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Le_Corsair
18-06-2004, 02:31
I have found some good freeware computer programs that will improve anyone's computer security. I use some of them myself, and can attest that they will help you keep spyware and adware out of your computer.

First, for those who are tired of paying for antivirus programs, you can go to Grisoft (http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_index.php) for a free antivirus program. Grisoft is well thought of in tech circles.

For spyware and adware, you should use Spybot Search & Destroy (http://spybot.safer-networking.de/) and Ad-Aware 6.0. (http://www.lavasoft.de/) Both of these programs will scan your system and clean up spyware/adware. You need both, they complement each other. To prevent spyware and adware from even getting into your computer, use SpyWareBlaster. (http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html) This free program will put thousands of sites into your Internet Explorer "Restricted" zone, blocking them from getting into your computer. You will see it work when a small eye appears on the bottom of your status bar with a slash through it as a forbid. If you click on the eye you can see which sites have been blocked. :-)

Finally, you can download Zone Alarm (http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp) as a free firewall. This will prevent your computer from being used by hackers to spread worms and Trojan Horse programs.

Note: If you are already running an antivirus and firewall program, don't download these free programs in hope of adding to your security. The programs will conflict with each other and hurt your computer. If, however, your paid antivirus/firewall programs are about to expire, feel free to uninstall them and download/install these.

Finally, you should consider switching web browsers if you use Internet Explorer. It is full of security holes, and most spyware/adware infections are caused by those security holes. Try Mozilla Firefox at www.mozilla.org (another freebie!)

Enjoy!

Bob :THERM

p.s. None of these freeware programs have any hidden "catch" or limit on their use. You can download and install them without any worry. The developers of some of them would welcome a contribution, but whether you do so is entirely up to you.

p.p.s. If your computer is totally devoured by spy/adware, you can visit the Tech Support Guy (http://www.helponthe.net/) forum and get it cleaned up, free. This is one of the best security resources on the web, IMO.

Osher
18-06-2004, 02:58
Thanks Bob! We've had posts on this before, but nice to have them all combined (and I've never used blaster, does it work with Opera 7.5?)

SongDeva
18-06-2004, 03:50
Bless you Le C.
I have an earlier ad-aware and I was thinking there must be a new one. Does it work in conjunction with spybot?

I use ad-aware now with Norton Antivirus 2004, which doesn't seem to easily get rid of anything ad- or spy-ware like. :(

Le_Corsair
18-06-2004, 04:10
Originally posted by Happiness
Thanks Bob! We've had posts on this before, but nice to have them all combined (and I've never used blaster, does it work with Opera 7.5?)

No idea about that, you can check on the SpyWareBlaster site; the usual answer is that the security problems only exist with Internet Explorer, if you use a different browser you're not vulnerable in the first place. :-)

Bob :THERM

hedgecub
18-06-2004, 09:25
I've heard excellent reports on Spybot and Ad-Aware from my Windows-using friends :) Given that they're quite knowledgeable and careful about computer security, I can confidently add my vote for those programs.

I'd advise people to be careful with ZoneAlarm - one of my friends has used it for a while, upgraded it to the latest version, and it trashed his computer. It probably won't happen to everybody, but just be careful, and take backups if you still want to use it.

Melvis
18-06-2004, 11:38
Excellent suggestions, Bob! I use both AdAware and SpyBot and am pretty much spyware free most of the time.

There's a couple things about AdAware I'm reminded of by SongDeva's comment about having an older version of the program. First, the current version is 6.0, and, yes, I believe you can simply upgrade to the newest version quite easily.

The second thing is even more important...you have to click on the "Check for Updates Now" link OFTEN and make sure you download the most up-to-date files. Otherwise, new spyware will slip through the AdAware net quite easily.

Do this: Run AdAware, getting rid of all the spyware. Then do the "Check for Updates" thing and run AdAware again. I did this once for someone who swore that AdAware didn't help their computer at all. He got rid of 200+ items on the first pass while I was sitting there with him. I updated the files and on the second pass I caught over 500 more! It really is an incredibly valuable program. (And no, I don't work for AdAware! ;) )

Peace,

Melvis
:TSTRE

Dragons_Wing
18-06-2004, 11:48
this is awesome to know...our computer at home has the blaster worm virus and we havn't been able to get it off for a few months now. i've only been able to get online at the local card shop i go to all the time.

Le_Corsair
18-06-2004, 14:37
Originally posted by Dragons_Wing
this is awesome to know...our computer at home has the blaster worm virus and we havn't been able to get it off for a few months now. i've only been able to get online at the local card shop i go to all the time.

