Author Topic: a number of things!  (Read 10158 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

marauding

  • Guest
a number of things!
« on: January 02, 2005, 01:16:10 AM »


I have an eleven year old son and I'm not an advanced computer user  :-[. I am running XP on an NEC 60gig Intel Celeron.
Could you please give a numbered list of actions which I would
undertake to set up AVAST 4.5 Home for optimal performance?
I know there's a Help file, but I don't have the time to study it all.
My son does advanced manoevres ( which are mysterious) ??? and frustrating to me, such as he has installed a mouse pointer which plays anime music and has an animated picure on it.  Also he dowloads games, etc, which I guess is all fine.  Im just not sure.  
Could  you tell me if an animated mouse pointer may slow my internet down, or cause problems of any kind?!?!
I dont want to have separate users on this computer, as the last tiime my computer crashed and now I have a new one.
Also, some advice about Windows Firewall Settings would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for your tiime and attention.
Happy New Year!!! :)

Offline Eddy

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Maybe Bot
  • ***
  • Posts: 31197
  • Watching (over?) you
    • Malware removal, Biljart and other things.
Re:a number of things!
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2005, 01:41:00 AM »
Disable windows firewall and get a decent one. Best is a router with hardware modem with build in firewall (about 35 euro), if you can't afford that, get a freeware software firewall

ZoneAlarm, Kerio, Oupost all have a free version.

And about the settings for Avast, that is something you must decide. It is your system and your the only one who knows exactly how it is used.

S.Z.Craftec

  • Guest
Re:a number of things!
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2005, 03:04:41 AM »
And about animated mouse pointer and all that unnecessary stuff - you don'[t need that stuff. It will not slow down your internet, but it will slow down your computer performance, that's for sure... especially if your computer is not one of those high-end machines. Animating in mouse pointer is not huge, but it takes some serious additional time to process those tasks and considering that everything works in background, that means all other tasks will run slightly slower than usual... you don't need that. You need your computer to run as fast as it's possible, right ?

I don't think animation can slow down your internet connection at all, but if your son likes to download every single crappy game or anything from internet, especially without checking those files, I'm pretty sure your system is infected with spyware and adware. Those nasties CAN slow down your system and sometimes even your internet connection drastically, believe me. You will need some programs like Ad-Aware SE and Spybot - Search And Destroy. Also, many times preventing is much better than healing, so you may consider installing and activating SpywareBlaster on your system. Best of all, all three programs are freeware, so you don't have to pay anything to be able to use them.

Cheers !
« Last Edit: January 02, 2005, 03:08:58 AM by S.Z.Craftec »

Offline Eddy

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Maybe Bot
  • ***
  • Posts: 31197
  • Watching (over?) you
    • Malware removal, Biljart and other things.
Re:a number of things!
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2005, 03:10:37 AM »
Since it looks like your son knows more about computers than you do I suggest to create a seperate (limited) account for him.

Very usefull security settings can be found HERE

Fast

  • Guest
Re:a number of things!
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2005, 08:18:19 AM »
Hello Marauding, being in the same situation as you, having a teenage son and one computer that I want to keep clean as long as possible, I've taken some measures.
I've installed a freeware parental control filter which can be found here : http://www.snapfiles.com/get/iprotectyou.html
This doesn't replace me as a parent, but it throws a few extra sandbags for the door.
I also installed Spywareblaster and Spysites.
Spywareblaster can be found here : http://www.snapfiles.com/get/spywareblaster.html
 and Spysites free version can be found here : http://www.camtech2000.com/Pages/SpySites_Program.html
And I've also installed Winpatrol, which I think is an essential program that everyone should use.
It can be found here : http://www.winpatrol.com/
All of these programs are free and work perfectly together with Avast! As for the firewall, as Eddy suggests, it's better to use another one than the Windows one. Zone-alarm is easy to use,  but I personally prefer Outpost 1.0 free, which can be found here : http://www.agnitum.com/download/outpost1.html (it's the blue button of the "old free version").
Of course this are only suggestions, but you can read the links and see for yourself. (The links don't lead you to automatic downloads, just information about the programs so it is safe to click on them). If you have any questions before (or after) you install any of them, just ask here in the forum or send me a PM.
Especially firewalls are sometimes a bit confusing to configure.

As for the settings in Avast! I suggest you use the default settings as Avast! comes "out of the box". These should be sufficient in your case. (I think that's one of the best parts of Avast! The average user can start using it immediately after installing  without the need of modifying things)
Just make sure you set up the mail-wizard once and please make sure your son uses a safe emailprogram like Eudora, Pegasus or Thunderbird for example (preferably NOT OutlookExpress). And while your at it, read this :
http://www.childnet-int.org/safety/parents.aspx

Good luck,
Fast
« Last Edit: January 02, 2005, 09:18:11 AM by Fast »

marauding

  • Guest
Re:a number of things!
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2005, 12:58:44 AM »
Thanks everyone for your advice.
I will now check out ZoneAlarm and Spywareblaster
and see how I go with them! ;)

techie101

  • Guest
Re:a number of things!
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2005, 01:41:11 AM »
Quote
Could you please give a numbered list of actions which I would undertake to set up AVAST 4.5 Home for optimal performance?
Just my opinion here, but Avast Home should be left as is once installed.  The default settings work just fine.

Quote
Could  you tell me if an animated mouse pointer may slow my internet down, or cause problems of any kind?!?!
No,not at all.  An animated mouse is really a play toy which uses little more of the computer than a normally wired mouse or even an infared (no wires) mouse.

Quote
some advice about Windows Firewall Settings would be greatly appreciated.
For users who want a good firewall without the hassel of settings and configurations, I would install Zone Alarm.  It is simple to install, very stable, and easy to use.

