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I copied and pasted this since people seemed to have problems...

"The Complete Guide to Internet Security
By: Qbsean10
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1. Introduction
2. Common Questions
3. Prevention
4. Detection
a. Using AdAware Effectively
b. Using SpyBot Effectively
c. Using SpySweeper Effectively
5. All Programs and Their Use
6. Credits and Thanks
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1. Introduction

In the time I spent around multiple forums and boards, I notice that there are a lot of topics regarding internet security and the dreaded Spyware and Adware. Before starting, I want everyone to know that they should be careful when performing these actions, as even a simple deletion of the wrong file could cause a system crash or failure. If you have any questions regarding this guide, or about internet security in general, feel free to contact me on AIM at “The Qbsean10”. Now, on with the guide.
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2. Common Questions

Q: What is Adware?
A: Adware is a program put on one’s computer used to advertise. Common symptoms include slowdown, multiple popups, and a resetting homepage. Adware does not relay any information about the user, but instead bogs the computer down with advertising.

Q: What is Spyware?
A: Spyware is an addition to some Adware that secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties. Spyware can get in a computer as a software virus or as the result of installing a new program.

Q: How Did I Get Infected?
A: First of all, it’s nearly impossible to stear completely away from Adware and Spyware, but there multiple steps you can use to reduce infection and protect your computer. If you do any of the following things, you probably have Adware and/or Spyware:
- Use P2P programs such as KaZaA, GrokSter, or iMesh.
- Download free screensavers
- Download freeware applications
- Visit adult sites
- Surf the web
But how did you get infected? Simply put, your internet security settings are too low, and you don’t have the correct protection. Also, you probably think little of what you’re downloading and often receive lots of adware and spyware in the process.

Q: What’s so bad about Spyware and Adware?
A: Spyware and Adware do most, if not all, of the following:
- Install programs without your consent
- Slow your computer down
- Displays popups
- Tracks your internet activities
- Logs your actions and sends them to 3rd parties
- Changes your internet homepage

Q: OK, you caught me. Now I have Spyware and Adware, how do I get rid of it?
A: Read on and you’ll be free from these pests in no time.
From: Qbsean10 | Posted: 6/26/2004 11:18:48 AM | Message Detail
3. Prevention

Before you go about destroying all the Spyware and Adware you have, it’s best to set up some programs that will help block re-infection.

Internet Explorer
Believe it or not, there are plenty of things you can do just on IE that can help to prevent any future attacks.

Disable ActiveX
Open IE and select Tools from the top. Click on Internet Options. Select the Security Tab and then hit the Default Level button. Now, click Custom and scroll to the ActiveX area. Ensure the following changes are made:
1. Download Signed ActiveX Controls: Prompt
2. Download Unsigned ActiveX Controls: Disable
3. Initialize ActiveX Controls Marked Not Safe: Disable

Change Your Cookies Settings
Open IE and select Tools from the top. Click on Internet Options. Select the Privacy Tab and move the slider to Low or Medium, just move it away from Accept All.

Check For Updates
Open IE and select Tools from the top. Click on Windows Updates. Run the scan and install ALL new updates, critical or not, you need them.

Spyware Blaster
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/sbdownload.html

This excellent program will add over 3,000 nasty sites to your block list, ensuring you will never be infected with them again. Once installed, click Updates on the left hand side. Check For Updates, then ensure you Enable All Protection from the Protection menu.

Now select Tools from the side and go to Browser Pages. Change the fist 2 sites to your Homepage and Search Engine (ex.msn.com and google.com). Now you are protected against over 3,000 sites. Be sure to check for updates frequently.

SpySweeper
http://www.webroot.com/wb/products/spysweeper/index.php

Although simply a Free Trial Version, SpySweeper offers great protection as well as detection. Once you have downloaded SpySweeper, select Options on the left hand side and click the Active Shields tab. Turn the Homepage Shield on, and make sure you put the same site as you did with Spyware Blaster. Turn all other Shields on. Minimize SpySweeper and then right click its icon in the task tray and select Load at Startup. Now you have protection enabled here aswell.

