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Spyware, Viri and other System Utilities?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by smullen, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. smullen

    smullen Member

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    <Up late working, thought I'd browse the board a bit and make a few posts>



    What softwares do you all run to combat Spyware and Viri???

    Also, what other (PC/Harddisk type) Utilities do you use???

    For spyware, I don't have anything as I'm not sure what to buy, alot of it looks Gimiky<SP>...

    For Viri, I run both Norton's and AVG...

    For system utilities, I don't really have anything, same reason as the spyware stuff.. Not sure what to buy...
     
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  2. Dennis Raap

    Dennis Raap Active Member

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    For virus we use Trend Micro Pc-cillin Internet Security
     
  3. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Major Contributor

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    www.securitytango.com

    I recommend this for everyone. It's a step by step way of ridding your machine of spyware. The page is from a guy here in Rochester that's really on the ball.

    Click the second button down..."Let's Dance"

    :Coffee:
     
  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Norton SystemWorks and Ad-Aware SE Professional. I also switched to Mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox for email client and browser which has additional built-in protections.
     
  5. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    at present using XPs firewall n norton till it expires then will switch to a free one like anti vir knows it works might use zone alarm latter no problems yet of course no web site yet either and still learning this techy stuff
     
  6. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    I take several steps to protect my systems at work and at home.

    Internet Explorer and Outlook Express are evil. PC users should not use those applications unless they absolutely have to do so. Using Mozilla Firefox for web browsing and Mozilla Thunderbird for e-mail will greatly reduce risks -particularly on spyware.

    I run AdAware and Spy Bot Search & Destroy to clean out spyware. Few, if any entries, pop up on system scans --thanks to using the Firefox browser and Thunderbird e-mail client.

    Our computers mainly have Norton Anti Virus installed. However a couple have AVG loaded. AVG is pretty good for those on a tight budget -since the personal version is free.

    We also have a router and hardware firewall installed on our network. That does a pretty good job of blocking outside intrusions.

    Our computers at work (and my machines at home) have software firewalls as well --typically Zone Alarm. XP's firewall is okay, but I like Zone Alarm more. Hardware firewalls can keep outside traffic from intruding into your network. Software firewalls can prevent malicious software you didn't know was on your machine from phoning home.

    At home, I have a Linksys Wi-Fi b/g router. They're easy to set up, maintain and apply firmware updates. Anyone using Wi-Fi at work or at home must set up their SSID broadcast to be password protected and encrypted. Most routers are set up by default to be wide open. Lots of people foolishly plug in these devices and run them as is. Many think it's just too much trouble to set up passwords and encryption when the process takes only a minute or two. Honestly, some public awareness campaigns should be run about this. Criminals are increasingly using notebook computers to hop on unsecured Wi-Fi home networks to conduct identity theft, run software piracy rings, traffic child pornography and even issue death threats against others. When law enforcement types try to trace the signal, it tends to stop right there at the unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot.

    Certain activities bring much more risk to your computer than others. Users who want to visit porn sites or trade warez software using P2P applications are much more likely to get a computer virus infection. Most new pieces of malware get "into the wild" by P2P shares these days.

    I always back up my data on CD-R, DVD-R discs and now external hard drives. My applications and system restore discs are stored in a safe place and well organized. If a worm manages to get into my system, I can have it eradicated and be back up and running very fast.

    For those who have external hard discs, I recommend Norton Ghost. It can save a lot of time in completely restoring a system versus formatting a hard drive and reinstalling everything clean. However, clean installs are a good idea at least once every 1 or 2 years.
     
  7. Derf

    Derf Very Active Member

    I know this may not be a popular answer or help you out now however I only use my MACs to get on line and keep my PCs off the net. I have not had a virus on the PC since

    The $500 to $1200 you would spend on a low end MAC just to web surf and email will save in long run.

    Derf
     
  8. gROUND cHUCK

    gROUND cHUCK Member

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    I would recommend having at least 2 different spyware/adware detectors, a firewall and an antivirus installed on your computer.
    I have XP sp2 (firewall), Norton '04, AD-aware and Spyware Doctor installed. they will all find different items.
    Norton will find adware that the other programs didn't, when 3 of the programs will search for adware.

    Both Antivirus and spyware removal Co.'s only create removal definitions for files that they have found on-line themselves.
    If they haven't got/found them yet, they don't know there out there to create a definition to remove them.

