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 FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)

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kotelinie
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PostSubject: FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)   Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:48 am

Alrighty, as you know, hopefully, there are ALLOT of virus threats, adware,
spyware and malware around the world these days. And without a decent virus scanner on your computer, those threats have free play on your computer system!

Now, there are allot off different types of Anti-Virus and -spyware software to be downloaded / bought on internet, but also in the stores.

For Virus scanners i can advice this:
- Microsoft Security Essentials (From Microsoft self, at use on work)
- Avira AntiVir Personal
- Avast 4 Home Edition
- AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition (Not a personal favorite)
- Panda (Paid version)
- Panda CLoud


A free Internet security program to be used is:
- Comodo Firewall Pro
- ZoneAlarm® Free Firewall


For Spyware and ad-aware protectors
Look at this link to see different Anti-Spyware Programs that are on the market.

The ones I can advice to use are:
- Malwarebytes anti malware
- Windows Defender
- Spybot S&D
- A-squared Free
- Ad-Aware Free Anti-Malware
- Spyware Terminator


Easy Maintenance Programs
- Ccleaner
- Advanced SystemCare free 4
- Smart Defrag 2
- Advanced Uninstaller (comes with Advanced SystemCare)
- Malware Fighter Free


Last edited by kotelinie on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:09 am; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Updated with new tools!)
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kotelinie
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PostSubject: Re: FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)   Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:50 pm

Q:
Can you please explain what the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is? It comes through every month with the Windows Updates, but I've never really figured out what it does.

A:

Oh, that's such a good question! I've been asked this question several times in the past and to be honest, I thought we already covered it in the newsletter. That's the only reason why I never addressed it. But, after taking a quick look through our archives, I found out we've touched on it before, but we never really gave a good definition of it. So, before I go any further, I just want to apologize for neglecting this for so long and I hope my explanation of it today will make up for lost time. Let's get started, shall we?!

Here's the basic definition you've been looking for! The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is a utility that scans your computer for any infections that revolve around malicious software. If anything is found, the Removal Tool then helps to get rid of it. A few examples of the software it focuses on a bit more are Blaster, Sasser and Mydoom. Once the scan is finished and the malicious software is removed from your computer, the Tool gives you a report describing everything that was detected and removed.

Now, like the person who asked today's question stated, a version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is released each month with the Windows Updates. Other versions of the Tool are also released when needed to help out with new security issues. The version you install each month through the Windows Updates simply sits in the background on your computer and alerts you if an infection is found. You are able to run the Tool more than once a month if you wish, but in order to do that, you need to download a different copy from Microsoft's Web site. That's completely up to you!

It's possible that some of you neglect to install the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool each month. You may think your computer is just fine and you're convinced you don't need another utility running on your computer. Well, everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but I strongly recommend you run the Tool at least once a month. Even if your computer seems to be acting normal, you're still at risk of being infected. The Removal Tool is heavy duty and it makes a big difference when it comes to keeping your computer safe.

You should also make sure you keep all of your other antivirus, spyware, etc. software up to date. Those programs can work along with the Tool to keep your computer as protected as possible. Also, just for your information, the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool works with the following operating systems: Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Server 2003. Stay safe!

~ Erin
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kotelinie
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PostSubject: Re: FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)   Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:30 am

Malware Threat Center

Just today, I found an awesome Web site that helps you stay up to date on security threats around the globe. The SRI International Malware Threat Center is a monitoring site that can tell you loads of information about the newest threats, where they're coming from and who's fighting against them.

If you have any interest in knowing what is going on with malware threats and growth, you can check out this site for all the information you will ever need. As you may recall, I wrote an article last week about the number of viruses and malware on the Web today. Well, this Web site will give you the names of those threats and where they're coming from in real time!

For those of you who are into more advanced protection, this site will also give you some detailed information about where the threats are coming from and which IP addresses you should block. Now, if you don't get into that kind of advanced security, that's okay too. This site will show you the most common domain names used for phishing and other attacks so that you can avoid them. There's even a section that shows you which antivirus software is best for fighting the most current threats.

