won't even work on the Linux Platform. So yeah Linux has a long way to go.

With regards to certain websites that don't work with non IE browsers, check out: http://ietab.mozdev.org/ it's an add on for Firefox that allows you to open IE only pages in Firefox, but you need IE installed alongside FF. (if anyone is interested that is)

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I also use the AVG freebie ....and Kerio for my firewall .Both work great.Other pcs here use McAfee.McAfee i find can really interfere negaitvely with trading software(not sure why).Took me 8 hrs to work out who the culprit was.When license expires for sure will run the AVG/Kerio combo on all machines.

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Kerio is an interesting choice (it's a firewall program like Zone Alarm).

I read somewhere that the free version has a little less protection than the Zone Alarm free version, but on the other hand I just now I read that it has an easy-install option which offers moderate protection without a lot of pop up questions. That could make it a better choice than Zone Alarm for less experienced users because I find with Zone Alarm that it's common for inexperienced home users to accidentally disable some program (temporarily) because they didn't understand the questions that Zone Alarm bombards them with when it is first installed.

So anyone got experience with free Kerio versus free ZoneAlarm?

Before someone suggests that it's worth paying $14.95 for the full version let me remind people that the majority of Thailand users on this website are not eligible for a credit card so it's not so much the cost as the inability to make an online purcahse that is the problem. (and 600 baht is more than 3 times the daily minimum wage here too)

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Kerio is an interesting choice (it's a firewall program like Zone Alarm).

I read somewhere that the free version has a little less protection than the Zone Alarm free version, but on the other hand I just now I read that it has an easy-install option which offers moderate protection without a lot of pop up questions. That could make it a better choice than Zone Alarm for less experienced users because I find with Zone Alarm that it's common for inexperienced home users to accidentally disable some program (temporarily) because they didn't understand the questions that Zone Alarm bombards them with when it is first installed.

So anyone got experience with free Kerio versus free ZoneAlarm?

Before someone suggests that it's worth paying $14.95 for the full version let me remind people that the majority of Thailand users on this website are not eligible for a credit card so it's not so much the cost as the inability to make an online purcahse that is the problem. (and 600 baht is more than 3 times the daily minimum wage here too)

i used to use Zonealarm.Worked ok but find Kerio with pop up requests enabled... better.Cant remember though why i ditched Z A .Possiblybecause it was over exhuberantly blocking other software when it shouldnt havei :? I've always been a Kerio fan though.

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I've used AVG Anti-Virus and it does kicks Norton and McAfee's lousy A$$..

I find that if you use a "Limited" account instead of "Administrator" account in XP, it does offer higher protection over spyware and viruses, cause the spywares and viruses can't plant their Registry keys into the Registry.

Heck, I've done that to 2 PCs in my co ,1 running with Norton and 1 without any AV and still runs just like it's re-installed yesterday..months..

Even the AVG free version works as a email filtering gateway if placed in the Internet Proxy Server.

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Thanks, I didn't know and I will try IE7. Since about 2 years I use Firefox as my main browser and I never downloaded IE7 beta, I was waiting, now I learn about it on ThailandFriends forum, that's funny.

Anyway there's also http://www.avast.com who has a free edition of its antivirus for personal use and that's what I use when norton antivirus free three months expires. Because I always get norton antivirus free 3 months trial with new computers, that's why companies such as AVAST need to do a fully functional free edition for personal use, because that's their only way to get recognition to a wide audience in front of Norton.

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Certain Pirated versions re Ok... NOD32 and PC Cillan for example. NOD32 has the tiniest foorprint of any virus software I have used, well worth a look.

Having said that, AVG is a good program even when compared to many of the commercial products available. I use it on one of my PC's.

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I wouldn't recommend AVG to anyone. It has a hopeless detection rate and still doesn't detect much of the Thai autorun thumb drive trojans that are prevalent here. Avast is much better.

I run AVG, Spybot - search and destroy and Lavasoft Ad-Aware together. My notebook is fine and dandy....... :D

All three of them are free, and all have regular updates.

You can find them all at, http://www.download.com/

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I wouldn't recommend AVG to anyone. It has a hopeless detection rate and still doesn't detect much of the Thai autorun thumb drive trojans that are prevalent here. Avast is much better.

I just installed Avast. You are right, it is very good. Cheers :)

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I wouldn't recommend AVG to anyone. It has a hopeless detection rate and still doesn't detect much of the Thai autorun thumb drive trojans that are prevalent here. Avast is much better.

I just installed Avast. You are right, it is very good. Cheers :)

I use Avast for almost a year now and I can say it's one of the best, if not the best, free anti virus software.

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I have been running Norton since Windows 95 and never had a virus in my PCs. People "claim" it uses a lot of resources. So what? I never noticed. As long as my PC is virus free, I really dont care. Now I am running Norton Internet Security 2007 on both Vista and XP. Why bother with a free Antivirus program andf take the risk? Norton has been doing the job for me and my friends who I have had to help out!

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Get a MAC and you don't need Virus Protection . . . . for now anyways :roll:

thats cuz haxors don't give a crap about them either

which is a big advantage actually (not for apple, as it implies tiny market share).

also because windoze is a **** operating system kluged hastily together and thus easily hacked, whereas unix, while far from perfect, will still be more secure than windoze barring a major redesign.

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The free version of AVG offers little more protection for your PC than I do, and I'm currently trying to hack your hotmail account.

Not all of you of course, just some of you.

Hey, consider spending a few ridiculously low dollars on a decent anti-virus program.

Or as previously suggested, get a Mac.

No, it won't run all the stuff you want, but at least you get a chance to slag off all the PC users.

Hurrah!

Macs won't run everything, but the latest ones with Intel chips can run Windows OS through Bootcamp or Parallels.

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Since a couple of years security experts are arguing if a Personal/Desktop Firewall really is useful for PC security or even leading to more risk. Search google for their opinion. Anyways, don't use Zonealarm. It seems to be one of the worst PFW/DFW. If you really want to use a Firewall, use Comodo (Free) or Outpost (Commercial).

Anyways, the best way to secure your computer:

- Only surf and work with user rights but never with administrator rights. So use two accounts, one for surfing and working and a second one for administration. If you get any virus or malware then, it cannot affect any important system parts.

- Only use, what really need to use. Means: Don't install anything you do not really need. Uninstall everything you do not need. Shutdown and deactivate any services you do not really need.

- Keep your system up to date. Always install any new updated for Windows, Office, your Antivirus Software and any other program, as they will fix security lacks.

- Use an antivirus software, Antivir or Avast recommended. Keep it up to date!

- Don't use Internet Explorer. User Firefox or Opera instead!

- Activate the option that you can see the file extension for all files. If you download or get a file with .EXE, .BAT, .COM, .PIF or even .DOC, better don't open it, if you did not really requested it. These file types can be bad executable code.

- Use your brain! Don't drive a car without a driver license! Inform yourself about computer stuff. Don't download or open anything, which you do not really know. Most of the virus and malware stuff is send by e-mail or messenger. Keep you eyes open!

@ the girl with the virus/malware: Backup your personal files. Then install a complete new Windows System on your computer (which usually will erase everything) and set it up like mentioned above.

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