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Posted: 9/18/2001 5:05:00 AM EDT
I have a Pentium III at home and am switching to a cable modem. I have been very lax in the past. I don't need any super secret squirrel stuff, but would like to know a couple of things: 1) How do I turn off the PIII self ID feature? 2) What is Zone alarm? 3) What are the advantages of using a separate e-mail account, like hotmail? 4) What else should I be looking for, doing, etc? THANKS
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 5:09:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2001 5:09:48 AM EDT by 7]
The PIII serial # can be enabled, disabled by the CMOS. Zone Alarm is a software firewall program. I prefer hardware like a linksys cable/dsl router. With a broadband connection you *MUST* have some sort of protection. A lot of cable/dsl providers are no longer allowing relay for email. You can receive email from, lets say your work, but you cannot sent email unless you are at home. So, something like Hotmail or a web based email system is nice to have.
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 5:14:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2001 5:17:29 AM EDT by Ian]
Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter: I have a Pentium III at home and am switching to a cable modem. I have been very lax in the past. I don't need any super secret squirrel stuff, but would like to know a couple of things: 1) How do I turn off the PIII self ID feature? 2) What is Zone alarm? 3) What are the advantages of using a separate e-mail account, like hotmail? 4) What else should I be looking for, doing, etc? THANKS
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1) Depending on the manufacturer of your motherboard and BIOS, there will be a setting located somewhere in your BIOS setup. If you have a computer such as a Compaq, HP, or even a Dell there are small downloadable utilities that will turn the processor ID register off. 2) Zone Alarm is somewhat of a personal firewall. A firewall is software that basically only lets in packets that you have requested. It is hard to sum it up in a paragraph, but it helps prevent hackers from getting into your system. 3) I'd recommend using Hotmail over standard POP e-mail. I use @HOME at the house and I don't think I've ever once used the e-mail account that came with the cable modem. There are numerous advantages that come with using a free service such as Hotmail, but two seem to stick out: You'll never have to worry about your POP server or ISP going down, and you can easily check your e-mail from anywhere if you use a service similar to Hotmail. 4) Sounds like you've got it all covered [:D] Ian On Edit-- If you'll be connecting more than one computer to your cable modem, you'll need either a small router or (depending on how many IP addresses they'll give you) a switching hub. Linksys makes an extremely decent router that is relatively inexpensive. I've sold several of the Linksys SOHO routers to my clients and they are extremely pleased. Another advantage of a router is that it will provide another level of protection for your computer as it will make it more difficult to access individual computers. If a router is out of your price range, Linksys also makes a 8 port switching hub that works very well. Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 5:17:23 AM EDT
I might be able to help. 1. I don't know what this is or even if it is real. 2. Zone alarm is a firewall. When someone tries to hack into a computer it is done thru the internet. Zone Alarm will detect this and ask you if you want to block it or not. Zone Alarm also detects "cookies" which are things stored on your computer from web sites that you viist (like your AR15 password). [b]you must have a good firewall with a cable modem!![/b] 3. With a seperate e-mail account you can check your e-mail from any computer, not just yours at home. You just log onto MSN's hotmail web site a go from there. Plus, if you ever have to "reboot" your system at home or your computer breaks you would still be able to access your e-mail. 4. Take a class or at least buy a book about computing. Join [url]www.pcmech.com[/url] and find a friend that can teach you about some of the more common stuff you need to know. You will be surprised at what you can do. Don't be afraid to start playing around with things...that's the only way you can learn and it's really hard to screw a computer up beyond repair. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions, I would be more than happy to help. sgtar15
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 5:19:31 AM EDT
I guess I was wrong about #1...learn something new every day..thanks guys[:)] BTW GLOCKshooter, are you running WIN 2000?? sgtar15
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 5:23:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sgtar15: I guess I was wrong about #1...learn something new every day..thanks guys[:)] BTW GLOCKshooter, are you running WIN 2000?? sgtar15
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Yeah, let us know what operating system you are running. There are some nifty utilities our there for Win2k. Ian
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 8:56:59 AM EDT
I'm pretty sure I'm running Win 98. I'll check tonight. How do you get Zone Alarm? Download, computer store? Price? Is that the most recommended firewall? As to routers, etc., I would like to hook up a second computer, but it is on another floor, and I'm not sure about running wires through the walls/ceiling. I hate to show my ignorance, but I really appreciate all the help. THANKS
