Protecting my Windows partitionSunday, July 22, 2007 at 21:01 | Posted in computer, ubuntu | 3 Comments
Tags: antivirus, firewall, software, windows
For reasons I wrote about back then, I bought a laptop with pre-installed Windows XP a couple of months ago. Along with the XP there was a 60 day trial of Norton Security Suite. While I mostly use the laptop under Ubuntu 7.04, I decided to leave the Windows partition intact. My Logitech QuickCam Connect is easier to use for both video and still pictures under Windows. Also, I have not yet managed to configure my WLAN card to Linux and some cool features of Skype do not support Linux.
The Norton Security 60 days free trial would have run out in 8 days. I have been reminded for the last three weeks to “renew” it which would obviously no longer have been free. Interestingly, the two options provided each time I logged in to Windows were to renew it now (which was recommended) or renew later. In other words, I was generously left with the option of paying them right away or paying them later. Since I have no desire to pay Norton a cent for their services, I today uninstalled their Security Suite and replaced it with free software.
I first downloaded the Zone Alarm free firewall and then uninstalled the Norton stuff. After re-booting I installed the firewall and went on to download the equally free Avira AntiVir Personal Edition Classic. After installation I let it scan my hard drive. No viruses were found so Norton managed that part during the 52 days, at least.
Now that I had a firewall an and antivirus programme running, I still needed a tool to detect and remove spy- and malware. I downloaded and installed Spybot. Although Norton Security had not reported a single entry of spyware during 52 days, Spybot detected and removed 41 entries at the first run. I wonder what exactly the service is that Norton wanted me to pay for.
Having three separate programmes for free rather than one package for money means that I must do some of the work manually but I do not mind doing it. I used to work under Windows for years before switching to Ubuntu so I am more than familiar with these tools. Besides, running them myself gives me a good overview of the system.
Protecting the system is the price (either in work or money) one has to pay for the dubious luxury of using Windows. In comparison, Ubuntu does not necessarily require any protection at all. I do use Firestarter, though, to be on the safe side. It is good to have it recorded in the firewall log if a serious hacking attempt should take place.
Although I only log in to my Windows partition two or three times a week, I think it was worth while to spend a couple of hours this afternoon to protect the system. Using Windows even momentarily without a proper protection would be as stupid as having sex with a stranger without a condom. In fact, chances of infection are bigger with Windows.