Author Topic: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class  (Read 6877 times)

Offline Xero Shifter

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Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« on: February 12, 2009, 06:34:35 AM »
The Basics of Good Computer Hygiene

Hello there Chaos Project  :D welcome to Xero's Computer Hygiene class.
Some of you might be wondering:
What is computer Hygiene  :???:
It's simple really.
-Good computer Hygiene means you are taking care of your computer, watching out for its health, and cleaning up any messes you might make.
-Bad computer Hygiene means you are visiting lots of porn or warez sites and not watching your back, another problem is often Torrents  :( .
"But Xero! I like my porn! I cant live without it!  :shy: "
Thats okay! You dont have to! You just have to clean up your computer when you are done  ;)
"Where do I clean up? Is it hard?  :huh: "
Not at all kiddos  :D Its really quite easy. Just clear your cookies and run a virus scan every once in a while!"Cookies? I like those! They taste good!"
:roll: No silly! not those kind of cookies! Here let me explain in detail!


Cookies: Cookies are little devices that internet browsers and sites use to do thing such as keep track of wishlists or what you did last time you where there. Some sites though use them for more dangerous activities, such as grabbing and stealing your passwords, or watching what other sites you visit and sending that information back to the person that planted the cookie, so that they know what to advertise on their site. This can all be very bad if you do any sort of online banking, or you have any private information on your computer at all.
What to do: Well you dont want to turn cookies off, because many sites need them, so that you can use the site's full array of features, Instead, in many browsers (such as Mozilla FireFox) you can have the computer automatically delete the cookies when you close the window, you can also do things like this with your browsing history.  In internet explorer you can go up to the menu bar and go to "Tools" then to "Internet Options" then on the general tab you can go down and hit the "delete browsing history" button. A submenu will pop up and several more options will be available, you will want to hit delete on both temporary internet files, and cookies.

"Alright Xero! I deleted my browsing history and cookies and temporary internet files. Im all clean right!?  8)Wrong, sorry kiddo, its not that simple. Sometimes mean people go through too much trouble to be foiled by that alone. That only covered cookie type spyware. There are hundreds of types  :^_^': .
"Oh no! What do i do!? I dont want them stealing my information and identity! :o "
Dont worry too much, there are hundreds of programs out there that stop bad people like that, and your Identity is more likely to be stolen from mail you didn't shred or some giant company's computer than your own, though it never hurts to be safe. Its really hard to get all the nooks and crannies that spyware hides in, so sometimes you need help.
"But Xero! You said there are hundreds of programs! How do I know which one is the best!?"
Well there is no sure way to tell which one is the best, some programs are better at picking up certain types of spyware, adware, and viruses than others. So if you have both Norton and Mcaffee on your computer, one will pick up one set of problems, and the other will pick up another, of course there are some that they will both see, but these are the easy ones that everyone sees. The problem with this is that both Norton and Mcaffee are expensive, and its not worth it to buy them both, or even one of them if you can get the same protection for free.
"But Xero! Pirating is Illegal and morally wrong!  :o "
Well buddy, I never said that you had to pirate. There is a lot of free software out there too. Just like there are badguys that will give you spyware for free, there are also good guys that will take it away for free too.
"So which programs should I use?"

Avg Anti-Virus - Avg is a great free bit of software, it catches most viruses and as long as I have had it, I have never had a problem. One of the greatest bits about avg is that it updates roughly every 6 hours, so you know your always the most up to date in the war against nasty computer viruses. Of course AVG also has a full paid for version, it costs around $25USD for a 2 year contract, instead of $120 for a 1 year with MCaffee. The full version catches spyware and adware too. Avg even scans your email, and as a nice little schedualer so that you can have it scan every couple of days or so in the middle of the night while your not using your computer.

