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    Default Anti spyware/malware etc recommendations

    I'm running windows vista - looking for some recommendations for some solid protection programs, preferably free - any suggestions?

    Thanks!

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    Hello Twitchy and welcome to the Spyware Help Forum

    I will give you part of my regular canned speech that I use for when a member is clean of malware plus the links to a free antivirus and anti Malware program...Please read on and take a note:

    What we recommend is the you use: One Antivirus....Free you can get Avira, AVG or Avast.

    One Anti-Spyware Program like Malwarebytes...

    Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

    Please download >> Malwarebytes Anti-Malware << and save it to your desktop.

    Mirror Link 1
    Mirror Link 2

    Note: If you already have Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, just update first then run it.
    • Warning: MBAM may "make changes to your registry" as part of its disinfection routine. If using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you. Temporarily disable such programs <--Click to see the list or permit them to allow the changes.
      • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
      • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
        For instructions with screenshots, please refer to the How to use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Guide.
      • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
      • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
        o Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
        o Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
      • Then click Finish.

        MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
      • If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself. Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
      • If you encounter any problems while downloading the definition updates, manually download them from >> HERE << and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.

        On the Scanner tab:
      • Make sure the "Perform Quick Scan" option is selected.
      • Then click on the Scan button.
      • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
      • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
      • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
      • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.

        Back at the main Scanner screen:
      • Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
      • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
      • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
      • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
      • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply...*If something bad was found. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
      • Exit MBAM when done.


    Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.

    If it won't run in normal mode, then run it in safe mode.
    ===================
    Top Download of Antivirus Software 2010:
    Anti-virus software are programs that detect, cleanse, and erase harmful virus files on a computer, Web server, or network. Unchecked, virus files can unintentionally be forwarded to others, including trading partners and thereby spreading infection. Because new viruses regularly emerge, anti-virus software should be updated frequently. Anti-virus software can scan the computer memory and disk drives for malicious code. They can alert the user if a virus is present, and will clean, delete (or quarantine) infected files or directories. Please download a free anti-virus software from one these excellent vendors NOW:

    AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
    AVG Anti-virus was also one of the best free anti-virus software, downloaded 84,317,112 times from download.com in 2010, making it the most downloaded windows software of 2010.

    >> Download AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition <<

    Avast Free AntiVirus
    Best free-antivirus software, which is downloaded at high demand and best free anti-virus softwares. Avast is the second best free anti-virus software.
    Avast Free Edition was downloaded 52,648,408 times in 2010 from download.com.

    >> Download Avast Free Edition <<


    Avira AntiVir Personal Free Antivirus
    Avira was downloaded 42,165,868 times from download.com in 2010. best free anti-virus softwares.which has been persona favourite of mine and has been supporting my machines. This antivirus software is more powerful in detecting virus, spyware and malware

    >> Download Avira AntiVir Personal Free Antivirus <<


    NOTE: You should run only one antivirus program at a time. Having more than one antivirus program active in memory uses additional resources and results in program conflicts and false virus alerts.


    Are things running okay? Do you have any more questions?

    System Still Slow?

    Is your computer running slower? You may have too many startup programs bogging it down. It's easy to address this problem by tweaking the startup programs on your computer.

    Follow these steps on the following tutorial to help speed up your computer.

    >> How to Change Startup Programs on Your Computer manually or using WinPatrol <<

    Choose between doing this manually or with the help of a program. Either way, you need to look up what you can disable and what you need to keep enabled. Keep in mind there are many programs written to make this task easier, using a program might save you some time.

    Simply download WinPatrol tool from: HERE to your desktop and run it. It will explain any optional auto-start programs on your system, and offer the option to stop these programs from starting at startup. This will result in fewer programs running when you boot your system, and should improve preformance.

    If that does not work, you can try the steps mentioned in Slow Computer/browser? Check Here First; It May Not Be Malware

    The following can also help speed up your computer:

    Defragment files (Drive C) Defragmenting is a must.

    It's one of the large reasons for system slowdowns. I use > JkDefrag < to defragment. You can use it forever. I recommend installing it and defragmenting as soon as possible

    To improve performance I recommend to check this LINK.

    Windows7: Optimize Windows 7 for better performance Go to this page

    Having trouble with your computer?

    Even if you don't know a computer language (or want to), you can solve several common PC problems on your own.

    Read this Tutorial: (In this article= F1 is magic: Get help on your PC, The basics, Locating the problem, Software errors, Internet Connectivity, Hardware trouble, System failure)

    >> Fix common PC problems <<

    Is Your Wireless Network Safe?

    The purposes of wireless security is to keep unauthorized parties from using the wireless Internet access that you pay for, and to keep unauthorized parties from accessing the computers on your wireless network. For home and small business wireless network operators, "unauthorized parties" are usually not mastermind cybercriminals but casual freeloaders.

    Your wireless network's range is a few hundred yards, at most. That means the people most likely to "hack" into your WiFi network are your neighbors and transient passersby. Fortunately, it does not take much to deter such gate-crashers. A few easy, free tweaks to your WiFi router's settings are enough.