Don't forget to use SpywareGuard also!!  It compliments SpywareBlaster.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2005, 02:13:13 AM by Techie101 »

TerryS

  • Guest
Re:a number of things!
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2005, 03:07:32 AM »
Hi Maurauding,

As you are new to computers, maybe it is good to be warned of a few things.

A lot of seemingly "harmless" downloads can include adware, spyware or, even worse, viruses, trojans and worms. This is especially true of games, screensavers, porn sites and other generally useless stuff--but even what seems like an honest-to-goodness useful program could be infected.

Websites can even be infected.

Some mouse animations may not take much memory, but others certainly can.

The stuff that's most likely to attract your young son are the biggest targets for these things.

You should have
    [*]a software or hardware firewall (disable Windows' firewall before running the setup on another) -- some firewalls only monitor inbound packets; some monitor outgoing traffic as well (you definitely want that to prevent malicious programs from "phoning home" or from launching a DOS, denial-of-service, attack against someone else's webserver, or from spreading a worm or virus); some prevent cracker intrusions; some have a "stealth mode" that does not send a "blocked port" message back to people using automated intrusion software, so they won't even know they ever reached your computer at all)
    [*]anti-virus software (such as avast) installed on your system that includes "resident scanning" (runs in the background to detect "live" new viruses) and email scanning (that prevents you from opening an email with a virus); this is different from software that only does scheduled or user-initiated scans of the computer, which only finds a virus after you get it; "resident scanning" usually also automatically scans anything you download and save before allowing it to be saved, or lets you choose whether to do so or not; of course, "online scanning tools" are also only limited to catching a virus already on your computer, and only when you do a scan; also, some viruses, if they are able to run, prevent anti-virus programs from working at all; this is why they are best used only for emergencies or as a backup when you are temporarily without software
    [*]a pop-up blocker; there are ones that come with a toolbar (such as Yahoo's toolbar for Internet Explorer); some are included with your browser (such as the new Microsoft pop-up blocker included with Service Pack 2, an upgrade to Windows XP Home); even some firewalls and spyware include pop-up blockers; the best ones make a noise when a pop-up is blocked so you can view the list of blocked pop-ups and choose to show one, which is useful when a link you click opens in a new window
    [*]spyware blockers/scanners; can scan or run in the background or both; detects programs that collect harmless information about you or your computer, collect personal information about you or your computer, log keystrokes, or "phone home"; "adware" programs usually include spyware, too; they will also often detect normal, law-abiding software as "spyware" because programs often have a legitimate need to save and pass on information, especially those requiring registration or tracking of events; the best anti-spyware gives you a list of suspected spyware and lets you choose what to do about it; if you're not sure, do internet searches and ask on bulletin boards like this one to get multiple opinions and experiences
    [*]adware blockers/detectors; these detect software that will serve pop-up or pop-under ads in your browser or on your computer; adware often uses spyware to serve its adds[/list]

    Of course, some adware is completely harmless, other than being annoying and hogging computer resources, but some is actually malicious code masquerading as legitimate software.

    Websites can be infected with bad stuff, too. All lumped together, you can call these annoying, harmful, or downright dangerous programs "malware".

    There is some overlap in security software, particularly with firewalls often including pop-up blockers and spyware and adware detection. In fact, a simple reading up about "virus", "trojan" and "worm" will tell you malicious code often overlaps 2 or more of these categories, so to some degree the protections of anti-virus software and firewall software overlap.

    Don't fall for the old line about dial-up connections not needing firewalls....of course you do! Sure, someone who's on the internet all day stands a greater chance of infection or intrusion, but what do they say about most car accidents happening only minutes from home? Take heed!

    Considering your son's age and vulnerability, I would forbid him from downloading anything without checking with you. Even if you think you won't understand enough to make a good decision, you will probably understand more after discussing with him and he'll learn more to think before downloading.

    I don't have need of the "parental control" software recommended here and never have, but even if you use something like that, that won't prevent viruses and the like. Take advantage of the extra layers of control and information, but don't slack in installing security software and learning more about what your son is doing.

    Might I also recommend a good magazine for computer newbies and more experienced users? "Smart Computing in Plain English" is wonderful at explaining even more advanced concepts and security issues to inexperienced users. You can get it online at http://www.smartcomputing.com

    Negeltu

    • Guest
    Re:a number of things!
    « Reply #8 on: January 03, 2005, 07:56:47 AM »
    A limited account really is a good idea.

    maxell

    • Guest
    Re: a number of things!
    « Reply #9 on: February 22, 2005, 04:23:59 AM »
    I wanted to throw in my vote for a free internet filter to help keep out some of the garbage.  http://radiant.altervista.org/indexen.html   I've found it is very easy to set up, stable, effective and password protected.  Just don't lose your password!  :)

    Fast

    • Guest
    Re: a number of things!
    « Reply #10 on: February 22, 2005, 02:25:50 PM »
    Hi Maxell, I know about Naomi, have used it a few weeks but I had a problem with it: it worked fine using IE, but failed with Firefox. Do you use Firefox ?
    Naomi is really easy to install, there's nothing you can do, so there's nothing you can do wrong.
    But it looked to me as if it is for use with IE only...?
    Have you noticed this ?

    Fast

    maxell

    • Guest
    Re: a number of things!
    « Reply #11 on: February 24, 2005, 03:10:27 AM »
    Fast-
    I mostly use netscape 7.2, but occasionally firefox.  I have not had any problems with Naomi at all on any browser, including firefox, but that is only MY experience.  I'm sorry I'm not much help.  Naomi just updated to version 2.0.  I tried 2.0 with firefox and it still seemed to work OK for me.  Also, I am using xp home sp2.  I'm not sure how well it works on other OS's though.   :-\
    Maxell