How safe am I

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tzar1990
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:57 am UTC

How safe am I

Postby tzar1990 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:40 am UTC

I'm currently running my brand spanking new 64-bit Vista laptop and, while I think I'm fairly safe, I was hoping you could tell me just how safe I am and what I should do to make myself more secure, as I would like to get a few years out of this bugger. My settings are:

Antivirus: McAfee Security center (a thirty-day trial that came with the computer, I plan on switching to AVG free once it runs out.)
Malware Cleaner: Malware Bytes Anti-Malware
Browser: Firefox with Adblock Plus and Noscript installed

I figure this setup is probably good enough for most trustworthy sites, but there are some borderline ones I'm not sure about. Do I need to worry about viruses and malware much if I go to sites that normally have banner ads, or do my add-ons block the malware in addition to the image. If I go on 4chan or other equally shady sites, can I save images to my hard drive without issue? What if I put them on my thumb drive instead? Do I still need to worry about idiot friends forwarding me viruses hidden in "inspirational" letters, or is that mostly dealt with? Should I uninstall McAfee and put AVG on now

Thanks in advance for any tips you may have, and my apologies for the newbie-ish questions

Tzar1990

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b1ackcat
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:35 pm UTC
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Re: How safe am I

Postby b1ackcat » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:00 pm UTC

McAfee is useless. Get rid of it now.
If you're concerned with security, I'd go ahead and get a good paid anti-virus like nod32. If you want to stick with free, AVG is fine.
My favorite Churchill quote: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

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Jorpho
Posts: 6276
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:31 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: How safe am I

Postby Jorpho » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:28 pm UTC

If you're really that concerned, you can use an OS running in Virtual PC as a sandbox. Or there's Sandboxie, which I've heard is very good, but costs money.

Or you could just use your older laptop for visitng shady sites.

Or you could just not visit them. ;)

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Axman
Posts: 2124
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:51 pm UTC
Location: Denver, Colorado

Re: How safe am I

Postby Axman » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

Symantec and McAffee products are infamous for adding security holes. The truth it that unless you regularly process exploitative information (peer-to-peer, porn, 4chan, etc.) Vista is tight enough that you may not even need antivirus or spyware software. Also, avoid installing Acrobat reader, get Foxit Reader, and if you need to watch Real format, search for RealAlternative. Those two programs also introduce vulnerabilities.

You can also just run Firefox in a sandbox. As mentioned.


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