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Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free

Ebbie 26 Jan 12 - 11:38 AM
bobad 26 Jan 12 - 11:53 AM
catspaw49 26 Jan 12 - 11:57 AM
catspaw49 26 Jan 12 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,olddude 26 Jan 12 - 12:46 PM
bobad 26 Jan 12 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,olddude 26 Jan 12 - 01:08 PM
JohnInKansas 26 Jan 12 - 01:12 PM
GUEST 26 Jan 12 - 01:52 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 12 - 02:01 PM
bobad 26 Jan 12 - 02:10 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 12 - 02:11 PM
bobad 26 Jan 12 - 02:15 PM
bobad 26 Jan 12 - 02:16 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 12 - 07:12 PM
ranger1 26 Jan 12 - 07:57 PM
artbrooks 26 Jan 12 - 08:03 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 12 - 08:11 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jan 12 - 08:46 PM
EBarnacle 26 Jan 12 - 11:59 PM
Acme 27 Jan 12 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 27 Jan 12 - 11:49 AM
Arthur_itus 27 Jan 12 - 06:15 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Jan 12 - 11:20 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Jan 12 - 12:23 AM
Acme 28 Jan 12 - 01:49 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Jan 12 - 03:48 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 28 Jan 12 - 06:44 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 28 Jan 12 - 06:55 AM
Tootler 28 Jan 12 - 11:25 AM
Bill D 28 Jan 12 - 02:08 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Jan 12 - 04:50 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 Jan 12 - 05:31 AM
Acme 29 Jan 12 - 10:00 AM
Bill D 29 Jan 12 - 10:27 AM
GUEST 29 Jan 12 - 11:50 AM
GUEST 29 Jan 12 - 12:06 PM
Baz Bowdidge 29 Jan 12 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Dante 30 Jan 12 - 05:24 AM
JohnInKansas 30 Jan 12 - 08:29 AM
JohnInKansas 30 Jan 12 - 10:42 AM
Ebbie 30 Jan 12 - 11:35 AM
JohnInKansas 30 Jan 12 - 05:52 PM
Bill D 30 Jan 12 - 07:49 PM
JohnInKansas 31 Jan 12 - 12:05 AM
Ebbie 31 Jan 12 - 01:52 AM
Baz Bowdidge 31 Jan 12 - 10:15 AM
JohnInKansas 31 Jan 12 - 10:47 AM
Richard Bridge 31 Jan 12 - 10:57 AM
Bill D 31 Jan 12 - 11:08 AM
JohnInKansas 31 Jan 12 - 11:27 AM
JohnInKansas 31 Jan 12 - 11:55 AM
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Subject: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 11:38 AM

I've been using a friend's Mac in recent months but now I have a new PC again and I want to go back to the anti-stuff I used to have. I no longer remember their names...

This PC came with both McAfee and Norton's on a trial basis but I do remember from years ago that neither of them caught everything- paid annual fees of $70 to Norton to have the then-current PC inundated. Don't want to do it again.

I also don't want AVG anymore. A tech once told me of one he likes: AdAware?

I remember one anti-malware product that has been frequently mentioned on the Cat, specifically by Bill D and olddude, but I don't remember its name. Malwarebytes?

Thanks for any input.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: bobad
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 11:53 AM

Malwarebytes is good for malware.

Microsoft Security Essentials is free and good for everyday anti-virus and firewall protection.

For the occasional system scan Microsoft Safety Scanner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 11:57 AM

I use it on my new PC along with Microsoft Security Essentials which is what my computer geeks are currently liking. BTW......I love this new computer. The guys I've been going to for years assemble their own and I got twice the computer for much less. Also made me feel good to buy locally.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 11:59 AM

Cross posted and said the same thing! LOL


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 12:46 PM

Its a good one but Panda cloud is now considered the best


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: bobad
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 01:05 PM

I downloaded Panda cloud after I saw you mention it in another post, Dan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 01:08 PM

It has the highest rating of all of then right now. I have both the free an paid version and honestly I don't see much difference, it is a superb piece of software


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 01:12 PM

Malwarebytes is good for malware

Recent reviews have pointed out that the free Malwarebytes is very good for removing malware once you've been infected; but it provides no real-time watch on potential "incoming." In the most recent review I've seen, the free versions got very good ratings for detecting infections, but only fair points on removal of all it could find. The paid version(s?) got decent ratings in that review, for both blocking and removal.

