PDA

View Full Version : How To Keep Spyware and Viuses Off Your Computer



brad541thb
06-18-2008, 03:37 PM
I thought I would pass this info along to you guys since your probably like me when it comes to keeping crap off of your computer.

What I am about to show you will drastically help. Read this and it will help if you do some of this to your computer.

http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/index.php?showtopic=60955

If you go to www.pctools.com you can download their free firewall. I have it now on my computer and so far I like it better than any other I have tried including Zone Alarm or Sunbelt Kerio.

Also you can download at www.pctools.com ThreatFire. This thing flat works it seems. It's free as well. I like it.

The Spyware Blaster is very good as well and it's free. It creates a list of bad sites that contains malware and blocks them from getting on your computer regardless if you use internet explorer or firefox for a browser. It's free as well as the rest of the stuff and seems to really help at keeping crap off of your computer. Be sure to check manually for updates each week.

The link above will tell you some good stuff and you can take the Jason Levine's Browser Security Test there as well.

Also there is a Malwarebytes download that is free that works very well. I have this on my computer as well. It's free. I'll try and find the free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware download and post it here.

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 03:46 PM
Here's one of the best links for downloads to anti-virus and spyware removal.

http://users.telenet.be/bluepatchy/miekiemoes/Links.html#AntispywareScanners

Paul Fielder
06-18-2008, 03:47 PM
....I use spybot and ad-aware & also have AVG....all free. I was told this will cover me.

Is this good enough or do I need something else like this??

All I want is it to turn on and the email and internet to work!!

pf

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 03:50 PM
Here's a link to get the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware download.

http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/index.php?showtopic=116570

I might add that these guys are professionals at these forums.

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 04:01 PM
Paul,

I doubt it very seriously if that combo you have there will consistantly work.

I've had those as well. The AVG seems to be a good Anti-Virus. But the Spybot and Adaware I have found don't always seem to catch the hidden stuff.

Here's how you can see what might be on your computer.

http://www.whatthetech.com/hijackthis/

Download hijackthis. And run a system scan. It should show you all the program files you have on your computer. You can sign up at the forums I listed above and post a hijackthis log and they can help you if you are having problems or you think you may have malware embedded in your computer. Some of this stuff is very hard to find. Also you can remove some of the unwanted files with hijackthis as well. If your not sure what is malware, or see something that you don't know, I wouldn't delete it until you get professional help first.

I can also tell you that these guys are very polite and will be glad to help. They get their kicks off working and fixing computers like we do shooting guns and souping them up. :D

Also do not run 2 firewalls at the same time. It will mess things up.

I like the PC Tools firewall along with the ThreatFire. Both are free.

I like the Avast Anti Virus. It seems to really work.

Brad

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 04:10 PM
Here's the links to 2 of the best spyware forums.

http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 04:11 PM
Also it's ok to run a firewall of your choice along with ThreatFire.

I'll get you the link to read up on it.

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 04:12 PM
http://www.threatfire.com/

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 04:15 PM
Also Paul I can tell you that anything PC World recommends is usually good. They are the best source on computers according to my wife. So when they recommend something it usually works.

Paul Fielder
06-18-2008, 04:27 PM
...come November Brad.

I just can't be away from the internet during deer season like last year. I need to check my traps and auctions, along w/ email. It cost me some $$$$ this past season so gonna have to bite the bullet.

I tried a friends Dell out w/ his AT&T card as I was worried about reception but it works fine at camp.

I just need email and internet but need it to be pretty fast as I will have to download detailed pics of guns I may buy.

Any ideas....a couple told me to get the tuffbook by Panasonic since I'll be using it in dirty conditions but it is pretty pricy. It would be nice to have to dirt proof but not sure if I want to spend the bones.

pf

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 04:30 PM
With the Jotti's Malware Scan you can scan a suspicious file from your computer to see what they say about it.

http://virusscan.jotti.org/

I know my wife had the IWin Games on our computer which is a download that allows you a bunch of free games. Do not put this stuff on your computer. It contains malware. The guy at SWI forums had me remove it by running the Jotti's Malware Scan because he suspected it to be suspicious. It was.

BC

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 04:40 PM
Paul,

When it comes to computers, I pretty much go by what PC World ranks usually as #1 on a lot of current models. That is DELL. They are very hard to beat. That's all I have in my house. I think I had 5 Dells at one time. I have 3 now.

