In this day and age Virus's/Spyware/Malware/Adware can be a
problem to even the most cautious computer user.
One thing to always keep in mind is NEVER feel that you are 100%
protected as this will lead to a false sense of security which can
Actually increase the odds of getting viruses.... One of the best
tools to use is commonsense, in the old days simply not opening an
from someone you didn't know was good enough for most of us. But
over the years through the advent of trojan horses, root kits,
and the like
the axiom no longer holds true. Now it should be said not to open
an email from someone you know as most malicious software will first
email itself to everyone in your address book making them think
it is coming from you. Now that is not to say all viruses do that as
a fact of the matter most
do not. Also with drive by infections becoming more prevalent
everyday (for instance misspelling a url IE
www.gogle.com instead of
The need for a good anti virus /spyware/ malware remover become
all that more important. Their are 100's of scanners out their that
work in varying degress
all will have a trade off in one for or another.
I will not go into depth on the various different antivurs/antispyware
products but will instead touch on a few and give highlights.
For instance Grisoft (www.grisoft.com) offers AVG internet
security and AVG Free edition. The free edition offers Excellent
AntiVirus and AntiSpyware
protection. While the Internet Security at a price of
$54.99 Offers a more complete package with a software based
firewall/antispam/instant message scans
and safe surf which helps protect from malcious web pages.
The obvious benefit to the free edition is the simple fact that it
is Free and a very good
scanner that will work very for light to medium surfing and
such. While the pay version will add a higher level to that, with im
scanning/safe surf/ and
a very easy to configure and use firewalll.
Avast (www.avast.com) also offers a free antivirus solution that
offers the only realtime dos mode scanner that even works with
What this means to most people is when a virus infects a file be
it a system service or a standard library file(.dll). Those files
are not easily removed
as they are currently in use when the system is running and makes
it almost impossible for most scanners to remove/delete/rename those
so disinfection can be daunting. Real mode scanning allows
those infected files to be removed before the actuall operating
system is loaded.
Panda Antivirus (www.pandasoftware.com) Does not offer a free
antivirus but has a well respected and very good scanner of their
own. I am personally fond
of this as Panda has been able to find alot of stuff that other
scanners have missed. Cost start around $29.95 per year. with the
internet security version
with firewall starting around $49.95.
Trendmicro AKA PcCillin (www.trendmicro.com) Does not have a free
scanner but they do offer a free online scanner that will remove
infected files it finds
and lets you know of existing system vulnerabilities. Go to
https://housecall.antiviurs.com to give it a try. They also have
a Standalone Antivirus/Antispyware
product, as well as a full internet security suite. I recomend NO
LESS that a Dual Core Cpu and 1GB Ram to run this as the system
impact is substantial.
Spybot Search and Destroy (www.safer-networking.com) Has been
around for years and works better then most commercial apps on the
Spybot IS NOT a TSR program meaning it is not loaded into memory
and must be manually run and updated.
Superantispyware (www.superantispyware.com) Fairly a newcomer in
the antispyware game this small little program(6.4mb) work
their is a free edition and a paid edition. The free edition wont
autoupdate so you must do it manually. But does offer Home page
Various other scanning options. Superantispyware and spybot
compliment each other and do a great job at keeping down the spy/malware.
Now remember especially with windows xp if you are not connected
to a router wether wirelessly or wired a firewall is imperative to
Windows xp built in firewall is a one way firewall which im my
opinion should have been left out because it gives a flase sense of
security to people
The firewall that is built into your router wether it be
trendnet,linksys,netgear,belking,ect... Is deffinatly preferable to
most all software based firewalls.
Please keep in mind that your antivirus/spyware scanner is only
as good as the last update even if it is set for automatic updates
be sure and check
manually every so often to make sure a new update hasnt become
available. Sometime a widespread infection can hit and infect you in
cycles, so always update update update.