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Thread: How safe is a home network if one computer gets compromised?

  1. #1
    miketpl Guest

    Default How safe is a home network if one computer gets compromised?

    How safe is a home network if one computer gets compromised? I have 2 computers and a networked enabled printer hooked up to the internet thru a Linksys firewall router. I m pretty safe in using my computer on the internet but my kids roam far and wide on there s. Because of this I have been reluctant to add the home network to the trusted site. If they get a virus will it not have access to my computer in a trusted zone. I ve also heard that I should turn of NetBios?

    This becomes a problem because of the networked printer. I could put the printer into a trusted zone but I believe it s IP is selected by the router and may change.

    Thanks

    Operating System:Windows XP Home Edition
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
    Software Version:6.0

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: How safe is a home network if one computer gets compromised?

    Hi Miketpl,

    Your home network is far less safe becuse it runs Windows networking (I assume you don't have a UNIX or LINUX-type network). Windows networking is NOT a TCP/IP network, but a peer to peer network. Zone Alarm only protects against TCP/IP traffic. Therefore it is imperative that you have virus checkers and other assorted anti-scumware (eg Spy-Bot S&D, Ewido, Pest Patrol, MS Anti-spyware) installed on each computer and make sure they are always up to date.

    If your kids use a messenger service (MSN, Yahoo or AOL/ICQ) make sure you have IMsecure installed and consider blocking Formatting Tags and Active links. MSN Messenger especially is notorious for facilitating the spread of scumware. Better still, use IMsecure to block all messenger access, and get your kids to switch to Skype instead which is far more secure and much safer.

  3. #3
    miketpl Guest

    Default Re: How safe is a home network if one computer gets compromised?

    I m not sure about the peer to peer network! My 2 computers and the printer are networked through a router and each is assigned a IP address. I thought a peer to peer network was when you connected the computers directly to each other?

    I do have the anit-scumware installed on both computers, but my kid s may not always practice safe surfing. I need a way to block there computers access to my computer so that my financial information does not get compromised.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: How safe is a home network if one computer gets compromised?

    No, a P2P connection can go via an intermediate computer (in this case your router which is a LINUX box) and still be P2P. Thats how the likes of Kazaar and Skype etc work across the globe.

    You can disable Windoze Networking by de-selecting it in the preferences of your network adapters. If your kids don't need access to your PC and vice versa disable it on both PC's. If you do this, the only way the two computers can communicate is via the TCP/IP network protocol and ZA will prevent any intrusions.

    If you currently share a printer attached to one PC, doing this will make it impossible to print from the other PC. To get around this you would need to run your printer off a print server box (eg HP JetDirect etc) and mount the printer as a TCP/IP device rather than as a Windows networking device (eg LTP1).

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