I can tell you that Gateway is good, and so is Hewlett Packard.

If your gonna buy a Dell, do it online. They have specials every week it seems. Computers have really gotten cheap. I paid about $800 for my last Dell last year I think. You probably can buy a comparable system now for $600 or less now.

brad541thb
06-18-2008, 05:18 PM
Downloading the MVPS HOST file and the IE-SPYAD really seem to help as well. The IE-SPYAD puts over 5000 malicious sites in your restricted zone, so you'll be protected when you visit innocent-looking sites that aren't actually innocent at all.

Chuck Bogardus
06-19-2008, 03:24 AM
Sigh... I remember the Old Days when PC Magazine was about computers instead of televisions and cell phones...

Altho John Dvorak did turn me onto the concept of basmati rice... Guys, trust me... Go down to your local Indian store, and buy a BIG bag. Put it in a strainer, rinse it, boil it for 7-8 minutes (you'll figure out what you like), drain, and serve.

fly223
06-19-2008, 06:17 AM
I have McAfee, so far thats doing the job.



From,
Joe....

brad541thb
06-19-2008, 11:22 AM
Here's what Budfred said about McAfee virus scan at the SWI forums.

I have seen problems with their suite being a resource hog to the point that systems are visibly slowed down by it, so I am not that fond of the suite... I have heard that they have cleaned that up a bit in the latest version, but I am not sure how true that is... I use NOD32 (now called Eset) and the Kerio firewall, both of which seem to take very few resources... I have tried several of the major suites and would not install any of them again, unless I hear that they have dramatically cleaned them up to run well...

http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/index.php?showtopic=105995

brad541thb
06-19-2008, 11:29 AM
The point is this, and take it for what it is worth to you and your computer. Afterall, it's your computer. ;) If you continually use the same old products that keep on missing stuff on your computer such as malware that is hard to find, it's more than likely gonna stay there for a good while unless the new updates catch it. And don't hold your breath for that happening anytime soon since if you are in fact infected by what your currently using you have to ask yourself how did it get there in the first place. But again my point is if what your currently running is missing a lot of the stuff that others will either catch or help prevent your computer from getting that crap on there in the first place, why not switch, change what your using or at least use some of the other products being offered that will only help. You really don't know for sure what is on your computer or what will eventually get on your computer unless you do some of the things that these guys have recommended to do with your security settings and downloading some of the best products that will help catch or put a stop to the bad stuff from getting on your computer in the future.

You may think your protected and you really aren't is my whole point of trying to help here with this info. Those that say they are, in reality probably more than likely don't know for sure unless they read and do some of what I provided here to do from the experts who have forgot more about computers than what we probably know.

BC

brad541thb
06-19-2008, 11:50 AM
You owe it to the security of your computer to at least take this test. See how secure your computer really is. Even if you don't want to do any of the rest of the stuff that was mentioned above, this test will show you the light. I myself don't have all the stuff that some of these guys recommend on my computer. But you want a good virus scan and firewall along with a good malware removal tool. I took off the Spy-Bot and AdAware because they never seemed to catch any stuff that the other stuff I had would.

Here's the Jason Levine's Browser Security Tests.

http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/BrowserSecurity/

brad541thb
06-19-2008, 12:22 PM
This tool alone is worth its weight in gold.

http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html

Read through this link and it will really help you and your computer.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial82.html

Mr. D
06-19-2008, 02:58 PM
I've bee using Mac's from the early 80's and have never had problem one. I think most of the miscreants devote their time to PC's.

brad541thb
06-19-2008, 03:16 PM
Mr. D

Your out of the norm then to say you never had a problem. I've had a few over the years that locked my system up. That's why now I have gotten smart and done the things I need to hopefully prevent future problems. But to say any computer is hack free with McAfee is just unrealistic. You sir have been extremely lucky is all I will say. I'm not saying you said that either. You have just been blessed and the computer gods have watched over you. :D

BC

brad541thb
06-19-2008, 03:24 PM
Also Mr. D, I don't want to tell you what to download or put on your computer. But my hunch is if you go here and download the malwarebytes anti-malware, you will see what your McAfee is missing. I may be wrong, but you won't know unless you try it.

http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/index.php?showtopic=116570

Rock63
06-19-2008, 04:02 PM
Mr. D is mostly correct that Mac users are fairly free from virus issues.

