Re: Antispyware

From: robm (robm_at_discussions.microsoft.com)
Date: 11/04/05


Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 00:33:02 -0800

What a fantastic response.

Thank you.

"Shenan Stanley" wrote:

> robm wrote:
> > Antispyware keeps bringing uo "IST.XXXToolbar is trying to install".
> >
> > I select remove it and it seems to work.
> >
> > However the next time I start my PC I get the message again!
> >
> > How can I remove it permanently?
>
> Assuming you mean Microsoft AntiSpyware BETA - it is suggested you use
> something else as well..
> See Tip 10.
>
> Microsoft has these suggestions for Protecting your computer from the
> various things that could happen to you/it:
>
> Protect your PC
> http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/
>
>
> Although those tips are fantastic, there are many things you should
> know above and beyond what is there. Below I have detailed
> out many steps that can not only help you clean-up a problem PC but
> keep it clean ,secure and running at its top performance mark.
>
> I know this text can seem intimidating - it is quite long and a lot
> to take in for a novice - but I assure you that one trip through this
> list and you will understand your computer and the options available
> to you for protecting your data much better - and that the next time
> you review these steps, the time it takes will be greatly reduced.
>
> Let's take the cleanup of your computer step-by-step. Yes, it will take
> up some of your time - but consider what you use your computer
> for and how much you would dislike it if all of your stuff on your
> computer went away because you did not "feel like" performing some
> simple maintenance tasks - think of it like taking out your garbage,
> collecting and sorting your postal mail, paying your bills on time,
> etc.
>
> I'll mainly work around Windows XP, as that is what the bulk of this
> document is about; however, here is a place for you poor souls still
> stuck in Windows 98/ME where you can get information on maintaining
> your system:
>
> Windows 98 and 'Maintaining Your Computer':
> http://www.microsoft.com/windows98/usingwindows/maintaining/
>
> Windows ME Computer Health:
> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsME/using/computerhealth/articles/
>
> Pay close attention to the sections:
> (in order)
> - Clean up your hard disk
> - Check for errors by running ScanDisk
> - Defragment your hard disk
> - Roll back the clock with System Restore
>
>
> Also - now is a good time to point you to one of the easiest ways to find
> information on problems you may be having and solutions others have found:
>
> Search using Google!
> http://www.google.com/
> (How-to: http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/basics.html )
>
>
> Now, let's go through some maintenance first that should only have to be
> done once (mostly):
>
> Tip (1):
> Locate all of the software you have installed on your computer.
> (the installation media - CDs, downloaded files, etc)
> Collect these CDs and files together in a central and safe
> place along with their CD keys and such. Make backups of these
> installation media sets using your favorite copying method (CD/DVD Burner
> and application, Disk copier, etc.) You'll be glad to know that if you
> have a CD/DVD burner, you may be able to use a free application to make a
> duplicate copy of your CDs. One such application is ISORecorder:
>
> ISORecorder page (with general instructions on use):
> http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/beta.htm
>
> Yes - it is BETA software - but very useful and well tested.
>
> More full function applications (free) for CD/DVD burning would be:
>
> DeepBurner Free
> http://www.deepburner.com/
>
> CDBurnerXP Pro
> http://www.cdburnerxp.se/
>
> Another Option would be to search the web with Pricewatch.com or
> Dealsites.net and find deals on Products like Ahead Nero and/or Roxio.
>
>
> Tip (2):
> Empty your Temporary Internet Files and shrink the size it stores to a
> size between 128MB and 512MB..
>
> - Open ONE copy of Internet Explorer.
> - Select TOOLS -> Internet Options.
> - Under the General tab in the "Temporary Internet Files" section, do the
> following:
> - Click on "Delete Cookies" (click OK)
> - Click on "Settings" and change the "Amount of disk space to use:" to
> something between 128MB and 512MB. (Betting it is MUCH larger right
> now.)
> - Click OK.
> - Click on "Delete Files" and select to "Delete all offline contents"
> (the checkbox) and click OK. (If you had a LOT, this could take 2-10
> minutes or more.)
> - Once it is done, click OK, close Internet Explorer, re-open Internet
> Explorer.
>
>
> Tip (3):
> If things are running a bit sluggish and/or you have an older system
> (1.5GHz or less and 256MB RAM or less) then you may want to look into
> tweaking the performance by turning off some of the 'resource hogging'
> Windows XP "prettifications". The fastest method is:
>
> Control Panel --> System --> Advanced tab --> Performance section,
> Settings button. Then choose "adjust for best performance" and you
> now have a Windows 2000/98 look which turned off most of the annoying
> "prettifications" in one swift action. You can play with the last
> three checkboxes to get more of an XP look without many of the
> other annoyances. You could also grab and install/use one
> (or more) of the Microsoft Powertoys - TweakUI in particular:
>
> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx
>
>
> Tip (4):
> Understanding what a good password might be is vital to your
> personal and system security. You may think you do not need to password
> your home computer, as you may have it in a locked area (your home) where
> no one else has access to it. Remember, however, you aren't always
> "in that locked area" when using your computer online - meaning you likely
> have usernames and passwords associated with web sites and the likes that
> you would prefer other people do not discover/use. This is why you should
> understand and utilize good passwords.
>
> Good passwords are those that meet these general rules
> (mileage may vary):
>
> Passwords should contain at least six characters, and the character
> string should contain at least three of these four character types:
> - uppercase letters
> - lowercase letters
> - numerals
> - nonalphanumeric characters (e.g., *, %, &, !, :)
>
> Passwords should not contain your name/username.
> Passwords should be unique to you and easy to remember.
>
> One method many people are using today is to make up a phrase that