If you are unable to get rid of the Blaster worm using Spybot and Ad-Aware, go to the Tech Support Guy Forum (http://www.helponthe.net/) and they will happily assist you in ridding yourself of it. They do this for free, although they do accept donations from those people whom they help. This is one of the best security sites on the Web.

Bob :THERM

Dragons_Wing
18-06-2004, 15:04
Thanks!

Lee
19-07-2004, 23:19
Originally posted by Le_Corsair
Finally, you should consider switching web browsers if you use Internet Explorer. It is full of security holes, and most spyware/adware infections are caused by those security holes. Try Mozilla Firefox at www.mozilla.org (another freebie!)Bob or anyone, I went to the mozilla site, and I'm a little unclear, this is probably a dumb question, but is it possible to have both IE and Mozilla on the same computer, without running into problems? I need IE in order to access my employer's website, but otherwise I could certainly use another browser for general surfing. But I feel a little nervous about doing anything which will mess up my ability to access my employer's site, which I need to use daily for job purposes.

thanks -
Lee

Le_Corsair
20-07-2004, 00:14
Of course you can have more than one browser! I have read of one person who has, at last count, 5 of them! Mozilla Firefox will ask if you wish it to become your default browser when it installs, all this means is that when you click a link anywhere, whether it is an email link, Messenger link, or whatever, the web page that pops up will be in a Mozilla Firefox window. If you would rather not allow this and let Internet Explorer handle it, just say no when the default browser question is asked.

The nice thing you'll see immediately when you install Firefox is that it will import all of your Internet Explorer favorites automatically, so you don't have to start a new bookmarks folder or export them from IE.

You will need to keep IE in any event to run Windows Updates (I hope you do that, for your sake!) There are a few other websites that only work with IE, but using Firefox for most of your daily websurfing is the way to go.

Bob :THERM

Lee
20-07-2004, 07:37
Thanks Bob! :)

-- Lee

Aun
20-07-2004, 08:57
On top of everything listed above there is one last important thing to do : UPDATE YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM REGULARLY (Windows XP) .

Many security holes are found in flaws in the actual operating system. The older your system is, the bigger the chance to get hacked.

In Windows XP there is an icon on the Start menu that reads "Windows Update". You don't need to do all the updates listed over there, but all the CRITICAL UPDATES must be done.

I perform this routine once per month

Best wishes

Moonbow
22-07-2004, 02:25
Okay, I have a problem for all you computer boffs.

I've just got a new laptop which is networked to the family PC. I have got Spybot and Ad-Aware 6 on both of them and Norton. But I'm getting pop up boxes galore, mysearch tool bars and I can't even keep my homepage - it keeps changing to MSN which I don't want.

I have done all the critical and non critical Windows Updates, downloaded all known upgrades for Spybot and Add-aware and I am STILL getting these pop up boxes... any ideas?

I'm using Internet Explorer BTW.

We are not getting these pop ups on the main PC either!!

Help please! :)

Le_Corsair
22-07-2004, 03:33
Originally posted by Moonbow*
Okay, I have a problem for all you computer boffs.

I've just got a new laptop which is networked to the family PC. I have got Spybot and Ad-Aware 6 on both of them and Norton. But I'm getting pop up boxes galore, mysearch tool bars and I can't even keep my homepage - it keeps changing to MSN which I don't want.

I have done all the critical and non critical Windows Updates, downloaded all known upgrades for Spybot and Add-aware and I am STILL getting these pop up boxes... any ideas?

I'm using Internet Explorer BTW.

We are not getting these pop ups on the main PC either!!

Help please! :)

OK, unless someone on this forum knows how to clean up a computer using Hijack This!, my advice is this: go to the Tech Support Guy forum (http://www.helponthe.net/), register as a member, and start a thread describing your problem in the Security subforum. They will have you dowload the program known as Hijack This! and walk you through the cleanup process (it's very easy, as well as free.) After they get your computer cleaned up, you would be well advised to download and install SpyWareBlaster, SpyWareGuard and IE-Spyads, and also change your browser, because IE is what is causing all of your problems. You also need a firewall. If Norton doesn't have one, you can either use the one that comes with your computer (if you're running Windows XP) or download one of the free ones mentioned in the first post.

Good Luck!