Spybot Search and Destroy
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,22262,00.asp

This is easily one of the best Spyware prevention and detection programs there is. Once downloaded, skip the introduction and click Updates. SB-S&D will automatically search for any updates. If any are found, check them all and download them.

Now click Immunize on the left side. If you have unimmunized programs, select the large Immunize option at the top. Now click the box that says “Enable Permanent Blocking of Bad Addresses” and select Block Silently from the drop down list.

Great! Now you are prevented from many of today’s most common pests and annoyances.
From: Qbsean10 | Posted: 6/26/2004 11:21:20 AM | Message Detail
4. Detection

Now that you have your prevention programs up and running, its time to take out any pests you have on your computer.

AdAware 6.0
http://www.download.com/Ad-aware/3000-8022-10214379.html?tag=lst-0-2

This is easily the best anti adware program out there if used correctly. Many people will search for updates, run a normal scan, delete the objects, then wonder why their computer is still infected. Here I’m going to show you how to ensure that AdAware is being used to its full potential.

Customize Your Scan
Open AdAware and select Start. On this page, select the second options of “Use Custom Scan Options”. Click Customize to the right of it. On the Scanning tab, ensure that all folders and options are checked and have a green check mark to the left. Select General from the left hand side and ensure the following changes are made:
1. Run At Startup - Off
2. Save Log-File – On
3. Quarantine Objects – Off
4. Safe Mode – On
Now click Automation and make sure the Custom Scan options is selected and Clean Automatically is also selected. Finally, select the Tweak tab on the left and then click the "+" in a box next to "Scanning Engine" to bring down a list of options you can turn on and off. Ensure the following changes are Made:
1. Unload Recognized Processes - On
2. Reanalyze – Off
3. Run Scan as Background – Off
4. Include Settings – On
Now click proceed. After checking for updates, feel free to start your scan with your Customize Scan selected. Once it is finished searching, right click in the list and check “Select All”. All objects will be selected, and now you can proceed to click next and delete them. Be sure to open the Quarantine Area by selecting the package at the top menu and ensuring there is nothing there. If there is, delete it and make sure your settings have it disabled.

Spybot Search and Destroy
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,22262,00.asp

This program is also a great SpyWare killer. Open Spybot and at the top menu, click Mode and Select Advanced Mode. On the side bar, click Settings and open the File Sets menu. Make sure everything is checked. Now click Settings on the side menu and turn off the System Restore options, but ensure that backups are created of System Internals only. Under Scan Priority, select Time Critical. Good, now select Mode from the top and go back to Default. Select “Check for Problems”, and delete all the ones you feel comfortable about deleting.

SpySweeper
http://www.webroot.com/wb/products/spysweeper/index.php

Once you have SpySweeper installed, Select Options from the side bar and click the Configuration Tab. Ensure that the correct drive is selected for scanning, then ensure that Sweep Memory and Registry are checked. Ensure “Sweep All Folders” is checked and that Scan Priority is at high. Click Sweep Now from the side bar and delete everything you feel comfortable about deleting.
From: Qbsean10 | Posted: 6/26/2004 11:22:12 AM | Message Detail
5. All Programs and Their Use

AdAware 6.0
http://www.download.com/Ad-aware/3000-8022-10214379.html?tag=lst-0-2
Deletes multiple adware programs.

Spybot Search and Destroy 1.3
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,22262,00.asp
Prevents and detects spyware programs.

Spyware Blaster
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/sbdownload.html
Adds over 3,000 sites to your block list.

SpySweeper
http://www.webroot.com/wb/products/spysweeper/index.php
Prevents hijacks and detects tracking cookies.

CoolWebShredder
http://www.softpedia.com/public/cat/10/17/10-17-150.shtml
Detects the CoolWeb Trojan hijacker and other browser hijackers.

Google Toolbar
http://toolbar.google.com/
Brings Google to your toolbars and provides an easy-to-use pop-up blocker.

MSN Toolbar
http://toolbar.msn.com/
Bring MSN to your fingertips and provides and easy-to-use pop-up blocker.

