Protect Your PC Without Negatively Affecting Performance

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vipre for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Protect Your PC Without Affecting PerformanceI recently described my experience using an anti-virus application I hadn’t used before. The software, VIPRE Internet Security, turned out to be delightfully simple to use, with a clear installer and an elegant interface. I was performing a deep scan of my system in no time, and was surprised to find the app outperformed the solution that I was using prior. Not only can I recommend this program to protect your PC, but today one of our readers gets to receive a one-year license of the software.

Protect Your PC Without Slowing Down Your System

If you haven’t read my followup post, written nearly a week after I first wrote about installing and running the software for the first time, you may be wondering how it is that I determined GFI Software’s security suite to be a winner in such a short period of time. It’s actually been two entire weeks since I initially installed the app, and in my second post, written just a few days ago, I reported how I found the security software to be performing throughout more than a week of heavy usage on my test system. A true test of software is performed over a period of time, so I made sure to use my test system — along with the anti-virus software — heavily over that period. I hardly touched my other computers that week (though I had to use my phone now and then, of course).

Now, if you did happen to read both of the posts I’ve mentioned, you know that I’ve been pleased with the results of this computer security solution. I’m even more pleased after a few more days of using the utility. Anti-virus software, in my opinion, is not usually the sexiest software on any computing platform. I usually see it as a necessary evil — something you simply must install on your computer, particularly if you’re running Windows. You want to protect your PC, but you’d rather not run a program that may turn out to have an impact on the system’s performance in a negative way, such as slowing down the computer while you’re trying to get some work accomplished on it (as some anti-virus programs have been known to do). In fact, I was hesitant to install any security software on my test system because it’s already a relatively low-end system. It’s slow enough as it is without any anti-virus apps running on it.

But to my surprise, I’ve had some fun using VIPRE since I first installed the program two weeks ago. For example, rather than proving to be yet another unwanted-but-necessary utility that is supposed to run in the background but instead eats up my PC’s resources when I least want it to — causing my computer to slow to a crawl when I’m in the middle of, for example, rendering a video I’ve been editing all afternoon and need to upload as soon as possible — I haven’t noticed VIPRE affecting my system at all. That is, the program didn’t cause any noticeable hiccups or slow downs — nothing that would make me roll my eyes and groan (as many other anti-virus applications have done in past experiences).

In my last post I also noted that I purposely visited some websites that are known to attempt to install malware through browsers. Since then I’ve also thrown a few known viruses at Windows. VIPRE caught everything I threw at my system and quickly disposed of it according to my preferences. In a word, I’ve come to the conclusion that this anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-intrusion, and anti-spam solution has quickly become one of my favorite utilities. I’m not saying that opening up and studying the results of security scans has become a new hobby. I am saying, however, that using this particular security solution leaves me knowing that my system is more secure than it was before, and that I feel less resentment at having to install and run a security program that wouldn’t be necessary in a friendlier world.

And the Winner Is…

So now you know how I feel about this application. Last week I asked you, my readers, to post comments describing why you would want to use VIPRE Internet Security to protect your PC. Some lucky reader would be selected to receive a code for a one-year license to use the software. So now it’s time to announce the winner of our giveaway.

I would really like to win a year of VIPRE Internet Security 2013 because I so dearly would like to drop Norton lol… I am open to trying something new and telling my friends about it.

This comment was posted by Rhonda Meow Readman — and Rhonda, you’re our winner! You get to enjoy the benefits of a secure, virus and malware-free computer for at least the duration of the next 365 days! Congratulations! We will be contacting you via the email you supplied when you entered. Don’t forget: the rest of you can still enter the other VIPRE contest on my personal website! Leave a comment on that thread before midnight PDT on July 16th for your chance to win a free year of VIPRE!