Bob :THERM

Lee
23-07-2004, 08:38
I just wanted to say that based on Bob's recommendation, I downloaded Mozilla Firefox and I'm using that as my browser instead of IE, and I really like it. It's really no big deal to do it, it works just like IE. It has a built-in pop-up blocker, and it also has a built-in Google search function, so I don't have to use the Google toolbar I was using.

So far, pages seem to load faster in Mozilla than they did in IE.

Mozilla has a function where when you install it, it's supposed to automatically convert your Favorites and passwords from IE to Mozilla, but this was the one thing that didn't work for me. I had to export my Favorites from IE and import them into Mozilla, but it was no big deal.

So, I'm happy. Thanks, Bob!

-- Lee

Le_Corsair
23-07-2004, 09:17
You're quite welcome. :) I'm sorry that the auto-import feature didn't work for you; I've downloaded Firefox several times, and it worked each time for me. A fun feature you'll soon find out about Firefox is the extension; mini-programs that allow you to tailor the browser to your own specs. I use several, including one humorous one that changes the name of the browser on the title bar: my current browser window is titled Aeclectic Tarot Forum - Reply to Topic - Mozilla Watergecko. Most of the extensions do sensible things, however.

The Google search window can be customized, too; I have about 30 different search engines working out of that window, including the Baseball Encyclopedia, IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base), and Rotten Tomatoes. :D

Bob :THERM

Moonbow
23-07-2004, 19:35
I have to thank you too Bob,

I've had BIG problems here....

I am registered with Tech Support Guys and they have so far sorted most of my problems. I have downhoaded and used Hijack This and CWShredder but I'm still getting one of the toolbars that I don't want. I know my buddy will come back with more help though. (he's probably asleep now)

I am now thinking the same as Lee, that IE has just too many security holes for my liking. Fix these problems and I will probably get more. I have looked at the Mozilla link with a view to downloading that if the Tech Guys can't do any more. I'm glad to hear from Lee that it's proving a success, it gives me more encouragement.

After downloading Mozilla do you think it is still necessary to download SpyWareBlaster, SpyWareGuard and IE-Spyads?

Moonbow
23-07-2004, 19:54
hmmmm....

another question for you Bob....

Netscape or Mozilla Firefox?

Moonbow
23-07-2004, 20:41
Well I've done it! I am now with Mozilla Firefox and so far everything if just fine............ Moonbow breathes a sigh of relief....... that was a very stressful few days.

Thanks for all your help Bob, I'm a happy girl now :D

I also just wanted to say that as soon as Mozilla was downloaded it picked up the toolbar that attached itself to Internet Explorer, I then had the option of whether or not I wanted this toolbar (which I most difinately DID NOT) and now, no more problems. :D

Le_Corsair
23-07-2004, 22:33
Moonbow, did you get someone to clean the MySearch from your computer? That is definitely a piece of scumware that needs to be out of your computer.

Simply switching browsers won't cure all problems with spyware on the Web, but it's an important first step. I would advise downloading SpyWareBlaster at least, if you don't do any more in the way of security.

Bob :THERM

Moonbow
23-07-2004, 22:47
I had two mysearch bars - one of them the 'guys' got rid of but the other is flumoxing them a bit....

So I went ahead with the Mozilla browser.

Later I will download Spywareblaster too - God nothing can get through then surely!!! I have so many security things now, even 'I' won't be able to get on my browser!!!

Le_Corsair
23-07-2004, 23:10
It's sad to have to treat your computer as if it were a bank vault, isn't it? Hopefully the situation will get better soon. Try to stick with the techs to get your computer cleaned up; they know what they are doing, but some of the scumware out there is incredibly sophisticated, and since delivering scumware is a profitable business, the good guys have a hard time keeping up.

SpyWareBlaster is a good program, it will work with IE and Mozilla Firefox both. Hopefully it'll be enough to secure your computer, if you're careful.

Bob :THERM

Moonbow
24-07-2004, 00:15
I'm having trouble connecting to SpyWareBlaster from your link. Is it me again! :(

Le_Corsair
24-07-2004, 01:52
I tried the link myself, it says that the owner of the site has exceeded bandwidth; either he's getting a lot of visitors, or there is a DOS (denial-of-service) attack on his site by scumware vendors. It's fairly common.

You could try www.download.com or www.tucows.com and put SpyWareBlaster in the search field, as an alternative.

Bob :THERM

Moonbow
24-07-2004, 02:29
OK I have SpyWareBlaster now...

I've checked IE and it stops loading the homepage so that the toolbar can be deleted - its progress but it's still there in the background somewhere. I think this is as good as I'm going to get and I shall be using Mozilla anyway.

