Re: Is complete home security possible?

From: Jason Edwards (none1_at_invalid.invalid)
Date: 02/05/05


Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2005 21:06:59 -0000


"Joe Samangitak" <joesamang@address.com> wrote in message
news:5e231d22.0502051235.5a6b3b73@posting.google.com...
[cut]
>Is it possible to acheive a
> level of software security to where a home user under XP Pro SP2 can
> be confident in leaving a hi-speed connection open without fear of
> hackers circumventing the security measures? In other words, WHAT AM I
> DOING WRONG HERE??!
>
> Thanks for your opinions.

My opinion is that if you are responsible for your own computer (at home)
then it is essential to know what is actually in your computer and whether
or not it should be there. Software firewalls aren't going to help with this
as you have discovered. Virus scanners are not a complete solution either
but do install one and make sure it automatically gets updates.
Assuming you don't want to change to a more secure operating system then it
is essential to be aware of what is in your system so that you can
immediately spot a compromised system.
This is one reason why I keep recommending use of this
http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html
Together with another site which will analyze the log for you
http://www.hijackthis.de/
Even this tool doesn't cover all possible places where malware could exist
but it is a good start.

Since you are running XP pro SP2 you should not be running as administrator
for general purpose use. Set up a user account for that.

It is also a good idea to use an external firewall box rather than running
the PC with a public IP address.

There are many other things you can do but I've just noticed them in
Leythos's reply so no need to repeat it.

Leythos also points out that if your computer does get compromised then it
should be wiped and reinstalled (from behind NAT). I agree with this. If you
get malware in your computer then you cannot know what it has left behind
even if you remove it.

Jason



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