Now, just because Rhonda was lucky enough to win our giveaway, it doesn’t mean the rest of you have to endure the pain of using a less worthy anti-virus solution that taxes your system unnecessarily. VIPRE offers a free trial. So if you wish to protect your PC without undermining the purpose of a program designed to keep viruses from preventing it from running as well as it should, simply by heading on over to its website and downloading the application before some code designed with ill intentions sneaks onto your computer and slows it to a grinding halt… or worse.

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What Is The Best Anti-Virus Software?

This is a common question among anyone who owns a computer. When it comes to computer security software you have to think of multiple questions when trying to choose the right brand. Ultimately it is the user’s choice of how much protection they think that they want on their system.

Right off the bat there is one choice that a user must make: paid or free? There are advantages to both and it is dependent on the user to figure out if they want to spend money to protect their computer… or not. With a paid version of anti-virus you have the security of knowing the company is looking out for your best interests and because you are paying them they have an obligation to send out frequent up-to-date virus signatures to help protect your computer. Also, with paid memberships, some companies have some sort of guarantee that their computer will be covered up to a certain amount of money if a virus does destroy their computer.

Free versions of anti-virus software do not have a protection guarantee and usually are run by someone out of the kindness of their own hearts. That means there might not be as frequent updates as the paid versions and because you are not paying a company there might be some virus signatures that may be missed or incorrectly marked. Now don’t get me wrong, some free anti-virus software is comparable with the paid brands, but might not have as many features as a paid version.

My favorite paid anti-virus is ESET Nod32, I’ve used it for the last three years and have not looked back. Its security center has multiple features to keep a user safe, including a built-in firewall, active file monitoring, and early detection. My personal lifesaver is the active file monitoring — every new file created on my computer is scanned for viruses and will alert me if something is wrong. I also chose ESET Nod32 because of its track record. Its detection record is unmatched; it has never missed an in-the-wild virus for as long as the product has been around. Over all of the other paid brands, I have to give it up for ESET.

For the users who may not want to pay for an anti-virus, I strongly suggest that they use Microsoft Security Essentials. It is the most lightweight and powerful free anti-virus system that I have come across. Microsoft took its amazing product, what used to be called OneCare, and made it free. If you look at the logic behind the system it is made by Microsoft and this massive organization is paying its good people to protect your system. To me you’re almost getting the benefits of a paid system. You can also trust Microsoft to not put any spyware, adware, or any type of ware in your product. Again, for the free route, check out Microsoft Security Essentials.

For all you Mac and Linux users out there, don’t think you’re safe. Every computer is susceptible to a virus attack of any kind, although just not as likely, you can still be attacked. For the Mac users out there, try out ESET’s Mac edition, for the same reasons as before: its track record is unmatched. For you Linux users I do recommend ClamAV — that is the only Linux anti-virus that I’ve played around with and found to be a great protection on my Linux box.

There are all different brands out there from which you can pick, both paid and free. To keep you and your computer safe, keep your anti-virus system up to date and know what Web sites you are surfing. You are the front line of protection.

What Is The Best Anti-Virus Program? Common Sense 2011

As many of you know, I have just recently switched from using AVG over to using avast!. The new AVG 2011 made my system sluggish and was bloated so I reluctantly made the switch. I have also advised many times never to rely on any one anti-virus program as your sole line of defense. I personally will use Malwarebytes, Spyware Terminator, or one of the fine online scanners listed below, to periodically scan my system for critters.

What brought this all to mind was a computer I worked on yesterday. It belongs to a relative and they were experiencing reboot problems. The computer was running an older copy of AVG 8.5 that I had installed when they bought the computer. Yesterday I ran Malwarebytes which found 42 viral infection which I placed into the vault. Uninstalled AVG 8.5 and installed avast! version 5, it also found two more bugs.