> describes a point in their life and then turning that phrase into their
> password by using only certain letters out of each word in that phrase.
> It's much better than using your birthday month/year or your anniversary
> in a pure sense. For example, let's say my phrase is:
> 'Moved to new home in 2004'
> I could come up with this password from that:
> 'Mv2n3whmN04'
>
> The password tip is in the one time section, but I highly
> recommend you periodically change your passwords. The suggested time
> varies, but I will throw out a 'once in every 3 to 6 months for
> every account you have.'
>
>
> Tip (5):
> This tip is also 'questionable' in the one time section; however -
> if properly setup - this one can be pretty well ignored for most people
> after the initial 'fiddle-with' time.
>
> Why you should use a computer firewall..
> http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/viruses/fwbenefits.mspx
>
> You should, in some way, use a firewall. Hardware (like a nice
> Cable Modem/DSL router) or software is up to you. Many use both of
> these. The simplest one to use is the hardware one, as most people
> don't do anything that they will need to configure their NAT device
> for and those who do certainly will not mind fiddling with the equipment
> to make things work for them. Next in the line of simplicity would
> have to be the built-in Windows Firewall of Windows XP. In SP2 it
> is turned on by default. It is not difficult to turn on in any
> case, however:
>
> Enable/Disable the Internet Connection Firewall (Pre-SP2):
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283673
>
> More information on the Internet Connection Firewall (Pre-SP2):
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320855
>
> Post-SP2 Windows Firewall Information/guidance:
> http://snipurl.com/atal
>
> The trouble with the Windows Firewall is that it only keeps things
> out. For most people who maintain their system in other ways, this is
> MORE than sufficient. However, you may feel otherwise. If you want to
> know when one of your applications is trying to obtain access to the
> outside world so you can stop it, then you will have to install a
> third-party application and configure/maintain it. I have compiled a
> list with links of some of the better known/free firewalls you can choose
> from:
>
> BlackICE PC Protection (~$39.95 and up)
> http://blackice.iss.net/
>
> Jetico Personal Firewall (Free)
> http://www.jetico.com/index.htm#/jpfirewall.htm
>
> Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) (Free and up)
> http://www.kerio.com/kpf_download.html
>
> Outpost Firewall from Agnitum (Free and up)
> http://www.agnitum.com/download/
>
> Sygate Personal Firewall (Free and up)
> http://smb.sygate.com/buy/download_buy.htm
>
> Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall (~$25 and up)
> http://www.symantec.com/sabu/nis/npf/
>
> ZoneAlarm (Free and up)
> http://snipurl.com/6ohg
>
> You should find the right firewall for your situation in that
> list and set it up.
>
> Every firewall WILL require some maintenance. Essentially checking for
> patches or upgrades (this goes for hardware and software solutions) is
> the extent of this maintenance - you may also have to configure your
> firewall to allow some traffic depending on your needs.
>
> ** Don't stack the software firewalls! Running more than one software
> firewall will not make you safer - it would possibly negate some
> protection you gleamed from one or the other firewall you run.
>
>
> Now that you have some of the more basic things down..
> Let's go through some of the steps you should take periodically to
> maintain a healthy and stable windows computer. If you have not
> done some of these things in the past, they may seem tedious - however,
> they will become routine and some can even be automatically scheduled.
>
>
> Tip (6):
> The system restore feature is a new one - first appearing in Windows
> ME and then sticking around for Windows XP. It is a useful feature
> if you keep it maintained and use it to your advantage. Remember that
> the system restore pretty much tells you in the name what it protects
> which is 'system' files. Your documents, your pictures, your stuff is
> NOT system files - so you should also look into some backup solution.
>
> Whenever you think about it (after doing a once-over on your machine
> once a month or so would be optimal) - clear out your System Restore
> and create a manual restoration point.
>
> 'Why?'
>
> Too many times have I seen the system restore files go corrupt or get
> a virus in them, meaning you could not or did not want to restore from
> them. By clearing it out periodically you help prevent any corruption
> from happening and you make sure you have at least one good "snapshot".
> (*This, of course, will erase any previous restore point you have.*)
>
> - Turn off System Restore.
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310405
> - Reboot the Computer.
> - Review the first bullet to turn on System Restore
> - Make a Manual Restoration Point.
> http://snipurl.com/68nx
>
> That covers your system files, but doesn't do anything for the files
> that you are REALLY worried about - yours! For that you need to look
> into backups. You can either manually copy your important files, folders,
> documents, spreadsheets, emails, contacts, pictures, drawings and so on
> to an external location (CD/DVD - any disk of some sort, etc) or you can
> use the backup tool that comes with Windows XP:
>
> How To Use Backup to Back Up Files and Folders on Your Computer
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308422
>
> Yes - you still need some sort of external media to store the results
> on, but you could schedule the backup to occur when you are not around,
> then burn the resultant data onto CD or DVD or something when you are
> (while you do other things!)
>
> A lot of people have wondered about how to completely backup their system
> so that they would not have to go through the trouble of a reinstall..
> I'm going to voice my opinion here and say that it would be worthless to
> do for MOST people. Unless you plan on periodically updating the image
> backup of your system (remaking it) - then by the time you use it
> (something goes wrong) - it will be so outdated as to be more trouble than
> performing a full install of the operating system and all applications.
>
> Having said my part against it, you can clone/backup your hard drive
> completely using many methods - by far the simplest are using disk cloning



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