Berkely Lab Computer Protection Program's Checklist( http://www.lbl.gov/c...-checklist.html ) for Securing Windows XP Systems has the following to say:
"Use only Windows XP Professional. Windows XP Home has too many major security flaws (e.g., in XP Home every default account has superuser privileges and cannot belong to any domain) to enable it to achieve even a baseline level of security."
My question(s) are:
1) Am I as secure as the majority of average users can expect since I have installed
a) Comodo Firewall Pro(freeware) - (looking for in depth help manual; unsure if configured safely and unsure if configured optimally)
b) nod32 2.7(purchased) - (configured according to Blackspear's recommendations( http://www.wildersse...ead.php?t=37509 )
c) Comodo BOclean(freeware) - (configured according to http://www.comodo.co...tml#bocinstall; followed boclean advice to enable shares for boc424 folder via safe mode)
d) SnoopFree Privacy Shield 1.0.7(freeware)
e) Cyberhawk Pro(5 days into 15 day trial)
f) Spybot Search and Destroy(freeware)
g) Spywareblaster(freeware) - (Do I need to open and close this per computing session to be protected or do I run it once after each update of it?)
h) Put mvps.org( http://www.mvps.org/...p2002/hosts.htm ) hosts file in place.
i) KeyScambler 1.2.3(freeware)
J) McAfee SiteAdvisor 26.3(freeware)
k) NoScript 1.1.6.08(freeware)
l) I followed instructions on microsoft.com to clear pagefile.sys at shutdown by changing a registry value.
2) Do any of the aforementioned applications conflict with each other?
3) Will I, as an average computer user, benefit from the "extra security" that Berkely Labs says Windows Professional can give me or should I just save the $200 that the Windows Pro upgrade will cost?
4) Is ccleaner safe to use on my xp sp2 in terms of manipulating registry, etc? I ask because I trialed the full version of what, in my opinion, is a similar product by Ashampoo on a windows 2000 professional sp4 installation on another machine. After that use it appears that my recycle bin will no longer function properly. There are times when recycle bin icon shows that it has contents, but when I open recycle bin I can not see any. When I delete files on that machine they go straight to permanent delete and, I can not get it to use recycle bin any longer. I exhausted a tremendous amount of time searching online for fixes. I have, in the past, had good results with resolving computer issues by searching online, but this is one that I have had no success with. Needless to say I have no plans to use the Ashampoo product again, but I am considering ccleaner.
I tried Online Armor w/ Firewall, but I seemed to be getting conflicts with the other security applications.
System Safety Monitor is, I am convinced, an excellent program, but it is "over my average user head" and I can not find a good help or configuration manual. Again, I believe it is among the best IF you know how to use it.
CyberHawk really seems to be "on the job"(got a number of alerts), but I am still unsure if I need to spend $24.95 to buy it.
SnoopFree seems to be "on the job" as well. I believe a couple of the security applications I am running might be "fighting with each other", but I don't know which ones.
Maybe I did not investigate enough but I installed Dynamic Security Agent and found that it would not start in the "limited user" account that I prefer to go online with so I unistalled it rather quickly. What did do wrong?
I downloaded Prevx, but I have not installed it yet. I like the trial offer of no cost until it stops a malaware, but I am uncomfortable with the way I understand it to work(constantly analyzing what files I am using through the "prevx servers"). To me I am not sure if my privacy is being violated or not and, even if not, it just seems really easy for someone, or something, to do so using the "prevx" running on my machine. I just feel like I would be giving "prevx" my permission to spy on me. Seems like software Privacy Statements and EULAs are "rigged" and difficult to understand enough without me going and allowing such a "setup" to run on my machine. I also did a lot of searching(problems with prevx), etc, especially at wilders, for prevx problems. It seems to me like I found too many serious issues like "blue screens", "crashes", etc.
I know that I need a firewall and av, but I really feel that I need a good HIPS or HIPS type security application running on my xp sp2 machine as well. But which HIPS do i choose?