In addition to the two programs I have mentioned above, I also use online scanners about once a month. I rotate the scanners, never leaving it to any one system to find and eradicate any bugs that my system may pick up. The online scanners I recommend are:

TrendMicro Housecall

Panda ActiveScan

BitDefender QuickScan

F-Secure Online Scanner

There are others available, but I use these four, rotating them through the months. I have not had an infection on any computer I have every used for well over 10 years. The reason is simple. I have a secret weapon and it is the best anti-virus program in the world. It is called Common Sense 2011. :-)

By using my brain I stay away from areas of the Internet that pose a hazard. I never lurk where danger resides and confine myself to reputable Web sites only. I keep my eyes open for anything suspicious, use two separate scanners to warn about rogue sites, and basically confine my searching to where the good guys are. That, my friends, is why it is called Common Sense. The 2011 model will start on January 1st, 2011. It has worked flawlessly in the past and I have no doubt it will do the same in the future.

Comments welcome.

AVG 2011 – Turning Off Link Scanner May Work For You – Here’s How FAQ

Unfortunately, AVG 2011 slowed my system, so I uninstalled It. I will be using avast! for now.

There will be no follow-up report.

Back on October 5th, 2010 I wrote an article about the effects that the new version had caused, and the article generated many opinions and suggestions. [See original article here.] First of all, thanks to everyone who has commented and has made suggestions about switching to a different anti-virus program. Yesterday I even uninstalled AVG 9 and took another AV program for a trial spin. I chose to give avast! a try since it has a long record of success, similar to AVG, and Virus Bulletin gives it high marks. But last night I received a comment in which reader Drag stated:

I have been using AVG for years; I’m not ready to jump ship yet.

Well, Drag, neither am I. AVG is like an old trusted friend. I know how it functions and know what to expect. This is not to say that other programs are not as good. But as free programs go, I like AVG the best. Just my two cents.

I am giving AVG 2011 a second chance. I reinstalled the software last night and will use it for several weeks and see how it works for me. I will than do another review of AVG 2011. I went on the AVG site and found how to turn off LinkScanner from AVG’s FAQ section, which I have listed below:

If you wish to uninstall the LinkScanner component from AVG 2011 Free Edition, please proceed as follows:

  • Download the AVG 2011 Free Edition installation package from our website.
  • Run the installation file by double-click.
  • Proceed through the installation wizard and in the Select Setup Type window please select the Add or remove components option.
  • Then proceed through the steps of the wizard to reach the Component Selection window and uncheck the LinkScanner component.
  • Afterwards complete the rest of the steps of the installation wizard. The LinkScanner component will be removed from AVG.

If there is no AVG on your computer yet, then please proceed this way:

  • Download the AVG 2011 Free Edition installation package from our website.
  • Run the installation file by double-click.
  • Proceed through the installation wizard and in the Select Installation Type window please select the Custom installation option.
  • When you reach the Component Selection window, uncheck the LinkScanner component.
  • Finish the installation wizard. AVG will be installed without the LinkScanner component.
  • So far everything appears to be working OK. I have set my calendar for a follow-up report on or about November 3rd, 2010.

    Source – More http://free.avg.com/us-en/faq.num-2962#num-2962#ixzz12tce2BuK

    AVG Anti-Virus 2011 Froze My Computer – What Has Your Experience Been?

    I am giving AVG 2010 a second try by turning off LinkScanner. You can read my follow-up article here.

    I have been using the free version of AVG for about six years [?], and for me it has been problem free. I have installed it on all of my own home systems running XP, Vista, and Windows 7 without issue. In addition, over the years I have installed the software on countless client systems, again without issue. I have always found that AVG has protected my computer systems, was easy to use, and did not bog down my computer nor have any effect on performance.

    Yesterday I decided to upgrade AVG version 9 to the latest version, which is AVG 2011. The installation was simple enough. I always choose custom install because I do not want any tool-bars or other junk installed on my computer. I did an update after installation and a scan. All appeared well. I jumped onto the Internet and began working on a blog article, and noticed a pop up window that wanted to analyze my computer. I later learned that this was a pay for service trying to sell its targets fix-it software.

    After the pop up came and went my browser, Palemoon, was locked up. I closed the browser and rebooted. The second time it happened I decided to remove 2011 and go back to version 9 (at least for the time being).

    As a side note I am using Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit with SP1 beta for testing purposes.

