HOW TO SECURE Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 & EVEN Vista in 12 steps


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iZoom

I think that the jargon used is a little confusing or over my head. I've taught myself along the way and know only what I can find through Google. I've considered some of the steps, but in reality, who is targeted towards? I do agree that while you seem very educated, opposition or inquiries to your guides aren't taken very well or lightly by you. I would assume, and I could be wrong here, that a guide towards security is always open to suggestions or improvements, whether they are in the form of presentation or the actual information within.

I have both a laptop and desktop that haven't had viruses and malware in a long time. While I likely will get some in the near future because it is inevitable, what is overall end result that one would gain by following these steps? I haven't ran anything third-party on either computer and recently used an antivirus program to scan both and nothing came up. I think that in addition to your steps, a lot of common sense, which isn't necessarily common, will help a lot of people too. I don't download programs I don't know, I rarely touch an e-mail unless I solicited it from somewhere or someone, and I stear clear of porn/warez sites as well. Good guide, just offering some more "simplified" suggestions in addition to your recommendations.

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APK
I think that the jargon used is a little confusing or over my head. I've taught myself along the way and know only what I can find through Google.

Wikipedia &/or AltaVista may be others to use... & @ least YOU have the "common-sense" to lookup a term or phrase you did not understand. Kudos to you.

I've considered some of the steps, but in reality, who is targeted towards?

Anyone who is interested in securing their computer, really.

I do agree that while you seem very educated, opposition or inquiries to your guides aren't taken very well or lightly by you.

It's a serious topic, along the lines of securing your home, automoble, or any personal properties vs. theft/illegal ingress...

(& thank you.)

I would assume, and I could be wrong here, that a guide towards security is always open to suggestions or improvements, whether they are in the form of presentation or the actual information within.

Presentation? That's PURELY a matter of opinion, especially "writing style" - to that one, I can cite MANY others via quotes of their words who enjoyed this guide by way of opposing viewpoints & then, concretely show this material does help you stay safer online ...

Actual information, however, is usually not subject to "interpretation", but is instead based rather on actual fact - NOT PERSONAL BIAS.

I have both a laptop and desktop that haven't had viruses and malware in a long time. While I likely will get some in the near future because it is inevitable, what is overall end result that one would gain by following these steps?

Peace of mind, or additional peace of mind!

Question: Do you have locks on the doors of your home &/or automobile? If so, why??

(You'll answer YOUR question to ME, right there for me...)

I think that in addition to your steps, a lot of common sense, which isn't necessarily common, will help a lot of people too.

Agreed 110%...

I don't download programs I don't know, I rarely touch an e-mail unless I solicited it from somewhere or someone, and I stear clear of porn/warez sites as well.

Some of the best recommendations you could give are those... I agree.

Good guide, just offering some more "simplified" suggestions in addition to your recommendations.

Thanks, & you did contribute (especially last paragraph of yours I cite above this one)...

APK

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  • 4 weeks later...
APK

SORRY FOR THE "DOUBLE-POST" guys, edited/updated list of apps is below... thanks (mods, if you wish to remove THIS post, go for it)... apk

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APK

More security tools/info. (04/28/2008), for APPLICATION LEVEL SECURITY:

(I.E.-> For checking for apps you have that may be security vulnerable OR have been patched vs. said vulnerabilities, etc.):

----

SECUNIA PSI (checks for outdated OR apps that are known to be insecure):

secunia_psi_screen.png

https://psi.secunia.com/

NEW VERSION (released very recently too).

A good program, by a trusted & WELL-KNOWN security-oriented website online (I tried version 1 earlier on last year, it needed work. This one is solid though, so far @ least, imo!)

(It works, & sometimes catches things FILEHIPPO UPDATE CHECKER below, won't - good "2nd Doctor's opinion" etc.)

----

FileHippo's Update Checker (checks for outdated OR apps that are known to be insecure, supplement's PSI above):

filehippo_update_checker.png

http://filehippo.com/updatechecker/

Decent program as well, & good to use as a supplement to the SECUNIA PSI Tool as well (from a well-known file downloads site also in filehippo).

(It works, & sometimes catches things SECUNIA PSI above, won't - good "2nd Doctor's opinion" etc.)