If there's one lesson I've learnt, it's ALWAYS USE PROTECTION ;)

thanks Bob

Le_Corsair
24-07-2004, 02:59
You're quite welcome! :)

Bob :THERM

Emily
31-07-2004, 08:50
I was having alot of trouble with pop-ups - I downloaded a pop-up blocker off a computer magazine site I use, not realising that it was a 30 day trial - and if you don't pay then the programme won't work - so I found myself without a pop-up blocker.

I use Google as my main search engine so I downloaded their toolbar. It is stopping them and is easy to use and free.

I am going to check out the links posted on here though for the spyware blockers but I thought I would mention this free toolbar, it makes searchng alot easier too, it just sits under you original toolbar, not in the way at all. :)

Osher
31-07-2004, 10:18
I might be singing alone here but I prefer Opera to Firefox, and all the other browsers (especially IE). It also blocks pop-ups etc, but is so easy to use and stable, and opens the possibility of much customization (and has a cool built in chat client, much better than mIRC)

However, regardless of which is your main browser, it is always a good idea to keep IE updated, as there are times it is needed. Some websites only work well with IE, and of course, it is needed by XP to work.

Le_Corsair
31-07-2004, 11:10
Originally posted by Tarotaus
I might be singing alone here but I prefer Opera to Firefox, and all the other browsers (especially IE). It also blocks pop-ups etc, but is so easy to use and stable, and opens the possibility of much customization (and has a cool built in chat client, much better than mIRC)

However, regardless of which is your main browser, it is always a good idea to keep IE updated, as there are times it is needed. Some websites only work well with IE, and of course, it is needed by XP to work.


I've used Opera in the past, or at least the free version, which is supported by ads; I uninstalled it when a particularly vile ad ran for more than a week: it showed a cockroach scurrying across the banner. Yecccchhhhh! I haven't tried the paid version of Opera, like many computer geeks I like free software, and I find the cost of Opera at approx. $40 US a little exorbitant. Other than the ads I liked it, especially the suite of preinstalled bookmarks.

Bob :THERM

Melvis
31-07-2004, 15:11
I've been using the Google toolbar for a while, but I just discovered the pop-up blocker. It works pretty well -- it misses a few once in a while, but I have no complaints so far.

What I like best is that if there's a site where I want pop-ups to work (Like if I want my PM's on AT to come up in a separate window! ;) ) I just click on the Pop-ups button on the toolbar and I can see all the pop-ups from that site.

Peace,

Melvis
:TSTRE

Anna
14-08-2004, 00:39
Just wanted to say a huge thankyou to Le_Corsair and everyone for this thread!

I visited "the guys" and they have been so helpful, I had problems I didn't even know about! My computer is running like it did 2 years ago when I first got it :D

I hereby promise on the computer geek bible to never, ever download kazaa again, to always use firewalls, to run adware 6 and spybot once per month and to defrag at regular intervals! LOL, I even know what all that means now too!!

Le_Corsair
14-08-2004, 00:58
And be sure to keep Windows and your antivirus updated, too! There's a major Windows update coming out this month, be sure that you download and install it!

Good luck!

Bob :THERM

Anna
14-08-2004, 01:35
SP2? I heard of that on my travels through tecnical land this morning!

lol! I can't believe I know this stuff, its great! I think I have tecno-joy :D

Le_Corsair
14-08-2004, 02:22
SP2 it is! And that makes you smarter than 75% of the computer users out there! Give the girl a gold star!

Bob :THERM

Moonbow
26-09-2004, 22:03
Can anyone tell me if SP2 is safe to download?

The reason I ask is because I was trying to download that on my main family PC a few days ago and we lost the whole of Windows XP. As a result we had to wipe the hard drive and have had to chase around trying to get discs for the drivers which were pre-loaded onto our computer. It is mainly sorted now but....

My laptop is getting the download SP2 recommendation and I'm scared to death of downloading it incase I wipe this hard drive too.

Is it safe?

I know the answer is to back up the hard drive but here, I have to admit to you that I am a complete thicky. How do I do it? and.... if I have no Windows how can back up be useful?

Now, Norton..... Grrrr what I wouldn't like to do to these people....... :mad:

We had a trial package of Norton Virus checker on our main PC - after the trial we paid for an annual package and downloaded it. We have our key code so we are ok right? Wrong!.