Hijack This
http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html
Displays system processes and other running programs. Save the log and find a professional to help you out on what needs to be fixed, DO NOT FIX IF YOU ARE UNSURE!
 
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Discussion Starter #2
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6. Credits and Thanks

Writer: Qbsean10
Editor: Qbsean10

I’d like to thank all the great companies out there like Lavasoft and Webroot who provide their customers with the latest and greatest programs in Spware and Adware prevention.

Also, I’d like to thank you, the reader, for showing an interest in this subject. I ensure you that you are not alone in the quest for complete internet security."

"Some virus and spyware protection measures:
NOTE: All of the programs I list are free.

Firewalls

Zone Alarm (direct download):

http://download.zonelabs.com/bin/free/1013_zl/zlsSetup_45_594_000.exe

Zonealarm is a very good firewall. I'd recommend everyone that didn't have a firewall this one. If you're wondering why I chose version 4.5 instead of 5.0, there have been issues with the version 5.0 crashing computers. I don't want to cause that now, do I? Also, if you can't see gamefaqs after you install this program, add gamefaqs.com to the trusted zones.

Windows XP home and Pro firewall:

If you have Windows XP home or pro, this one's already on your computer. Even if you have another firewall, why not add this one?

Click on start > Control Panel > (Network and Internet Connections) > Network Connections

You should see a list of your Network Adapters and Modems.

Right click your connections (or just the one you use to connect) > click properties > go to the advanced tab > Check the checkbox saying "Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet" > Click OK.

Anti-virus software

avast!:
http://www.avast.com/eng/download/programs/avast_4_home_downloa.html

Immediately register after downloading! Otherwise, the software won't work after 30 days:

http://www.avast.com/i_kat_207.php?lang=ENG
After filling that out, you'll get a key in the mail. Right-Click on the "A" icon in the bottom-right corner. Click "About avast!" Then, double click "registration key", and paste or fill in the key.

avast! has multiple shields for internet mail, P2P software (guards against viruses form almost all P2P software), your computer, and others. It automatically updates in the background if specified, and you can customize it with skins. Overall, this is great software.

AVG:
http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php

Nothing against AVG, but it doesn't really protect you with it's resident shield. Don't get me wrong; AVG is has a better scanning function then avast!, but it doesn't protect you in real-time. Otherwise, AVG is great. It also detects more spyware and adware then any other Anti-virus. It is very in depth. I say AVG makes up for itself with it’s definitions size.

I think these are both equal in different ways. I'll leave the choice of which anti-virus up to you.

More Spyware and Adware prevention (direct download):

IE-SPYAD
https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ehowes/www/res/ie-spyad.zip

NOTE: You need an unzipping program, like WinZip or XP's built-in Extracting Wizard, to use. If you use XP, after you download the file, right-click it and click "Extract All". I'm not sure how WinZip works.

Ok, a little more complicated program to use. First off, what this program does: this program puts over 4,000 spyware and adware infected sites into your Restricted Zone (more on that later). It can also block 1,000 spyware and adware riddled **** sites into your Restricted zone.

Unzip the folder if you haven't already. Ok, you got through the first step! Now, open the uncompressed folder, then double click install.bat, or just install. It will open up a DOS or Commend Prompt widow asking you to

1. Uninstall an earlier version of the spyware-infecting sites
2. Install the new list of the sites
3. Uninstall the spyware infected **** sites blocking list
4. Add the old spyware infected **** sites.

Press 2, and then follow the directions.
If you decide to block **** sites with spyware on them, press 4, and follow the directions.

You’re done with that part."
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Efficient Settings:

ZoneAlarm settings:
This stuff takes place mainly after downloading the installation.

Start the installation up!

I suggest you register so you get updates. Whether you want the newsletter is up to you. Accept the terms... blah blah blah. It'll start installing. Fill in the info. Now you get the pre-program settings pop-ups..

You get an option if you want a trial of Pro. You don't want Pro. You have to pay after 16 days. Select Zonealarm, but you can use the Pro trial if you want. Just click Finish.

A confirmation screen. Now, click next.

You get an option to get a pop-up every time you've been probed. Select DON'T ALERT ME! You get probed 30 - 40 times a day (that is perfectly normal). You don't want that message all day, do you?

It asks if it wants to configure you main browser for the firewall. Click Yes. It saves time.

It asks to secure your eBay account. Select yes and fill in your eBay account if you have one. If you don't have an account, select no, then next.

It asks if you want to see the tutorial. You can see the tutorial if you want.

Ok, you're done. Now to the program options!

You should notice programs accessing the internet. Read the program's name, and if you think it's OK, let it through by checking the checkbox, and click yes.

Click the Program Control. If you are annoyed by the program accessing the internet pop-up, slide it to off. Otherwise, slide it to what you feel is necessary (I recommend medium).

I suggest you turn Internet lock on if you leave your computer on a lot.

Click on Overview, and then go to the preferences tab. Until they make a better version (I'll tell you when), click Manually for the "Check for Updates" section.

Ok, you're done!

avast! settings:
After you install this software, start up avast! Click the arrow at the top left after it's done testing your memory.
Click settings.

Check the 3 middle items, and enable skins.

Click on Updates (basic) on the left. Bubble automatic for both definitions and program updates. Click details.
Choose running mode as silent, and uncheck else everything on that screen.

Click Update (connections):
If you use:
Dial up: Check the first option
Broadband: Check the second option

Good!

Go to the arrow again, and go to start scan. Go select scan settings. Click Local disks.

Select the sensitivity (normal is good), then check "Scan in Archive Files". Press the Play button. You're scanning for viruses now.

Now go to the "a" icon in the bottom right corner. Right-click it, then select "On-Access Protection Control."
Slide the slider to High. You can click details and fiddle with the settings for each shield if you feel like it.

Avast! has a function called VBRD (Virus Backup Recovery Data) generating. It acts like a restore point that can't (yet) be infected with viruses. It generates while you have the screensaver on, or when the computer is idle (your choice). The second icon (the "i" one) moves while the VBRD is generating. It does get annoying, so you better merge it with the "a" icon.

To do this, right click the "i" icon. Click "Merge with main avast! icon". You now Right click the "a" icon, and look to find a part about "VBRD Generating". Rollover that, and you can set the options to what you like. The default options are fine. You're done!
 
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Discussion Starter #4
AVG settings:

First thing after your install, UPDATE!

Click on the icon in the lower right corner, then Right-Click it. Select "Run AVG Control Center"

Check "Use Heuristics" and "Event Write to Log File".

Click the Email Scanner (tab). Even if you don't have it, check "Use Outlook Express 5 plugin.

Click Update Manager, and Change the Update time to something that's good for you.

I recommend you perform a scan right now.

You’re done!


Restricted Zones Settings:

You know those Restricted Sites you blocked with Spywareblaster and (possibly) IE-SPYAD? You can absolutely make sure you'll never get spyware from those sites by changing some options.

Click: Start > Control Panel > (Network and Internet Connections) > Internet Options > Security (tab)

Click on Restricted Sites. Make sure the Slider is on High. Then, Click Custom Level. Change the following:

Font Download: Disable
Display Mixed Content: Disable
Drag and Drop Copy or Paste Files: Disable
Submit Nonencypted Data: Disable
Logon: Anonymous logon

Now, if you're directed to one of Spywareblaster’s or IE-SPYAD’s bad websites, you will just get a "Not Found" Error. It beats getting spyware.

Some more Anti-Viruses:
Mini Anti-virus:
This is just a mini anti-virus. It scans for only a few of the more threatening viruses and other vulnerabilities.

Stinger
http://us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp?id=stinger&affid=130

Online:
These ones scan while you're online.

Housecall:
http://housecall.trendmicro.com

Courtesy of Squints ^
 
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Discussion Starter #5
There are browsers that do not get infected with spyware and viruses as easily as IE. Here are some free ones.