----

Windows Vulnerability Scanner:

Windows_Vulnerability_Scanner-43.gif

http://www.pspl.com/download/winvulscan.htm

Nice program for checking Microsoft Operating Systems &/or Ms-Office versions vs. missing security patches, & it works, very well!

----

APK Registry Cleaning Engine 2002++ SR-7:

389.jpg

http://www1.techpowerup.com//downloads/389...ooglehappy.html

:)

* Yes, "shameless plug" on MY part on the last one, but, it does have "security benefits"...

(& more than potentially useful forensics ones, because it shows you what files a user calls upon via its lists (it does check recently used filelists, but, will also list those files the user attempted to delete (this assumes he may have been attempting to hide them)))... it is 100% proven SAFE on all 32-bit versions of Windows (see its description & feedback by users on the download page) 9x-VISTA as well)).

APK

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  • 2 weeks later...
APK
Thread CleanedI'd suggest that the OP need to learn to take some constructive criticism instead of entering in to long arguments about his writing style...

IS THIS A FORUMS ON ENGLISH GRAMMAR, or COMPUTING? Also - if this posts' "so bad"/unreadable, then, why was it made an "ESSENTIAL GUIDE" here, & on quite a few other websites also, above all else?

Answer that for me, won't you?

QUESTION: Does criticism of "writing style" (coming from those minus PhD's in English no less, lol) even count (via helping make other folks' systems more secure (Especially when their "critique"'s based on a MERE OPINION of "writing style"))?

ANSWER: It doesn't... not @ all.

(In other words - How does that 'critique of writing style' (which may have been issued by someone with dyslexia or ADD for all we know, or just idiots period who have nothing better to do than create problems for others online) help secure someone's system further, or, find weaknesses in the points I noted??)

----

VERIFIABLE FACTS:

  • This post's material, here, is currently @ 13,000++ views now, here (& also around that number on 23 other websites online, to the tune of VERY NEARLY 100,000++ views in summation across them all & in only 4-5 months time online no less (that's what? Around 28 VIEWS PER HOUR?))

  • 9/10 times, they were rated well OR made a guide/sticky (as it was here) & won me the $100 prize @ PCPitstop for January 2008 no less!

  • This post also shows visible & verifiable concrete results others have gained on it (in photo proof no less from the sites they originated from) that are far superior to the "stock/oem' security setup Microsoft (or, even Linux/SeLinux distros) give you!

  • This post's material is now being cited (as "good stuff" no less) @ other SECURITY ORIENTED FORUMS online, from those who attend MOSTLY security related forums no less...

----

* Yea, ok - I guess it's just "bad stuff & unreadable", eh? NOT! Opinions vary - however, quantifiable & VERIFIABLE results do as well. albeit, to MY & this posts' favor! "Down rate it" in effete retaliation all you like, because apparently, my critics have nothing else to do or stand on, vs. verifiable facts, period...

APK

P.S.=> NOW - I also have an opinion: I see your forums posts the "pseudo articles" of a Jeremy Reimer of arstechnica on your "news pages":

New NEWS/NewsFlash: Jeremy Reimer of arstechnica has no degree or certification in computer sciences, much less years to decades of hands-on PROFESSIONAL experience in them (& can't do much more than spit back the findings of others) - I suggest (as "constructive criticism" no less) that you people find PROFESSIONALLY QUALIFIED people to cite, instead of charlatans/fakes who really aren't qualified in the least in this Art & Science/field in the least bit... apk

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iZoom

While I think most people have tried to refrain from name calling or flaming, I think you stepped over the line in your most recent post in "possibly" referencing users here as "possible" idiots. I think your guide is fairly sound in its methods and suggestions, however, I think that as it has been pointed out numerous times, you don't seem to take plain and honest general criticism very well. I think that as the maker of a guide, the author would be open to helpful hints or suggestions in order to improve his work and expand its audience.

Granted, you may be MUCH more knowledgeable about security than myself, but I am still entitled to my opinion of your work, regardless if you agree or disagree with it. You seem to not like that part of Neowin forums or at least you seem to need to justify by quoting everyone's post line by line. That is your right to do so, but by focusing on people's feedback, it has deterred from your security guides original purpose. I don't think anyone here, or at least not myself, is against you in any hostile or unfriendly way, so I hope that is apparent too.