What you need to understand is that those who write malware do it with the intent of reaching as many machines as possible.

Therefore they go after the largest use base, PC's running Windows and Outlook and Internet Explorer.

PC users can move to a smaller target by changing one or more of their platforms:
Move away from Windows to anything else.
Move away from Internet Explorer to firefox or opera
Move away from Outlook to web based email like hotmail or yahoo

But to be totally honest, the problem with Windows and virus/spyware is not a software problem. Instead the problem is normally found between the keyboard and the chair.....

An informed windows user can go months without any av/as protection if they are careful. (I know because I ran a 6 month test personally and ran a clean scan after I was done).

Sorry, computer geek here :o

nrb
06-19-2008, 06:19 PM
I've been using Mac's at home and work since they arrived in the early 80s and have never had a computer virus or malware. The new OSX is designed to avoid viruses, etc. unless you invite the miscreant in. In my workplace there are mostly Macs which remain virus free with a little common sense by the users.

best, nrb

brad541thb
06-19-2008, 06:55 PM
I'm a dummy. Mac as in Macintosh. :D Sorry for mixup Mr. D. I don't know much about them. Those computers are ancient. :p

Mr. D
06-22-2008, 05:42 AM
With the exception of graphic work you can do anything on a PC as a Mac, and PC's are better for gamers. I have never seen a problem on any Mac I could fix with included software tools including viruses. They cost more, but they come with all the automatically updating programs that average guy will ever need! The major difference is still they are so much more intuitive to use and organize!

Most people stick to what they learned on because there us a learning curve to change over, "But once you go Mac, you'll never go back!"

I like my new iMac, see below link! The 24" iMac 2.8 GIG is the best value in my mind! Love it!

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/imac?mco=MTE3MDM

Bill Wynne
06-22-2008, 07:07 AM
I am with you D on the Macs. I even use them for my business. Although we have one PC for programs that will not work well on our Macs. We prefer to use our Macs. Something you get used to I guess.

Concho Bill

BillPa
06-22-2008, 11:13 AM
Mr. D is mostly correct that Mac users are fairly free from virus issues.

What you need to understand is that those who write malware do it with the intent of reaching as many machines as possible.

Therefore they go after the largest use base, PC's running Windows and Outlook and Internet Explorer.

PC users can move to a smaller target by changing one or more of their platforms:
Move away from Windows to anything else.
Move away from Internet Explorer to firefox or opera
Move away from Outlook to web based email like hotmail or yahoo

But to be totally honest, the problem with Windows and virus/spyware is not a software problem. Instead the problem is normally found between the keyboard and the chair.....

An informed windows user can go months without any av/as protection if they are careful. (I know because I ran a 6 month test personally and ran a clean scan after I was done).

Sorry, computer geek here :o

I agree with rock, although I'm not a "Geeky" as he is ...:D

Currently I run two boxes on Win XP Pro, one on Win2K and another one alternately on one of three Linux OSs', PCLinuxOS,Kubuntu and Unbuntu.

Obviously, the Linux boxes are the least likely to be infected, however since they are networked via wireless to the Win systems it entirely possible to pass infected files to Billy's stuff. Linux doesn't know its a Windows virus, its just another file to them.

Linux by the nature of its architecture is the least likely to be infected. On the extremely rare occasion it may happen, simply remove or reload the infected module. Clamv or the GUI frontend Klamv for Clamv is manually run to detect and identify any gremlins.

The trick to keeping a system clean isn't detection, but prevention. A manual scanner detects the "scene of the crime". We want to prevent the virus from entering the system all together, blocked during the process of downloading.

The answer to that...real time scanning-updating for us forgetful, lazy or risk taking folks.

Even real time scanners aren't perfect. When a new virus is detected in the wild, it may take a while till the signature detection is created, downloaded and used. Some scanners download new or updated signature files automatically, others you need to manually download the latest and greatest. It may also take a day or more until the provider writes and includes the new signature file. If you recall the "Love Letter" virus, its was 4 days until every major provider had a detection and a method to remove/repair it. I was in our IT section at the time, manually running detection-removal software on 200+ desktops and 6 NT servers wasn't fun. It was a Loooooooog day.

A real time scanner not only needs to detect, stop and remove a threat, but also have a small footprint(system load) and update automatically.

