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Thread: Firewalls

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    I would like to have your opinions on this.

    I have only the Windows Firewall installed on my system - Windows XP, SP3. I am aware that this firewall tracks only incoming traffic and NOT outgoing. In the few years that I have had this, I have experienced NO problems whatsoever. In your opinion, is such a firewall sufficient for online banking?

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    A qualified yes. As long as you are running antivirus and antispyware solutions such as Virus, Spyware & Malware Protection | Microsoft Security Essentials.

    No matter what security solution you run be sure to be careful where you surf.

    Joe

    Joe

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    If you have a router connected to your cable or DSL modem, then you have another layer of security, as your router has a built in hardware firewall. I run MS Security Essentials on an XP machine using the Windows Firewall and have not experienced any problems either.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

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    Hi Betty :

    When it comes to Firewalls, the Matousec Site is considered the Best
    place to learn . So I recommend you go to
    http://www.matousec.com/info/article...ak-testing.php
    and read through the various Articles there .

    And when it comes to security programs, I much rather have the FREE
    Avast Antivirus Home Edition, supplemented by Malwarebytes Anti-
    Malware and "SUPERAntiSpyware", BOTH of which come in FREE
    Versions .
    For the BEST in what counts in Life :

    http://www.ctftoronto.com

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I use MSE from MS. The advantage is that MSE includes AV and Anti-malware. I use MalwareBytes and Spybot S&D for scanning only. They do not run in real time as conflicts would arise with MSE which is running in real time. Check out MSE here. As Gerald mentioned a router adds another level of security with a hardware firewall. Many modems from your ISP include a router. If your does not, contact your ISP to check this out, or check into getting a router for your system. This will also allow you to connect multiple PCs to your internet provider. We have a desktop and 2 wireless laptops through our router. When our daughters visit they can both connect through our router as well.

    You can set up another layer of security to prevent neighbors or drive by connections to your router by using a MAC address filter. I have mine set so only those devices I specify can connect to my router. Finding you device MAC address i seasy. Do a google search for MAC address and many articles will be listed on how to find you devices MAC addresses. Your router operator's manual or on line manual will show how to set this up.

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    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    I ran the recommended tests for firewalls '@ Gibson Research Corp. and mine passed with flying colors, the surprising thing is, my Windows firewall was disabled because I use Agnitum's Outpost Firewall Pro. it was also disabled. All that was protecting me was the Netgear DG834G Router's Firewall.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

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    2 Star Lounger Katz's Avatar
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    After Zone Alarm proved incompatible with Firefox 3.5, I switched to Comodo Firewall, and after the initial learning period, it works fine.
    2 desktops: Win XP Pro SP3 / 3 GHZ/3 GB RAM/ Firefox, Thunderbird /
    Open Office

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Taylor View Post
    Hi Betty :

    When it comes to Firewalls, the Matousec Site is considered the Best
    place to learn . So I recommend you go to
    http://www.matousec.com/info/article...ak-testing.php
    and read through the various Articles there .
    Actually,......no. Matousec is not regarded a totally reliable by most researchers as any company can pay to have their firewall/security program retested after failing a test - which means it can be re-written to pass the Matousec tests but still not be able to function well. If you are unable/unwilling to deal with a lot of popups and questions asking if you want to allow "fill in some unknown executable here.exe" to access the internet you will do fine with the windows firewall and MSE (or another decent AV). The windows firewall is tightly integrated and causes little to no conflict with the OS - other 3rd party firewalls can cause some problems ( just read their forums before downloading anything to try). You have said you have experienced NO problems - sounds like no reason to change. Of course, there is always the other school of thought -
    " If it ain't broke, fix it until it is..."

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Online banking was the issue here, and for that, I recommend enabling WPA-2 encryption in your router, and a good outbound software firewall inside your computer. This means not relying on the Windows XP firewall, which has no outbound protections. The router has a good filtering capability, but not good enough for banking. Any of the free third-party firewalls mentioned earlier will be good enough, but you do need something. I say this because it costs nothing to try a third-party firewall, and the consequences of being wrong in your assumptions (identity theft or compromising a bank account) could be very serious and difficult to repair.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Online banking was the issue here, and for that, I recommend enabling WPA-2 encryption in your router, and a good outbound software firewall inside your computer.
    But surely you have a clean system AND a hardware firewall on your router AND an inbound software firewall AND good / real-time malware protection then there will be nothing on the inside that could steal something and try to send it out, which means outbound protection is redundant?

    At least that what the message I got having read all of the above posts. Or am I missing something?

    stuck

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    But surely you have a clean system AND a hardware firewall on your router AND an inbound software firewall AND good / real-time malware protection then there will be nothing on the inside that could steal something and try to send it out, which means outbound protection is redundant?

    At least that what the message I got having read all of the above posts. Or am I missing something?

    stuck
    Stuck, you are missing something. In spite of all that security programs do, they do not catch 100 percent of all incoming malicious programs. (In fact, according to some of the AV research labs, the best AV programs only catch about 67 percent of the new threats which come along each day.) Once installed, a keylogger or a bot will set up shop, and it will start collecting keystrokes or other computer data, and when you connect to the Internet, the malicious program will start sending out the information it has stolen from you. An outbound firewall can detect processes which are connecting to the Internet and allow an alert user to stop the connection before anything can be uploaded.

    If you get an alert from an outbound firewall, do not automatically Allow the action. Check it out. If the program or process is unfamiliar, or if it is a process which does not normally send out information, go to Google and find out what the process is. You might be in for a real surprise, although most frequently it is something benign. It never hurts to check out firewall alerts before allowing data to be sent out.

    In the computer security business, there is no such thing as perfect inbound protection. That is why there is outbound protection. It's just one more way of catching malicious programs in the act, before they can cause damages or leak our personal information.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    If using online banking I recommend installing keyscrambler (free or paid version, paid is worth it). Can get this at Cnet.com. This encrypts what ever you type at the keyboard level so key-loggers cannot read your inputs. It does not need definitions so does not matter how new the threat is. It works very well and i have tested it by installing a key-logger program and reading what it captures, It is complete garbage utterly useless for hackers.
    This together with all the other security applications suggested should make you more secure.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

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