Spybot Search & Destroy - Spybot S&D is great for many reasons beyond just spyware. Though you have to manually update it, it comes in many languages, and is also free. It has several other tools too that are not spyware related. Such as a registry cleaner and fixer, a little thing called TeaTimer which double checks with you when something potentially harmfull tries to change your registry, it also comes with a device that stops annoying "Quick Loaders" from activating, you pick and chose which ones do and dont get to, this leads to a faster boot up. It also loads your HostS file with tons of dangerous sites, so that your computer cant access them by accident, no matter what internet browser you are using. Spybot doesn't have a pay version, it runs entirely on donations. Meaning if you like the software, you can donate to the site so that they can continue updating and making it. Spybot also has a schdualer so you can set it to run at like 4am when your not using the computer.

"So Xero, are these programs the best?"
No not necissarilly, these are just my person favorites. Its impossible to tell which one is the end all be all best, but easy to tell when something is bad and doesn't protect you very well.
"So thats how I keep my system clean huh?"
Well not entirely, thats just a couple ways to stop other people from messing it up for you. Of course if you download or install something dangerous your still in trouble until it's removed, so you have to be careful who you trust, especially with torrents. There are other parts to computer Hygiene too.
"What more!?"
Yes more, sorry but if you want your computer to last, there are a lot of things you can do to take care of it. A good example is defragging.
"Defragging?"
Yeah its a simple process in which the computer rearanges bits and pieces of files so that they are all in one place together, that way when you use your programs, the computer doesn't have to look all over for the files.
"Xero, now your just being silly, all of the files for my programs are in the same folder."
Well yes, thats true, but thats just how you see them, the computer has several spinning discs in the hardrive, and even though you see all the pieces together, they can still be in many different locations on those discs. The computer doesn't like to have wasted disc space, so when you have a whole bunch of files, and you delete some, then install a new program, it fills in the gaps on the disc where you deleted files from, but sometimes there isn't enough space right there. So it uses all of that space, then searches for the next empty space on the disk. When you defrag, it simply moves those blocks around so that all of the files that work together, sit right next to eachother. Unfortunately though, you need free space on the discs inorder to defrag, so always leave about 15% of your hardrive space free.
"Xero, my defragger takes forever! Windows is sooo slow! I dont want to defrag, its too much time."
Well bud, you need to, about once a week is best. If you really have problems with the speed, try deleting a few things if your hardrive is kinda full. You can also just set it up to run when you go to bed. The bad thing about windows is that its defragger takes forever, and is inefficient. You also cant do anything at all while its doing it, or you might screw up the computer. There are alternate defraggers out there, my personal favorite is:

Auslogistics Defrag - This little defragger is great, it runs fast, and when your done it tells you how much effeciency you have gained out of defragging, though somtimes i doubt its accuracy. Its free to defrag, but there are some other features it has as well, these cost to get though. Personally i wouldn't get them, you can get free programs that will do those too, spybot can do most of them. Another great thing about this is that you can do other things while it's defragging. It slows down the comp a tiny bit while it's doing so, and it will slow down a lot when its defragging something you are currently using, but it is well worth getting, especially for free.

"So Xero is that all?"
Well no, there is always more you can do, but for now that is all you should worry about. If the programs I listed dont meet your needs then you have a big problem, and its probably too late. If after a couple trys you still cant get your system clean, you might just want to do a system restore or f-disk(reformat) the whole thing, and be more careful next time.
Remember it's always easier to maintain, than to clean up after you let the problems pile up for a while.
:D

Programs Recomended by Other Members:
Blizz: NOD 2.7 (or so)
Multiple: CCleaner
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 05:44:08 PM by Xero Shifter »
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 11:09:55 AM »
Ah, thank you. I've been looking for a good defrag for ages. *powers up, stickies, downloads*
You should also add some cleaning programs that clean your HDD, clean your registry, defrag your registry, fix linking errors, etc. I personally use TuneUp Utilities, but it's not free.
Also, sadly AVG isn't all that good. I prefer the old NOD 32 v2.7. But AVG is probably still the best free antivirus.
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009, 11:19:56 AM »
What are AVG's downsides? I've only been using it for a few days.

