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Thread: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

  1. #1
    hanging Guest

    Exclamation Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    Should any of the ZAP (paid version) be changed when they are not appropriate? Such as "server rights", e-mail, etc.? Or should they just be allowed to stay on the default settings? Since I do not use Outlook I have it blocked. Is this appropriate? Confused as to the rights that some of these programs are allowed. Thank you for any assistance about this subject.

    Is there a method which allows me to be notified if there are responses to my posts?
    Last edited by hanging; August 20th, 2010 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Added question as to notifcation of any responses.

  2. #2
    hanging Guest

    Question Re: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    P.S. Question. To return to the default settings is the proper method to click on "auto" where it denotes "custom" because a setting was changed? Very uninformed about the settings options and all assistance will be most appreciated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    Zone Alarm was designed to work best with Default setting..

    Here is the recommended way to Restore all Default settings

    1.) Hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys together
    2.) Right click on the ZA icon near your clock in the system tray lower right corner

    3.) Choose 'Reset' from the box that comes up
    4.) Choose Yes on the Reset Settings dialog box
    5.) When prompted, choose OK to restart your system
    6.) Follow the on screen configuration prompts after reboot
    GeorgeV
    ZoneAlarm® Extreme Security


    Click here for ZA Support
    Monday-Saturday__ 6am to 10pm Central time
    Closed Sundays and Holidays

  4. #4
    critterjoe Guest

    Default Re: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    Quote Originally Posted by hanging View Post
    Should any of the ZAP (paid version) be changed when they are not appropriate? Such as "server rights", e-mail, etc.? Or should they just be allowed to stay on the default settings? Since I do not use Outlook I have it blocked. Is this appropriate? Confused as to the rights that some of these programs are allowed. Thank you for any assistance about this subject.

    Is there a method which allows me to be notified if there are responses to my posts?
    Let me answer this last question first. After you write your post, and before pressing Submit, look a little lower down at "Additional Options". There is a little dropdown menu called "notifications". Choose "instant notification" to receive email as soon as someone answers you. Then press Submit.

    Now for the rest of your questions. These statements are just my own opinion having used ZA products for several years. Other people's mileage may vary, depending on their operating systems, PC setups, etc. I use WinXP and ZAP.

    I feel that the default settings in ZAP may be a bit too permissive, and that people can tone them up a bit, assuming they have a little bit of "computer savvy". For a rank beginner, it might get a little complicated. So assuming you have some computer experience, I offer some options. For instance, the most dangerous column is called "Internet Server". There is almost no reason to ever have a checkmark in that column. The exceptions would be the rare person with some special gaming operation that required it, or if someone was operating some server program on purpose. The vast majority of people will never need a checkmark in that column for any program. So if ZAP has defaulted any checkmark in "internet server", I would change it to a red X or blue ?

    For the "trusted server" column, almost no program will need permission. The main one that MAY need permission is Generic Host (svchost.exe). ZAP will show a default green checkmark there. Some people will need that because of connectivity problems with their ISP, etc. I do not need it. So I have no checkmarks in either the "trusted server" or "internet server" columns for any program, only ?'s. So you can leave checkmark in that column, or can try it with just a ?. However, if ZAP defaulted a checkmark into "INTERNET server", you need to change that to a red X.

    ZAP may default some "trusted server" permission (green checkmark) to some Windows system programs and browser programs as well. I find that permission not necessary for my system or browsers. So I changed those to ?'s as well, leaving nothing in either of my server columns.

    No program will need email permission except your actual email program. You can leave those other programs on ?. (For many programs I leave things on ? instead of X, because I want to be notified if something is trying to access the Internet, so I can trace out what might be going on and if it's something malicious.)

    Now for the two "access" columns. ZAP will default checkmark permission into "trusted access" and "internet access" for some Windows system files like winlogon, NT session manager, rundll, client server runtime, etc. I left the "trusted access" permission but removed the checkmarks from "internet access" (changed to a ?), and have had no problem. Note that if you change these, ZA will warn you about "Changing system files could affect your computer's response". If you are uncomfortable about changing any of those, then leave them alone. In the long run, I don't think you can really hurt anything. For instance, if you notice some kind of problem or connection issue when trying to go onto the Internet, you can put the checkmarks back. Of course your browser programs will require "internet access" as will programs that have an autoupdate feature like antivirus programs, financial programs, etc.

    In the "Trust Level" column, ZAP may preconfigure some Windows system files with "supertrust" (3 green bars). I leave those system files at "supertrust". Other programs should have that high trust level only if needed. An antivirus or antimalware program may need. Your browser may or may not need. Just be sure it is a program that you DO trust before granting 3 bars, and only when necessary. Occasionally you will have a program when it is launched, popup alerts like "Program X is conducting suspicious activity like monitoring your keystrokes". This can happen with Internet Explorer, Quicken, and other programs. Once your sure it is normal, if you click "Always", it will automatically put the 3 green bars in your program permission, or you can manually increase the trust level yourself.

    One caveat: some of this depends on how you have Smart Defense Advisor set at the Programs/Main page. If you have it set to Auto, then those programs on the permission page that are also set to Auto could receive updated permissions or auto resets without you knowing about it. So I advise people to check the permissions occasionally to see if any have reverted or new ones been added with too much permission. If you have made any custom changes to some program permissions, however, I believe that those programs will no longer receive any automatic changes; and you'll see the column change from "auto" to "custom". When Smart Defense Advisor is set to Manual, then none of the programs are auto-configured from that point forward, even though you can still receive online advice about settings.