I think this Web site is a great tool for anyone out there who is concerned about their computer's security. After all, being informed is one of the best ways to stay secure. You can check out the SRI International Malware Threat Center right here. Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary


Last edited by kotelinie on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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kotelinie
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PostSubject: Re: FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)   Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:41 am

Comodo

I have mentioned before that having a good firewall is essential to computer security. I know some of you out there use the Windows firewall that comes along with your computer, but that may not always be the best choice. The Windows firewall does provide the minimum security needed to protect your files and system from unwanted access, but it also lacks many of the advanced features that are included with new firewalls. Some of those features include active file scanning and setting up trusted networks for communication.

One of the main reasons why people choose to use the Windows firewall is because it's free and it comes with the computer. Those are good reasons, but what if there was a better firewall out there that was also free and offered the advanced features the Windows firewall is missing? Well, actually, there is!

It's called the Comodo Firewall Pro, it's completely free and it offers a lot more of the advanced security features you need to stay 100 percent protected. The Comodo Firewall Pro is compatible with Windows XP and 2000 and you can get it right here for yourself. Enjoy!

Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary
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kotelinie
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PostSubject: Re: FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)   Wed May 07, 2008 8:29 am

AVG 8

When it comes to free antivirus software that is also powerful, there's really only one option. It's called AVG Free Edition and it works great for basic antivirus protection on a home PC. I know there are several of you out there who use AVG, so I decided to give you a heads up on some big changes you should be aware of. For quite some time now, the newest version of AVG has been version 7.5. I know I have used it on my home PC for almost a year now and it has worked out great. Well, just the other day, I received a notice that said I need to upgrade to version 8. At first, I thought they were just trying to sell me the pay version, but that wasn't so!

It seems AVG has completely revamped their free and pay versions of the software. AVG 8 is now available, so if you're still using v7.5, you should upgrade immediately. After doing some further research, I found out that AVG 7.5 will no longer be supported after the end of this month. So, if you don't upgrade to version 8 soon, you will no longer be protected from viruses or any other bugs that may be lurking around.

Now, I know upgrading software can be a hassle, so I went and upgraded my AVG 7.5 to AVG 8.0 just so I could tell you all about it! It turned out to be a pretty painless and simple process. Here's how you do it:

First, go to AVG's Web site and download the newest version of AVG Free Edition. Here's the link to their Web site: http://free.grisoft.com.

Make sure you choose the Free Edition (if that's the one you currently use) and then just follow the steps to download it to your computer. In the final step, you will be asked if you want to save or run the file. Choose Save and just put it on your desktop so that you can easily find it later.

After the file finishes downloading, find your current AVG icon in your system tray down by your clock (it looks like a square with four different colors on it). Right click on that icon and choose "Quit AVG free control center.” That will prompt a warning, asking if you're sure. Choose Yes. After you do that, shut down any other programs running on your system.

Third, find the AVG installation file you downloaded earlier and double click on it. That will start the AVG free installation. The nice thing about this installation is it will remove the old version automatically. Just go through the steps by clicking on the Next button. After the installation is complete, it will tell you it wants to check for updates, but the update check will fail. Don't worry, we will get to that on the next step. After clicking Next through all of the screens, you will be asked to restart your computer. Click Yes to do that.

The final step is doing the update that failed earlier. After your computer restarts, your AVG icon will have a red X on it. Double click on the icon and choose the option to update the software. The update will complete and the red X will disappear.