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 9:00:23 AM EDT
Personally, I would go with Black Ice over Zone Alarm. Black Ice can be purchased for $45 or so. Aviator [img]www.dredgeearthfirst.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 9:22:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter: I'm pretty sure I'm running Win 98. I'll check tonight. How do you get Zone Alarm? Download, computer store? Price? Is that the most recommended firewall? As to routers, etc., I would like to hook up a second computer, but it is on another floor, and I'm not sure about running wires through the walls/ceiling. I hate to show my ignorance, but I really appreciate all the help. THANKS
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Linksys makes a wireless DSL/Cable router. It uses the 802.11b standard (11mb/s wireless Ethernet.) I'm not sure as to the exact cost of this product, but I think it is about $250 for the router alone. Then to take advantage of the wireless Ethernet, you'll need an 802.11b wireless Ethernet adapter. These are much cheaper, around $60 each. And Avaitor is correct, Black Ice is a much better personal firewall than ZoneAlarm. However, I think ZoneAlarm is free, check out [url]www.download.com[/url] and type in ZoneAlarm for your search. They'll have it there. Good Luck! Ian
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 10:00:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2001 10:28:11 AM EDT by GodBlessTexas]
Originally Posted By Ian: On Edit-- If you'll be connecting more than one computer to your cable modem, you'll need either a small router or (depending on how many IP addresses they'll give you) a switching hub.
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Not to be pedantic, but this is incorrect. A router of some sort must be used if they give you more than one IP address which you stated. However, if they only give you one, you can use the NAT functionality of some routers and appliances to stick many machines behind one IP address. Traditional hubs and most switches don't route layer 3 traffic. However, there is what's known as a layer 3 switch that can route traffic, but those are expensive. Also, a 'switching hub' doesn't exist, as a switch and a hub perform similar functions, but differently. A hub forwards all layer 2 traffic to each port, where a switch only forwards layer 2 traffic to the appropriate ports. Layer 2 in this case is basically Ethernet, and operates on 48bit Ethernet MAC addresses. Routers work at Layer 3, which is 32bit IP addresses for IPv4, and only care about layer 2 information if they have ethernet ports.
If a router is out of your price range, Linksys also makes a 8 port switching hub that works very well.
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If they only give him one IP address, an 8 port switch or hub won't do any good unless he's using an IP router of some sort. Switchtes and hubs only work at layer 2 (ethernet MAC's in this case) and not layer 3 (IP) like a router. Are you referring to the all-in-one router/switch combos that Linksys sells? I thought they only made 4 port models. God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 10:11:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2001 10:12:15 AM EDT by 7]
They also make the BEFSR81 - EtherFast 8-Port Cable/DSL Router. It is basically the same as the 4 port, but it also give you the ability to give a priority to each port separately. IE. #1 has a server, #2 workstation... Then you give port #1 high priority and #2 normal priority. I have the 4 port one at home. Oh, stat away from the wireless one for now unless you want your neighbors to surf and take up your bandwitch. [:D]
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 10:15:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter: 1) How do I turn off the PIII self ID feature?
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As others have said, you turn this off in the BIOS.
2) What is Zone alarm?
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Zone Alarm is what is known as a personal firewall, but it's really nothing more than a software component that sits in the IP stack of your computer and does port filtering. Depending on the level of paranoia that you set, it will block and alert you to certain types of traffic. On a cablemodem, be prepared for this thing to go off non-stop, as most cable services are just bridged as one big ethernet segment, and you see everyone elses traffic. You'll see lots of netbios name and data queries, as well as lots of malicious activity like people scanning for netbus and back orifice (remote control tools) or some of the Microsoft IIS related 'worms' like code red. Zone alarm is one of the better personal firewalls, while black ice is the worst in my opinion. To lend some credibility to that opinion, one of my previous responsibilities was running a Cyberguard 2.0 firewall for a DOD contractor. Those are extremely hardened boxes. We also did our own testing at the last Fortune 500 company I was at, and Black Ice was the bottom of the barrel. It works, but little things just make it a less than effective tool. Things like the most paranoid settings making it complain about all sorts of things (UDP floods for traceroutes and streaming media services), and it's lack of reporting information. However, things may have changed since then, since I haven't looked at it since mid-2000.
