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Multiple layers of security?


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Before getting Vundo last summer, all I ever did to enhance security was a yearly google for reviews on security software and then usually just renew my existing software. Third-party firewalls were always hinky on my system, so I used Windows. I defragged, cleared my system of Internet history, etc. Bare basics. I'm still hopelessly ungeeky, although I know more than the average computer user now because I try harder.

I have Windows XP SP3, 1.8 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU (141/232 GB). It took me forever to learn that only one of my drives (including the third restore drive) could be checked in the System Restore area for this tool to work. :)

I feel I have some good tools in place at this point, but am unsure about some capatibility issues. I am now using:

Windows Security Essentials (difficult choosing between MSE and Avira or Avast)

Malwarebytes Pro

Spyblaster

MVPS Hosts (no ads, wow)

Online Armor Free (finally got a firewall to work on my system)

On demand: SUPERAntispyware, along with occasional scans by Panda, Kapersky, et. al.

Supplementary software: Ccleaner, Auslogics Disk Defrag (fast!)

What I don't have is a spyware blocker. Ad-Aware slows me down to a crawl, so not an option. If I get the full version of Online Armor, I think I will have that. I don't know if its database is as good as other spyware blockers, though. It does describe "known" spyware, so its's only as good as it's definitions, I would imagine.

I had questions about specific compatibility relative to MBAM running with: SUPERAntispyware Pro (running live) or Spybot (immunizer). Will either of these programs conflict with MBAM? Will either of them conflict with anything else (like Spyblaster)? I really do not want to disable live MBAM protection. Also, if I get the Premium Version of Online Armor Free, would the antivirus and/or antispyware features conflict with any of the above programs?

As to the SAS vs. Spybot question, I was looking at the features provided by SAS, and I'm really impressed. I lean more in that direction. I have tried Spybot; sometimes it is fluid on my system and sometimes it locks up, but maybe I'm not tweaking it right?

I would really appreciate any advice. Thanks. :)

I'm really sorry this is so long. I didn't know how else to pose my questions. These issues have been on my mind for weeks, and I can't seem to find clear answers on the Internet. This is my favorite forum for security issues, so I thought I would ask here first. Also, I flunked the spyware part of the scans on this site: http://www.pcflank.com/scanner1.htm. That made me more concerned.

Thanks.

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Hi Beatrix -

You do not have overkill with that setup - I also run XP SP3 and find a similar profile to yours is very good - I also removed Ad Aware (slows things) and I only use SpyBot S&D when needed - Malwarebytes paid version needs to be excluded from your MSE as it may cause minor update problems (there is a link I will leave for that) -

The link below is for excluding in MSE programs -

http://www.malwarebytes.org/forums/index.p...st&p=181018

Thank You - :)

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Thanks for the link, noknojon. I have added the MBAM exceptions.

Mountaintree16 said: "Malwarebytes blocks Spyware." Yes, and very well! But I was concerned about adware, which I don't think MBAM focuses on too much. Maybe I don't need to worry about it. I do delete history and cookies (with some exceptions).

Managing software with my HostsFile??? Um... <gulp> ... no. What is it and where is it and do I need it? Oh, and please speak simply. I'm a noob at this and not real technical-ish. :) I had trouble just installing it. (If I had to uninstall it, I wouldn't know how. :))

Thanks. B)

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@ Beatrix

Malwarebytes detects and removes adware too B) I've seen it catch it and delete it on a friends computer, and I had a detection & deletion or two of Adware.MyWebSearch the first time I ran a Malwarebytes scan on my computer.

Did you say that you already use a temporary file cleaner? I used to use ATF Cleaner daily (now I can't, long story and I don't really want to get into it) as well as CCleaner. Now I just use CCleaner prior to a quick scan with Mbam.

Um, well, I use HostsMan to manage my Hosts files, what's yours called? Or rather, where did you get it? (leave out the http:// part though, to avoid accidental clickage by other users).

No worries, I had assistance installing/setting up and learning how to use my Hostsfile manager as well :)

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I feel I have some good tools in place at this point, but am unsure about some capatibility issues. I am now using:

Windows Security Essentials (difficult choosing between MSE and Avira or Avast)

Malwarebytes Pro

Spyblaster

MVPS Hosts (no ads, wow)

Online Armor Free (finally got a firewall to work on my system)

On demand: SUPERAntispyware, along with occasional scans by Panda, Kapersky, et. al.

Supplementary software: Ccleaner, Auslogics Disk Defrag (fast!)

Just to add to the comments the others have said.....

Here on your list you show that you use Windows Security Essentials.....

You also use On demand: .... Panda, Kapersky...

I hope you only have one Antivirus installed as having more than one Antivirus running can cause problems.

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I hope you only have one Antivirus installed as having more than one Antivirus running can cause problems.

