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Shamgar

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But [there's always a "but"], as someone here said [i believe it was erpdude8], ALL browsers have or will soon have security flaws and will need patching, no matter the OS.

Exactly MDGx. Eventually hackers will find out how Opera works and find ways to exploit its security flaws, prathapml. Using ANY web browser (whether it's Opera, Mozilla or Firefox) that is several years old is NEVER a good idea as web standards are changing almost constantly and it's best to use the latest releases of web browsers possible.

Well, what you're saying is right about other browsers. But this one is different.

I'm having an old system with Win9x and 32 MB memory, and its been running Opera 5.12 since 4 years. No upgrades, no changes, nothing - its having all the features needed, is quite compatible, and is very quick. I visit all sorts of sites with it, and no security problems yet. Is this enough proof yet? ;)

On the other hand, if it was IE, running it for 4 years with ZERO maintenance/updates would be unthinkable!

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But [there's always a "but"], as someone here said [i believe it was erpdude8], ALL browsers have or will soon have security flaws and will need patching, no matter the OS.

Exactly MDGx. Eventually hackers will find out how Opera works and find ways to exploit its security flaws, prathapml. Using ANY web browser (whether it's Opera, Mozilla or Firefox) that is several years old is NEVER a good idea as web standards are changing almost constantly and it's best to use the latest releases of web browsers possible.

Well, what you're saying is right about other browsers. But this one is different.

I'm having an old system with Win9x and 32 MB memory, and its been running Opera 5.12 since 4 years. No upgrades, no changes, nothing - its having all the features needed, is quite compatible, and is very quick. I visit all sorts of sites with it, and no security problems yet. Is this enough proof yet? ;)

On the other hand, if it was IE, running it for 4 years with ZERO maintenance/updates would be unthinkable!

Depends exclusively on which sites you visit, and/or which files u download. :)

In case u don't know:

not so popular [YET] browsers like Opera, Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, basically all except MS IE [which (still) holds ~ 90% of the market share] do not [YET] have major security issues because they are not [YET] targeted. But this will soon change, because as we all know, Firefox [best example at the moment] popularity is soaring. Same goes for Mac OS X browsers: Camino, Safari and for Linux/UNIX browsers: Firefox, Mozilla, Konqueror, especially now that free Linux is gaining such broad attention.

Statistics:

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

More info:

http://www.zopp.nl/hosted/browsers/

http://www.peterre.com/browsers.html

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MDGx, you're right, it boils down to user & what their security setup is, mine is tight, use Firefox exclusively, don't visit sites known for harboring malware/spyware, & yet pickup the occasional driveby, so it doesn't matter what you run for a browser. If somebody really wants to[& knows how] they can get to you.

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MDGx, you're right, it boils down to user & what their security setup is, mine is tight, use Firefox exclusively, don't visit sites known for harboring malware/spyware, & yet pickup the occasional driveby, so it doesn't matter what you run for a browser. If somebody really wants to[& knows how] they can get to you.

Since you brought up the subject which sites (freeware) are the ones to avoid and which ones are malware/spyware safe?

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Shamgar, I'll try and have a list of safe sites for you tomorrow or Sunday, these will be ones that I know are safe, others may have more.

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Since you brought up the subject which sites (freeware) are the ones to avoid and which ones are malware/spyware safe?
I can't give u such a list, I don't have one, because unfortunately there are too many. :(

But this is what u can do to protect your computer [security basics 101]:

1. Install a good anti-virus tool [some are freeware, but sometimes automatic/annual/liveupdate/whatever subscription is not free]:

http://www.mdgx.com/vir.htm

Make sure you either have virus definitions updates turned on or download by hand the current ones on a regular basis.

2. If using a broadband [xDSL/cable/satellite/LAN/WiFi/etc] modem/NIC install a good hardware firewall [most ethernet routers have 1 built-in = most popular ones cost $40-60 USD or even cheaper]:

http://www.mdgx.com/xp2.htm#XFG

This article is mainly about XP firewall, but you can find useful info that applies to all Win32 OSes.