When we lost everything, Norton went too, so we have been trying desperately to contact them for advise. They are very careful not to give away an email address for after sales help. We have tried our key code in the hope of restoring our 'paid for' virus checker and it does not work! So we have paid for a checker that we do not have and we have no way of contacting them :mad: Their site is next to useless. So we have downloaded another free trial for 15 days in order to be covered, but we are MAD!!

Can anyone help us to restore our virus checker or is this just money thrown away? Next time we will go with the Grisoft free one as Norton seem to be too big to help their customers.

maria42airam
26-09-2004, 22:39
Moonbow*,

To get Norton back, go to this page: http://www.symantec.com/techsupp/, click on 'subscription troubleshooter' and enter "how to download your online purchase again." They have a document that leads you through the process.

As to SP2 for XP, I have downloaded it both on my home PC and at work. The only thing that you may find uncomfortable is that SP2 now has more intrusive security. For example, by default, it blocks pop-ups. That didn't affect me because I run Spybot at the highest level of security so I have to answer 20 questions anyway for every webpage I load.

But remember, Rule #1, never make changes on your computer without a back-up so you can restore back to where you were in case of a problem.

Maria

Moonbow
26-09-2004, 22:52
Hi Maria

And thanks for responding. But, I don't know what you are looking at because there is no 'subscription troubleshooter' that I can see. The search didn't find it either... - help!

Also backing up is something we need to do but how?

Moonbow
26-09-2004, 22:57
I found it under the Support link but then there is no option to 'download your online purchase again'

I have been through this trouble shooter right to the end where it asked you for a customer code and we do not have one because it is found on the Norton software - which we don't have anymore!! Does the term 'round in circles' come to mind? We tried puting our key code in there but it will not accept it.

Moonbow
26-09-2004, 23:19
Ok

The circle starts again! I went through the troubleshooter and found the 'how to download your online purchase again' (we have already done this) there is no option to download. The page says 'to download click here' but the option is not live.

Their terms say that we have 60 days to re-download our software, and we have been trying to do it since day 51 we are now on day 58, in two days our time will run out.

This is just the most appalling service, maybe it's fine if you live in the States but for international customers it's Sh*te.

maria42airam
27-09-2004, 01:16
Here's their free support line number in the US:

Symantec at (800) 568-9501.

---

To backup your PC, you would need to have some sort of large capacity external media like a Jaz drive or a DVD burner, maybe there are more options now but those are the two that I have used most recently. Get something that connects to your USB port (assuming your computer has it)

---

It just occurred to me that you may not be able to call an 800 number from England in the same way that we do. If that is the case, I can call them and ask what number you can use.

Maria

Moonbow
27-09-2004, 01:27
Thanks Marie but this number is useless to international customers. I am really beginning to think that they do not want to help customers after sales........ particularly if they are outside the US

Majecot has kindly phoned that number for me and was given another UK number (which does not exist here at all)!

I am currently going down the line of asking for a refund - no easy task either!

Thanks for your offer and advise.

The back up will be a problem too we don't have a Jaz drive or DVD burner, so I guess I will not risk downloading SP2 afterall.

Does everyone have a Jaz drive or DVD burner?

Le_Corsair
27-09-2004, 10:09
Originally posted by Moonbow*
Thanks Marie but this number is useless to international customers. I am really beginning to think that they do not want to help customers after sales........ particularly if they are outside the US

Majecot has kindly phoned that number for me and was given another UK number (which does not exist here at all)!

I am currently going down the line of asking for a refund - no easy task either!

Thanks for your offer and advise.

The back up will be a problem too we don't have a Jaz drive or DVD burner, so I guess I will not risk downloading SP2 afterall.

Does everyone have a Jaz drive or DVD burner?

You can do a backup on your CD-R or CD-RW drive, also. If you can burn CD's, you can do a CD backup. You'll just have to buy some backup software, or, if you're using Windows XP, you can use the backup program that came with it. Windows XP Pro has it installed automatically, if you have XP Home Edition you have to load it off of the Windows XP CD.

Bob :THERM

Moonbow
27-09-2004, 16:18
Thanks again Bob

I have backed up my files and I guess Windowx XP HE is on the makers disc that came with my laptop so I will download SP2 and keep my fingers crossed :eek:

Moonbow
28-09-2004, 01:47
I decided to backup my files and download SP2 and just cross all my fingers and toes. And...... it's fine :) it doesn't recognise my virus checker (Norton!!! - why am I not surprised?) but maybe that is because I am still in my 3 month trial period with them *shrugs*

It was interesting that Spy Sweeper picked up the downloads though and asked me if it was ok for them to go ahead. (I like it when it's confirmed that these things ARE working!)

