Windows XP freezing up

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by plazticsoul, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. ZoneAlarm gets high praise for being a great firewall--but, it has one
    glaring weakness. It relies on the user to make choices!!! One wrong
    choice and the PC is vulnerable. For example, ZA says Windows Explorer
    is trying to access the internet, do you want to allow it? Do you know
    why WE is trying to access the internet? Like Internet Explorer, Windows
    Explorer is programmable--that's how apps are able to extend its menus
    with their own choices. i.e. WinZip adds archiving options on the right
    click shortcut menus. The app that is causing ZA to ask the user
    permission for Windows Explorer to access the internet may or may not be
    legitimate. How does the user make an intelligent decision based on such
    a general question?

    XP's firewall, on the other hand, works on packets, and as such,
    requires much less user involvement.

    There was a good review of firewalls within the past year that rated
    Windows XP firewall and Trend Micro's PC-cillin as the best of the
    bunch. BOTH of these firewalls employ packet filtering techniques,
    whereas all the other firewalls tested (ZoneAlarm, Norton, etc.) used
    other techniques.
    PPP Does NOT Equal Ping Pong Paddle, Feb 17, 2006
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  2. Thanks for that great explanation, Barry!

    PPP Does NOT Equal Ping Pong Paddle, Feb 18, 2006
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  3. Thanks, Adam!

    I almost took Barry's advice and installed Microsoft Defender, till I
    read your remarks that Defender is constantly scanning the Registry. The
    last thing I want is another app grabbing constant processor cycles when
    there are better methods of preventing spyware.

    If anyone's interested, my approach to blocking/avoiding spyware is:

    1. Use Mozilla Firefox and the extensions, NoScript and Ad Block Plus.

    2. Use the Spam button in Yahoo, MSN, and other Webmails to help them
    create spam filters.

    3. Use the Junk button in Mozilla Thunderbird to mark email as junk to
    help it build filters.

    4. Periodically scan PC with Ad-Aware and SpyBot Search and Destroy to
    see what the latest spyware/adware is and how it's being deployed onto
    our PCs. (And to see if something slipped on and research how I could
    have allowed it on and how I could block it in the future.)

    5. I do NOT install 3rd party toolbars, as I've found that most (if not
    all) are an excuse to get software on your machine without your explicit
    knowledge. In otherwords, they install more than JUST a toolbar--usually
    some web tracking and reporting software that violates your privacy.

    6. I'm careful what sites I visit and, if in doubt, allow only temporary
    javascript execution.

    7. I'm careful what cookies I allow (blocking Javascript helps keep
    unknown cookies from being placed on PC).

    8. Use common sense. Take all warnings with a grain of salt and use the
    Hoax sites. I don't pass on those bogus virus warnings and scare tactics
    that yahoo's gonna shut off your service if you don't waste bandwidth
    and flood everyone on your list with the nonsense warning. LOL
    I used to hit, Reply to ALL, when I received hoax emails and sent out a
    URL to Symantec and some hoax site to show ppl they've been had, but I
    gave up on trying to educate the general public. Now I charge them to
    clean the spyware and viruses off of their PCs.


    WinXP_Powered, Feb 19, 2006
  4. From my experience, the router acts as a hardware firewall to outside
    traffic but not between the computers connected to it. Within that small
    workgroup of PCs all connected to the same router, the software firewall
    keeps the computers from freely accessing each other.

    I use a software firewall on the home office PC to keep my business
    records safe from intrusion via a recreational computer in the house (on
    the same router).

    Put a Windows PC and a Linux PC on the same router. Try to connect to
    the Windows PC via SAMBA and you most likely won't be able to. But
    disable the firewall on the Linux PC and BINGO!, there's the Windows PC.
    Both are behind the same router and both test as stealth by Steve
    Gibson's ShieldsUP tests.
    WinXP_Powered, Feb 20, 2006
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