    My question to you is this. Have you tried AVG anti-virus 2011? What has your experience been?

    Comments welcome.

    Source – CNET

    Please do not tell me to use another anti-virus product. I want opinions about AVG 2011 only. Thank you.

    Intel Wants To Be Your One And Only Protector Against Viruses

    I haven’t used a paid for virus protector for about 5 years. There was a time I put my trust in Norton, but their products started to cost an arm and a leg, for those of us who had 5 computers in our home. I used only McAfee once, a long time ago, when it came installed on a system I had purchased with a one year license. It was OK, but I never got used of the GUI, which I felt was inferior to Norton, at that time.

    So when Intel bought McAfee for well over a billion big ones, I though to myself, why? No we have learned the answer to that question at a meeting that was held by the boss of Intel, Paul Otellini. We are all aware that anti-virus programs block bad code. Intel wants to change the game and allow only good code in.

    In a recent article it states that:

    Otellini went on to briefly describe the shift in a way that sounded innocuous enough–current A/V efforts focus on building up a library of known threats against which they protect a user, but Intel would love to move to a world where only code from known and trusted parties runs on x86 systems. It sounds sensible enough, so what could be objectionable about that?

    Depending how enamored you are of Apple’s App Store model, where only Apple-approved code gets to run on your iPhone, you may or may not be happy in Intel’s planned utopia. Because, in a nutshell, the App Store model is more or less what Intel is describing. Regardless of what you think of the idea, its success would have at least two unmitigated upsides: 1) everyone will get vPro by default (i.e., it seems hard to imagine that Intel will still charge for security as an added feature), and 2) it would put every security company (except McAfee, of course), out of business. (The second one is of course a downside for security vendors, but it’s an upside for users who despise intrusive A/V software.)

    That is the rub. Would you trust Intel to protect your machine whether it be a PC, smart phone or other device?  Would you only want to see one player in the security field, that being Intel?

    Let me know what you think.

    Source – ars technica

    What Is The Number 1 Thing You Can Do To Protect Your PC From A Virus Attack?

    This morning I stumbled upon an article over at Popular Mechanic about how you can protect your computer from viruses and malware. The advice was fairly standard except there was one sentence that stood out to me and which I thought was the best possible advice the article cited:

    Good software and smart users can foil malware threats, but hackers adapt quickly.

    What is a ‘smart user’?

    Those who take the time to read the articles here at Lockergnome, in my opinion, are all smart users. These people know computers and are light years ahead of the average user.

    They know how to protect their computers, by not only using software to protect them, but also to make sure the software is up to date. Though most anti-virus programs will automatically obtain updates, smart users will also do manual updates as well as manual scans of their systems. These smart users will also periodically user other software’s to scan their systems to make sure that their computers are virus and malware free.

    But the most important thing that smart users do is to be smart when they surf. They know the pitfalls on the Internet and know that there are hidden dangers lurking behind those innocent looking web sites. Through their experience they know not to open attachments from persons unknown, but also to heed their browser warnings by not clicking on what is flagged as being unsafe.

    Sounds fairly simple don’t it. But if it is so simple for those who are smart users, why do so many Internet users become infected?

    Comments welcome.

    Source – Popular Mechanics

    Fake Firefox Flash Update

    Over the weekend and for the last couple of day if you had Firefox it would prompt you for a flash update. This update looks a little odd because it looks exactly like the Firefox update page that you get when Firefox is updated. This page may have many people confused because it is an exact clone of what the official Firefox page looks like.

    Some Anti-virus systems are able to detect and block the link that this fake update page is pointing to. Others detect it too late, because this update once installed, is very hard to remove. Most free and paid anti-virus systems are unable to remove this virus once it is infected in your system. You will have to use a 3rd party Malware removing program such as Malwarebytes.

    Just run a full scan on your system and it should pick it up no problem. Malwarebytes will remove it and restart your system. The virus should at this point be removed but for extra measure run another scan to pick up anything that could be left behind.