Just thought you may like an update after yesterdays fiasco! Thanks for letting me vent too!

Osher
06-11-2004, 19:37
I've used Opera in the past, or at least the free version, which is supported by ads; I uninstalled it when a particularly vile ad ran for more than a week: it showed a cockroach scurrying across the banner. Yecccchhhhh! I haven't tried the paid version of Opera, like many computer geeks I like free software, and I find the cost of Opera at approx. $40 US a little exorbitant. Other than the ads I liked it, especially the suite of preinstalled bookmarks.

Bob :THERM

You can change the ads you get on Opera, to be tailored to your needs. Anyway, on the latest version 7.54, they are static ads on a bar at the top of the screen, and quite unintrusive (but still often useful!)

As you can tell, I really like Opera, and it's rapidly gaining market share (as is Firefox)

Shalott
08-11-2004, 13:40
Cool beans! Just registered at Tech Support Guy!!! My dad manages to mess his computer up beyond my ability to fix it...I kinda bit his head off just earlier tonight cuz he hasn't learned his lessona bout tinkering yet and currently has neither internet access OR virus protection because he did...something that I can't figure out...grr...anyway, thanks for that info!

PS: I spelt "Shalott" wrong over there...Sigh. So I get some dummy award too...

Osher
09-11-2004, 07:44
Although not as popular as it used to be, might I suggest that people use a ZIP drive as a back-up hard-drive, or even, as I do, use it as a removable and interchangable hard-drive. Anything which is important to me I keep on ZIP disk. I have a number of ZIP disks. One of them, which contains data I might use, such as the models I've built, telephone numbers, etc is always in my ZIP drive. Other disks are used for things which are archived, such as one for my business. I also, every so often, create a CD-R of whats on the ZIP disk. I use CD-R, not CD-RW, as they can't be over-written, and in my experience are more stable.

Basically, one should have nothing on one's hard drive that can't be deleted. Obviously, it's slightly impractical, but if you get a really nasty virus, it's important to have a last-ditch defence, of a total wipe and re-start.

So, have somewhere a list of passwords, keep on the ZIP disks a copy of your favourites, details for your ISP, email addresses, and so on. Remember, hard-drives do go wrong sometimes.

As another defence, try using a power supply that includes a spike. I use a Belkin 8 plug trailing power supply (also spikes the telephone and co-axial lines). This prevents a power surge from zapping your computer.

Hope this is of help! You might like to know that major companies get it wrong sometimes and suffer when something goes haywire, like the fire sprinklers accidently going off (too many examples of this, with companies having no back-up plans)

rabble
21-11-2004, 09:40
I'll throw my 2geeksworth into this thread, I think :)

Firstly, you do not have to use IE to get windows updates! It might make it simple for you, by having an option in the menu bars, but in my opinion, using IE is about the worse thing you can do for your computer security - even if you're only visitng the MS site - run your spyware programs, make sure you're clean, then use IE and go visit MS, and then run them again. Not so clean now, I'll bet!

I've recently been using Avant browser, which is build on IE, but which includes a whole slew of extra security features like popup blockers and ad blockers. It's easy to manage, and it gives you one of Mozilla's best features - tabbed browsing!

The reason I use this instead of Mozilla is that there are still far too many designers who don't make their websites compatible with other browsers. Mozilla may be more standards compliant and less buggy, but if the majority of the web isn't compliant that's not going to be much help. (And if you have no clue what all that was about just ignore it. It's just a little design rant :) )

To do a windows update using a browser other than IE simply type into your address bar - windowsupdate.microsoft.com - that will get you to the latest version of their windows update page, and will allow you to choose updates as you usually would. As mentioned earlier, get all of the crititical updates, and it's up to you which of the recommended ones you want to get.

I personally wouldn't use Nortons antivirus if they paid me. I used to work tech support for an antivirus software developer, and the problems people had trying to remove Nortons from their system were as bad as trying to remove many a persistent virus!
I haven't used Grisoft, but I do think that virus protection software is pretty much a matter of personal choice. The most important thing for ANY of them is to keep them updated ALL THE TIME. Like EVERY DAY if you're online every day! Also update your spyware and adware programs regularly. I'd say at least weekly. If you're using XP SP2 has a slew of new security features, most of which I've disabled. We all know how bad IE and windows are generally for their security holes, do you want to rely on them for your computer security? I know I certainly don't!

