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  1. #1
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    Belarc Advisor Security Benchmark Score

    Yikes and help! Just ran the Belarc Advisor for the first time on our 6 month old Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 HP laptop. The Benchmark Score was 1.25 out of 10 and the list was full of red X's. The advice for correcting this talked about registry entries and there's no way I want to touch the Registry! Virus and MS Security were up to date and Secuia PSI score was 100%.

    What do I do?

    Linda

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Linda,

    The Belarc score has always been heavily weighted toward the business user. If you're taking all the usual steps, AV {active & secondary user initiated}, Firewall {HW & SW} anti-spyware, link scanner (I like WOT), and just being plain aware of what you are doing and what the machine is telling you I think you'll be just fine. Don't forget the Image Backups!
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  3. #3
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    Phew! Thanks, RG, for your reassuring post.

    A couple of things you said I wasn't sure about the meaning:
    - AV {active & secondary user initiated} - what does "active and secondary user initiated" mean? Is it "running in the background" and "done manually"?
    - Firewall {HW & SW} - I have Windows Firewall. How do I know if I have hardware and software firewalls? (that is, if HW and SW mean hardware and software)
    - link scanner (I like WOT) - is this WOT the same as what I see on Google search beside listings? How does it scan links? Is there some setup I need to do?

    When I look over these questions, they sound kind of dumb, but I don't want to feel confident all is well unless it is!

    Linda

    P.S. Thanks for the reminder re. the image backups. I'd spent all day "cleaning" both computers and had forgotten that doing image backups on both was going to be the final step!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Linda,

    Sorry for being so cryptic.
    For anti-virus (AV) you should only have 1 active scanner as having 2 or more can cause conflicts. I use Microsoft Security Essentials as my Active scanner and do periodic scans with Malwarebytes (free version) which only runs upon user initiation. I do this because on one product can't catch everything. I even run Microsoft Stand Alone System Sweeper about once a month.

    For Firewall I use the one built-in to Windows for my Software (SW) firewall and there is a Hardware (HW) firewall built into my Linksys router. If you have a high speed connection you need a router if only for the HW firewall, IMHO.

    WOT stands for Web Of Trust and is a link scanner, i.e. when you do a search it places an indicator beside every hit letting you know if the site is considered safe to visit or not. Keeps you from clicking on dicey links. There are several other free alternatives available but WOT is the one I like the best. Just down load it and follow instructions.

    Don't ever feel a question is dumb, as no one ever learned a thing while they were talking
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  5. #5
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    Thanks so much for your clarification - and reassurance re "dumb question"! And why wouldn't you be cryptic: you know this stuff inside out - and I'm so glad you're willing to share what you know with this Lounge!

    Re. AV, I do exactly as you do re. MSE and Malwarebytes. Will check out the MS Stand Alone System, too.

    WOT is what I thought. I've seen it in Google searches and avoid any sites without the green "go ahead". Do I also download it to check links in other places as well?

    Firewalls have always puzzled me. I have the software one, but am not sure how to determine if our Linksys router (rented from Comcast) has one or not. I did try to ask the technician when he installed it, but he would never have made it in this Lounge: he just danced around the question and left me totally confused!!

    It seems every time you answer one question, I have more. But, as you said, "listening" while you "talk" sure helps!

    Linda

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    Linda,

    FWIW, ALL my computers get a 1.25 score (but I'm a home/ small office user without supreme security needs), even though I've got my systems locked down pretty tight with Norton/Threatfire/SpywareBlaster/WOT in real-time, and occasional "by command" checks with SuperAntispyware, MalwareBytes and Spybot S&D. Use the first screen to look for missing security updates, and don't worry too much about the suggestions under "details" of your score.

    Zig

  7. #7
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Linda,

    WOT is what I thought. I've seen it in Google searches and avoid any sites without the green "go ahead". Do I also download it to check links in other places as well?
    Since there are many link scanners out there it's hard to tell which one you have installed. WOT, usually requiring downloading, shows hollow green circles for safe sites. WOT only works in browsers so It doesn't check in your email for instance.

    Firewalls have always puzzled me. I have the software one, but am not sure how to determine if our Linksys router (rented from Comcast) has one or not.
    You can check the Linksys router for its model number and google it, but most routers have hardware firewalls, I'd be surprised if yours did not.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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  8. #8
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    Zig: fabulous! With what RG and you have said re. that initial panic-inducing score, I feel 100% better. My approach sounds much like yours and for the same reasons! Thank you.

    RG: thanks for the explanation. I will google re. the router to be sure, but it sounds as if its firewall is almost there automatically. As for WOT, I must have downloaded it since those green circles do appear in my browsers. Understand now that it is a program only for browsers. It is reassuring to know that a site has been rated as safe with all the scum out there!

    As always, appreciate all the great information and personal experience!

    Linda

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