There are quite a few out there that meet those requirements. Spybot setup to run native at boot time will block 99% of spyware and malware, but you need to manually update it and manually add any new immunization detection/blocking. Avast(free) can detect,block, remove and update signature/ program files automatically without user intervention.

A firewall is alway a good item to have, locally or enabled via the router on a local networked system.

Backups are a good failsafe insurance policy. I prefer a imaged backup, a complete identical copy of the running system disk. If the system disk is infected,corrupted or just dies, I unplug the running sys disk, set the backup as the master, plug it in and I'm up an running to the point I created the image. I can then either re-ghost the sys disk or build a new replacement. It also makes going to a larger disk a snap. I use Acronis. to do incremental or a full image backups. http://www.acronis.com/

In the end, you need to do routine maintenance to stay virus,malware, adware and spyware free. You maintain you vehicle, oil changes, check tire pressure and etc, why not your computer?

Another good program is Autoruns to explore you system, but be careful using it. If you like to play, have you restore disks or have a ghosted disk handy!

Bill

Chuck Bogardus
06-22-2008, 01:44 PM
As far as graphic work, I've gotta say that the PC box is at least darn close to the mac... And you have the added bonus of not having to deal with (L)users from the corporate world who don't understand about different file formats...

Back from '96-'96, when I was adminning a 200-user mac network, virii were VERY prevalent in the mac world. But the company lost so much market share over the years that it just stopped being fun to write for it.

I run...

Adobe CS3 (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.)
Corel X3
Quark Xpress (which like -nobody- uses anymore)
Mickeysoft Office
Open Office

geneinnc
06-22-2008, 09:38 PM
Each anti virus and spy ware programs are basically the same. They are only as good as the definitions in their data base. I normally use 3 programs AND the F-Secure Security suite that is included in Charters cable Internet service. At the moment I'm using, in addition to Fsecure:

PC Tools Spy ware Doctor (Great program that can be set to run real time. It's free in the GOOGLE tools section)

Ad Aware (Still one of the best freebies)

Advanced Disk Cleaner (great garbage file destroyer)

Tweak Now Reg Cleaner Std (if it finds a registry problem, it tells you if there is any potential danger before you delete. It also backs up your registry before you remove anything)

Windows Disk Cleaner (very safe temporary file and cookie cleaner. it's under system tools)

There are a lot of disk defragmenters around now. The old version of Diskkeeper Lite has a set it and forget it function. They took that function out of their new freeware program. I have the old program on one PC, and I use Windows defrag on the other machine. No matter the program, IMO a defrag is needed weekly, or more, depending on your PC usage.

For God's sake, don't pay for ANY maintenance software, including anti virus and fire walls. I have my email on Lord knows how many forums, and I might see 5 infected emails every 12 months. Most all INTERNET providers filter malware before it sends it your way. You can use Lavasoft's firewall and AVG's anti virus and not spend a nickle.


If I were forced to buy one piece of software to protect my PC, it would be from Panda. It's very thorough and by far the easiest to use. They absolute BEST security is your brain. NEVER open an .exe program until you have scanned it, and do a GOOGLE search of the program name.


Hope that helps. I used to secure PC's, and keep up with the best Security Suites. They all have their good and bad points, and as I said above they are only as good as the malware definitions and how quickly they add them to their program.

Chuck Bogardus
06-22-2008, 11:49 PM
And all jokes aside, think about where you're downloading crap from... What I've seen, the biggest offenders for evilware are gamer things, stuff that shares songs, etc... Pornsters like to track what you're doing - they wanna know your "viewing" habits. And some of the seemingly legit things are really the worst...

Big Al
06-23-2008, 06:07 AM
I did an update for spy-bot last night. I got a system crash. I talked it over with my IT guy. He told me to get it off my system NOW. It's gone.

I then remembered why I quit using spy-bot.

I'll stick to symentec and superantispyware. Works for me, I am not changing now.

Old Timer
06-23-2008, 05:55 PM
I find the biggest problem with performance is automatic downloading. I have my system set to never auto download anything. You would be suprised to know how much stuff gets stopped by this.

alex88
06-17-2010, 04:08 PM
there are a lot of tricks that you can use, but the best is to have a good internet security system. i have for example KIS 7 (http://www.trustdownload.com/Antivirus-and-Spyware-Cleaners/Antivirus/Kaspersky-Internet-Security-7.0.html). it runs excellent on any OS an blocks the threats that try to harm your computer.

virg
06-17-2010, 04:48 PM
I've bee using Mac's from the early 80's and have never had problem one. I think most of the miscreants devote their time to PC's.