If you let Microsoft do updates on schedule, they will scan your PC regularly to remove currently common infections (much the same thing as for free Malwarebytes?), but only looks for the infections most prevalent at any given time . I believe they call that one "Microsoft Guardian." That utility doesn't provide any real-time features.

The slightly different Microsoft Security Essentials is a real-time filter and is considered adequate for many users. If you do a lot of web surfing, and/or if you do lots of email correspondence outside your known circle of associates (and you trust them?), you might want something that provides a more complet "suite" of protections; and you might be better served by another kind if you are using a 24/7 connection (of course that's if your computer is on all, or nearly all, the time).

AVG may have been the "popular" one you remember from a while back here. The paid subscription has received consistently favorable reviews over a fairly long time, but the free version has varied from "better than average" to "unacceptable" within the past year from the same (credible) reviewers. The most recent reviews have moved the free version back to "acceptable for wimps?"

Remember that new malware schemes arrive at the rate of about one per minute according to the security mavens, so what may be good today could be a total dud tomorrow (or later today) if the provider doesn't have an aggressive update system in place.

Note that if it's applicable to your situation, several of the AV sellers offer "multi-computer" packages that per computer are a lot cheaper than separate subscriptions for each machine.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 01:52 PM

Many free AV programs are good (including AVG, IMO), but even the good ones can be incompatable with some p2p and multiplayer software, so if you depend on that stuff for any reason then check before you install anything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 02:01 PM

I use MalwareBytes ....and Avast as my anti-virus. It is quite good and updates automatically.
I also use WinPatrol to monitor possible changes to my system that *I* don't approve. Today, a copy of Opera did an automatic update, and WinPatrol asked me if I wanted to allow that.

(SRS also uses it)


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: bobad
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 02:10 PM

Windows 7 has the WinPatrol feature built in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 02:11 PM

?? really? That app specifically, or something just similar?


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: bobad
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 02:15 PM

It asks your permission each time you want to install anything or when you want to run an app such as CCleaner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: bobad
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 02:16 PM

It's a Microsoft security feature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 07:12 PM

I see... same basic idea.

(I find that 'most' of the time, 3rd party standalone programs have more features and do a better job than MS versions. MS is getting better, I gather...especially on security-- probably because they have had such security problems in the past))


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: ranger1
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 07:57 PM

Bill, do you use the free or paid version of Avast? I currently use the free version, but it is worth it to upgrade to the paid version?


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: artbrooks
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 08:03 PM

I like Norton Internet Security, which is greatly improved over earlier Norton products - but whatever you get, if you go for a paid product, check Amazon. I paid just about half (for a 3-PC license) there as I would have in a store or directly from Norton/Symantic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 08:11 PM

I use mostly freeware... Avast has been fine for me in the free version. The paid versions advertise extra monitoring of various sorts, but in 2 years, I have 'maybe' 4 alarms go off where Avast said I was accessing a dangerous page. When I run the scan, or MalWare bytes, I get very few problems....mostly 'tracking cookies' that want to report where I go.

I NEVER intentionally go to gaming sites or 'warez' sites where malware hides behind every tree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 08:46 PM

Many Internet providers give antivirus software for free. I get Norton Internet Security at work from Comcast, and McAfee at home from AT&T.
I prefer Norton.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 11:59 PM

Lady Hillary and I use Avast free edition and Glary Utilities on all of our machines. We dumped AVG because it slowed our machines down instead of running gently in background.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Acme
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 10:38 AM

I use WinPatrol to check my start menu for interlopers that want to lodge themselves there. It still pops up on its own occasionally, though Win7 does have a similar feature.

I've used various antivirus programs, though right now I'm using the enterprise version of one they make available from work (Microsoft). Avast, AVG, Comodo (that one was slow and ponderous), I've used several. I check the recent reviews in ZD.net or C|Net.com before I add a new program. And I ask Bill D what he's running. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 11:49 AM

AVAST!!..Free, very happy with it! You can get upgrades, for a fee, of course!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 06:15 PM

have used Panda Cloud for a few years now. Always been excellent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 11:20 PM

Windows, since Vista, has included rather aggressive monitoring of any "unapproved" programs that you attempt to install or run. There was a fair amount of variation in just how aggressive the blockade was with Vista, depending on your security settings. With Win7 you probably get more warnings, although they've made it a little easier to "give permission," and you can install and run almost anything you choose to.

I have a couple of programs that I migrated to Win7, that I've used since ca. 2002, but since the most useful one doesn't have a current "certificate" Win 7 demanded that I "approve" installation as an exception, demands that I "approve" every opening of the program, and (it's a graphics editor) "approve" each and every file that I open in the program. (This makes it quite tedious since for what I use it most for, I may need to open as many as 100 or so files before I can start working them.) Some relief is obtained by setting the shortcut to open the program to "run as administrator" but it still balks and staggers. There is an updated program, but it's been "stupidicated" (similar to recent Office versions) to the point where the new version really is unusable. (Newer Office being merely painful and disgusting.)

The Microsoft AV program is free, and according to reviews is comparable to or better than the better free AV programs you can get elsewhere. Assuming that you get other Microsoft updates on schedule (i.e. assuming you're not a total ...) you probably can assume that it will be more reliably - and promptly - kept up to date than several others.

(An AV with updates a month old is sort of like having no AV.)

You generally should not run more than ONE AV program at a time. Having others on the machine, for "spot checks" when something suspicious occurs, is probably okay, if you're careful about which ones are running and when. Several of the programs mentioned here are much more suited (e.g. especially free MalwareBytes**) for detecting and removing infections already on your computer, and may not be particularly good at blocking incoming potential infections.

** In the most recent comparative tests I've seen, free Malwarebytes detected about as many currently common infections as most others, but was unable to remove, or failed to remove completely, almost a third of the ones it found. It has, according to older reports, been able to remove a couple of "stubborn" ones that other more sophisticated programs (for a while) had difficulty with, but overall performance has been sort of mediocre, and it provides no blocking to prevent infections. The paid version gets generally good ratings.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 12:23 AM

A side note:

Android wins the popularity contest:

                        "Most Popular with Malware"

Newly found Android malware infects millions: report

By Athima Chansanchai

Android malware has infected possibly one to five million downloads — "the highest distribution of any malware identified so far this year," a major security company reports.

As posted on its blog, Norton by Symantec identified 13 apps on the Android Market that are all hiding Android. Counterclank, a Trojan horse that steals information, and could also download more files and display ads on the device.

The combined total downloads of those apps could be as high as five million. These are the apps, which are mostly games that appeal to those who like guns and girls (some of them are more risque than others): [see the link for the list]

Some of these apps are still available on the Android Market, so consider yourself warned if you still want to download anyway….

…in 2011, when McAfee research pinned Android as "the most 'popular' platform for new malware" by the third quarter, Google's mobile operating system and Android Market continue to be irresistible to malware. …

Lookout Mobile Security's "Malwarenomics: 2012 Mobile Malware Predictions" report found that for U.S. Android users, the likelihood of clicking on an unsafe link is 40 percent.

With downloads from Android Market reaching 10 billion in December, we're likely to see more malware slipping through, and more need for increased vigilance and discretion when choosing apps.

More stories:
Report: More mobile malware expected in 2012
McAfee: Malware loves Android
Google pulls fraudulent apps from Android Market
On Twitter, follow Athima Chansanchai, who is also trying to keep her head above water in the Google+ stream.

***

The article linked includes a list of some of the Android apps reported by Norton as generally infected, and also has links to the "More stories" end note and to some of the reports cited in text of the article.

Note that a week or two ago, Norton "withdrew" its Android AV app, recommending that it not be used, pending "studies." It is unreported whether the malware assault has just "overwhelmed" AV makers or whether flaws in the Android OS are "undefendable." Other AV makers have not yet released any particularly effective AV products for any of the new class of phones, although a few purported to give some protection have been released.

Although Android gets top billing here, all other similar phones popular enough to have been noticed have been reportedly experiencing "high levels of malware exposure and infection."

Elsewhere, it has been advised that people not use these phones to access their bank accounts, to place credit/debit card orders, or to send or receive other "personal information" pending availability of protective apps and malware removal apps. (whenever that might happen?)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Acme
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 01:49 AM

I just downloaded a free AVG program on my Android phone. I'll test it for a while, read a few reviews, and may buy the pro version. I have several programs I'm testing right now. (Reading this thread reminded me that I'd intended to research whether I needed it on the phone - the consensus is YES!)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 03:48 AM

The article linked about Android is probably a little overblown. Previous articles (within a couple of days) have given a somewhat less "sensational" pitch on the situation.

One particular virus, currently affecting only (or mainly) Android phones, has "set a record" for most (suspected) infections within a short time.

'Phone users include, apparently, quite a few people who are relatively uneducated about what's dangerous on the web.

As with any computer, the most frequent threats, regardless of the hardware used, are phishing ploys that attempt to persuade you to "click something" and the click gives your computer the instruction to do something you don't (or shouldn't) really want to be done. When you tell the machine what to do, it must do what you tell it.

"You da boss."

Windows, at least in Vista and Win7 has begun moving to more defensive behavior, and those machines now "argue with you" if you do something that "might be stupid," but down at the bottom line you can still insist on usafe behavior if you're determined to do so; and the new phones have brought lots of people who still lack even the most basic education about how to recognize the most basic of hazards, so there's a long way to go.

Prospects for rapid improvement are doubtful, given recent studies that have shown that large segments of our (especially younger) population can't tell the difference between entertainement and advertising. Those of us among their elders (or more experienced younsters) are only confused by the finer line between "information" and "propaganda."

John


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 06:44 AM

Avast (free version) gets my vote. My partner & I both use it on our Windows 7 puters and have never had a moment's trouble. It runs unobtrusively in the background and keeps itself fed and watered and generally minds its own business. We tried AVG, which we liked for XP but it didn't really work so well with W7. Download the free Avast and give it a try. (By the way, thanks to the other Mudcatters for pointing it out to me in one of my WAAHHHH-my-computer-is-sick threads.)


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 06:55 AM

> large segments of our (especially younger) population can't tell the difference between entertainement and advertising

They also don't seem to take on board that anybody can write anything on a website, and that opinion is not the same as fact. The amount of times I have seen websites cited as "references" in student papers. And (since the subject is harp history) I know for sure that some of the information they harvested is plain incorrect, or is just someone's personal viewpoint. Wiki is not infallible either. We need our reference sources to be peer-reviewed and research/evidence-based; but some of the kids don't even recognise the difference. It's scary that whatever has the loudest, most persistent & widespread voice now seems to become The Truth.


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 11:25 AM

They also don't seem to take on board that anybody can write anything on a website, and that opinion is not the same as fact...Wiki is not infallible either. We need our reference sources to be peer-reviewed and research/evidence-based.

For these reasons, when I was working, we would not accept Wikipedia as a sole source, there had to be credible backup and also all web references had to have an access date. If students did not do this, they were penalised. We had a lot of problems with plagiarism from the web - material simply copied and pasted in. I even came across it in a MSc Thesis. It was a real headache.

A bit OT, now back on topic.

I go with Panda, btw. Much less obtrusive than most AV software and as all the definitions are in the cloud, no updates to download - good for less techy inclined.


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 02:08 PM

Interesting review by PC Magazine of various FREE AV & Anti-malware

clicketh here

Their 1st choice, I had not even heard of.... hmmmm


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 04:50 AM

Bonnie, it seems, is crossing the line between the illiterates who can't separate advertising from intertainment and the "pretendedly sophisticated" adults who can't tell propaganda from information that I intended, although I fully agree with her comments.

We need our reference sources to be peer-reviewed and research/evidence-based; but some of the kids don't even recognise the difference

A primary place where that needs to be recognized is in medicine, where published "research" that anyone (without a very expensive subscription to one of the medical "data banks") can even see has apparently degenerated in the past decade to "pure propaganda" driven by unstated but well known "policies" at the publishers and at government agencies that regulate the research.

About the only recourse for those of us who can't afford $30 - $75 each for five page junk reports is in the inviolate truth that when all the reports reach exactly the same conclusion, either the research is exceedingly trivial and they shouldn't have wasted the time doing it (or reporting it), or it is driven by an inflexible policy rather than by science.

Economic theory (and policies) are another area where misinformation, through "junk reporting," is overwhelmingly the rule; but at least most notable economists who have a plausible theory probably wrote a book about it that you can take a look at.

John


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 05:31 AM

Crossing what line, John? Sorry, I don't quite get that...? Surely you don't mean that being able to tell the difference between propaganda and information is "pretendedly sophisticated"? Or have I misunderstood the sentence?

Fully agree with Tootler about disallowing the web as a cited reference source for students, but I wasn't the teacher to whom they were submitting. I give them harp lessons, and these were school projects which they were just showing me for interest - after they had already been handed in, I noticed...

Back to the Topic (sorry!): Do people like Panda better than Avast? Reasons why?


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Acme
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 10:00 AM

Bill, you haven't heard of Ad-Aware? By Lavasoft? They're an old one that I have had running to knock down some of the ads.

I used avast! on this computer until I decided to go with the one from work (they pay for that one for us) with a few more features than the free versions offer.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 10:27 AM

I hadn't heard of Ad-Aware as an AV... I knew it only as an ad detector and spam fighter. Funny, because the newsgroup I check daily usually mentions ALL good, free AVs.


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 11:50 AM

AVG Free
Zone Alarm Firewall
Ad-Aware (occasionally)
Spybot (resident)
CCleaner (cleaner & reg clean occasionally)
Malwarebytes (rarely)
Auslogics Defrag (occasionally)

All of the above have worked for me for nearly 10 years.

All free from: FileHippo

(I used IObit smartdefrag Click here for a while - this is a good one)


~Baz~


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 12:06 PM

There is a misconeptoin here that mal


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Baz Bowdidge
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 12:12 PM

For some reason I became a GUEST and disappearing link:
IOBit: click

~Baz~


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: GUEST,Dante
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 05:24 AM

I Am using Comodo Products for 3 years and i am more satisfied with them !!!


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 08:29 AM

It doesn't make a lot of difference what AV programs you use, as long as you do take some care in protecting your computer from the outside threats.

Recent reports indicate that the computers using NO AV has remained at about the same percent of all those "online" for several years. Those computers provide a vast reservoir of old, mostly ineffective, and largely quite simple to block infections; that can at any time creep out of any infected machine to infect others with similarly inferior defenses.

The relatively new Microsoft AV is free, and actually is pretty good. In one respect, Microsoft has an immedieate advantage since the periodic malware removal that it runs on ALL the Windows computers where the users haven't deliberately denied access gives them an immediate report on what malware is currently in circulation and is present on users computers, allowing them to quickly update the AV to provide protection specific for Windows.

No AV can protect you against every malware form that's "out there," and reports do sometimes find a few that might slip past the Microsoft AV, but Microsoft has the information to argue that the ones it omits specific protection for are very unlikely to attack you.

If you use another AV, you need to turn off the Microsoft AV, so one might want to compare any other that is of interest to what's essentially "already there" in the Microsoft AV.

Infections by true virus, trojan, and root kit malware should be the main concern. Some poeple are seriously concerned about "cookies," but while those can give an indication to others of what sites you've visited they are not much of a threat to the integrity of your computer.