You're done! You now have the newest version of AVG. Until next week, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary
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kotelinie
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PostSubject: Re: FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)   Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:18 am

TRUSTe

Spyware, adware, trackware and all the other parasites on the Web today have been around just about as long as free downloads. I remember when I first started writing these weekly articles, Steve told me that I needed to pay careful attention to the privacy agreements. He wanted to make absolute sure that we weren’t suggesting that people invite malicious code onto their PCs. Privacy agreements are only one of a number of procedures I perform on a potential new article topic, because I don’t trust them. I run my antivirus and anti-spyware scans and I also use unsecured and outdated browsers to see if there’s any spyware bound to the site, just waiting to be attached to my system. It’s what I call a baited ambush!

Basically, there are a lot of really bad things going on behind the scenes with some programs and it’s been getting even worse lately. Between companies exploiting their users to protect their products and software writers making free software that attacks us, sends us pop ups or whatever else it’s designed to do, how does the average end user stay unaffected by this adware, yet still enjoy the “good” software? Well, you have to look around, sifting through the devious applications. It’s a full time job. Believe me, I know. There’s a lot of junk out there that sounds really good in its description, but it comes complete with false Web site awards and bogus pristine user reviews.

I have always thought that there should be tougher restrictions in place to stop the install of deceptive software from installing so easily on end users' systems. You know, standards that are written in a way that program writers can’t simply side step with some clever loophole they found, as they have been doing of lately. A set of standards that, when met, would get a seal of approval that the end users can easily identify, along with knowing that what they are installing is safe and non-intrusive.

Well, I think that ball has started to roll and I personally want to thank Sony. They aren’t the first company to be surreptitiously installing software to their customer's PCs, but they did it the best. If you recall from awhile back, Sony installed a DRM (Digital Rights Manager) to a number of their audio CDs that installed rootkits on anyone’s PC who agreed to the privacy statement, which made no mention of the rootkits installation. This rootkit was almost impossible to uninstall. It would cripple your optical drives if you did, it made the system unstable and it created huge security holes for future hackers. After all of this, Sony still insisted they didn’t do anything wrong and they were well within their legal boundaries to secretly install software to protect their product at the expense of their customers.

I believe this was the stone that started the avalanche of new legislation coming down on adware and the new Trusted Download Program from TRUSTe that is being backed by some of the biggest names on the Internet today.

Industry leaders, such as AOL, CA, CNET Networks, Verizon and Yahoo! have all backed the new certification software created by TRUSTe, which is a nonprofit industry leader in promoting privacy policy disclosure, informed user consent and consumer education. This group of companies now have a list of “certified” programs. Certified means that the programs have met the criteria put in place to completely and plainly inform the customer of what exactly is being installed on their PCs, among other things. For instance, one thing in particular that companies would like to see is that all the programs, once installed, list themselves in the Add/Remove Programs list for easy and complete uninstallation.

If all this works well, this will add another layer of protection for customers. The effects of this will mean better relationships between Web sites and their customers, while at the same time, creating incentives for software manufacturers to create “better” applications. Now, maybe with the right support and more companies jumping on board with the certification program, the summit of the spyware invasion will pass, leaving a safer and more enjoyable Internet in its wake!

You can learn more about TRUSTe by clicking here.

Until next week, stay safe out there!

~ Chad
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kotelinie
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PostSubject: Re: FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)   Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:27 am

Alternative Virus Removal

So, tell me, has your computer ever been infected with a virus that completely took over your whole system? I mean, was it so bad that you couldn't even get your antivirus program to open? Yeah, I'd say that's pretty bad! So, what did you do about it? How are you supposed to fix your computer if you can't even scan your system to see what's wrong? Oh, what a nightmare!

Well, you could contact your computer's manufacturer and pay big bucks to get it fixed or you could just try to fix it yourself. How, you ask? Well, keep reading and I will give you the full scoop!

Below are a few steps you can follow to take matters into your own hands and get rid of that pesky virus that has invaded your computer. This is information every computer user should know, so listen up!

1.) First, you need to disconnect your computer from the Internet (or your network if you have one). That prevents the virus from spreading to other computers and it stops the virus from sending itself through your e-mail to all of your address book contacts. You can disconnect by simply unplugging your network cable or by turning off your wireless router.

