What do you do to protect yourself online?

Nobody should go online without an antivirus, a firewall and an adware remover- the best place to get what you need as freeware is:

I have been using this site for years without any problems- enjoy- brother Larry
Anti-Virus - Norton

Spyware - Ad-Aware

Firewall - Zone Alarm (when I need to leave the computer for over five minutes and not downloading anythng, I use the 'lock' feature)

Windows Updates

Never open e-mails from people I do not know

Never accept Instant Messaging from people I do not know (also for IM, use Trillian, much stable and more secure)

Stay away from 'bad' sites (they have server side includes working behind the scenes trying to download 'time bombs' to self-activate behind the scenes)

I also use e-dexter to block adservers and can customize the list with new adservers I discover)
I tried Firefox but it tried to dispalce IE completely - I wouln't mind using both but I wasn't ready to make a complete change so I got rid of it.I don't like bossy software.
AVG Free anti-virus
Comodo free firewall
Spyware Search & Destroy - free
Spyware Blaster free
Windows updates free
Windows Defender free

I run IE and Firefox.

Well a lot of good answers!

I figure since being an analyst I'd give you a few pointers.

For those who run Windows:


Comodo seems to function fairly well, plus being free is helpful to those who are on a budget.

A good paid one I do recommend is Sunbelt/Kerio, they do come highly rated.


Im not a real fan of a lot of this "marketed antivirus protection" that you go to the stores and buy. A lot of them really just drag down your computers resources.

AVG and ClamWin I do recommend as free alternatives, the best one I've seen so far that is a paid subscription is NOD32.


There seems to be so many different products out there, its hard for me to recommend a specific one.


Firefox or Opera I do recommend, if there are security issues they tend to get fixed a lot faster then IE

One alternative I'm looking at right now is Untangle, you can download the software for it and install it on a dedicated computer. It acts as an all-in-one or a UTM device. (Unified Threat Management)
Saftware firewalls are not a replacement for a REAL firewall. SonicWall, Linksys, Sysco, and netgear are all pretty good. But to bypass a software firewall, all a hacker really needs is better software.
In a lot of respects that is true, a software firewall may or may not do enough.

Windows Firewall (which came with the Windows XP Sp2 upgrade) doesnt do the job at all when it comes to anything going outbound from your computer. (Not that it does much catching stuff coming inbound either)

Thats kind of why I'm looking at Untangle, it gives someone that ability to build their own firewall and install the software to it. (Plus it does a lot more as well)
I use AVG when I fix a friend's computer who is too tight to purchase anti-virus software and they somehow get a virus. It's easy to download the latest version and then install it on their computer. However, when new viruses that make the news come out (like MyDoom was at one time), I have found AVG to be one of the slower ones to come up with the preventative / innoculator / restorer fixes and upgrades to the software. It is almost as if they wait for McAfee or Norton to develop the fix and reverse engineer the fix that McAfee and Norton developed and then apply it to their software.

You are right about windows firewall, it is useless. I may have to check out 'comodo' one day. I have used Zone Alarm ever since BlackIce went to 'payware'. BlackIce, to me was the same level of protection but less taxing on computer resources.

Is opera totally independent now? I remember at one time, older versions of Opera and Neoplanet used common files from Internet Explorer to make a 'lite' browser.
I have a Wireless router, wireless is encrypted and the router has 2 built in hardware firewalls.
Hardware firewalls are more secure than software firewalls.

I use Free AVG for an Anti Virus.
I have tried many, and AVG is probably the best I have come across.

And for Spyware, I use both Adaware and Spybot, Best 2 programs to use.

I notice a few of you use Adaware, Get Spybot also!
I used to use all those things before I got a mac mini, and for the past 9 months I've done absolutely nothing, no scans, no virus/spyware updates, no crashes, no nothing.

And it's pretty nice~used to feel that all the scanning was about all I got done with the computer, now it's just boringly reliable.

One of the things I've noticed is with the PC magazines (of which I was a subscriber) the issues tended to deal with handling problems, and the mac magazines just deal with how to play with stuff:dance:

<<sorry, I used to get tired of the mac/linux guys over at another forum go on and on, you know how it is with converts ;) >>
Macs are nice, they are less of a target because there are fewer of them. If the userbase was larger, then they would be just as vulnerable, especially since most people that use them don't bother with some of the "basic" neccessities of protection.
On my computer, I use avast! anti-virus, which is free.

Zone Alarm, which is free.

Ad-Aware, which is free.

I can't do Windows updates though because on my "server," I do not have a legit copy of Windows. :eek: