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-   -   Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread (https://www.cableforum.uk/board/showthread.php?t=33615560)

Halcyon 07-06-2007 12:08

Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
With a lot of people who ask the questions "What anti-virus and firewall do you reccomend" and "How do I make my system secure and stop spam and adware", I thought I would write a quick guide for people who want to get their system up and running, virus free, and in a good healthy condition.
Feel free to add more info if anyone has any other ideas.


What Anti Virus software do you reccomend ?


There are many antivirus software packages around and it can be difficult to choose which one to go for.
It all deends whether you want to pay or not. I will look at both.

Buy Antivirus software:

I reccomend "Nod32" from ESET software.
It costs around £27 for a years subscription and is available through the website only.
I have personally found it very effective and like the fact that it does not hog system memory.
It updates throughout the day automatically.
I would advise against Norton Antivirus as I have found it takes up a lot of memory and can be a pain to uninstall.
Many people on these forums use Nod32 and are happy with it.
Website: http://www.eset.com/

Free Antiviris software:

Free Antivirus software does not mean it is bad, and often it can be just as good as bought software.
There are two popular free Antivirus applications: AVG and AVAST.

AVG Antivirus software:
http://www.grisoft.com

AVAST Antivirus software:
http://www.avast.com/


Is there a FREE online Virus scanner ?

You really should not be without Antivirus software, but if you need to do a virus scan and clean and don't have any Antivirus software, you can do so online for free.
The following websites all provide Antiviris solutions and will allow you to do an online virus scan.
You will probably have to accept a security message to allow the website to scan your computer files. This is normal.
It will also ask you to install the online application. This is also normal and nothing to worry about.

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

http://www.pandasoftware.com/products/activescan.htm



What Firewall do you recommend ?

As with Antivirus software, there are many Firewall applications to choose from.
Even though Windows has a firewall built in, it is worth using a better firewall.

One of the most popular FREE Firewalls is 'ZoneAlarm' available here:
http://www.zonealarm.com/store/conte...eeDownload.jsp
There is also a more advanced version available to buy.

Another popular FREE firewall is 'Comodo' available here:
http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/

Do not install more than one Firewall on your system as they are likely to conflict with each other.



What Anti Spyware / Adware software do you recommend ?

Just browsing the Internet exposes your computer to many evil things that can harm files, generate adverts, install illegal files, spy on you, etc.
Installing the following applications will ensure that your system stays in top health.

Install Lavasoft Adaware.
This is a FREE application that scans your system and deletes adware, malware, and spyware.
This software should be run once a week and you should always download the latest pattern file from within the program.
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/


Install CCleaner.
This is a FREE application that cleans your system of unneccesary files, maintains privacy, and optimizes your system to run more efficiently by removing unused files.
Ideally, run this every night to clear old Internet files and once a week to perform additional tasks such as scanning for software issues, or uninstalling unwanted software files.
http://ccleaner.com/


Install Spyware Blaster
This is a FREE application that scans your computer for spyware and adware.
This application is useful for spotting adware and spyware when it happens before it does any damage.
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html


Install Adbolock+ for Mozilla Firefox
A lot of people now use Mozilla Firefox as a web browser for it's many features and ease of use.
It can be downloaded here: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/
To stop adverts, uneccesary popups, and block unwanted content, you can install the FREE Adblock+ plugin for Firefox.
You can download it here: http://adblockplus.org/en/


There are a lot of adverts on the Internet that say they clean your system or provide anti-spyware.
Beware, as most do the opposite and could cause more spyware and adware to enter your system.


More advanced tools: HijackThis

HijackThis is a FREE application designed to scan your computer and find files that may have been changed by any spyware, adware, or malware.
It will scan your computer files including boot files and the registry to find anything that could be causing your computer to slow down or be hijacked.
After running a scan, the software will then display a list of anything it finds on your system where you have the option to delete unnecessary settings or files.
Only delete something if you are sure of what you are doing. Making certain changes to the registry can cause problems to your computer.
If you do not know what to change or delete, ask someone who does know before making any changes.

