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Thank you peterg. That was well written and very informative. I really like TF and have been trying it out with a few different Antispyware programs after uninstalling Comodo Pro. I removed Comodo out of concern over a few posts about people locking themselves out of their PC’s, but between hearing that the new release has improved, and not being as happy with the other security programs as I was with Comodo, I was going to give it another try. Since I didn’t want to remove TF though, I am glad to hear the two run well together. What other programs do you use? I currently have AVG Pro installed, but have used Avast Home with Comodo. Also would you agree that an Antispyware program isn’t needed with both Comodo and TF installed? Thanks again and I look forward to your reply.

Hi duke1959,

There is a general consensus that the best security is built out of several layers, combining both signature-based and behavioural detection/blocking, so IMHO yes you do need antivirus and antispyware software as well.

To answer your other question, I use all of the following programs to keep my PC secure and in good working order:-

 [u]Real-time security[/u]
      Comodo Firewall Pro
      NOD32 Antivirus
      PC Tools ThreatFire Free Edition
 [u]On-demand scanning (with all real-time features disabled)[/u]
      Webroot Spy Sweeper
      PC Tools Spyware Doctor Starter Edition
      AVG Anti-Spyware Free Edition
      Panda Anti-Rootkit
 [u]Secure Web Browsing[/u]
      Mozilla Firefox (with Adblock Plus and McAfee SiteAdvisor plugins)
      SpywareBlaster
      Sandboxie
  [u]Privacy[/u]
      Sandboxie
      Webroot Window Washer
  [u]Other[/u]
      Acronis True Image 11
      TuneUp Utilities 2008
      Total Uninstall 4
      Secunia PSI (RC1)
      SpamBully 4 for Outlook

I have listed Sandboxie twice. Virtualising the browser not only provides a high degree of security but also adds privacy, as no traces of web surfing are left anywhere on the file system or in the registry after the sandbox has been emptied. It’s also important to use a secure browser - I like Firefox but Opera is good as well; both are better alternatives IMHO than Internet Explorer.

Since moving to virtualisation as my main defense strategy over a year ago, none of the on-demand scanners have ever found a single trace of malware of any sort. This has enabled me to cut back on the number of programs I have running in real-time, resulting in better system stability and a faster PC.

Hope this is of use.

Peter

I tried Sandboxie but I didnt care for it. Seems overkill to me and you need to recover anything you download.

Hi Vettetech,

Sandboxie is not the only virtualisation software available - there are alternatives. As to needing to recover files you want to keep from the sandbox, Sandboxie makes this very easy to do, and in any case that’s the whole point of it; any malware that you’ve inadvertently downloaded while surfing the web remains trapped in the sandbox where it can’t do any harm.

Whether it’s an overkill or not depends on your point of view. Increased security is not the only benefit to sandboxing though; there’s also the privacy issue to consider.

I’m not making any recommendations as to what other people should do. I was simply replying to duke1959 who asked what other programs I’m using.

Everybody has to do what works best for them.

Best wishes

Peter

Point takin Peter but honestly speaking I have never ever been infected in 5 years and I surf all sites. Porn included and not one single problem.

Vettetech, you make a very good point about not having had any infections, despite being fairly adventurous in your surfing habits ;), and this may well be true for a large number of users. It’s difficult to know what the real scale of the problem is. There appear to be two conflicting points of view at both ends of the scale.

At one end of the scale is the view that the whole security thing has been over-hyped by the security industry in order to sell software that often causes as many problems as the malware that the tools are designed to protect against. (Not true of COMODO of course who provide excellent software for free :a0).

At the other end of the scale is the view that the situation has been recently getting much worse, with the focus shifting away from the hackers and script kiddies of a few years ago, moving more towards organised gangs of cyber criminals and scam artists, motivated by financial gain rather than malicious acts of vandalism; and that you won’t last long accessing the Internet without getting infected if you don’t have adequate security in place. If this view is correct, issues of identity theft and financial loss start to become matters of real concern. As the saying goes: “A virus can ruin your PC but spyware can ruin your life”.

The truth is probably somewhere in between. I know people who have very little security, apart from a router or software firewall for inbound protection, and who have never been infected. That’s not to say that it’s going to remain that way in the future of course.

I agree that sandboxing is not for everybody, but for me the decision to use a sandbox for web surfing was taken partly for reasons of privacy, not just security alone.

It may well be true that, for the majority of users, at present all that is required to stay safe is a good firewall with inbound and outbound protection (COMODO naturally ;D) and antivirus software running in real-time, plus one or more antispyware scanners run on demand.