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Best way to stop access

Posted on 2006-06-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-16
Long story short,

A friend of mine was given a computer by her boyfriend.  They broke up and now she is worried he might be able to access her computer(he is a computer geek).  What would you recogmend she do?  For example, would the following be sufficient:

Change her User log on and her email logon passwords
Install Zonealarm

She is not to computer literate, but I can walk her through the suggestions you give.

Thanks in advance

Bob
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Question by:bob733
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kevinf40 earned 34 total points
ID: 16910700
Sounds sensible

Ensure the firewall is configured to not permit any incoming connections (unless she specifically requires this for specific functionality e.g. to a mail server or web server).

It would also be worth making use of the firewalls ability fo control out going connections - this would allow her / you to see what was attempting to connect out in case she is worried about him having previously installed anything on the PC. - In this instance should could be doubly safe and re-install the machine.

There are many firewalls that will do the job zonealarm is actually quite good although some people find it nags too much.  Tiny, proventia, etc are also good - I'm sure others will recommend different firewalls, but if you are comfortable with zonealarm it will do the job.

Changing all her usernames / passwords is a good precaution.

Additionally standard things like ensuring she has up to date AV and anti spyware are also worth checking.

cheers

K
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Assisted Solution

by:AndrewGustely
AndrewGustely earned 33 total points
ID: 16911008
One concern, depending on what you feel this guy is capable of is a planted trojen that would negate all your efforts. In which case backing up her files and doing a system wipe might be a good idea.
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by:Okigire
Okigire earned 33 total points
ID: 16913617
Changing usernames and passwords is an excellent idea - including the Administrator's account(s).  I would also go in and delete or disable his user account as well as he could use his own old account to get in.  Do your Windows Updates to make sure any known security holes are fixed up as well.  Under normal circumstances, this should be good enough.

To cover trojans, etc, do a full system scan for viruses.  Bit Defender (http://www.bitdefender.com) and Panda Software (http://www.pandasoftware.com) are the online scanners I use to check for viruses.  Remember to turn off System Restore (in XP) and go into Safemode With Networking before you do these virus scans.

Chances are, this computer is getting full of junk, and hacker or no-hacker I would always suggest a Backup and Format routine.  I know people who regularly reformat their machines (every 6 months or so).  A clean system has no extra junk and speeds up the system.  I don't know if a system wipe is necessary, but a reformat is always good... whatever you do - remember to backup your data!
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Expert Comment

by:prashsax
ID: 16922505
Best of all, Format the entire disk.

Reinstall the OS.

This will eliminate the risk of any bot installed on it.

As for here data, MS Office files could be infected with VBScript.

If you need to, copy all you stuff and then scan it with a good antivirus and antispyware.

If you could, do not use any old files.

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