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APK

IS THIS A FORUMS ON ENGLISH GRAMMAR. or. COMPUTING?

(ANSWER - I KNOW it's about computing, not "english writing style")

... & that mere OPINION of "writing style" is nearly the ONLY grounds I have seen this post put down on here!

(& yet many here liked it, & certainly did as well @ other forums & I cited that fact here as well + the fact it has been made an essential guide here & on 4 more forums today in fact, &/or rated @ 5/5 stars on many also))

While I think most people have tried to refrain from name calling or flaming

Some did though, even posting pictures & such (never myself either), OF MYSELF (& they did toss names my way etc.)

BUT, that's not the point:

Critiques based on 'writing style' opinions, especially from someone unable to produce a PhD in English (not that this is ENGLISH CLASS mind you)? Those ARE OFF-TOPIC + certainly do not help to secure a computer, no questions asked.

I think you stepped over the line in your most recent post in "possibly" referencing users here as "possible" idiots.

No, in my last paragraph above, I only told it how it is + face it: Downgrading this to 2 stars? Based on a "critique of writing style"?? From those MINUS A PHD IN ENGLISH, & WHO HAVE PROBABLY BEEN ALIVE FOR LESS TIME THAN I HAVE BEEN SPEAKING & WRITING IT???

Especially when many liked it here, & on other forums (where it now has 14 or so featuring it as either 5/5 star rated, OR, as a "sticky thread" , or "ESSENTIAL GUIDE" (as it is here in the latter as well)???

Come on...

(& face it, there are people online who "get their jollies" doing idiotic stuff, just as I outlined above - can you tell me a GOOD REASON to rate this post down to a 2 of 5 stars?)

How do I, or you, know their "bad writing style" opinion (which helps secure nothing mind you & many other individuals I quote here & elsewhere felt it's good no less) is not based upon them having "ADD" &/or DYSLEXIA?

Again - Too many others here & elsewhere felt totally different as well

I think your guide is fairly sound in its methods and suggestions, however, I think that as it has been pointed out numerous times, you don't seem to take plain and honest general criticism very well.

Critique, based on "writing style", in a COMPUTER SECURITY POST in a computer forums?? That's off topic for one thing, & does not secure a system further!

I think that as the maker of a guide, the author would be open to helpful hints or suggestions in order to improve his work and expand its audience.

I welcome them, absolutely, WHEN THEY ARE ON TOPIC:

HOWEVER/AGAIN - This is no forums on English writing style!

(& I have only been speaking + writing that for over 41 yrs. now, & the fact it was made an "ESSENTIAL GUIDE" here by your moderators, also says it's VERY readable (as well as testimonies from others here, and in other forums as well, that say its readable & accurate)).

4 more forums also made it a "sticky thread/essential guide" yesterday in fact, making the total now up to 14 of 20 forums its on (the rest have it rated 5/5 stars, or it is in their "Top viewed posts of all time" also).

No, something's OFF here, has to be...

Especially when that many people (here, & elsewhere also) rated it so well... & rating a post down to nothing (especially since me101 years ago (2001) here rated another post by myself to be "NEWS" & complimented it highly, & THAT POST ONLY TOOK A USER TO AROUND A 71.xxx/100 SCORE ON CIS TOOL NO LESS, & THIS WILL GET YOU TO 90/100, & yet it is rated lower???)

Again, come on...

APK

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+mrbester

One possible reason that this thread has had so many views is that people want to see the latest in the long-running saga of snarly responses, much like any thread that has tripped down the shadowy path to the Circle Of Flame [tm]. It is also quite likely that it is the original post that gets the rating, not anything subsequent, and why it was put into Essential Guides.

Oh, and denigrating those with dyslexia or ADD doesn't help your cause one little bit. If they don't understand what has been written then the onus is on the writer (or someone affiliated to the writer) to aid them. Or are they not supposed to have secure computers because they have limited comprehension skills?