    Since this is so long, and since I have a couple of other things to explain, I'm going to put the rest in another message. Hopefully I haven't confused you too much so far!
    Last edited by critterjoe; August 21st, 2010 at 05:09 AM. Reason: Clarification

  5. #5
    critterjoe Guest

    Default Re: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    Quote Originally Posted by hanging View Post
    P.S. Question. To return to the default settings is the proper method to click on "auto" where it denotes "custom" because a setting was changed? Very uninformed about the settings options and all assistance will be most appreciated.
    There are two ways to return to default settings, depending on how much you want to reset. GURU George gave you the method for resetting all your program permissions and ZA security settings; i.e, a program RESET, similar to a clean install.

    However, if you just want to reset a single program entry to its default permission, just remove (delete) it from the program list, and the next time you run that program (or when you reboot if it's a system file), ZA will place it back in the list and it should be auto-configured, if you have Smart Defense Advisor set to "Auto". (some programs won't autoconfigure until you establish an Internet connection first, since that is where they get their info to autoconfigure.)

    To remove a program from the list you can either right-click it and select "remove" from the popup menu. Or you can highlight it and click "delete" key on your computer. You are not deleting the program, only removing it from the ZA list.

    It's also possible that just setting the program back to "auto" without removing would eventually re-configure it. I don't believe it does immediately; you would have to connect to the Internet I believe for it to receive the info to autoconfigure. Perhaps for a beginner, if you change any system file permissions, it might be good to write down the permissions for ones you change, so you can manually go back to the previous if you have a problem, until you get used to what all is going on.

    Another thing about permissions, and I think ZAP already defaults this way. At the Program Control/Main page, in the right-hand bottom corner is an "Advanced" tab. Click it and at the next window "Access Permissions", be sure all 4 areas say "always ask for permission" or "always ask before connecting." Then any new program that is encountered in the future will not be able to contact the internet without you knowing it. (but it can still later be auto-configured if set to "auto" I believe).

    Finally, one last thing to check. If you find that some of your Microsoft programs are being reconfigured automatically even though you have customized them, and they are getting permissions you don't want, it might be due to another option that overrides it. In the Program Control/Main, under Program Contol, in the top right corner is a "custom" button. Click it, and in the next window, see if there is a checkmark for "Enable Microsoft Catalog Utilization." If so, ZA will give preset permissions to Microsoft files. To prevent this, so you can customize them, you would need to remove that checkmark and not use the Microsoft Catalog. If it's checkmarked, you could try it for a while and see if you like it. I unchecked it to have more control and more knowledge about what Microsoft files were doing, but a beginner will have to weigh whether they want to do that.

    Some changes you make in the program permissions panel (like any changed system files) may not take affect until you reboot or relaunch a program.

    Well, that is way too much info to digest, but hopefully it will help some. Let us know if you have further questions. Also read the pertinent sections of the ZA manual which is accessible through the HELP section of the Control Panel. Good luck!
    Last edited by critterjoe; August 21st, 2010 at 05:01 AM.

  6. #6
    hanging Guest

    Smile Re: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    George V, and Critterjoe, thank you for all of the information. That is a whole lot to "digest" for sure.

    This is a "sticky" issue since as was mentioned, exposure because of allowing "Server Rights" to some programs can cause serious security issues. What does Zone Alarm Pro utilize as criteria in making a determination of which programs to allow this access to (does anyone have this information?). Allowing Server Access to programs is something to take very seriously. Insofar as e-mail, agree that this function should have at least a ? or a block.

    Also thank you very much for providing the information to receive "instant notification", Critterjoe.

    Thank you both for taking the time to provide this information. It is going to take quite a while for me to "digest" it all. Your assistance is very much appreciated!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    ZA defaults are to maximise combatibility and security. Any changes to defaults may cause your system not to work properly under certain conditions. If you know what are you doing than its fine. Otherwise you are perfectly fine with defaults.

    Cheers,
    Fax

    Click here for ZA Support
    Monday-Saturday 6am to 10pm Central time
    Closed Sundays and Holidays

  8. #8
    hanging Guest

    Question Re: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    Thank you for the information, Fax. I think that I had questions in the past about the "server" rights for programs, and at that time you also recommended that users should stay with the "automatic" configurations that Zone Alarm Pro uses.

    I will try to sort through things - - - I definitely do not feel comfortable allowing so many programs "server" rights, however if I were to utilize the ? in lieu of the X, would that be a good way to approach this as Critterjoe recommended? Utilizing that method a user would be informed if a program was asking for access.

    Do you have any further thoughts about this? Thank you for taking the time to reply to my questions.
    Last edited by hanging; August 22nd, 2010 at 06:43 AM. Reason: typographical error

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    Yes, if you don't mind been interrupted while using your Pc. Sometime alerts may disrupt the software you are using.

    Cheers,
    Fax

    Click here for ZA Support
    Monday-Saturday 6am to 10pm Central time
    Closed Sundays and Holidays

  10. #10
    hanging Guest

    Smile Re: Zone Alarm Pro default settings

    Thank you for the additional comments, Fax. The information is sincerely appreciated! Hope I can sort everything out eventually and find the "happy medium".

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