2.) Next, make sure you back up all of your important files to either a USB flash drive or an external hard drive.

3.) Now, you'll want to check out the System Restore feature on your computer. Every now and then, you should go and set up a restore point for your computer, which will cover you if your computer ever stops working. If it does, you can simply reset your computer back to a time when it worked properly.

To set up your own restore point, go to Start, Control Panel (make sure you're in the Classic View) and then click on the Backup and Restore Center link. Next, click the option that says "Repair Windows Using System Restore," located on the sidebar. Then just follow the rest of the instructions. (Note: These directions are for Windows Vista, so if you're using XP, they might be a little different).


4.) Okay, let's go back to the virus situation. If you know where the infected file is on your computer, you can try deleting it and then emptying your Recycle Bin.

5.) Or, if you're not sure where it is, you can try using Trend Micro’s HouseCall Antivirus Scan, found here. The virus will not be able to detect that scan, so you can give your computer a good check over.


6.) Now, as a last resort, you may want to try resetting your computer to its factory settings (the way it came when you first purchased your PC). Different computers have different ways of doing that, but as a general guide, you can use the System Restore option we talked about earlier.

Those are just a few things you can do if you're having trouble getting a nasty virus off your computer. I'm not promising they will work for every infection, but they're at least worth a try. I hope this one helps a lot of you!

~ Brandon Zubek
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kotelinie
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PostSubject: Re: FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)   Thu May 07, 2009 7:20 am

Avira Antivir

I've always been a big fan of knowing what is the best. As a matter of fact, I look forward to the monthly arrival of my Consumer Reports magazine so I can read all of the comparisons and ratings, just to keep my edge.

Well, this month's issue arrived just a couple days ago and the headline title was about computers. You can only imagine my excitement! I raced to my recliner and settled in for some enlightened reading time. I was about half way through an article when I came across ratings for Anti-Virus software. The most interesting part was that they rated free programs as well as paid programs. Since I am always looking for great free programs, this little section was right up my alley.

Now that I'm done telling you about my Saturday, I'll get to the point. Last year consumer reports rated AVG the number one free anti-virus software on the web. Since then, I have recommended it highly. Now, it seems that a new king has been crowned. This year, the magazine rated Avira Antivir Personal Edition the number one free antivirus on the web.

Since it got such a good rating, I decided to check it out. It is a very nice program for the money (or lack of money in this case). So, if you are looking for free, basic protection you should check out Avira. It's simple to install and easy to use. It also provides some pretty good protection for a free product. You can download it here: http://www.free-av.com/

Enjoy!

~Gary

Special Note: Although Avira is a very good program, it is not as full featured as the many paid AV suites out there. If you are looking for basic, free protection, Avira is the place to go and it is definitely better than nothing. If you are looking for a full suite, you might want to look into a paid product.
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kotelinie
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PostSubject: Re: FREE and purchasable security programs (update 6-10-11)   Fri May 22, 2009 11:36 am

AdAware

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the best rated free anti-virus program. That article got such a great response that I figured I should write about another very high rated free program that will protect your computer.

I'm sure that some of you have heard of AdAware. This program was one of the first anti-adware and spyware programs out and it has continued to lead the pack in terms of quality. Just this year, AdAware released their Anniversary Edition. This is the most recent version of the free program and it does an amazing job.

Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition is like many other previous versions of adaware. After installing the program, you can open it and it will automatically update. After the update, it is easy as pie. Just choose either the quick scan or the full scan and you are on your way. Wait for the scan to finish and it will tell you what it recommends for action. Many times, Adaware will simply recommend removal, but other times it will have additional instructions.

Ad-Aware really is a great supplemental adware removal program, especially if your Internet security suite does not already include adware protection. Simply running ad-aware once a month will dramatically decrease your chances of getting a damaged computer.

If you are interested in trying out Ad-Aware Free Anniversary Edition, you can get it here.

Enjoy!

~Gary

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