    If You Love Norton Anti-Virus You Are Going To Love This Deal!

    Over at Buy.com they have what appears to be a deal on Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus 2010 software. The single licensed version is only $15.99 and includes free shipping. The software also includes anti spyware software as well.

    Here are the system requirements:

    Microsoft® Windows® XP (32-bit) with Service Pack 2 or later Home/Professional/Media Center

    Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit) Starter/Home Basic/Home Premium/Business/Ultimate

    Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) Starter/Home Basic/Home Premium/Professional/Ultimate

    Minimum Hardware Requirements

    • 300 MHz or faster processor
    • 256 MB of RAM (512 MB RAM required for Recovery Tool)
    • 200 MB of available hard disk space
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive (if not installing via electronic download)
  • Email scanning supported for POP-3- and SMTP-compatible email clients

    Browser support for Vulnerability Protection feature

  • Mozilla Firefox® 3.0 and later **
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 32-bit 6.0 or higher ***
  • Comments welcome.

    Check out the Buy.com deal here.

    How Did I Get Infected With Antivirus 2009?

    I have Norton Internet security, yet my computer has been infected with the Antivirus 2009 program. How can this happen and how do I get rid of it? — Glenn

    Your question underscores an often mistaken mindset of many computer users: “If I have security software in place, I shouldn’t get any infections.” Nothing could be further from reality.

    Anti-virus/anti-spyware programs as well as firewalls are of no protection if the user of the computer decides to click on links that generate malicious code or download and run questionable files.

    The user’s interactions can easily override the installed protection and in some cases, actually disable your protection programs, but make it look like they are still running.

    The fake anti-virus program scams actually started last year as “Antivirus 2008” and it was so successful that it lives on as many variations including “Antivirus 2009.” A clever author of malware discovered a sneaky way to fool folks into installing malicious software into their computers, THEN extract money from them by posing as a legitimate program for removing the malicious software.

    The reason that this approach has been so successful is that they very closely mimic Windows warning screens and legitimate antivirus programs. Virtually every legitimate antivirus company has a product called Antivirus 2009, which further confuses the uninitiated.

    The most common ways to come in contact with this infection include maliciously coded Web sites that popup a warning message that you are infected, e-mail messages that trick folks into clicking on a link, Web sites that claim you need to download software in order to see a posted video and links or downloads that are spread through social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook as well as all of the Instant Messaging systems.

    At this point in time, any form of popup or error message that refers to Antivirus 2008 or 2009 (including System Antivirus, Ultimate Antivirus, Vista Antivirus, Pro Antivirus or XP Antivirus followed by a number) should be considered extremely suspicious.

    If you ever see any reference to a virus that is not specifically from the product that you have installed in your computer for protection, you should consider it to be a fake (Windows, itself won’t ever alert you of a virus infection).

    In the same token, any Web site that claims that you need to download a new video program or “codec” in order to view a video should be considered a threat.

    Users of file sharing networks are at a high risk of contracting malicious software as it’s often hidden within what appears to be a legitimate program (referred to as a Trojan).

    The writers of malicious code count on users that are not really paying attention and at this point, they are fooling people by the millions around the Internet. This type of infection is amongst the worst that I have seen in my 20 years of servicing computers.

    Getting rid of the code once it has infected your system can be very involved and is different for the various versions of the infections, so don’t attempt this without help if you are a novice.

    Start by identifying the exact version of the malware that you have and placing it in quotation marks followed by the words ‘removal instructions’ in Google (Ex: “Antivirus 2009” removal instructions).

    WARNING: There are so many people infected with this family of malware that many new scam programs that claim to specifically clean the code have popped up. Some appear to be free programs that will only scan your system for free, but charge you to remove the code and often they don’t even do that properly.

    Since there are so many different variations of this infection, the exact steps are going to be based on the exact version of the malware that you have.

    In our service business, we use a combination of several manual detection and removal processes (again, based on the exact version of the infection) along with multiple scanning programs to ensure that all potential re-infection avenues (temp files, restore points, modified dll files, etc.) have been removed or restored.

