Computer Security & Viruses/security

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Question
Hi!
I am concerned about security with my home pc.  I have done a lot of reading on hackers and such and have developed my own security blockade.  I just wonder what you opinion is.  I run Avast free antivirus.  I scan with malwarebytes and super anti spyware.  I use windows firewall.  I use ghostery in firefox and i use thunderbird as my email.  I turn off cookies while surfing unless i absolutely need them.  Is there any advice you could give me to do a more solid job?  I've tried zone alarm firewall, but i don't know if it's much better than windows firewall.  Thanks in advance

Answer
I like Zone Alarm because you can set it to report any attacks it blocks. That way you would know when you might be under serious attack.Then you could set the firewall to the highest level to protect yourself even if it meant closing connections to games you might be playing, certain chat groups you might use, etc. As for Avast, I don't care for free antivirus programs because of the lack of customer support -- and because everyone who has asked for help from me after something bad happened to their computer was using a free antivirus program. I use Norton Internet Security on my Windows 8 computer.

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Carolyn Meinel

Expertise

I cover Windows, Linux, TCP/IP and Ethernet security questions. I do not cover Mac, smart phones, or other networking issues.

Experience

Books by Carolyn Meinel: wrote a chapter for The Hacking of America book (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567204600/happyhacker) My article Code Red for the Web for Scientific American was reprinted in the book Best American Science Writing 2002 (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060936509/happyhacker). My book The Happy Hacker: A Guide to Mostly Harmless Hacking is now in 4th edition with a Japanese edition (see http://happyhacker.org/hhbook/).

Organizations
IEEE, AAAS

Publications
See a list with some online links at http://cmeinel.com

Education/Credentials
MS, Industrial Engineering, The University of Arizona Took a course in computer forensics at the University of Texas at Austin/

Past/Present Clients
DARPA, SAIC, Palmer Labs

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