Information from cookies might possibly give someone an indication that you're prone to "risky behavior" so they might choose to target you with "phishing" ads or other similar devices to try to tempt you to a site where something actually malicious could infect you; but there's been no indication that anyone has attempted this. Mostly, they're only used to try to steer you to "seeing the right ads;" and you don't have to read the ads anyway.

The "full suite" anti-malware programs, like Norton, McAfee, et. al. generally add cookie blocking, anti-phishing, and "safe surfing" features. The anti-phishing and safe-surfing features can warn you about sites known to have had malware present on the site, and in some cases can run a "quick scan" that can tell you whether there's something questionable on a page before it lets you connect and download it, if there's no existing information about the site.

While you can add on most of these features by piling on extra special purpose utilities, most people are unlikely to devote the time and energy needed to keep more than one protections system up to date and actually working as intended; but it's a choice you can make if you want it all.

Note that newer versions of the Google toolbar include some cookie defenses, and the default "Safe Surfing" setting gives some helpful(?) blocking of known malicious sites. It may also block you from seeing "offensive material," but that's a personal matter. (You must actually install the toolbar to get this - just using Google as your search engine doesn't automatically provide it all.)

Quite possibly, just making sure that your Windows is kept up to date by getting and installing the critical updates, is as important as which AV you use, although having some reasonably capable AV running is very important. (Mac users don't get to choose whether to keep up to date. They get the update when Apple decides they get it, and they're generally aren't even told that it's been done, so far as I've seen.)

John


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 10:42 AM

For anyone wanting to dig deeper here, the latest notice of a new review, received this morning form PC Advisor:

PC Tools Internet Security Review

Note that this article reviews only ONE particular program, but it may give some clues as to what the PC Advisor crew thinks people should look for now in it or in other programs.

John


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 11:35 AM

As I indicated above, at the moment I have both Norton and McAfee on my machine. I have now installed Microsoft Security Essentials and Ad-Aware. I did try to install Avast but at 2 hours it was still not finished installing and I gave it up.

Question: Most of them caution against having an active antivirus on board when one is trying to install a second one. JohninKansas hinted at it above- but how does one make certain they are not both active at the same time?


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 05:52 PM

That wasn't a hint, but I can state it more clearly perhaps.

The appropriate warning is that you should NOT HAVE MORE THAN ONE AV RUNNING AT THE SAME TIME.

Interference between multiple AV systems can easily result in corruption of your whole system. An AV must access critical files to see whether there are infections in them, and another AV can easily see the access to those files as an intrusion, and may quaranteen (or delete) files you need in order to keep the system running.

If you're not satisfied that your ONE AV is getting the job done, you can go to the website of another AV maker where most of them will run a free "remote scan" of your machine and will tell you if it finds something that your regular AV missed. You don't need to have more than one AV installed on your computer - and really shouldn't do that.

John


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 07:49 PM

You 'can' disable one AV when testing another, but you must be VERY CAREFUL and know what you are doing. It would require closing & disabling one program so it is just not 'active',

Best way if you MUST try a 2nd one is to uninstall the 1st, install the 2nd, and play with it for awhile.


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 12:05 AM

Many, if not all, Av programs download an executable "zip" file, and at the time of the download you have the choice of whether to Run or Save the actual download. If you Save the download somewhere (I use a folder cleverly labelled "Downloads" and make a subfolder there for each such file) you can reinstall the program any time you need to.

The file generally will have a .exe file type, and when you double click it, it unzips into the component files needed, and autoruns the installation to put all the pieces in the proper places.

Usually, if you leave the original .exe there, you can go back at any time and "reinstall," so it's safe to uninstall the program, and when you're ready, reinstall it.

I have encountered a very few such installers that delete the original executable zip file when they extract the components. If you suspect that might be the case you can save the original, then copy it to another place, and unzip and install from the copy. This is an extremely rare thing, so far as I've encountered it.