You can download it here:
http://www.trendsecure.com/portal/en...?page=download



I've just formatted / reformatted / bought a new system

The first thing you should do with any system is to make sure it is up to date and protected from online threats.
If possible have your antivirus software and firewall already on a CD or memory stick so it can be the first thing you install after your system is up and running.

1. Install your Antivirus software, Firewall software, and adware / spyware software.

2. Download the latest Windows Service packs, patches, and security updates by going to:
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/

Whilst you are doing that, make sure your antivirus / security applications are up to date by downloading the latest updates.


3. If you are running a Wireless network, now would be a good time to make sure your system is fully protected and that no one else can gain access to your computer.
See your router manual for more details or check out StuartBe's post here for more details on securing your wireless network:
http://www.cableforum.co.uk/board/38...s-network.html

A security test can be done here:
http://security.symantec.com/sscv6/

4. Make backups of important files as life is unpredictable. If something ever happens, atleast you know you'l have a backup.



My computer is running really slowly / I have adware / a virus / spyware on my system

There are several things that can cause a computer to slow down or become unstable.
Here are a few solutions to try:

1. The first thing to do if you do not have them already on your sytem is to install antivirus and adware removing software.
See the links I have provided for free software that will protect your system.
Once installed and the applications are up to date, run a full antivirus scan and an adware, spyware, malware scan.

2. Check that you do not have anything unneccesary running at Startup by going to Start, Run, and type "msconfig" without the quotes.
Go to the Startup tab and see what is listed.
Go to http://www.processlibrary.com/ for details of each running process.
If in doubt, ask on the forums before disabling something.

If that does not solve the problem, install HijackThis mentioned above and get a listing of what is runing on your system.
See if there is anything running that should not be there.
If unsure, ask someone on the forums as deleting certain registry entries can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.

3. Check to see how much space is left on your hard drive.
(Point to 'My Computer', right click the hard drive and select properties').
If you do not have much space left, it may be wise clearing out some files or transferring them to another drive to free up memory.

Install CCleaner (listed above) to help you shift unneccesary files and delete any programs you do not use.

Do a full error checking (scan disk) of your hard drive and a full defragmentation. Still in properties, move to the tools tab.
Whilst you do these tasks make sure you disable your screensaver (right click on desktop and select properties, then the screensaver tab) and ensure that nothing is writing to the drive.
Basically leave it to do it's thing.
You should ideally defrag your hard drive once a week.

4. Whenever you download and install programs, make sure you look at what exactly is being installed.
If given the option, click the 'custom seteup'.
Some applications will install additional applications or features / settings that you do not need. Don't let them get on to your system.



Ooops, I've deleted a file or my files have dissapeared

If you find that important files have been deleted, there may be a way of getting the files back.
Firstly, make sure that you do not write to the drive. By this I mean, don't do anything else such as install or save anything else to the hard drive.

The following two programs are free and allow you to recover your files:
Do note that this depends on the state of your files and that some files may not be able to be recovered.

''Restoration" scans your system and attempts to recover deleted files.
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html

From the developpers of CCleaner, this new software 'Recuva'
http://www.recuva.com/

And from now on, make sure you make regular backups.


What other software is there ?

The applications mentioned are those that I recommend.
There are many more though and you can view them in StuartBe's thread here:
http://www.cableforum.co.uk/board/111559-post1.html

Delta Whiskey 07-06-2007 14:37

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Nicely put together.

