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Run as admin 24/7

Last response: in Windows 7
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March 24, 2010 1:28:02 PM

Am I more susceptible to viruses and other malware if i dont use a password protected user account and just run win 7 as admin all the time?

I chose to run as admin without a pass in my last account config for hassle free purposes but it just seems like im getting attacked by viruses left and right. Hijack display through samsung driver(trojan), another through Logitech SetPoint and this last one that isnt showing up in scans (through adobe reader) This last one was so bad I initially couldnt even post to bios, idk if it changed my settings somehow but i reset the cmos was able to get into the bios then i got an error saying that no drives were detected, now im reinstalling..

current spyware/anti virus:
AVG 9 free
Malware bytes
Spybot S&D
CC Cleaner

I mean really this should be enough, would just like to know how to avoid getting these again. Set Point I can do without, but i need the adobe reader and samsung drivers. Oh and I never auto update anything or run programs that pop up in my task bar (would be nice to know how to keep this from happening as well).

I just get the feeling like my IP is on someones hitlist and these viruses are just waiting for the floodgates to open so they can ravage my system. So really im looking for any advice.

thanks in advance

More about : run admin

a b $ Windows 7
March 24, 2010 1:42:27 PM

Yes, running in admin mode 24/7 does make you more vulnerable. Why? Because by doing that (1) you have disabled access controls which makes it a little easier for malware to get into your system; and (2) any malware which does get into your system now has unrestricted access since it's operating under the Windows equivalent of the /root.
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March 24, 2010 1:50:06 PM

k well i just reinstalled and im still getting the message "no any drives found" for about 4 seconds; but it does boot to windows so idk whats going on. any ideas?
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a b $ Windows 7
March 25, 2010 12:27:44 PM

"no any drives found" is a BIOS message? It might be that the IDE ports or RAID controller was re-enabled when you reset it. But there's nothing attached to them, hence the error. And yah, running as an admin all the time with no password is dangerous. I also notice that you didn't list a firewall; you should have one.
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March 25, 2010 2:46:12 PM

check and check, resetting the cmos put me back to an old raid config. all taken care of now.

was going to start a new thread but since you mentioned it this seems as good a place as any. ive been looking into ways of beefing up my security. reading lots of threads on various sites about disabling this, enabling that but im not sure if these are trusted, tried and true guides to security. so some suggestions would be very helpful.

ive recently added WOT to firefox; thinking about switching from avg to avast; have also considered running noscript again though its pretty annoying

ive also learned that less is more. as you increase the number of programs you increase the surface area for viruses to penetrate. so really im just looking for a few solid programs that wont conflict with each other

1.) what firewall would you recommend?

2.) could you point me in the direction of a reliable guide/tutorial on improving router/firewall security?

thanks in advance
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a b $ Windows 7
March 25, 2010 3:36:44 PM

1) If you're careful (like me, lol) Windows firewall is lightweight and works. It will stop incoming attacks. Its weakness is in stopping viruses/spyware on your computer from communicating with the host computers; it can't easily stop outgoing communications. But if you don't get malware on your PC in the first place, you don't have to worry about outgoing protection. If you want outgoing protection, Comodo and ZoneAlarm are two good, free firewalls.
2) I don't know of a good guide, but a few things come to mind: Use WPA2 AES PSK encryption, preferably with a random passphrase; change the router's admin password to something other than the default, which is known by every hacker in town; and set your router to filter by MAC address. Those three things, which you can find instructions on for your specific router model with a quick Google search, will greatly improve your network's security.
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March 25, 2010 4:13:56 PM

i try to be careful but some of these trojans and rootkits are ingeniously designed, having a weakness exploited in adobe reader isnt anything i have much control over. ive been using windows firewall. i know a lot of people like zone alarm, maybe its time to try it out and have a two way firewall. i pass protected and changed the defaults on the wireless router the first time i set it up. ill check the encryptions when im connected again.
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a b $ Windows 7
March 25, 2010 5:16:25 PM

Adobe Reader (and Flash, ugh) is a big security weakness. The solution is simply to not open PDFs you receive in your email from someone you don't know. As for finding out whether an online PDF is safe, try the McAfee SiteAdvisor add-on. I use it and love it. If you want to go all-out to avoid Reader flaws, switch to the free Foxit PDF reader.
You have taken a good first step in using Firefox over IE.
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March 25, 2010 7:52:08 PM

thanks for the help bolbi

here are the programs ill be installing and using :

Avast for spyware
Malwareytes for viruses
Zonealaram for added firewall protection
CCcleaner for maintenance
Firefox with adblockplus and wot

dont see a need for Spybot S&D and its never found anything these other programs havent

briefly read up on foxit and im unsure as to why it would be safer than adobe

also, do you guys think its best to enable auto updating for tings like java, pdf readers etc or constantly update yourself?

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a b $ Windows 7
March 25, 2010 8:09:17 PM

Sounds like a good suite.
Foxit is safer because it's far less of a target for hackers. The key is "safer", not "more secure". Similar to Macs vs. PCs, it probably has as many security holes as Adobe Reader; they're just not going to be exploited nearly as frequently.
@ Updating - I do it manually as soon as an update is released, but I still set mine to autoupdate just in case I forget. Manually updating delivers updates faster (for better security), but leaving autoupdate on ensures you'll get it. Better late than never.
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March 26, 2010 3:41:02 AM

well i tried to install avast! and when i went to run it o got this error :

the application has failed to start because its side by side configuration is incorrect

so i right clicked the exe went to Troubleshoot Compatibility, ran the test compatibility, it suggested i run it in compatibility with XP SP2....so i wen to the list of compatibility options "run this program in compatibility mode for" and win 7 was not a listed option. i downloaded the win 7 free version from cnet

also, should i install these programs in safe mode under admin ? or does it not matter

thanks again
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a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2010 12:04:03 PM

"side by side configuration is incorrect" means that you have another AV installed. You can't have two running at the same time. Uninstall the old one. If you already have uninstalled it, use CCleaner to remove any leftover registry keys.
I would install it as an admin, but NOT in compatibility mode. And of course there's no Win7 compatibility mode, since you're already running in Win7!
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