Rarely are technical authors also technical specialists (and vice versa). This is because the specialists (by necessity) usually deal with complexities and nomenclature outside of the experience of the readership. Take Prof. Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History Of Time" as an example. As a cosmology / astrophysics graduate I had no difficulty whatsoever in understanding the content, yet sales of the guide to the book were well over half the sales of the book. This is because a great number of people didn't understand the book and needed someone a bit closer to their level, rather than the Olympian heights that geniuses such as Prof. Hawking inhabit, to explain it to them.

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APK
Oh, and denigrating those with dyslexia or ADD doesn't help your cause one little bit.

I'm not "denigrating anyone" (though I was actually called names here & had photos posted about me etc. here also): I am merely stating a possibility...

(& there were no PhD's in English here either, when I asked for proof of those, especially from those criticizing + "down-rating" this post to 2/5 stars (based on critiques about "writing style" (mere opinions which are off topic, this is NOT a grade in english - it's a post about securing a computer in a computer oriented forums, not English Grammar forums)))

Especially when your mods made it an "Essential Guide" no less, & many other forums have also (14/20 in total now, for over 100,000 views in summation across said forums, have also @ this point in time as well).

This is not a forums on "English Grammar", above all else, is it?

Does 'critique of writing style' help secure others more??

Do "writing style critiques" (from those minus a PhD in English no less) even STAY ON TOPIC???

APK

P.S.=> The funny part really is really this:

Years ago here (2001 in fact)

A member named me101 posted the ORIGINAL VERSION of this guide here on THIS FORUMS, in 2001 (the ancestor of this one, circa 1997-2002) & highly recommended it, which is fine... HOWEVER - That "highly rated one" version's points literally only get you to a 71/100 score on CIS TOOL, mind you - this post, downrated to 2/5 stars, gets you to 90++/100 on CIS Tool...

(I post the url link to it on the top of last page no less for your verification no less)

Do the math, & explain THAT to me & others please! apk

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+NJ Louch

Wow, this thread really has become just a personal snyping ground, huh?

Was coming here to read it, as the title interested me - but I have no desire to read 8 pages of argument.

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APK
Wow, this thread really has become just a personal snyping ground, huh?

Yes, & it is not a forums on "English Grammar"!

(Which is about the only "criticism" offered here, & yet the mods here made it an "essential guide", & many other forums have as well, in addition to 5/5 star rating it + it being amongst their "top viewed of all time", etc. et al, also (in fact, 14/20 forums have done just what I wrote, by 100,000 total views in summation across them all, including THIS forums' version of this post)).

Now, THIS is sort of funny:

When this post's been downrated to 2/5 stars, based on BLATANTLY "off-topic critique of writing style" (how does this help secure someone? This is NOT an 'english grammar' section of this forum no less), & this version gets you 90++/100 CIS Tool scores

... & yet Another FAR OLDER VERSION OF THIS GUIDE was "highly rated" & a news posting by me101 here in 2001, & that model ONLY GOT YOU TO 71/100 CIS Tool scores, tops??

Honestly - you expect me to NOT question that 'down-rating' to 2/5 stars?

* Do the math, explain THAT...

Was coming here to read it, as the title interested me - but I have no desire to read 8 pages of argument.

Then, don't (nobody's twisting your arm to do so), & I did not toss names @ others here NOR did I post photos of them (as was done to myself here by betasp)...

APK

P.S.=> @ over 100,000++ views strong, across 20 forums (14 of them rating it 5/5 stars, or making it a "sticky thread" or as it was here, made an "essential guide"

no less) says otherwise, vs. this post's being "down-rated" to 2/5 stars alone - on which this posts' "down-rating" to 2/5 stars here was largely based on OUTRIGHT OFF-TOPIC opinions (based on "writing style, by those minus PhD's in English no less & who have been probably alive for less time than I have been speaking & writing it myself no less - & FAR MORE POSTERS ACROSS TONS OF OTHER FORUMS FELT OTHERWISE (plus, even folks here also vs. that 2/5 star 'down-rating'))??

Guys - come on...