    Depending upon how long and which version of the malware you have, you may also need to run a Windows repair after you remove the code as certain Windows files can become corrupted as a side effect.

    If you know how to work with the Windows registry, operate in Safe Mode and have a current backup of your critical files, you should be able to find instructions online for removing the exact version of the infection that you have.

    If not, consult a tech savvy friend or a professional as removing this infection properly (so that you don’t re-infect) is not for the novice.

    Ken Colburn
    President of Data Doctors Computer Services, Host of the award-winning Computer Corner radio show, and Author of Computer Q&A in the East Valley Tribune newspapers.

    How Many Anti-Virus Programs Should You Use?

    First of all this is not going to be about what anti-virus program is the best, because quite frankly, most A/V programs do a fairly good job of protecting your system. If you wish to argue about the best of the best in A/V protection, there are plenty of forums to vent your preference on. Or if you want to do a statistical analysis go here and knock yourself out. Better yet, do a Google, and you will find enough information to occupy your mind for a day or two.

    But during the past month or so, which seems to coincide with the release of the new AVG version 8, there appears to be a commonality that is beginning to surface. As I read some of the comments posted here at The Blade, in the forums that I associate myself with and in general when doing a Google for information, it seems that some of you believe that running more than one A/V program is preferable than a single program for protection.

    Which begs me to ask. Do you also have two or more automobile insurance policies as well? After all, having two or more policies should make you feel double or triple secure in case of an accident.

    If you are using two or more A/V programs and have the resident shields/real time scanners in place for both, you will experience problems such as slowdowns with your system. You may also experience other undesirable problems as well.

    Find one program that you trust. You can also supplement your protections by periodically doing online scans of your system as well. Most of the major security companies such as Symantec, Trend Micro, F-Secure, BitDefender and others provide for free online scans.

    Comments welcome.

    Symantec Security Check

    Trend Micro House Call

    F-Secure Online Scanner

    BitDefender Online Scanner

    PS If you only want to bash one program over another, please don’t leave a comment. We have all heard it before and your comment will not be posted.

    Top 5 Anti-Viruses

    Gnomie fendabenda writes in with his top 5 favorite anti-viruses:

    1. Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal
      Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal offers excellent anti-virus protection, perhaps unsurpassed in its ability to unpack and scan compressed files — something that trips up a lot of other vendors. Should be used in conjunction with a firewall.

    2. BitDefender Antivirus Plus
      Softwin’s BitDefender Professional protects against viruses, spyware, and instant messaging threats, as well as offering firewall rules to block undesirable traffic and a privacy gateway to keep your identity and preferences private while surfing the Internet.

    3. McAfee VirusScan Plus
      McAfee VirusScan Plus is an ideal candidate for those seeking an anti-virus/firewall combination without all the bloat of traditional Internet security suites. McAfee VirusScan Plus makes an easy job of removing adware and spyware, something not all anti-virus products deliver.

    4. Eset Nod32
      Nod32 features a small footprint, low performance hit, and fast scan speeds, providing focused virus protection ideal for gamers or those with an older PC. Should be used in conjunction with a firewall. This is also a very nice anti-virus for computer experts, and nerds like Chris himself :) As it provides more use for those smarter few of us that want more features and need more protection.

    5. Panda Antivirus 2007
      Panda Antivirus 2007 combines anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-phishing with its highly touted behavior-based TruPrevent Technology. License covers use on two computers and includes free tech support via email (telephone support options are also available).

    Are The Old Anti-Virus Standbys Obsolete In The New Age?

    Things tend to come in bunches. Either that, or we impose patterns where nothing really exists. In this case, I think there is really a pattern, but I don’t have a good reason for it. Several clients recently called me to report they received scary messages from their anti-virus software providers (Norton, McAfee, Zone Alarm, and even AVG) that their protection had expired and they would be killed by the next new virus to come down the pike unless they ponied up some bucks for a new subscription. A couple of my clients were really concerned. Seniors in the process of becoming computer literate tend to have an exaggerated fear of bad things happening to their computers.

