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OK, I did my homework, so is this all I'm gonna need (in addition to safe surfing practices)?

OS:..................................................Windows XP Pro (version 5.1) SP3
anti-virus:.........................................Avast Free 5.0.418
firewall:.............................................PC Tools Firewall Plus Free 6.0.0.74
anti-malware blocker:..........................SpywareBlaster 4.2
anti-malware scanner / removers:..........Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.44 freeware
.......................................................SUPERAntiSpyware freeware 4.33.1000
clean-up utility:..................................Glary Utilities 2.20.0.831
browser:............................................Internet Explorer 8

Assuming IE8 is like IE7, here are the security settings I'll use:
* Zone: Trusted sites
...* Security level for this zone: Medium-high
* Zone: Internet
...* Security level for this zone: High <-- Medium-high to download^
….* Custom Level:
…….* ActiveX controls and plug-ins:
……....* Download signed ActiveX controls……………………………………………………Prompt
…..…..* Download unsigned ActiveX controls………………………………………….……Disable
……....* Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe for scripting…..Disable
…..…..* Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins…………………………………………....……………Enable
…..…..* Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting………………………….……….Enable
…….* Miscellaneous:
……....* Installation of desktop items……………………………………………………………….….Prompt
…..…..* Launching programs and files in an IFRAME…………………………….………………Prompt
…..…..* Navigate sub-frames across different domains……………………………....…….Prompt

^ For some reason, IE7 requires me to do this even at a Trusted Site and even with:
1. "require server verification..." unselected, and
2. Security level for Trusted sites zone set at Medium-high.

And if my NetGear WGR614v6 wireless router is capable of it, I'll put its firewall into "stealth" mode (to drop incoming packets rather than denying them, which supposedly makes you invisible to some attackers).

And should I go to OpenDNS.org for a free secure DNS source?

And does anybody know if enabling Java in the browser constitutes a vulnerability to malware? How about Javascript?

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Last Post by jholland1964
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Looks pretty good to me, though Trusted Sites really aren't needed, I don't use that at all. No reason to really unless it is a work computer that would require this as some do.
Plus go with Firefox as the browser. It is much more secure than IE of any version and most definitely much faster. You can use Firefox and add the Coral IE Tab to Firefox for sites that absolutely require using IE. Also add Web Of Trust to IE and also Firefox if you decide to use it. This gives a good alert as to whether a website is trusted or not.
Be sure your IE cookie settings are:
Allow 1st Party Cookies, Block 3rd Party Cookes, Allow Session Cookies.
With Firefox Allow 1st party cookies and no check mark (meaning block) 3rd Party cookies.
Looks secure to me...watch where you surf is the key, NO P2P file sharing for sure and you will do fine.
You are a rarity, you actually research which is unusual today.

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