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Discussion Starter #1
What are you guys using to protect your laptops from viruses, etc. when logging into wireless networks on the road? With all the talk of predators gathering data from unsuspecting wireless laptop users at airports, restaurants, etc., I want to make sure that my laptop is protected with the best software available, considering I use the wireless nets at hotels, campgrounds, McD's, etc.
 

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Windows One Care works for me.
 

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I agree, any over the counter programs offered will do the job, IF you update on a regular basis...I program my Norton Virus Protection Program to update every night...
 

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You might want to try the AVG product by Grisoft. Their free edition is very efffective and highly rated and the price is right. They also have an equally effective SpyWare program. I use them both. They work well.
 

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Create a folder called Utilities and save every download and attachments to this message in the Utilities folder.

http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1 and download AVG anti-virus

http://www.lavasoft.com/ and click on left for Ad-Aware Personal and download

http://www.spybot.info/en/index.html and download Spybot

Once AVG is installed and running, it will update itself and protect you from virus attack.

Ad-Aware and Spybot must be updated and run, usually once a week.
For Ad-Aware, simply check for updates, then scan your system and eliminate anything found.
For Spybot, download all updates, then Immunize, then scan and eliminate problems.

The ultimate PC guru is Steve Gibson at http://grc.com and his utilities are so compact that they may be sent via email: DCOM, Shoot the Messenger and Socket Lock. (Note: I can email them to you upon request or you can download from grc.com)

Use DCOM to DCOMbobulate your PC.
Use Shoot the Messenger to turn of Windows Messenger.
Use Socket Lock to shut down raw sockets.

Each utility is self explanatory.

Now & then, check to see if newer editions of Ad-Aware & Spybot become available.

& I've never been compromised! I also have the wireless card firewall turned on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys, you have been very helpful.
 

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Your Subject specifies "wireless". You have received good advice from people here about protecting your computer.
Wireless does expose you to different types of threats.
If you travel and connect to "free" networks you are at great risk of experiencing a "channeling" attack. "Channeling" is a common practice used by hackers and identity thieves to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks, with the objective of stealing user names, passwords, and other sensitive data transmitted by the user.
By setting up an ad-hoc network in an airport lounge, hackers can easily trap passwords and other information without the user's knowledge.
With a large number of Windows XP devices configured to connect automatically to ad-hoc networks, it is possible that a purpose-built 'WiFi worm' could be used by criminals to infect laptops as they pass through highly-trafficked WiFi hotspots, such as airports.

Here are some basic tips for protecting yourself in public WiFi environments:
• Before connecting to a network, look around and locate a sign that advertises the network you are connecting to and verify that the network name (SSID) you are connecting to is a legitimate service.
• Shut off your wireless card if you're not planning to connect to the Web or another machine. It will protect you from intrusion and save your battery life.
• Beware of the information you share in public locations. Even seemingly innocuous logins to Web-mail accounts could give hackers access to get into your more important data, since most people utilize the same password with a few variants for almost all online activities.
• Utilize a VPN whenever possible to encrypt your data, and stronger tools if you need to conduct secure transactions.
• Turn off shared folders. If you join a malicious network, a hacker could easily load a malicious spyware agent to follow you even after you leave the public location.
• Run a comprehensive security suite and keep it up to date to prevent spyware and viruses.

If you're a Windows user:

• In the Advanced settings of Wireless Network Connection properties ("Advanced" button on "Wireless Networks" tab), choose "Access Point (infrastructure) networks only". The default is "Any available network" and this is not safe.

• Turn off "Automatic Connection" to preferred networks in the Wireless Network Connection properties so your network reads "On Demand". This will prevent your computer connecting to unsafe networks that have the same name as your home or office network.

If you're a Mac user:

• In Network Preferences, choose By Default, join "Preferred Networks" and edit your preferred network SSID's to include only trusted sources.

• Click "Options," and ensure "Ask before joining an open network" is selected. Check the "Require Administrator Password to change networks" box, and deselect the option to automatically add new networks to the preferred list.
 

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Trend micro internet security 2007) PC-Cillin

It covers viruses, trojans, firewall, phishing... you name it... it also has a part that will detect other pc's connecting to a network.

let me know if you need any info... (I just happen to support Trend Micro products at work)

Melissa
 
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#1 simplest thing to do....
Go in to network control panel, and turn off/remove File and printer sharing.

Novell red suggested a LOT of good advice, however the VPN takes a little bit preplanning. Ideally you should VPN into your home, or office network, then go to the internet. this sets up a private channel to your home which cannot be viewed over the airwaves then sends the information out from behind your firewall. however you have to have a vpn endpoint AT your home, or work location set up prior to wanting to connect. Linksys, netgear, dlink etc.. all have these devices (they are called VPN endpoint or concentrators), but you have to be sure about what you are buying...
Will the cost more YES, but its the security of not having you signal hacked.
 
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