And Xero, thanks for recommending Spybot! I just installed it and it's great! ^-^

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 06:54:04 PM »
I like running defraggler for defragmenting.

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Offline Xero Shifter

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2009, 06:30:04 AM »
@bliz: Spybot will clean your registry, and that defragger (if you buy the full version) will defrag it. As far as cleaning your HDD i will post something as soon as I find one i like. Spybot may or may not fix linking errors (i forget.) As far as AVG goes, your right, it is only the best FREE virus scan software. There are much better ones that you can pay for, but they can empty your wallet, and slow down your computer. The new norton is way better than the old, but still has some issues. If your gonna pay for one I would suggest Norton, not Mcaffee, Mcaffee is a pain in the ass every minute of every day. As far as NOD goes, never actually used it, first I have heard of it.
@reno: Avg sometimes doesn't do the best job of actually removing the viruses and has to put a lot of them in it's vault so that they cant run amuck on your system and spread. So instead of actually getting rid of them, you just freeze them permanently. Mind you it doesn't do this with all, just the ones it has trouble removing. Glad you like spybot, be sure to manually update, and set your schedualers, and enable advanced user mode. Also avg takes forever to scan and your computer slows considerably while it is doing so, so i really recomend you have it do it at like 3am.
@nam: I do too ^_^. Once a week. Dont do it more than that, because defragging can actually ware out your hardrive, all hardrives actually have a limit of how many times you can read and write to and from them, before they break, (mind you its like a billion or more.)

Side note: Spybot will not cover all adware, but will for spyware. If you are really super concerned about adware (i wouldn't be, its not harmful, just slows down the programs that have it,) you can get adaware by lavasoft. It sucks but its free.
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2009, 07:36:31 AM »
Well put Xero :up: *powers up*
And yeah, I use Defraggler. What about CCleaner though? It's pretty nifty too. I've been using it for years without problems.
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2009, 08:51:23 AM »
@bliz: Spybot will clean your registry, and that defragger (if you buy the full version) will defrag it. As far as cleaning your HDD i will post something as soon as I find one i like. Spybot may or may not fix linking errors (i forget.) As far as AVG goes, your right, it is only the best FREE virus scan software. There are much better ones that you can pay for, but they can empty your wallet, and slow down your computer. The new norton is way better than the old, but still has some issues. If your gonna pay for one I would suggest Norton, not Mcaffee, Mcaffee is a pain in the ass every minute of every day. As far as NOD goes, never actually used it, first I have heard of it.
@reno: Avg sometimes doesn't do the best job of actually removing the viruses and has to put a lot of them in it's vault so that they cant run amuck on your system and spread. So instead of actually getting rid of them, you just freeze them permanently. Mind you it doesn't do this with all, just the ones it has trouble removing. Glad you like spybot, be sure to manually update, and set your schedualers, and enable advanced user mode. Also avg takes forever to scan and your computer slows considerably while it is doing so, so i really recomend you have it do it at like 3am.
@nam: I do too ^_^. Once a week. Dont do it more than that, because defragging can actually ware out your hardrive, all hardrives actually have a limit of how many times you can read and write to and from them, before they break, (mind you its like a billion or more.)
Hear hear about McAfee being a pain in the ass... >:(
I see... Aww man... the one thing I hate is the slowing down... oh well. :( You seem to know a lot about this stuff - that's awesome. <3 I learned something about defragging too.

Well put Xero :up: *powers up*
And yeah, I use Defraggler. What about CCleaner though? It's pretty nifty too. I've been using it for years without problems.
:D I really love CCleaner. It makes it really easy to backup the parts of your registry you're about to fix, as opposed to some other programs that make you back the whole thing up. :<_<:

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2009, 11:43:51 AM »
I've been using NOD 32 for years and I'm very satisfied. I tried other antiviruses, but they all were more or less a disappointment. Among others there were Norton, Kaspersky, Bit Defender, Sophos and NOD 32 v3. I didn't like NOD 32 v3. One of the things that were most annoying was that you can't turn it off. :/
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2009, 03:45:19 PM »
@nam: I do too ^_^. Once a week. Dont do it more than that, because defragging can actually ware out your hardrive, all hardrives actually have a limit of how many times you can read and write to and from them, before they break, (mind you its like a billion or more.)

