troubleshooting Question

Programs / Processes Essential to Basic(?) Internet Surfing

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mainame asked on
OS Security
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I'm trying to monitor activity on my WinXP system (3rd fresh insall in 2 weeks) so as to be more aware of possible intrusion.  

<most firewall tools advise that if you know what the program is you're safe giving it acess.... and there lies my problem>

So; if all I have done is insalled WinXp and want to update the OS (no othe programs/appliations except zonelabs security suit will be installed), can anyone give me an indication of:

1. Before I install ZoneAlarm what processes can I safely expect to find running in the task manager. To which programs do they belong (I guess it depends on my windows settings but please give me your best guesstimate)?

2 (a). After installing ZoneAlarm and running windows update program, what are the OS programs / modules that have a legitimate reason for requesting internet access?

2 (b). What ZoneAlarm Suit (6.0) setting can I implement to ensure the secured environment with enough freedom to a least satisfy Mr. Gates enough to download the updates "hasssle free"?

Please let me know what more information you need for me to provide to supplement the question.

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