best firewall-router

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my on line bill pay has been fraud two times-they were caught but I am using
the windows XP fire wall-- I was thinking of using a better firewall--my
neighbor suggested getting a router...
opinion on a  router
and what is the bet firewall.,


Re: best firewall-router

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It's up to the Web site to stop the fraud and protect against it on their
end. No firewall of any type hardware, XP's FW or any 3rd party personal
firewall is going to protect in this situation on your end, because it's
happening at the Web site the bill pay's Web site on their end.

The only way you can be attacked with your computer in this type of
situation is if you clicked on something a dubious Web link that
downloaded/installed software  so that one could see your activities while
using the computer, which can also be done with an email sent to you. They
other way would be if you went to a dubious Web site, the Web site asked you
about your on-line bill payer information, and you gave it up.

If your account gets compromised  with the on-line bill payer, you had
involvement with it in someway,  and that's what should be worried about. It
just doesn't happen by itself on some type of identify theft is what it
really comes down to. You had involvement in your own compromise.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to practice safe hex
computing practices as much as possible.,1895,2132447,00.asp

The other thing would be is not depend upon detection software to tell you
what is happening on the computer, because it  can all be circumvented and
defeated if the conditions are right. You should look for yourself from time
to time to see what is happening and what is running  on your computer with
the proper tools.


Lastly, if using the XP O/S, then you should harden it to attack as much as

No router FW, XP's FW or a 3rd party FW is going to protect you in this
situation. You have to protect yourself and your behavior while on the

Re: best firewall-router

On Sat, 15 Dec 2007 20:17:00 GMT, M.Balarama wrote:

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One-click security applications are not the answer to your situation.
It's time you're educate yourself and initiate some kind of security

1. For day-to-day work/browsing operate as a 'normal' user i.e. utilize
   the Limited User Account (LUA) and use the Administrator Account(AC)
   only when absolutely necessary.

2. Secure, tighten up your Operating System (OS).

3. Keep your OS and all software on it updated/patched.

4. Reconsider using IE and OE.

5. Don't expose Services to public networks.

6. Keep on using the in-build firewall and if applicable use a router.

7. Do not to use TCP/IP as transport protocol for NetBIOS, SMB and RPC
   and  leave TCP/UDP ports 135, 137-139 and 445 closed.

8. Routinely practice Safe-Hex.

9. Routinely backup your data.

10.Familiarize yourself with 'flatten' and rebuild your OS.

11.Review your installed 3rd party software applications;
   Remove clutter.

Detailed elaborations pertinent to the above mentioned points can be
Security is a process not a product.
(Bruce Schneier)

Re: best firewall-router

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I would change the above to "only use IE for windows update", and never
user OE.

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Huh?  Please clarify.

Regards, Dave Hodgins

Change to to reply by email.
( has been set up specifically for
use in usenet. Feel free to use it yourself.)

Re: best firewall-router

On Sun, 16 Dec 2007 12:59:33 -0500, David W. Hodgins wrote:

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That's what I do; Others may operate differently :)
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Be prepared, don't get caught flatfooted :)

Re-install OS (reformat HDD).

Perform a clean install of Windows XP

"How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install":

Inspirational reading:
Your computer is most likely to fail at a time when you need it most.
(Bill Husted,CNS)

Re: best firewall-router

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I would talk with your online bill paying service about what's going on.
Obviously it's serious if someone is hacking your account.  Change your
passwords and make them strong so they cannot easily be cracked.

You should confirm that your system is clean.  Are you running current
antivirus and antispyware? Have you done full system scans with those
products to see if they find anything?  Even if you can say Yes to both
questions I would download additional scanners to make sure your system is
clear of malware.  If you are plugged directly into a broadband modem then
yes, you will be more secure if you install a router between your computer
and the modem.  I don't know which one is the "best", but I like my Netgear
WGR614 - very affordable and includes firewall features such as SPI
(stateful packet inspection).

As others have mentioned though, the specific problem with your online bill
paying service may not have to do with your computer, but with the security
they are implementing (or lack there of).  If your bank offers an online
bill paying service you might consider using it instead of the services of
individual companies.  I trust my bank's security more, and by paying all
bills in one place I only have one company to deal with if I have problems.

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