The ones I mentioned are the online scanners you can go just to their websites and use, not that you download their programs. I did have to uninstall the Panda root kit scanner, though, so I'm not sure if it would have interfered if I left it there or if my current antivirus interfered with it??? I think I've used Trend Micro's free scanner, too. Do you think this is a bad practice? I do these extra scans sometimes because I feel more secure having a few different virus scans. They never find anything, so I'm probably paranoid. B)

However ... and I guess this is probably important ... I have not yet uninstalled my BitDefender. It is presently just disabled. I've actually wondered if the reason I was having trouble with finding a firewall that would work might be because I didn't uninstall BitDefender. BD has popped up out of the blue a couple of times to complain about something, despite being disabled. I've also wondered if that Vundo damaged some parts of my system. There are links that don't work anymore and I started having trouble with backup and System Restore. The latter is working now.

I used to like BD, but it let the virus through. It's time to say goodbye, I guess.

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Noknojon, I don't have a host manager. I just downloaded the file recommended in the "How did I get infected..." thread. It seems to have worked, but I have no control over it. It does what it wants. I think it's on my system for life, too, because I'm scared to delete the files associated with it because I don't want to interfere with the system's host files. (I know very little about these things, can't you tell?) Should I download the Hostsman file?

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OK Beatrix -

If you are happy for now then wait to see if it will go away -

You know where we are now so call back if you have any further problems and we are always willing to help -

Hosts man is not always required It is up to you - (I do not have it at the moment but some people will say yes ??)

Thank You - B)

Enjoy the computer and call back as you need to - :)

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Thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate it. I think my problem is that I don't understand the workings of the hosts MVPS tool. The concept I understand. The results I mostly like because I surf with ad-less pages now. It's just that it does not seem to be program that you can manage. I went back and read their website. It seems to operate in the background with no user input. I researched the HostsMan program you spoke of, and it seems that there are some controls.

Thanks, everybody. This is a very helpful place and I can see all the good work you do here. I so appreciate you folks and can't say enough good about MBAM.

By the way, I noted that I was asked not to provide a clickable link. Unfortunately, in my post that started this thread, I did do that. I am unable to edit it and was wondering if someone could render the link unclickable just to be safe? Thanks again. B)

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You're very welcome :)

I gotta make this short, gotta go in a sec, but I'll check back in tomorrow :)

As for the clickable link you made earlier, no worries, just don't do it again B)

We just generally don't post clickable links in the forum here so people don't accidentally click, especially if they don't know what it is.

Acceptable clickable links are from sites such as microsoft, majorgeeks, adobe's official page, and similar pages.

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I did know that about the links because I've read about it here, but it just didn't register while I was doing it. I will be conscious of it from now on. :D

As an update, I did have to uninstall Online Armor. Last night I noticed I was not able to access the Internet half the time. I'm very disappointed in this. I have also tried Comodo, ZoneAlarm, Sunbelt, and one other whose name escapes me. ZA sent my computer into a restarting loop. I finally was able to stop it (nightmare). Others completely locked my system. Online Armor was the first to not lock my system or act crazy, but it did not let me access the Internet. I could go online sometimes and for awhile, and then I got the "cannot display page" message." On restart of the computer sometimes it would work again.

I wonder if anyone can help me discover a reason why this is occurring. I don't feel secure with Windows firewall at all, particularly with the XP firewall. I have scanned my machine with many different antivirus, anti-rootkit, antispyware programs and nothing turns up, but is some kind of infection possible or maybe parts of the old virus? If not, is there something I should check in my system?

I did uninstall my inactive BitDefender.

Thanks.

Charlotte

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Charlotte,

That's alright :) Now you know. I clicked on your link and my security software and programs didn't make a peep about it, so I am sure the site is fine, but, its just an extra step to ensure that people aren't accidentally clicking on links that they don't mean to. I was just passing along the message to let you know since I wasn't sure if you did or not.

Making clickable links to other topics in the Malwarebytes forum is alright too of course :)

As for software firewalls, they are a pain in the butt, at least in my opinion (and I know that there are at least a one or two others here who share my feelings on that). When I am home later on, I'll link you to some other topics here that I have bookmarked that you can read up on and form your own opinion.

Currently I use AVG firewall (which I do like, but its part of a security suite I'll not be using soon) but then I'll be getting a router and using the NAT firewall technology in there, and I feel secure in that :D Does your modem/router or whatever it is that you use to connect to the internet, have a firewall in it?

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My router supposedly does have a firewall, but from what I've read, it's not the strongest one possible. It's a Westell Versalink. I've actually considered buying a dedicated hardware firewall, but I'm not sure if that's the right solution. What if my system doesn't like that, either?

I did make another post about a problem that came up when I scanned with Avast today. (I decided after looking at the AV Comparatives and reading some other tests done that MSE might not be all that good yet.) So I was advised by the nice person who responded to have my system checked out for possible rootkit based on a mysterious winbat.exe file that is there... but not?? Perhaps this may be something that could interfere in terms of a firewall problem? Or some weird system damage from the virus? Right about now, I wish I was more computer savvy. I'm trying very hard to learn what I need to know, but there's a learning curve.

I'm getting hung up on the GMER scan, so I better see about that. Oh boy, what fun. :D

Thanks. :)

Charlotte

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