Opera:
http://www.opera.com/

I have tried it out, and it appears to be a solid browser. The only thing I don't like is a tiny ad bar at the top. You get used to it. This browser has the following features:

Pop-up blocker
Opera Mail with SPAM killer
IRC-compatible chat
Newsreader
RSS newsfeeds
Integrated Google search
Small-Screen Rendering (SSR)

Mozilla:
http://www.mozilla.org/products/mozilla1.x/

My time with Mozilla was a short one; not because I hated it. It’s because I learned of Firefox. Mozilla had features I didn't need. Mozilla is a very great browser, and comes with several different features:

Tabbed browsing
Image Manager
Mail and Newsgroups
Junk mail controls
Find as you type
HTML editor
Multiple Accounts

Firefox:
http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/

A very flexible browser. It doesn't come with all the stuff that normal browsers come with, because you can just add them on using their extension list. Some features are:

Popup Blocking
Smarter Search (Google)
Privacy and Security tools
Download manager
Customizable skins (themes)
Many different add-ons (extensions)
Image Blocking

Courtesy of Ascender, SpikeSpiegelWannabe, and kevinski
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Credit to all the people given credit in the sperate FAQ's and whatnot, none to me. Also nobody represented here or I will be held responsible if this blows up your computer because of something you did. Also, this was posted recently, but some of the links may be linked to inferior versions in due time, so you may want to check back every now and then I suppose...

I only did a few of the listed since some of it is overkill...It helped me out tho, im a very clean almost all the time....Also sorry for the length, but i included as much as I saw.
 

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wow...thats a lot of copying and pasting :)
anyway, you dont mention that opera and FF have tabbed browsing(which they do) even though you mention that mozzila does. also you dont need to add the code for most of the things the FF features collum.
other then that that is a great post and deffinitly deserves to be stickied
 

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CrazyWeasel said:
AdAware 6.0
http://www.download.com/Ad-aware/3000-8022-10214379.html?tag=lst-0-2

This is easily the best anti adware program out there if used correctly. Many people will search for updates, run a normal scan, delete the objects, then wonder why their computer is still infected. Here I’m going to show you how to ensure that AdAware is being used to its full potential.

Customize Your Scan
Open AdAware and select Start. On this page, select the second options of “Use Custom Scan Options”. Click Customize to the right of it. On the Scanning tab, ensure that all folders and options are checked and have a green check mark to the left. Select General from the left hand side and ensure the following changes are made:
1. Run At Startup - Off
2. Save Log-File – On
3. Quarantine Objects – Off
4. Safe Mode – On
Now click Automation and make sure the Custom Scan options is selected and Clean Automatically is also selected. Finally, select the Tweak tab on the left. Ensure the following changes are Made:
1. Unload Recognized Processes - On
2. Reanalyze – Off
3. Run Scan as Background – Off
4. Include Settings – On

Now click proceed. After checking for updates, feel free to start your scan with your Customize Scan selected. Once it is finished searching, right click in the list and check “Select All”. All objects will be selected, and now you can proceed to click next and delete them. Be sure to open the Quarantine Area by selecting the package at the top menu and ensuring there is nothing there. If there is, delete it and make sure your settings have it disabled.


Teh weasel,

I have put in bold and italics some things you need to edit. The bold part is missing a direction as to where you can change steps #1-4. You should make "Finally, select the Tweak tab on the left" say "Finally, select the Tweak tab on the left and then click the "+" in a box next to "Scanning Engine" to bring down a list of options you can turn on and off" (you can change the wording around cause my grammar sucks.)

In italics, you need to specify which one of the settings or if both need to be on, because there are "basic settings" and "Advanced settings"

Thanks
 

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Use Firefox instead of IE. Its much more secure and pwns IE.

The best way to avoid virii and Spy wares is to not be stupid and download stupid thing.

Most common Spyware carriers are.

Gator
Bonzai Buddy
Kazaa
Lime Wire

Email from people you dont know contains Virii. Also have more than one email account.
Keep one private except t close friends and family and tell them to never send you junk mail or sign you up for anything. Then another email where u can get your junkmail and sign up for stuff.
 
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