As well as spybot search & destroy and adaware I also use a program called SpyBouncer. It's not free, unfortunately, but if you have to pay US$29.95 once to keep your data safe, then I think it's worthwhile. And there is that old saying that you get what you pay for!

Personally I use Vet (http://www.vet.com.au/) for my virus protection. I've never once gotten a virus infection on my computer, but Vet has prevented infections from both viruses and trojans.

I backup my data every night. I have a second hard disc in my computer, and use a program called Second Copy (http://www.centered.com/) to copy all of my data to the second disc. I also archive to CD at least monthly. When I say a second disc I don't mean one disc that's been partitioned into a C and a D drive, I mean a second physical disc. If one crashes, the other has all my data, I can literally pick up where I left off. Once I've installed all of my software again, of course. There are steps you can take to protect that too, but personally, as a home user, I couldn't be bothered. From a business POV of course, that's quite different. A Ghost image, or similar, will save hours of rebuilding, should the need arise.

If anyone would like any more info about this, do ask. I'm quite happy to help, and I always try to help in plain english, not geekspeak. There's a treasury of useful information in this thread, from many people. AT seems to have a wealth of experience in many many fields from people who are all willing to share.
What a great place!

Osher
20-12-2004, 22:20
In a slight bit of irony, my computer decided last night to become unstable, and will not let me in to Windows, or even repair it...

No problem, me thinks, I have back ups. Except, on checking, I then discovered that there were some things I had not backed-up, like my more recent emails, or pictures.

The moral of this story? Even if you think you have backed things up, it's worthwhile checking, just in case...

Osher
20-12-2004, 23:59
I've just discovered the source of my computers problems. A virus? Sort of! It is an SP2 conflict problem (SP2 is the Windows upgrade from Microsoft).

contradiction
21-12-2004, 00:26
i had the blaster worm, the freeware from grisoft cleared it up nicely. scary part is norton did not detect it, i knew i had a problem so i downloaded mcafee, again did not detect it, uninstalled both of these downloaded the grisoft (avg.com), not only detected, but removed it within minutes.

contradiction

i did get confused trying to download and install, after downloading, i had to leave the website, then return and click download again, in order to find it on my pc. don't know if this is normal or just my pc. just wanted to help anyone else who wanted to download.

Dark Artemis
26-03-2006, 08:28
Another excellent free anti spy ware programme is Avast

www.avast.com

It is not a resource hog like the big names, it is very efficient, and it self-updates regularly. I have used it for two years and it has kept me totally virus free.

I also use the afore-mentioned Spy ware Blaster (which works with Firefox), and *gasp* Microsoft's anti spy ware programme (Windows Defender... which is, strangely enough, surprisingly good).

For those who might not know, Opera is now completely free... and it is very good! Beyond the security, it has a great interface, and is fast!

paradoxx
04-01-2007, 10:48
Avast works wonders, Spybot is efficient but tends to use resourses, adaware needs constant maintinence but is very complete, spysweeper has some quirks but does its job nicely.

what to avoid: spy sherriff, it's a farse, just avoid it.

gregory
17-01-2007, 00:13
That once known as ewido - now part of the AVG raft and known as AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 - is excellent and free - won't work on Win98 or less though. It found stuff on mine that nothing else had - not counting spybot which killed my machine..... I know it's supposed to be great, but I shan't be using it again :eek:

Link for AVG (http://www3.grisoft.com/doc/downloads-trials/lng/us/tpl/tpl01) - go for the free spyware one. You get the full features for 30 days and then the cut down - which is perfectly fine as long as you remember to run it and to update it (which is so easy you wouldn't believe - just open it and click on update !!!!)

gregory
17-01-2007, 00:18
Avast works wonders, Spybot is efficient but tends to use resourses, adaware needs constant maintinence but is very complete, spysweeper has some quirks but does its job nicely.

what to avoid: spy sherriff, it's a farse, just avoid it.
Is avast anti virus as well ? I have McAfee running for viruses and I read somewhere that one thing NOT to do is try run two antivirus things at the same time (and as for two firewalls..... :eek:)

gregory
17-01-2007, 22:31
For those on older machines, there is a good antivirus that still works on Win98.... (AVG having decided not to any more)

Here (http://www.free-av.com/) is the link.

Papageno
17-01-2007, 23:05
why is anybody still using Win.98 :confused:

gregory
18-01-2007, 00:07
Because some people here are broke and have machines that work perfectly fine running Win98, and why upgrade and waste the resources of the world, in that case ? We are a throwaway society. We shouldn't be.