    See this tutorial: How can I make sure that nobody can secretly access my computers through a wireless connection. By: Bob Rankin.


    ---------------------------^--------------------------------



    Prevention
    Take the following steps to help prevent infection on your computer:

    Use an AntiVirus Software

    It is very important that your computer has an anti-virus software running on your machine. This alone can save you a lot of trouble with malware in the future. See this link for a listing of some online & their stand-alone antivirus programs:

    Virus, Spyware, and Malware Protection and Removal Resources

    Use up-to-date antivirus software
    Most antivirus software can detect and prevent infection by known malicious software. To help protect you from infection, you should always run antivirus software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, that is updated with the latest signature files.
    For more information, see Windows 7: Consumer security software providers.

    Enable a firewall on your computer:

    For a tutorial on Firewalls and a listing of some available ones see the link below:

    Understanding and Using Firewalls

    Use a third-party firewall product or turn on the Microsoft Windows Internet Connection Firewall.
    Visit Microsoft's Windows Update Site Frequently

    It is important that you visit Microsoft Windows Update regularly. This will ensure your computer has always the latest security updates available installed on your computer. If there are new updates to install, install them immediately, reboot your computer, and revisit the site until there are no more critical updates.

    Get the latest computer updates
    Updates help protect your computer from viruses, worms, and other threats as they are discovered. It is important to install updates for all the software that is installed in your computer. These are usually available from vendor websites.

    You can use the Automatic Updates feature in Windows to automatically download future Microsoft security updates while your computer is on and connected to the Internet.
    ==============***============

    Recommended Programs:

    To help protect your computer in the future I would recommend the download and installation of some or all of the following free programs (if not already present), and the updating of them on a regular basis:
    .
    • WOT, Web of Trust, warns you about risky websites that try to scam visitors, deliver malware or send spam. Protect your computer against online threats by using WOT as your front-line layer of protection when browsing or searching in unfamiliar territory. WOT's color-coded icons show you ratings for 21 million websites, helping you avoid the dangerous sites:
      *Green to go
      *Yellow for caution
      *Red to stop
      WOT has an addon available for both Firefox and IE.
    • WinPatrol
      As a robust security monitor, WinPatrol will alert you to hijackings, malware attacks and critical changes made to your computer without your permission. WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. For more information, please visit > HERE <.
    • McAfee Site Advisor --free version.
      To give you an indication of which sites may contain bad links or suspect downloads. It loads an icon to the taskbar of your browser (versions for IE and Firefox), As you browse, a small button on your browser toolbar changes color based on SiteAdvisor's safety results indicating the trustworthiness of the site you are on. Green for safe and Red for suspicious. Click on the icon to access details that SiteAdvisor has about the site. It also gives the same colour indications in the results page when you do a Google search, making it easier to decide which sites are safe to visit. The folks there check out websites and based on their findings, rate it as Safe, Unknown, Caution, or Bad. Safety ratings from McAfee SiteAdvisor appear next to search results. Works with Google, Yahoo!, Live Search, AOL or ASK.
      This is a utility that can be downloaded and installed it from: > HERE <
    • SpywareBlaster
      SpywareBlaster sets killbits in the registry to prevent known malicious ActiveX controls from installing on your computer. If you don't know what ActiveX controls are, see > HERE <. You can download SpywareBlaster from HERE.
    • ERUNT (Emergency Recovery Utility NT):
      This utility allows you to keep a complete backup of your registry and restore it when needed. The standard registry backup options that come with Windows back up most of the registry but not all of it. ERUNT however creates a complete backup set, including the Security hive and user related sections. ERUNT is easy to use and since it creates a full backup, there are no options or choices other than to select the location of the backup files. The backup set includes a small executable that will launch the registry restore if needed.
      You can get this utility from: > HERE < and instructions how to Practice "Safe Computer" with regular automated Registry Backups with ERUNT from: > HERE <
    • Use an alternative Internet Browser
      Many of the exploits are directed to users of Internet Explorer. Try using a different browser instead:
      Firefox
      Opera
      If you choose to use Firefox, I highly recommend these add-ons to keep your PC even more secure.
    • NoScript - for blocking ads and other potential website attacks
    • McAfee SiteAdvisor - this tells you whether the sites you are about to visit are safe or not. A must if you do a lot of Googling
    • MVPs hosts file.
      A tutorial for MVPs hosts file can be found here. If you would like automatic updates you might want to take a look at HostMan host file manager. For more information on the hosts file, and what it can do for you, please consult the Tutorial on the Hosts file.



    Limit user privileges on the computer:
    Starting with Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft introduced User Account Control (UAC), which, when enabled, allowed users to run with least user privileges. This scenario limits the possibility of attacks by malware and other threats that require administrative privileges to run.

    You can configure UAC in your computer to meet your preferences:

    Secure Your Software: Update Non-Microsoft Programs by using PSI Secunia Personal Software Inspector:

    Microsoft isn't the only company whose products can contain security vulnerabilities.

    Is your computer really secure?
    If you have antivirus software, malware scanners and a firewall, you might think you'e safe from hackers, crackers and identity thieves. But chances are, you're missing one critical piece of the security puzzle. Read on to learn how to secure your software and truly lock down your computer:

    What's the Missing Link in Computer Security?

    You may feel safe behind a firewall and anti-virus software. But you're not. Bad guys can still get to your personal information stored on your computer, and even take over your computer and run it as if it was their own. The gap in your armor? It's the application software you use every day. Let's look at just one recent example.

    Do you ever read Adobe PDF files, in your browser or with Adobe Reader after downloading? Tens of millions of people do; PDF is one of the most widely used file formats. In July 2009, hackers found a way to embed malware in PDF files using the equally popular Adobe Flash animation format. Even anti-virus software developers like Symantec were caught off-guard by this obscure vulnerability. New vulnerabilities are discovered in application software every hour, it seems.

    Software developers issue patches and updates that close these doors to hackers in a never-ending game of Whack-A-Mole. Vulnerability pops up here, hit it with a patch. Another pops up over there, hit it with another patch. Developers provide the patches, but it's up to you, the end user, to whack the moles.
    Staying on Top of Application Security

    It's vital to keep all your software up to date with the latest patches and upgrades. But the average computer holds about 80 application programs! How can you keep up with it all?

    _First, concentrate on the programs that are most often targeted by bad guys. They are the most commonly used programs: Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer, etc. The more people there are using a program, the more targets there are for a hacker's arrows. Naturally, the hacker goes after the biggest potential "market" for his malware.

    _Second, activate automatic update
    features when they are available. Then your software will check its home site for patches and upgrades every day, or week, or whatever. It can download and install updates without bothering you at all, or tell you when updates are available and give you the choice of when to install them.

    Some security experts tell you to turn off automatic updates because a connection to a server is an open line through which hackers can invade your computer. But turning off auto-update closes one door while leaving untold numbers of others wide open. Who are you kidding? You're not going to remember to check for updates manually on a regular basis. You'll let it slide until your software is so outdated it contains dozens of vulnerabilities. Leave auto-update on and let the software remember for you.

    _Third, you can check all the software on your computer for vulnerabilities using something like the >> Secunia Personal Software Inspector << (PSI). This free program comes from a trusted security site, and scans your software for known vulnerabilities. It will tell you which programs need updating and provide links to sites where you can download patches.

    I ran PSI while researching the issue of software security, and I was very surprised by the results. I have security software in place, and I thought I was keeping up with all my patches. I felt pretty confident about the security of my computer. But PSI flagged Adobe Reader, Flash, Skype, iTunes, QuickTime, Java and a few others as needing updates. At least SIX of the vulnerabilities were marked Critical, meaning that under certain circumstances, an Evil Hacker could exploit them to gain complete control over my computer. Yikes.


    Bottom line... the software you use every day is the biggest source of danger to your personal information. Keeping your software up to date is your best defense. You cannot afford to let vulnerabilities go unpatched.


    Use caution when opening attachments and accepting file transfers:
    Exercise caution with email and attachments received from unknown sources, or received unexpectedly from known sources. Use extreme caution when accepting file transfers from known or unknown sources.

    Use caution when clicking on links to web pages:
    Exercise caution with links to web pages that you receive from unknown sources, especially if the links are to a webpage that you are not familiar with, unsure of the destination of, or suspicious of. Malicious software may be installed in your computer simply by visiting a webpage with harmful content.

    Avoid downloading pirated software:
    Threats may also be bundled with software and files that are available for download on various torrent sites. Downloading "cracked" or "pirated" software from these sites carries not only the risk of being infected with malware, but is also illegal. For more information, see 'The risks of obtaining and using pirated software'.

    Protect yourself from social engineering attacks:
    While attackers may attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in hardware or software to compromise a computer, they also attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in human behavior to do the same. When an attacker attempts to take advantage of human behavior to persuade the affected user to perform an action of the attacker's choice, it is known as 'social engineering'. Essentially, social engineering is an attack against the human interface of the targeted computer. For more information, see 'What is social engineering?'.

    Use strong passwords:
    Attackers may try to gain access to your Windows account by guessing your password. It is therefore important that you use a strong password one that cannot be easily guessed by an attacker. A strong password is one that has at least eight characters, and combines letters, numbers, and symbols.
    For more information, see Strong Passwords | Microsoft Security.
    The top 50 passwords you should never use

    To protect yourself against malware and reduce your chance of reinfection in the future, I strongly recommend you have a look at following links (giving some advice and tips), (Tip of the hat to htv8):If you are interested in learning more and joining the fight against malware please visit the Malware Removal Trainning Program thread.

    Finally I am trying to make one point very clear. It is absolutely essential to keep all of your security programs up to date.

    Stay clean and be safe

    That's it!!!

    Happy surfing!

    Cheers
    Net_Surfer
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    Thanks so much!

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    You are very Welcome

    Glad that we can help

    Best Regards
    Net_Surfer
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    "Obstacles are what you see when yo take your eyes off your Goals"

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