Especially with AV program files you need to be reasonably careful to not let the installer get too old, since the manufacturers do make fairly frequent changes/updates to the programs as well as to the signature files, and of course with an AV program any time you reinstall you should immediately check for updates.

And of course with paid programs, if you reinstall you may need to re-confirm the registration/subscription for the program.

John


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 01:52 AM

But an antivrus program and an antimalware program can be installed and active at the same time, right?

I generally authorize a program to make a scan at a specific time each day and as needed. The 'as needed' part is what worries me.

As for Norton and McAfee, I have not made them active.


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Baz Bowdidge
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 10:15 AM

>But an antivrus program and an antimalware program can be installed and active at the same time, right?<
Sure - an Antivirus programme will integrate with your computer's Control Panel > Security Center (as does a Firewall) whereas anti-malware wont and will just be another selectable or timed stand-alone programme.
It seems virus hoaxes do more damage to peoples' psyches considering the number of Emails I've received on 'the worst virus ever' vein.

~Baz~


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 10:47 AM

Ebbie -

Almost by definition, an antimalware program includes an antivirus program, so you'd still have two AV programs competing to take each other out.

Unfortunately, the main information you can get to decide what a program is comes from the advertising department, where "truth" and "facts" are unknown, so it's pretty much up to you to decide what a particular program is, and what it's intended to do.

Many of the major providers now offer their programs as "protection suites" that include a wide range of features.

As an example, since it's one I'm somewhat familiar with, Norton/Symantic I believe does still offer

1. The "Norton Anti-Virus" program (NAV) that is a fairly simple antivirus program with few other features. This relatively bare-bones program does lock down** your computer's "extra" ports so that the computer is less visible to others, scans incoming information for viruses and most other malware forms, and blocks/deletes/quarantines anything that's questionable.

2. The much more popular (and recommended) "Norton Internet Security" (NIS) includes the simple antivirus (Norton AV) and adds improved removal capabilities for virus, trojans, root kits, and other physical malware, along with a popup blocker, cookie cleaner/remover, a "Safe Search toolbar" that will tell you whether a site you're on, or about to visit, has been confirmed as "safe," a feature called "safe web" that can provide an additional quick-look at sites Norton doesn't already know something about, and an "identity safe" that will lock up (encrypted) all your passwords so that they're close at hand.

3. The "flagship" program from Norton is called "Norton 360," and includes all of the features of NAV and NIS, and adds at least a few additional "utilities" that may be helpful for general system maintenance. (I haven't looked recently to see what the other features include, as they weren't particularly interesting when I started using NIS.)

** Securing the "ports" on your computer is an important feature that's not necessarily included in all AV programs. For most people, the computer is connected to the internet whenever the computer is turned on. You don't have to have your browser open or be "surfing" for someone to "scan for open connections" that can allow them to access other computers, and they don't need to know what computer they've found, or who it belongs to, to insert malware that could allow them to take over that machine. Your computer has a number of "ports" that can carry information into and out of the computer, and any ports that are not essential for what you're doing at any specific time should be "turned off" so that they can't send or receive anything without your permission. . . . (This is sometimes described as a "Firewall" feature, but that gets into another, possibly more confusing, subject. A good anti-malware suite, and many simpler AV programs should take care of it adquately for your needs.)

John


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 10:57 AM

Maybe things have changed but neither Spybot Search and Destroy not Ad-Aware used to have antivirus and I have always used both as well as whatever antivirus I ran - with no conflict issues. I used to love Tiny Personal Firewall too but it seems there is no current version.

The only AV that ever let me down was Avast, but it was perhaps the least of a resource hog. Norton simply slowed everything down to a crawl and refused to co-operate with any dialup email until I turned off scanning outgoing mail. Panda was OK. I haven't used McAfee since the first time I installed Win 98.

I find Win Essentials OK.