I know, I don't do it more than once every week or two either.

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2009, 05:51:09 PM »
Alright I have added a small section to my post, it is what other members have recomended, seeing as how I cannot personally verify their up and down points. If I get around to it, I may try some of these out some time and then give my opinion on them, In the mean time you are all welcome to recomend programs, and give a small thing on them, I will add it to the last section on the post.

@Reno - Pretty much any anti virus will slow you down when its running a scan. What you have to watch for is when it's slowing you down when your not scanning. If that is the case, the protection can be worse than actually having some of the spyware lol.

@Bliz - Yeah if i check out one version of NOD ill be sure to check out both, so I can personally attest to what is better in what ways. If NOD is a pay for thing though, the probability that I will check it out is significantly lower. Even if it has a trial.

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2009, 05:53:18 PM »
I've been using NOD 32 for years and I'm very satisfied. I tried other antiviruses, but they all were more or less a disappointment. Among others there were Norton, Kaspersky, Bit Defender, Sophos and NOD 32 v3. I didn't like NOD 32 v3. One of the things that were most annoying was that you can't turn it off. :/

NOD 32 interferes with Steam, and you have to use a workaround :/

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2009, 08:03:37 PM »
Which version? I didn't have problems with Portal and NOD 32 v2.7.
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2009, 05:08:39 AM »
Quote
@Reno - Pretty much any anti virus will slow you down when its running a scan. What you have to watch for is when it's slowing you down when your not scanning. If that is the case, the protection can be worse than actually having some of the spyware lol.
Thanks for the tip Xero - this post has been very helpful to me. ^-^
<333

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2009, 04:07:58 PM »
Screw AVG screw Spybot

Avast
http://www.avast.com/eng/avast-free-home-antivirus-antispyware.html#1

Avast if FREE for home use. It is THE BEST anti virus, anti spyware, anti rootkit EVERYTHING in one ( all of the it is available in the home edition which is free )
Also it contains not 1 but 7 resident shields which you can disable and enable as you please

MY FAV THING TO DO
First turn on all resident shields, if no virus/spyware/rootkit etc is detected then turn off every resident shield EXCEPT internet mail, web shield and network shield. THIS WILL ALWAYS KEEP YOUR SYSTEM SECURE. I left it like this without any scan for 2 years and after that when i scanned NO virus. Also the 3 mentioned shields take up next to nothing system resources
web shield-- only does something when surfing
internet mail- self explanatory ( you DONT actually need this, it is there for those fools who open every   
                   attachment like the fools they are )
network shield-- if the website/server tries to install or download anything onto your comp this kicks in

Avast is all you'll ever need
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2009, 04:12:17 PM »
I've happened to use WinXP MCE for ~2 years without ever catching a virus. I didn't use any software. It boils down to using a router, Fx, and never opening anything suspicious. Wow, so hard :P

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2009, 06:55:22 PM »
Did you know that Avast, AVG and McAfee all think that cracks are viruses? Hahaha, silly dumb anti-viruses.
Why do you think all of them are free? Because they suck. Anti-Viruses are one of the rare things where the free stuff sucks ass. Generally every free piece of security software sucks ass.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 06:56:38 PM by Blizzard »
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2009, 07:07:21 PM »
Did you know that Avast, AVG and McAfee all think that cracks are viruses? Hahaha, silly dumb anti-viruses.
Why do you think all of them are free? Because they suck. Anti-Viruses are one of the rare things where the free stuff sucks ass. Generally every free piece of security software sucks ass.

