Security recommendations for a Dell Vostro 1500

By ambushedbaby
Jan 23, 2008
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  1. Wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the security forum, but since it's not a 'problem' per se, I opted for here.

    Purchased a new Vostro 1500 laptop for my son in the Marines:

    Intel Core 2 Duo T5270
    1.4GHz, 800Mhz, 2M L2 Cache
    15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA LCD for Vostro 1500
    2GB, DDR2, 667MHz 2 DIMM
    128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
    160G 5400RPM SATA Hard Dr
    XP Home Edition, SP2
    Integrated 10/100 Network Cardand Modem, for Inspiron
    Dell Wireless 1505 Wireless-N Mini-card

    The machine has no security software pre-loaded and I'd like to send him some instructions for downloading security software before his machine becomes a nightmare.

    My first suggestion would be AVG Free/AVG antispyware, then perhaps AdAware, SpywareBlaster and Spybot.

    Does anyone else have suggestions for making this machine as impenetrable as possible?

    He also has never had a laptop before (nor have I) so if there is anything we need to know pertinent to laptop security/maintenance could you offer your advice?

    Thank you, all.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    Install Glarysoft's free utilities, and download and install all Microsofts "critical updates". Download and install Microsoft's free 90-day trial of Live OneCare. It's $49.95 a year and can be installed on 3 PC's using one license...

    You will also find that security recommendations vary greatly between us TechSpot "evangelists" and members. Rest assured that we do know our stuff
  3. ambushedbaby

    ambushedbaby Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Thank you Tmagic,

    I do know that you know your stuff. Don't post much, but find most of my answers here without needing to. 8)

    what I have listed above comes from having worked through some previous issues here. Is there anything new I should know about, or are my suggestions complete enough to keep a not so tech savvy Marine from gunking up a new machine in a week?

    I'm a little confused, though. Your link goes to a case study of Columbia Sportswear Company?

    You mean updates from here?
    http://www.update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us

    I'm sending him an email with links and directions. The machine shipped today, so I'd like to get them to him tomorrow or ASAP.

    thanks for your thoughts

    Shari
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,018   +220

    your current list of security software is a good one.

    make sure you run a firewall -- Personally I recommend Comodo.
    At least enable the Vista Firewall before you connect the new system to the
    Internet!!!


    Also read host file

    Google for Belarc Advisor; it will report missing security updates :)
  6. ambushedbaby

    ambushedbaby Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 32

    thanks for the Glary utilities info, Tmagic,

    it sounds similar to CCleaner, what is the difference?

    jobeard,
    He's running XP, I assume there's a windows firewall with that, as well?

    First thing I'd like him to do is get out to AVG for the antivirus/spyware stuff. After that?

    Looked at your host file link. Most of it is over my head, I'm afraid. Could you explain in simpler terms for me, and how complicated is it to use? Meaning how much maintaining, fiddling, tweaking would it require?

    Thanks for your help, guys, I appreciate it.

    Shari
  7. NameBrandHuman

    NameBrandHuman Newcomer, in training Posts: 67

    NOD32 is the best AV IMO plus it has antispyware and a firewall if you get that version. But i personally use just the antivirus with antispyware as i have a firewall in my router. NOD32 doesnt use hardly any resources either youll hardly know its there if you set it up right. Until it finds some malware!
  8. ambushedbaby

    ambushedbaby Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 32

    how does avg compare to nod32?
  9. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Both are excellent. Just do not install them on the same machine at the same time.

    We have installed AVG antispyware, AVG antivirus, and AVG rootkit, along with Adaware 2007 free and Spybot 1.5 free, Windows Defender from Microsoft, and Comodo firewall on a large number of the Vostros with absolutely no trouble at all.

    Do not fall into the trip of installing Nod32, Norton, Symantec, or McAfee together on the same machine, all intended to work at the same tim.e
  10. ambushedbaby

    ambushedbaby Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Thank you raybay,

    Could you tell me the benefits of having AVG rootkit? I've yet to use it.
  11. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    It removes rootkits, and most anti-malware software does not. It is fast. It is reliable. It is free. You only need to run it once a month.
  12. ambushedbaby

    ambushedbaby Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 32

    thanks! now I have to go find out what a rootkit is...;-)
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    There are many ways to go in setting up a secure but functional computer...

    I found AVG to be slow and frequent in updating its definitions, way too frequent for my liking.

    Default CCleaner is a little "deeper" cleaner than Glarysoft's utilities...

    Live OneCare replaces or modifies the XP and Vista fiewall functions
     
  14. Crosscourt

    Crosscourt Newcomer, in training Posts: 93

    I like the frequent updates with AVG,Tmagic and so far its done an excellent job along with CCleaner which works extremely well.
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    As i said, to each his own :)
  16. Crosscourt

    Crosscourt Newcomer, in training Posts: 93

  17. NameBrandHuman

    NameBrandHuman Newcomer, in training Posts: 67

  18. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,018   +220

    hum; objectivity may be in question as several GREAT programs were left out and
    BitDefender (reading this) would seem to walk-on-water.

    Historically, I've found good results with goolge searches like "review some_product_name"
  19. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    We would not consider "Top Ten Reviews" as a reliable operation. They funding is suspect. They do not have the organization to reliably test anything. Who are they and who pays?

    No system is perfect. They all copy from each other. They all make mistakes.
  20. NameBrandHuman

    NameBrandHuman Newcomer, in training Posts: 67

    Who is "we" and where do you get your information. top10 is a reputable company and their information seems to be quite accurate. And you act like you know what their organization consists of. Try reading the about us link on their page and then make your claims.
  21. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,018   +220

    please don't get too defensive when someone differs in their opinion.

    all comments, even technical suggestions should be considered as comment for consideration. you are free to disregard any/all :)
  22. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    Raybays "We" are the people he works with and I agree with his take on TOP 10 reviews. If someone pays me enough money, I would write a raving rewiew of Symantec. Understand?
  23. NameBrandHuman

    NameBrandHuman Newcomer, in training Posts: 67

    I wasnt getting defensive. Sorry if it seemed that way. So in other words you are saying that top10 is all bs and that list isnt accurate. While i dont totally agree that its 100% accurate. I do believe it is mostly accurate. I believe that Kaspersky and NOD32 are the best paid antivirus solutions. Kaspersky has been among the best for a long time. AVG is decent for a free solution. The reason i swing towards Kaspersky and NOD32 is the low system impact and high detection rates. Now you go ahead and install your bloated AV and run it for a while then install KAV or NOD32 and tell me you like others better. I've been a pc tech. for over 7 years. I have tried almost every AV in the book. So that being said. No I dont get my opinion from top10.But their educated opinion resembles mine. that my friends is why i posted the top10 link. Understand?
  24. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,018   +220

    be careful here -- other have many times that experience -- eg I've been in the biz for 37 years.

    just remember, everything is CAVEAT EMPTOR :)
  25. NameBrandHuman

    NameBrandHuman Newcomer, in training Posts: 67

    Too true! But i beleive when it comes to software solutions for almost anything there are obvious choices to make. I understand that what i look for in AV and what other look for may not be the same. But if you want an antivirus with good detection rates that will not slow your machine down and is also install and forget IMO. NOD32 is the obvious choice.
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