3) What are the advantages of using a separate e-mail account, like hotmail?
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Hotmail and other mail services provide you with a conveneient way to get your mail at any place that has a web browser. For the most part, it's ok, but there are security flaws in it. The HTTP protocol was designed more for robustness and flexibility, not security. There have been more than a few problems with hotmail that have allowed people to access other people's e-mail, as well as other bugs.
4) What else should I be looking for, doing, etc?
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If you're going to run a Win32 operating system, I highly suggest making sure you stay current with all patches and hotfixes for it. That's the biggest thing in keeping any system secure, as most people out there are using known and patchable exploits. If more people took the time to keep their OS up to date you'd see less compromises. Oh, and if you want to store any data on your PC that's questionable, I highly suggest using an encrypted filesystem of some sort. With stuff you can buy at Best Buy people can recover data that has been formatted and written over multiple times. And if you like tin foil [:)], there are ways of taking magnetic images of the hard drive platters and extracting data from them that has been overwritten dozens of times. An encrypted filesystem means that without the key, all they get is the encrypted bits, and not the information. God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 9/18/2001 10:26:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 7: Oh, stat away from the wireless one for now unless you want your neighbors to surf and take up your bandwitch. [:D]
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802.11b is an inherently flawed protocol. My friends and I have been playing with 802.11b since last year, though we never published any of our work. But we've done much cooler things than just locating access points. It's amazing what you can do with some time, an 802.11b wireless card with the right chipset, and libpcap. My favorte wireless tool is the connection cutter I wrote. Simply start it and it kills all ethernet traffic. Very usefull when hijacking networks. End users think their cards are having problems, so they re-intialize them or reboot and your stronger AP (yay hi-gain antennas!) is the one the associate with. Then just pass the traffic back onto the network. Of course, I do this professionally and legally. The holy grail, however, is being able to send actual 802.11b control frames, which I haven't been able to do yet. My friend in Dallas says he and a friend have already gotten that working. The biggest problem with 802.11 is that it utilizes public spectrum, which means anyone can listen to the stuff if their in the area legally. That means unless you're using effective encryption on the link (and 64/128b RC4 WEP is not) there's no privacy at all. My wireless setup at home uses 3DES IPSec. Much more secure, but not very fast without hardware crypto acceleration. Oh, I should mention that most newer point of sale systems use 802.11 for communication between the register and the main price databse as well as the credit card transaction. That means all your card info is being sent over the air on public spectrum when you buy DVD's at Best Buy or ammo at Wal-Mart. Just something to think about. God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 9/19/2001 8:37:56 AM EDT
O.K. ... I have confirmed I do have Windows 98. I am going to use a separate e-mail account, but should I use hotmail, as most viruses I have heard of seem to attack Microsoft stuff? How hard is it for me to use encryption, what would you suggest, and again, is this bought or downloaded? I have no idea what you guys are talking about with routers/hubs, level 2 and 3, etc.. I am a computer illiterate beginner. I have one fairly nice (in my opinion) computer I am having hooked up to a cable modem in an upstairs room, and I have one old one downstairs that it would be nice, but not necessary, to have hooked up. That one is mostly word processing and Quicken. I appreciate all the help so far, and if anyone has any suggestions for useful downloads, and sources for same, for windows 98, I would appreciate it. Is there anywhere I can go for step by step instructions for turning off the PIII ID in BIOS? THANKS
Link Posted: 9/19/2001 8:48:02 AM EDT
The key thing to remember here,, is that with the cable modem,, when ever you pc is on,, you are a node on the internet with all the risk it entails. Besides a personal firewall,, you will need a good antivirus package and keep it current.
Link Posted: 9/19/2001 9:14:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas: Not to be pedantic, but this is incorrect. A router of some sort must be used if they give you more than one IP address which you stated. However, if they only give you one, you can use the NAT functionality of some routers and appliances to stick many machines behind one IP address.
