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Old 10-04-2013, 09:40 AM   #51
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My laptop and the printer are both wireless, Shrek's desktop is wired. Now that I think about it, there is another firewall with the wireless.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #52
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I know I have at least one firewall running. I did check for that.

PF if you are not having any problems I would feel assured that what you have is good.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:49 AM   #53
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I just updated Ad-Aware (new version; virus signatures were already up to date) and changed the settings to have it scan daily starting at midnight. I also double-checked what it is that informs me every time a program tries to install, whether I initiated it or not (almost all the time, it's me). Windows has User Account Control in User Account Settings that you can set to tell you when something tries to install and interrupts the process, allowing you to approve or deny it. This is an excellent way to prevent stuff from installing itself.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #54
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I know I have at least one firewall running. I did check for that.

PF if you are not having any problems I would feel assured that what you have is good.
The only reason we started paying for Avast, out of gratitude for the excellent service we received from the free edition, decided to pay the programmers for their hard and dedicated work. Give it a try, Carol. I stand by my recommendation.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:02 AM   #55
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As always, some very good recommendations received from my friends at DC. I will check into them all.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:26 AM   #56
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You ISP provides firewalling? Blech.

Your PC firewall is a feel good thing but should not relied upon. You should have an air gap firewall. A dedicated device for this. You want an additional layer here.
Yeah, I figure it might be an extra layer of protection, but I wouldn't count on it.

I recently came across the term "air gap" in an article by a security expert. He puts data he doesn't want anyone to be able to access by hacking from the web on a computer that has never been connected to the internet. It isn't on his home network. To get data to and from this computer he uses a USB thumb drive.

I imagine the term is old enough that all networks were wired. Nowadays, with wireless networks, air isn't a good enough "insulator".
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:32 AM   #57
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My computer is used for forums, email and surfing. The most important thing I have on here is my recipe file. LOL And I back that up on a jump drive at least once a month. I just don't like anyone coming in here and telling me what programs I should use, what ads I should read, etc. Stay out of my stuff!
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:44 AM   #58
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My computer is used for forums, email and surfing. The most important thing I have on here is my recipe file. LOL And I back that up on a jump drive at least once a month. I just don't like anyone coming in here and telling me what programs I should use, what ads I should read, etc. Stay out of my stuff!
Any magnetic media is subject to failure. It would be a good idea to use more than one.
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Old 10-04-2013, 01:06 PM   #59
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Explain further please...not sure what this is. I haven't had any problems, so far.
Basically you want a dedicated device, prefereably running a harded purpose built OS. I run Cisco PIX. It has no other function that to act as a firewall. If needed to stop an attack on my network I pull one cable and I have an air gap.


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I don't know what all I have of firewalls. I know Stirling uses a Linux firewall running on an old computer for the house network. The network is both wired and wireless.
If the PC is used for nothing else this is what I am describing.


A software based firewall on your PC is vulnerable to attack like any other piece of software. If it is compromised then the entire system is is running on is also compromised. With a dedicated device they might compromise the device, but the devices behind that are not, immediately, compromise. They could get that way, but it isn't a given.

If someone were to compromise the PIX they aren't really doing a lot from there. It can not connect to other systems directly, they could change rules to allow a further compromise to be possible.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #60
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One stealth feature of malware is that they get you to install them without realizing it. For example, Microsoft has a setting to hide file extensions for commonly known programs (including .EXE). I often download programs and sometimes I expect to download a ZIP or RAR (similar to ZIP) and discover the site wants to download a ...ZIP.EXE program or ...RAR.EXE program. If you haven't changed your settings off of the usual Microsoft default you won't see the .EXE and when you click your download it will install rather than extract (and probably then extract so you don't realize you just installed malware.)

The moral: Change your settings to not hide common file extensions. Microsoft should change their default so as not to hide .EXE file extensions.
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