With so much malicious software around at the moment that is getting better at tricking us into opening a page, an email or clicking at link, we all need to make sure that we are protecting ourselves and our computers, laptops and tablets the best we can.
This can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be, there are many free programs around to download which work perfectly well but you have to be careful where you download them from as some of the links on the net can contain nasties themselves, (so I’ve included some good links for you). Then there are the evil pop ups that you have a virus and to use their scanner, normally what happens is you use it and they tell you you have to pay to remove it. Now you are infected and also if you put your card details in, they have your information as well.
Free software, utilities and tools to protect your system from malware or to find the infection or virus or worm, and to help you remove it. I have most of these and they work well.
You must use protection.
First there is the wall of protection, the Firewall!
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall - This is what I use now after trying both Norton and McAfee – this one just seems to suit my system better. I like the interface, its easy to use – if you need to change settings and allow certain programs or networks, popping up warnings along the way.
AVG Free - Previously I used this and it kept me safe from harm. Its a free Anti-virus software, that has basic protection for surfing, searching and social networking. It does ask you now and then if you want to upgrade to the paid version but you just say no, if you are happy with free.
Microsoft Security Essentials - This is arrived at the end of last year and has had many million downloads, and has good reviews, its the one I’d be thinking of changing over to. Its nice to get something free from Microsoft for a change. After all they can afford it, or maybe not so much now they have purchased Skype for 5 billion pounds.
To complete your protection, the following will delete or fix an malicious software that has been missed by your anti-virus program.
Why do you need this as well? – because sadly most or even all antivirus software doesn’t detect spyware or doesn’t always remove everything.
Spybot Search & Destroy – This rocks, its found many a problem for me. It searches your whole computer, or you can choose a file or folder to scan. After the scan you can choose which items to fix or just fix all.
Ad-Aware Free – A brilliant free real time anti-virus and spyware removal software.
SpywareBlaster - Prevents spyware and adware from infiltrating your system you can run this at the same time as Avg and Ad-ware.
Cleanup – If you are still using Internet Explorer and its running slow of you think you have a problem then this is a cool tool which cleans temporary files from IE and Windows, empties the recycle bin plus much more. (Please read the instructions)
HiJack This – This is a little bit more confusing but its very useful to have. If all else fails and you still have a persistent pest camping out in your system, you can use it to generate a scan that shows browser helper objects and certain types of registry keys. You might use this to post on an forum such at PC-PALS for a techie to help or look them up on the web to see if the entry was suspicious.
You may need to run a scan in Safe mode to remove some particularly bad boys. (Sometimes even system restore needs to be turned off). However there is usually no need to panic they can be removed.
Also always remember to get your system updates, this is important as they sometimes have fixes on them.
To check for updates
Click Start – All Programs – Windows Update.
Hope this helps!