    When they ask me what to do, I usually tell them they have the choice of renewing, or they could find one of the software specials that seem to run so often they should be called “usuals” instead of “specials.” These usually involve buying a package with two rebates: one for being a good guy, and the other for switching products. For what it is worth, none of my clients have ever reported a problem with getting their rebates, but several have reported problems with online renewals.

    Of course, if they buy a special, they have to wait for their rebates, and wait, and wait. But they know the rebate is coming because they are given a site and a number so they can check the status — maybe.

    Of course, they could simply ignore the warning and be careful about their habits online (which is always a good thing in any case). I tell them their protection does not disappear overnight, but slowly erodes away. That is not an accurate description, but it gets the point across.

    Sooner or later the conversation always comes around to what I recommend. That makes me uneasy. In the first place, I do not know which system is best. In the second place, I wonder if I could be sued if they were successfully attacked through a shield that I recommended. My small business does not maintain an in-house attorney.

    Some clients have complained that Zone Alarm seems to slow their computers down. Others say that they heard XXXX (fill in your favorite villain) is not as good as YYYY (fill in your second favorite villain). My own judgment is clouded by the nasty experience of going way down in clients’ registries to fix problems with Norton that sometimes start with them installing McAfee on top of Norton and then (after the computer does not work right) deleting as much of the Norton package as Explorer will let them. These clients get a short lecture on the difference between uninstalling and deleting.

    I tell them that the least hassle is to download the free version of AVG, but that is not necessarily the best way for them to go. When they ask what I use, there is no need to punt or equivocate. I speak right up and honestly say, “All of them. I keep different software packages on several computers just so that I can learn their quirks and by able to answer your questions.” Then if I am feeling frisky, I add, “But not the Linux computer, of course.”

    Lately I have also been asked whether Spybot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware are useful anymore under Vista. Frankly, I had not thought about that, but maybe the old standbys are obsolete in the new age.

    Click here to read about my new tutorial on helping seniors. The new version has grown considerably over the original. It has more topics and anecdotes, and fewer typos. While you’re at it, check out my expanded tutorial on decision theory.

    [tags]antivirus, anti-virus, bug, virus, malware, worm[/tags]

    The Ultimate Free Guide To Stopping Viruses & Spyware

    Wanna know how to keep your computer free from viruses, pop-ups, spyware, and other junk? Here’s how to do it without installing a single piece of software:

    • Tell all the males in your house to quit surfing for porn
    • Buy CDs and rip the tracks from there
    • Get a Netflix or Blockbuster account instead of using BitTorrent
    • Instead of looking for software cracks / serials, look for coupons
    • Stop operating in Administrator mode

    Adhering to these five points (and forcing your family or roommates to do the same) should be enough to cut your risk by 90%, I’m guessing. You could do more to protect yourself, though, if you feel the need to download something:

    • Download drivers through official (or sanctioned) sources
    • Avoid unnecessary browser toolbars, plugins, or enhancements – and if you’re not sure if a toolbar is TRULY necessary, don’t install it
    • Read through every bit of a software installer process to ensure you’re not adding something that you don’t need and/or want – and if you’re not a geek, don’t install ANYTHING without first asking permission
    • Think twice before clicking on links sent to you by email or IM – especially if they prompt you to log in somewhere or download something else
    • Surf through OpenDNS servers for automatic Web site typo correction as well as an extra layer of phishing filters

    That’s probably worth another 10% as far as protection from spyware / viruses are concerned. If you wanna be super-duper protected, surf the Web with Firefox or move to OS X (sorry, gang) and run Windows apps through Parallels. For more tips on keeping your computer clean, stay tuned to the podcast or our YouTube channel.

    [tags]antivirus, spyware[/tags]

    Anti Virus And Anti Spyware Coupon Codes

    [tags]anti-virus, antivirus, spyware, virus[/tags]