Have you tried MS's new offering? It's apparently supposed to work :P

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2009, 07:10:37 PM »
Let's face it, MS is as sucky with security as free security software. I don't dare to use Windows Defender out of fear that it might pick up some spyware so I use Spybot.
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 07:59:09 PM »
Well, I worked for NSS Labs and tested every AV vendor and NGFW product under the sun intensively. I can't discuss who sucks the most, but I will say that AVG didn't even bother testing against the other vendors. Not worth the time. Not anything based on results.....   ..... but I would say that Kaspersky is best against real exploitation, not little gimme 'viruses' or 'trojans'. P.S. did you guys read about the newest Java exploit? Oracle just keeps making code mistakes.

Oh yeah, and try TDSS Killer for root kit based exploits. It's free.

Whoops one more thing, use VirusTotal for Christ's sake. Not that they can detect good old polymorphic shellcode, but most of the ignorant fools that use say, black hole or Metasploit have no idea on how to take very obvious tags out that show up in memory or know much about polymorphism.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 08:02:56 PM by ArcaneAlchemy »
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 10:05:16 PM »
I don't follow, do you mean that AVG dint compare it's result to other software and as such misses thing other don't ? or do you mean that it was so go it didn't need to... such a statement would be suspect.

I personalty have been using Avast!
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2013, 10:32:09 PM »
I used to use Avira and I'm not really satisfied. It keep annoying me with popup windows even when I turn off all their annoying stuff through registry entries and program execution prevention. I have to admit that I am actually pretty satisfied with Microsoft Security Essentials. I've been using it for over a year and a half now and I've had no problems. I did get a few false positives, but I like the fact that it doesn't start to panic for every "suspicious" file I put on my laptop. It looks like MS finally did something right. MSE is definitely a good free anti-virus solution if you are using a legal Windows copy (I think MSE doesn't work on pirated Windows copies).
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Offline ArcaneAlchemy

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2013, 09:36:39 AM »
Here's how it works. There is an initial 'public' test. They did so poorly in that test that they didn't even bother following up in 'private' testing. The latter is where I would do a penetration test with various tools and techniques, as well as performance and some other things. It was to improve the effectiveness of their product. So, in short, the suck so bad that they didn't even want to improve their product, which in turn will make them suck indefinitely.

@Blizzard Yeah dude, MSE is pretty bad ass actually. They tend to do very well and you are spot on regarding the false positives. Especially with analyzing files. A lot of these vendors tend to rate positives for all sorts of stupid reasons, like for a poor whitelisting hash feed or unknown authorship.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 09:43:51 AM by ArcaneAlchemy »
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2013, 10:22:50 AM »
A couple of months ago when I visited my sister in Graz, one of her friends (who should get his IT master very soon) told me they had a class about that kind of stuff. Believe it or not, but the "advanced" algorithms that they used are laughable. Usually malware has a certain type of code signature or calls that the anti-virus software detects and then blocks. You can circumvent that stuff by doing stuff as simple as adding redundant if-blocks in your code. This usually changes the compiled code signature enough to avoid detection.
So for vendors of software that have crappy detection algorithms it's usually easier to simply be aggressive in detection patterns than to crate a good algorithm for detection.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 10:24:48 AM by Blizzard »
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Offline ArcaneAlchemy

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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2013, 10:32:12 AM »
lol amen. It's like I said to a vendor one time regarding a HIPS product.. "So, you're saying that I'll have clean water if I just turn the faucet off?"
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Re: Xero's Computer Hygiene Class
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2014, 04:33:01 AM »
They told me my computer has a virus and it needs to be cleaned so I put it in the bathtub and washed it with No More Tears Baby Soap but now it wont turn on, are you stupid computer guys down again and when are you gunna fix your damn problems?  Im sick and tired of your service not working right.  And for the record, I've been trying to download this Red Ink for the last 45 minutes on my phone but it wont work right when are you gunna fix your crappy service so I can download my Ink?

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