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I'm not trying to start a debate here, but cable modems that support the DOCSIS 1.0 standard allow the use of multiple IP addresses over a single bridge. Therefor, you do not need to use any special functionality provided by a router to obtain connectivity for multiple computers. I regularly use a switch connected directly to my cable modem to simultaneously supply connectivity to several computers in my house.
Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas: Traditional hubs and most switches don't route layer 3 traffic. However, there is what's known as a layer 3 switch that can route traffic, but those are expensive. Also, a 'switching hub' doesn't exist, as a switch and a hub perform similar functions, but differently. A hub forwards all layer 2 traffic to each port, where a switch only forwards layer 2 traffic to the appropriate ports. Layer 2 in this case is basically Ethernet, and operates on 48bit Ethernet MAC addresses. Routers work at Layer 3, which is 32bit IP addresses for IPv4, and only care about layer 2 information if they have ethernet ports.
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You are correct. But if I were to go into an in-depth explanation of the difference between a switch and a hub, it would just confuse people [:D] Ian
Link Posted: 9/19/2001 9:41:02 AM EDT
At home, I use the LinkSys BEFSR81 8-port router and Zone Alarm on all the machines. If I use Zone Alarm alone, it pops up constantly. However, with the LinkSys in front of it, it never pops up. This leads me to believe that the LinkSys is really doing it's job. I probably don't need Zone Alarm, but it's good to have because it will block attacks from within the local network, which can happen if someone downloads a worm and infects one of the local machines. Better safe than sorry.
Link Posted: 9/19/2001 11:04:32 AM EDT
The other bonus of using hotmail or some such to filter mail with is that these are not suseptible to e-mail viruses. Most e-mail stuff is strictly set to attack systems that use outlook, or some other microsoft based e-mail system. By viewing all your e-mail through a hotmail, you will not get these viruses that attack just by opening an e-mail. However you should start the account at home, to save any e-mails you want to keep. I have used hotmail for the last 3 years and they have lost my mail at least 3 times, and dumped my address book at least twice that over the years. So don't count on it for long term storage. Yahoo and Netscape both offer free mail as well, but sometimes they seem harder to get into.
Link Posted: 9/19/2001 11:09:09 AM EDT
I second (or third) the recommendation for getting a Linksys router. I have one of these: http://www.us.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10235958&loc=14577 It's incredibly easy to set up and is only $80+shipping for some *serious* peace of mind. - CD PS: Email me if you need help setting it up. tgingrich5@earthlink.net
Link Posted: 9/19/2001 11:29:10 AM EDT
I'll fourth the Linksys Router. I have run all of the security tests at a website (don't remember URL) and it showed that I am running in stealth mode. There doesn't appear to be anything at my IP address.
Link Posted: 9/19/2001 1:06:59 PM EDT
O.K., I'll go with the lynksys router. What do I need to order with it? Any special wires, cables, etc? I currently have a 56k modem and they are coming saturday to hook me up to comcast cable.
Link Posted: 9/19/2001 1:09:24 PM EDT
Uh.... bad form, I just made senior member with a post that has nothing to do with rifles, ammo, SHTF, or fluffy. Oh well, at least I made it without "post here to add one to your count."
Link Posted: 9/24/2001 12:40:52 PM EDT
Computer privacy. www.pgpi.com (PGP for email, PGPdisk, PGPnet, PGPfone) www.hushmail.com (web based secure email, don't use hotmail or yahoo mail, get several accounts and keep them seperate) www.zonelabs.com (free personal firewall, use this as a starting point) www.junkbusters.com (first level of cloaked web surfing) www.safeweb.com (anonymizer, try triangleboy) http://www.skuz.net/potatoware/jbn2/ (anonymous remailers...) http://www.counterpane.com/ (email newsletter) www.microsoft.com (get latest security patches) adaware (looks for commercial "spyware") Upto date virus software. Go through 'security settings' and 'Internet Options/advanced' and turn off things like 'profile assistant', turn on 'don't save encrypted pages to disk', 'empty temp internet folder upon exit', etc. Window Washer Most of the above could be used regularly with little disruption. There is a PIII downloadable utility but it is hard to find. It is buried somewhere in Intel's site. There should be a BIOS setting also. Buy AMD instead. but most of all, computer security means keeping your head in the game. a 4k PGP key will do you no good if you choose a 2 letter password or write it down.
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