You should mention that Norton 2007 is the only third party firewall that is Vista compatible at the moment, Zonealarm has been saying 'real soon now' for months. Also I would recommend CBOclean as an ant-malware tool, this used to be the paid for BOclean but Comodo bought the company and released it as freeware http://www.comodo.com/boclean/boclean.html

Halcyon 07-06-2007 15:11

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Good points Delta Whisky. :tu:

Most software listed should work with Vista, but check here for more info on software that is / is not compatible:

http://www.iexbeta.com/wiki/index.ph...atibility_List

Chris Davo 07-06-2007 15:47

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Good topic mate, do you not recomend spybot search and destroy?

zing_deleted 07-06-2007 15:59

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
this will be an article before long so get the reps off it while you can ;) good post mate

Diskeeper ,0&0 defreg ,window washer, registry mechanic :) sorry if some have been mentioned

Ghost of course

Halcyon 07-06-2007 16:10

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Yes, Spybot Search and destroyer is also a good one.
I tend to prefer Lavasoft's Ad-aware myself.
Spybot has a few extra features that Ad-Aware doesnt but at the end of the day they do similar jobs.

For those that want to give Spybot - Search & Destry a go, you can download it here:
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

---------- Post added at 16:10 ---------- Previous post was at 16:04 ----------

Quote:

Originally Posted by zinglebarb (Post 34323200)

Ghost of course

Definately agree with you about Ghost.
A good way of backing up and restoring your files, and makes re-installing everything much quicker.
More info here:
http://www.symantec.com/home_homeoff...r&pvid=ghost10

Delta Whiskey 07-06-2007 22:47

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Startup Inspector is also worth a look. http://www.windowsstartup.com/

r00t 07-06-2007 23:09

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
And just incase something did get through and doesn't want be deleted
Dr Delete

nffc 07-06-2007 23:52

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Well I'm using Kerio Winroute at the moment, it works OK but interestingly only allows rules on a per-port basis. I've not really explored but not seen anything like that before. Weird.

A-squared and SuperAntiSpyware are also worth mentioning.

danielf 08-06-2007 00:57

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
There's some handy apps out there that monitor you Hard Disk temperature and health. I've been using one of these since my laptop HD packed in due to overheating (I suspect). Hard Disk Temperature is displayed in the task bar. Currently at 48 Celcius, tends to go up to 52 when downloading. :(

I use an old freeware version of hard disk sentinel (which I can't find a link for at present)

nffc 08-06-2007 01:04

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by danielf (Post 34323662)
There's some handy apps out there that monitor you Hard Disk temperature and health. I've been using one of these since my laptop HD packed in due to overheating (I suspect). Hard Disk Temperature is displayed in the task bar. Currently at 48 Celcius, tends to go up to 52 when downloading. :(

I use an old freeware version of hard disk sentinel (which I can't find a link for at present)

I have Everest Ultimate which sits nicely in the sidebar, for all the temps/voltages. It does CPU usage as well but I find another gadget is better refreshing that.

william.clarke77 12-06-2007 20:09

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nffc (Post 34323632)
Well I'm using Kerio Winroute at the moment, it works OK but interestingly only allows rules on a per-port basis. I've not really explored but not seen anything like that before. Weird.

A-squared and SuperAntiSpyware are also worth mentioning.

What is your opinion of Windows Defender

nffc 12-06-2007 23:53

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by william.clarke77 (Post 34327114)
What is your opinion of Windows Defender

Mine? Not worth the resources. If I could switch it off I would. It's never found anything aside from WinVNC which is legit, when other apps have.

bw41101 30-06-2007 18:44

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Something to remember (for Firefox users) is the extension called "No Script" this little workhorse (if used properly) can prevent a lot of (script based) situations (when you visit various sites) that may lead you to (accidentally) pick up nasties on your system.

Definitely the dog's whatsits!

Si Thee

Halcyon 27-07-2007 14:44

Re: Antivirus / anti spyware / Firewall, and computer health thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bw41101 (Post 34340396)
Something to remember (for Firefox users) is the extension called "No Script" this little workhorse (if used properly) can prevent a lot of (script based) situations (when you visit various sites) that may lead you to (accidentally) pick up nasties on your system.

Definitely the dog's whatsits!

Si Thee


:tu:

Available here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/722


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