3. Install a good software firewall [some are free(ware)]:

http://www.mdgx.com/fw.htm

4. Install a good email + anti-spam filter if your provider/ISP/host has not installed 1 already.

*NEVER* download email attachments/pics/docs from people you don't know.

5. Make sure to disable NetBios [if appropriate]:

http://www.mdgx.com/newtip19.htm#INS

which runs a primitive personal web server on all 9x OSes whenever enabled [and it is enabled by *default*], but the disadvantage is that it exposes open ports 137, 138 + 139 to hacks.

6. Use a dedicated HOSTS file to filter out adware/spyware/scumware web servers [free]:

http://www.mdgx.com/hosts.htm

7. Scan + remove potential spyware/trojans/scumware/etc on a regular basis using dedicated tools like Ad-Aware SE PE + SpyBot Search & Destroy [freeware]:

http://www.mdgx.com/fw.htm#AW

8. Acquaint yourself with other computer security protection methods + guides:

http://www.mdgx.com/modem.htm#TS

9. Always keep up to date with your Win32 OS + web/ftp browser(s)/media player(s) patches/updates/fixes/etc [free]:

http://www.mdgx.com/web.htm

http://www.mdgx.com/ietoy.htm

http://www.mdgx.com/wmp.htm

http://www.mdgx.com/bug.htm

http://www.mdgx.com/brow.htm

10. If using M$ Internet Explorer as your default web browser, you may want to turn off ActiveX and make sure you install Google Toolbar for its built-in popup blocker [freeware]:

http://toolbar.google.com/T3/download

11. If you visit sites that use Macromedia Flash and/or Shockwave, make sure you d/l their current security patches [freeware]:

http://www.mdgx.com/toy.htm#SHFL

12. If using Firefox, download security extensions like AdBlock, FlashBlock, Web Developer etc [free]:

http://www.mdgx.com/toy.htm#MOZ

http://www.mdgx.com/toy.htm#DUN

13. Try to avoid making monetary transactions, avoid even checking your bank(s)/credit card(s) account(s)/balance(s) on the internet.

Instead try to use the good ol' telephone for such things, most respectable companies have toll free 800 phone numbers for this purpose [at least in the USA].

"Phishing" is now a favorite "occupation" for scumbags, because too many internet users are not knowledgeable about how to properly secure + protect their computers.

14. Subscribe to email newsletters to stay updated with latest findings in computer security + protection [free]:

http://www.mdgx.com/bug.htm#ENL

15. Avoid using Windows Media Player (WMP) to stream media files off the internet [or even play music/movies/audio/cds/mp3s/etc offline], instead use Media Player Classic (MPC), which is bloat, spyware + DRM free [free GPL]:

http://www.mdgx.com/toy.htm#MED

Avoid using Apple QuickTime + RealPlayer/RealOne, same as WMP they are full of bloat, spyware [+ DRM]. Instead use QuickTime Alternative + Real Alternative [free]:

http://www.mdgx.com/toy.htm#MED

Sounds like a lot, but nowadays these are the *only* ways to "survive" on the internet.

HTH [Hope This Helps]

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I have been able to partition my Linux for years since I had it explain in a logical sequence (plus Linux is just plain easier and less picky).

Since youve been using linux for years, youre probably become reliant on stuff like command line completion via the bash prompt. I found a doskey replacement that gives you bash like command completion and history here. Just copy the doskey.com file to the C:\windows\command\ directory (backup, or just delete the old one), then go into autoexec.bat and add the line doskey.com -i and youre set.

EDIT:

Cant believe I forgot to mention some obvious ones. If you going to be doing some remote linux admin, which by the sound of it there is a good chance, you should definately check out putty and winscp. Putty is a secure telnet client, and winscp is a secure FTP client. Both are free and open source. Ive been using both on a daily basis for quite some time now.

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