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Firewall Suggestions

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Richard Carlsen

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Michigan
I will be getting DSL within a month or so. What are your recommendations for a firewall to protect my data?
 

Head Surfer

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I have used 2 different firewall programs, ZoneAlarm and McAFee. I have used both the free version of ZoneAlarm and purchased the Pro version. I prefer McAfee over Zonealarm because it doesn't seem to have as many conflicts with other programs and also I think McAFee catches more things, especially those outgoing notices that people include in their email that sends a notice back to them that you have viewed the email on your screen (I am not talking about a return receipt where you must click to agree to send it. There are some emails that send a notice automatically when you even highlight the subject just for a second on your machine. This lets spammers know your email is valid.)

Also Windowx XP has a built in fire wall that you can enable, I have it but haven't used it yet. In addition, if you plan on using a router such as Linksys to share the connection with more than one computer, they are firewalls also. However you still need a software firewall to protect against outgoing programs. So many programs you haveon your computer (and emails as discussed before) send out notices without your knowledge! There is more benefit to a firewall than just stopping unwanted INCOMING traffic.

And don't think you are immune because you are on dialup! I have heard of people getting hacked on dial up also!

After you install your firewall go to http://grc.com and take the "shields up" test and "probe my ports" test. If every test reads "stealth" then your computer is invisible to hackers on the Internet.

Good luck!
 

Richard Carlsen

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Michigan
Thanks Wayne.

I was at the Shieldup site when my dog barked that I had mail. (Notification of your posting).

We are running a local network and would like both machines to be able to go on-line when the DSL is installed. I suppose that means firewalls in each and the linksys for the sharing.

Appreciate the feedback.
 

Caterina Platt

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Certified Residential Appraiser
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New Mexico
Once again, Wayne saves the day!

The grc site is a wealth of information, although I must admit the forum they have is much less user friendly than this one. Millions of disjointed posts and replies with no search function. Crazy! Anyway, I was under the impression my Freedom firewall was allowing me to surf in stealth. NOT! Evidently Windows XP is a dream machine for hackers. Has something called 'raw sockets' which allows direct access to the system from outside sources as I understand it. (disclosure - my understanding of this is reallly shaky so please do consult an expert!!) We XP users in default factory mode are very vulnerable folks :!:

It is imperative that you follow some steps and disable these unnecessary functions if you do not have a rock solid firewall. Mine wasn't solid at all, I was 'surfing with my skivees visible' evidently.

Another goodie found there:

http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/3000-2094-10045910.html

If any of you have downloaded Kazaa, you will be particularly interested in this. You may remember I posted about a virus attack several weeks back. 3 emails all from the same source with the Exploit MIME trojan. This can result in a take over of your system and utilize your memory for a server if I understand correctly. Long story short, my silly little dial up machine had very possibly been hacked and was being set up for a server, if not already doing so.

This Ad aware is a free download and found 20+ files from Brilliant, a partner of Kazaa. This music download is a thin guise to get us to commit our machines to involuntary access folks. DO NOT keep the junk on your system. I had downloaded the Kazaa lite version at Ben V's suggestion, it was not supposed to have all the spyware attached. Recently purchased 'System Detective' didn't find this either!

I am now utilizing the Microsoft firewall, and have followed the steps to disable Universal Plug n Play, and Microsoft Network stuff. I tested as Stealth Mode. Beware folks! Check this site out, it's well worth it.

If you have questions, please feel free to email me as the site is not as easy to get around as I would have liked. Blew nearly a day at it. :roll:
 

David S. Roberson

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How do you enable the built-in firewall in Windows XP?
 

Head Surfer

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How do you enable the built-in firewall in Windows XP?

Click the start button, then control panel, then switch to classic view, then click network, then click the network connection you want to protect, then click the properties button, then the advanced tab and it is at the top.
 

Caterina Platt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
Here's what I did. Keep in mind, my system is on dial up and is not networked. The steps may be different for others.

Start, Control Panel, Network Connections, then right click on your internet connection icon. Click Properties, then Advanced.

Click the check box for Internet Connection Firewall, then OK.

To disable the unnecessary default modes from this same dialog box:

Click on the Networking tab. Remove the check boxes from Client for Microsoft Networks and File & Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks.
Click OK.

I also repeated this process for the icon called 1394 Connection which is under the LAN or High Speed Internet heading, although it may not have been necessary.

After you've done this, go back to gcr.com and run the Shields Up and Port Scan again.

Good luck!
 

Farm Gal

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Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
If every test reads "stealth" then your computer is invisible to hackers on the Internet.

Wayne:

Mine is running stealth on some, but the less favorable "Closed" on others...
Should I be concerned enough to change whatever needs changing to prohibit any outside contact?

sign me the
Sister of a fanatically obsessed privacy freak, (who's exhortations to conceal I have been taking with a grain of salt.... :oops: )
 

Head Surfer

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If every test reads "stealth" then your computer is invisible to hackers on the Internet.

Wayne:

Mine is running stealth on some, but the less favorable "Closed" on others...
Should I be concerned enough to change whatever needs changing to prohibit any outside contact?

sign me the
Sister of a fanatically obsessed privacy freak, (who's exhortations to conceal I have been taking with a grain of salt.... :oops: )

If it were mine I would want everything to be "stealth" which means it is invisible to others. Closed is okay, but it is still visible, which means they could attempt to access your computer though they shouldn't be successful because the port is closed. I would rather they not have a chance to try.

Guess I am paranoid also.
 

Farm Gal

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Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Rats,
I hate it when little brother gets support from an outside trusted source...

I used to be the smartypants in the family! :lol:

Thanks Wayne, guess I get to do some homework :(
 
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