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 11:08 AM

To follow up on JiKs remarks:
When you download a program, it asks you where you want to put it (or rather, 'suggests' the default place) using the 'official' name for the program....something like MyAVprogram.exe or MyAVprogram.zip. **Some** companies add the version # as part of the name--MyAVprogram2.34.exe --but some do not. If they do not, downloading the new version into the same storage folder will overwrite the older version. If, as John suggests, you might want the option of reinstalling an older version, (as I am about to do with Firefox!), you can re-name the program before clicking the final 'save' button....like, MyAVprogram.exe to MyAVprogramJan2012.exe --just to identify when you got it. Renaming it does NOTHING to how it works when you install it, it just makes it easy to keep things straight. Of course, you can use the version # as identifier, also...that is almost always shown in the 'help' or 'about' file of the installed program.
I presume many companies don't bother to include the version # because they want new versions to automatically overwrite and remove older versions. There are often security reasons for this (to fix vulnerabilities..etc.) but sometimes it's just to change features to some new configuration that might be merely cosmetic or to remove features that YOU like.

I also have a folder called 'downloads' which I keep files I 'might' re-use later, and naming them in some way that clearly identifies what they are (and possibly when I got them) just saves headaches later.

(BTW, I NEVER, EVER use My Documents or MY Music folders that M$ makes the default.... there is malware that is designed to look there for targets.
I always prefer to have a folder system designed by ME, with a structure that makes sense to ME.... and on a Windows PC machine, I construct and navigate my folders with a FREE alternative to Explorer called Free Commander which is excellent at making things clear and easy to do. (There are many others, but it is among the best. It is also being redesigned, but *grin*...I will see if I like the new version)


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 11:27 AM

Additional -

If by "antimalware" programs you're talking about popup blockers and cookie removers, for the most part these are not really considered malware by most professionals. They're largely annoyances, and many AV programs and suites include them so you don't really need another program.

The hazard from cookies is that they can "track" where you go on the web, and many people don't like to have them doing that. Other than providing income for advertising department employees, cookies of the kind you want to block are largely useless, even if they are annoying.

Popups present the possibility that they'll show you a link that you shouldn't click, because it will take you to a place where distributing actual malware is the main purpose, or in rare cases, just clicking will download some malware. Recent Windows versions include a popup blocker, so if you're running the latest update of Vista, or any version of Win7, an additonal one is of marginal help.

Additionally, recent versions of the Google toolbar, which is "somewhat useful" for other reasons, should include both a popup blocker and a "cookie filter" (if you use Safe Search). Quite a few other "accessory programs" also include features of this kind.

Popup blockers and cookie crumblers, for the most part, don't delete anything. They simply "don't accept" what attempts to come on board, so there's less likelihood that multiple programs doing the same thing will destroy each other, and it's generally safe enough to have as many as you want. And it's almost impossible to avoid adding more of them with any "browser utilities" (or browsers) that might be otherwise of some use, so adding a separate program is probably superfluous.

The primary threat currently in wide circulation is phishing. Clicking anything can give permission for installation of malware that cannot be blocked by any program.

JUST DON'T CLICK IT. Learn to ignore.

And even if you block the malicious popup, one of your "friends" will probably post the link on your Facebook wall anyway, just to be helpful.

John


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Subject: RE: Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, free
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 11:55 AM

BTW, I NEVER, EVER use My Documents or MY Music folders that M$ makes the default

I agree completely that the "My #@$!%" thing in recent Windows is total crap.

Unfortunately, there is an increasing trend among many kinds of programs to insist on "organizing" your stuff for you. I recently found that newer versions of Photoshop Elements (both versions 9 & 10) insist on "organizing" all your image files, which is annoying but can be turned off. Unfortunately, while older versions included an "image browser" that you could use to look at images anywhere on your own machine, for the newer versions you can only look at the images that the program has placed in its own "catalog" folder, which it insists has to be on the web.

Good luck, suckers. I have over 2,000,000 image files, and I know where I put them. Leave the GODDAM THINGS WHERE THEY ARE. The program is virtually USELESS for me. (and the new menues are illegible, and the whole program is slower than cold molasses.)

I guess I'll have to download IRFANVIEW again. ... if Win7 will let me run it.

John


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