Internet Security

Hi,
I use wireless Belking Pre-N router connected directly to my cable modem (ISP) to access my Internet at home. The router has built-in firewall and password enabled secure lock so outsiders cannot connection to the wireless router. Regardless, of the built-in security features is it possible my computer could be hacked? What additional measure do I need to implment to protect my security when browsing the Internet?
Thanks,
Savi
savoyajolieAsked:
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giltjrCommented:
Yes your computer can be hacked.  Use Anti-virus software.

The typical home grade firewall prevents unwanted and unsolicited traffic from the Internet from getting in.
It does NOT prevent traffic from getting out.  That is why you can "surf" the web.  Without anti-virus software, a "virus" or some other malware package could be installed on your computer, which initiates a connection OUT from your computer to another computer.  From the firewalls point of view, that is fine, because the connection/traffic was initiated from the "safe" side.

The majority of spam today is spread by virus/malware infected computers that firewalls allow the traffic out from, because it is assumed that any traffic initiated out is safe.

Of course the best way to protect your desktop computer is to look at the back of the computer.  Typically you will see a black cable/cord about 1/4" thick going into the back of your computer and the end in the computer will be about 1"x1/2".  Pull this out.  Guaranteed no virus, no malware, no personal information being leaked, no annoying blue screens of death, no spam, or anything else that could go wrong.  Of course now you have a very expensive paper weight, but that is a compromise you have to live with.  :)
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savoyajolieAuthor Commented:
Do you know of any good free anti virus software that I can use?
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giltjrCommented:
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Gartner Research VP, Neil McDonald & AlgoSec CTO, Prof. Avishai Wool, discuss the business-driven approach to automated security policy management, its benefits and how to align security policy management with business processes to address today's security challenges.

rpggamergirlCommented:
Another antivirus option also is the free Avast:
http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

And for Antispyware there's a good SUPERAntispyware also free:
http://www.superantispyware.com/

And when surfing online it's always good to have SpywareBlaster installed to protect you from malicious activeX. It doesn't need any to run in the background so doesn't need any resources, just an occasional check for updates.
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/sbdownload.html

Update Windows, surf the net on a non-admin, limited privileges user account.
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savoyajolieAuthor Commented:
Thanks rpqqamergirl and giltjr. I will update my pc accordingly how about others at home who access the Internet though wireless connnection as well if they do not have the same anti-virus and spyware running on their PC can they infect my PC as well?
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giltjrCommented:
All PC's should be running good security software.  If they get infected, they may not be able to infect your PC (as your's is protected), but they could cause problems with your network and if the virus is one of those that generates spam, your ISP could shut down your connection.
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savoyajolieAuthor Commented:
Thanks rpqqamergirl and giltjr!
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rpggamergirlCommented:
Yes, they should also have antivirus installed in their pc and other security apps etc.
If their pc is infected, they can also infect you via file sharing, and sharing infected flashdrives etc.

In my home there's 3 pcs sharing the internet connection, one desktop and 2 wireless laptops but we don't have file sharing enabled and we don't share USB drives, so if they're infected they can't infect my pc but as giltir had mentioned if other pcs are infected and generating spams, then it also affects you when your ISP terminates your connection.
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