(Again, this is a forums on computing, not "english grammar" no less - guys, does that help secure a system, in an OPINION-BASED critique of "what good writing style is"? Why again, was it rated so well on so many other forums then (14/20 as either 5/5 star rated, an "essential guide" as it is here, & finally a "sticky thread"), if it is 'bad writing style' - your own mods read it, & must have felt it was readable, else, why make it an "essential guide")?... apk

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iZoom

Well judging by your marriage to statistics, why do you feel as though they are proof of this guide's importance or popularity? Just a general, honest and sincere question.

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APK
Well judging by your marriage to statistics, why do you feel as though they are proof of this guide's importance or popularity? Just a general, honest and sincere question.

Too easy: Those statistics simply & COMPLETELY disagree with the rating of THIS POST, on this forums - & far too many, from far too many other sources (some even SECURITY ORIENTED & SPECIALIZED TO THAT AREA NO LESS) to be ignored, for me to NOT cite them.

I.E.-> For me, to NOT use other forums & folks results + findings & opinions as noting this material as good & well written (& also as a proof of something "wrong" here in these forums), by citing their results & ratings (as well as that of their members & yours here too mind you)? OMITTING THAT, would be foolish... as it is VISIBLE concrete & verifiable information!

They are simply STATEMENTS OF FACT... visible, concrete, & completely verifiable.

(Especially since it is a forums on computing, not "english grammar")

PLUS, face it - Your own moderators here made it an "ESSENTIAL GUIDE", I guess they can't read it then, eh?

Plus - via the contradictory opinions of other forums & their members, to the tune of 100,000++ of them across 20 or so forums where it was "5/5 star rated", or made a "sticky/pinned" thread, OR lastly, an "ESSENTIAL GUIDE" as it was here?

Hey - that is a LOT stronger set of facts, not opinions (along with the fact gains possible are VISIBLY QUANTIFIED by the CIS Tool scoring gain possible as well).

ONCE MORE - How is a 'critique' on writing style going to help secure someone?? Won't anyone here answer that & my other questions (especially the ones bolded below)

Yes, what I use is, by far, proof that are solid - especially vs. the opinions of "writing style" of those minus a PhD in English (Who are again, also off topic, as this is NOT A FORUMS ON WRITING STYLE (much less from those, who odds are, having been writing & speaking this very language for only a fraction of the time I have))

---------------------------------

QUESTION #1:

How does a mere opinion of what good writing style is, from those minus a PhD in English & possibly affected by ADD or DYSLEXIA, help to secure someone further?

---------------------------------

QUESTION #2:

IS THIS A FORUMS ON COMPUTING, or ENGLISH GRAMMAR??? "Writing Style Critique"?? How's that helping secure folks more & what qualifications do these "critics" have in that area?? I saw no PhD's in English (nor, anyone who's been speaking + writing it longer than myself either).

---------------------------------

QUESTION #2:

When this post's been downrated to 2/5 stars, based on BLATANTLY "off-topic critique of writing style", & this NEWER + BETTER version gets you 90++/100 CIS Tool scores

... & yet Another FAR OLDER VERSION OF THIS GUIDE was "highly rated" & a news posting by me101 here in 2001, & that model ONLY GOT YOU TO 71/100 CIS Tool scores, tops??

---------------------------------

(Honestly - you expect me to NOT question that 'down-rating' to 2/5 stars?)

* Once more- do the math, & explain THAT last question/answer it, especially that one, to us all...

ABOVE ALL ELSE (except the concrete results of others on CIS TOOL scores & the fact this material's been rated so well on many other forums & even your members here liked it in many of them)?

This place, & this section - AGAIN: It's not an english class grade (it's not a legal document, nor is it my "last will & testament" either)... this is a forums on COMPUTING after all!

APK

P.S.=> Why won't ANY of you answer those 3 simple questions?

Also - do not the results on CIS Tool scores INCREASING also prove to be an indicator the tools & points + "tips/tricks/techniques" this thread/guide extolls, also not serve as better proof, via QUANTIFIED VISIBLE RESULTS of others (not just myself) + their findings & ratings (from security oriented forums @ times no less), help to show that something is "up/wrong" here, with this guide getting a 2/5 stars rating here?

Argue with the facts, & the numbers, & GOOD LUCK! apk

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Colin-uk

Theres so much junk in this thread its far past cleaning it, i dont see it getting back on topic either.

So, Thread Closed.

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