    A while ago I had Spybot S&D, Ad-aware, Norton and Zonealarm installed at one time, Than I checked out "Spyware Doctor" and it found ton's of spyware/adware still on my computer.
    Z.A. had to many pop-ups and Spybot was to slow, So I got rid of them and kept Ad-aware, updated to XP sp2 w/ its own firewall, and bought Spyware Doctor.

    I use another program that's made by the same Co. as Spyware Doctor. It cleans out Invalid registry keys that are left behind from removing spyware/adware, deleting files, and uninstalling programs. For anyone who might like to check out, it's called "Registry Mechanic" http://www.pctools.com/
    If your computer seems to be slowing down, this will help some w/ your memory problems. My first scan it found a high 700 invalid registries.
     
  9. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    I use Zonealarm for a firewall (free version available)
    I use avast! for virus scanning (free version available)
    I use spybot search and destroy for spyware (free) in conjunction with adaware (free version available)
    I also run behind a wireless router one computer hardwired other two wireless with wap enabled, broadcasting off, mac addies added.
     
  10. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The MAC address authorization can be a highly effective defense against intruders trying to freely jump onto your Wi-Fi connection.

    For those who don't know, a MAC address is a unique machine ID number that only your computer will have. Newer notebook computers usually will list their MAC address number on the bottom of the case. You can set up a Wi-Fi router where it will provide connections only to computers with specific MAC addresses. Once that is set, it won't matter if some scumbag criminal actually knows your router password. The way he's going to jump on your Wi-Fi connection is if he breaks into your house and hard wires to the LAN.

    This reminded me of another little security item involving Wi-Fi.

    When naming your router and its broadcast, choose an anonymous name that won't personally identify you. Any criminal that does crime with a computer may be perfectly willing to do crime in the old fashioned "analog" way as well. If he's easily able to tell a certain Wi-Fi signal is coming from your house he may decide to break in to your house one day when you're at work. This person could be some criminal driving through your neighborhood, or the person could even be one of your neighbors. It's a lot better to let any "wardrivers" think the secured Wi-Fi signal is coming from a restaurant, hotel or any one of 50 houses in the immediate vicinity.
     
  11. njsigns

    njsigns Very Active Member

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    I have been fixing infected computers for nearly 6 years now, and there was a time when Norton and McAfee were the only contendors. I have worked on machines that have Spybot search and destroy, Ad-aware, the full Norton Suite, all of which were infected beyond repair. The only option at that point, back up useful information (if you can) and start over.

    One example is a computer I worked on about 3 weeks ago, took 28 minutes to boot into Windows XP Pro, had Norton Suite, completely updated, and Spybot S&D on it as well as a host of other "Spyware detection tools".

    That machine had over 685 viruses and over 1100 instances of spyware as well as having 8000 registry keys infected. I found them all by doing a bootime scan with avast home (free) and Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta (also free). I swear by these 2 programs. I have been using them both in conjunction with one another for nearly a year, after trying just about everything else available on the market.

    The real problem is people decompiling these basic programs like Spybot, changing some code, and re-releasing it as their own (Spybot is an example of this in itself or so I have read on numerous occassion) while they have a tendency to add their own spyware in the process.

    The problem isn't IE at all, it's people feeling "safe" with programs like I have mentioned above and failing to get Windows updates. I surf using both IE and Firefox and with my "avast real time protection" on I have come across many a virus trying to install itself while just surfing using Firefox. I agree that Firefox isn't as susceptible to browser hijackers, it is however becoming more greatly used by the general public in hopes to "dupe" the people who are writing these viruses.

    If you think for a minute using Firefox is a solution, or you're tricking these people you're wrong. A simple look at any basic web statistics on their servers will tell them exactly who was there, when, what browser, IP address as well as tons of other information about you and your system.

    I could ramble on about this subject for days, and I think many will argue with what I have just said. But being a "former" computer programmer myself, and a web developer I know the precautions I take are working for me, while I know many of the other available options mentioned aren't working for the people who bring me thier infested machines.

    Also on a side note, knowing how the industry was hit by the whole Sept. 11th thing, and the massive layoffs, I am of the belief system that many of the higher paid programmers who were laid off, went out on their own and started writing viruses, then selling their "solution" for $19.95 via their own websites. These solutions probably have some sort of "countdown clock" built inside them, to then automatically update with a new virus when your "membership" runs out since you have already set your permissions to let these programs update at their own will.

    Last thing... if you ever get a pop-up that says "your computer is infected with a virus! click here for a free scan" and you click it, you just installed a virus yourself. The internet as an entity isn't doing a scan of every computer online and offering any service to you... think about it!

    Just my $1.98 of information/opinion
    Gene
     

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