Plus the fact that there is no "exe" (execute) command in OS X, the Mac operating system. Thus when one downloads or opens an email any virus of spyware cannot automatically execute and activate. However, even though it will not affect the Mac, one can unknowingly forward a contaminated email and pass it on to a friends PC. I have used both PC's and Mac's since the early eighties. No mechanical problems with any of my past Dell's but plenty of work to keep Windows free of contamination. No worries on that account with the Mac. At present there is no need for anti spyware or anti-virus programs with a Mac. But...in general, Mac's cost hundreds of dollars more than their PC counterparts. Sooo....it's a decision..... There are few other products where one can get more value for their dollar than today's modern lap top or desk top computers.

virg

TedH
06-17-2010, 05:20 PM
I have never had a virus in all of my years of computing.
Here is a ling that should help you out.
http://store.apple.com/us

Ted

Fred J
06-17-2010, 05:52 PM
Brad:
Thanks for reminding to to update my Malwarebytes software. I also use McAfee through my ATT Dsl service. As for my lap top, I only use it when on the road or at the club. I always udate my Antivirus and Malware before I leave town, if I plan to go online to check the internet or my email. My Dell Laptop has served me well.

Pete Wass
06-17-2010, 07:21 PM
I got an email from AVG a couple of weeks offering a "Free" scan of my computer for mistakes and Viruses. I thought what the hey and clicked on it. The scan ran and found over 600 problems with my computer. A screne came up offereing a "Fix" for the problems for a mere $39.95. Being the Frugal Yankee I am, I declined but when I did, the computer went into slow motion.

Subsequently I needed to replace the anti virus on my Laptop so went to a computer repair place close to a friend's house. The repair guy told me the AVG dealie was some kind of "Virus" and I should replace the Anti Virus software. Also said I should use some sort of utility to remove Norton 's lingering software that I haven't been able to remove.

Who can one trust? and it is frustrating for a person who isn't a techie.

John Kielly
06-17-2010, 07:34 PM
I thought that the first rule of computing was don't trust emails from Nigerian banks, Canadian meds suppliers & anybody purtporting to be your chosen bank or software supplier.

I do test every email I receive before I download it from my ISP using freeware that I obtained from a specified site on the advice of a trusted worker in the IT industry. That software allows me to look at the email in detail, particularly the sender & the answer back routes. It's amazing how easily one can detect the BS that way. Sure, it takes a little more time & effort, but I don't get viruses & malware, period. If I want to update, software I use a proven route to a trusted web site.

To me it's simple. I don't do on line what I wouldn't do face to face, & face to face. I know what to do when I'm being offered a Rolex watch or some feelthy pictures by the guy on the street corner.

Joe Maisto
06-17-2010, 08:33 PM
Mr. D is mostly correct that Mac users are fairly free from virus issues.

What you need to understand is that those who write malware do it with the intent of reaching as many machines as possible.

Therefore they go after the largest use base, PC's running Windows and Outlook and Internet Explorer.

PC users can move to a smaller target by changing one or more of their platforms:
Move away from Windows to anything else.
Move away from Internet Explorer to firefox or opera
Move away from Outlook to web based email like hotmail or yahoo

But to be totally honest, the problem with Windows and virus/spyware is not a software problem. Instead the problem is normally found between the keyboard and the chair.....

An informed windows user can go months without any av/as protection if they are careful. (I know because I ran a 6 month test personally and ran a clean scan after I was done).

Sorry, computer geek here :o


Rock.

'I have Kaspersky and it seems to catch what it needs to. Example: It has caught 5 viruses and 10 other threats, a total of 15. I should point out however, that I do not travel a lot on this machine...a dell , because it isn't safe to explore. I use google for news, outlook, and windows. Your advice on getting away from windows seems good.

Joe Maisto
06-17-2010, 08:55 PM
a good piece of knowledge is...

You can read any e mail WITHOUT opening it. ( I got this from the geeks at E bay)
Right click on message, go to properties, details, and message scource. You will have it all including the return path of sender and need not be afraid. You may then delete it, and you haven't opened it.
My PC geek was surprised I knew of this.