If it works for everything you need - why upgrade ? (I am on Win2000Pro and don't plan to change until I die or the machine dies. Which it better hadn't as I do NOT want Vista !)

SarahRose
18-01-2007, 01:39
Thank you so much!

nicki
18-01-2007, 01:45
I've been using spybot and avast for ages and they are both very good, i would recommend them

nicki

crazelion
26-01-2007, 04:20
Because some people here are broke and have machines that work perfectly fine running Win98, and why upgrade and waste the resources of the world, in that case ? We are a throwaway society. We shouldn't be.

If it works for everything you need - why upgrade ? (I am on Win2000Pro and don't plan to change until I die or the machine dies. Which it better hadn't as I do NOT want Vista !)


I would not update to Windows Vista either. Too many damn problems for a operating system.

All the people have talk say it's causing problems like crazy.

YDM42
26-01-2007, 04:54
Thanks for posting these programs....they all work well on windows ME and Windows ME works fine for me.

Michael
26-01-2007, 12:44
If it works for everything you need - why upgrade ? (I am on Win2000Pro and don't plan to change until I die or the machine dies. Which it better hadn't as I do NOT want Vista !)

I totally agree with you. :) I'm also on Windows 2000 Pro and love it. I tried XP Pro, but everytime I install it, I remove it and go back to Win 2000. I just can't get away with it.

As for Vista.........

I was a beta tester for Vista, and didn't like it at all. Resource hungry, graphics intensive..... Needless to say, I'm back to Windows 2000 Pro yet again permanently! :)

I must say though, I do love Linux, especially Red Hat, but that's mainly because I run web, mail, ftp and MySQL servers on one of my home PC's.

gregory
26-01-2007, 18:11
Does anyone here who knows about computers share my view that because we have all these huge processors and gigs and gigs of HD space, programmers are just getting lazier and lazier; programmes could be much shorter if they didn't just add more and more code to existing ones rather than stripping out what isn't needed first. Office 97, which is on my geriatric Win95 machine, is SO much smaller than Office 2003.... and eats less resources too. I can't say it is as fast - but with a pre-pentium processor.... :eek: - it does pretty well ;)

One BRILLIANT freeware programme I have (for splitting files - not needed much now that floppies have gone the way of the dodo) is an entire 57k and works a treat ! I am guessing that's because it was made by someone with a real interest in programming and who wrote up the code needed and no more, not a fat cat show-off at Microsoft with all kinds of IT degrees but no programming style.....

I gather programmers were better when Latin was still done in schools. Seriously. A retired programmer I know is a classics graduate who went into computing way back when you still had to punch cards to input data (anyone else used to do that ???) - and he said Latin graduates were in huge demand at that time, because computer programmes use the same kind of grammar !

Guiding Cauldron
26-01-2007, 19:14
great info x

Michael
27-01-2007, 01:47
A retired programmer I know is a classics graduate who went into computing way back when you still had to punch cards to input data (anyone else used to do that ???)


Oh yes. lol

I used to work for Burroughs Machines in the late 70's - early 80's the majority of our machines for making PCB's were programmed by using punched tape. It used to be very versatile too, as at Christmas, they'd string them up as streamers in the factory. Some were a nice metallic pink colour. :D

Michael

Lillie
28-01-2007, 08:45
I've got this really great, really tiny program called 'stickies'.

You can stick post it notes all over your desk top.
It's the most useful thing in the world.

Baroli
28-01-2007, 12:58
A retired programmer I know is a classics graduate who went into computing way back when you still had to punch cards to input data (anyone else used to do that ???)

I still say the most stable OS was Windows 3.0. Sleek, simple,didn't need a whole lot of know-how, jumped from windows to DOS very easily. Of course we are talking about a time when you didn't need 8 tons of security protection for fear of hackers, viruses, worms, parasites, adware, spyware, and the rest of that lot. Just a simple virus protection was all you needed. Firewall??? What was that? Ahhhh, the price of progress.

Baroli

crazelion
28-01-2007, 13:23
I gather programmers were better when Latin was still done in schools. Seriously. A retired programmer I know is a classics graduate who went into computing way back when you still had to punch cards to input data (anyone else used to do that ???) - and he said Latin graduates were in huge demand at that time, because computer programmes use the same kind of grammar !

I remember I got F in Visual Basic because my my computer code was to simple. I did not have in complex code in it. I program work better then the teachers program.

I miss the good of days of programming when code made sense. Now it's all complex.

People laugh now that still do HTML code in notepad and do not use front page.

Michael
28-01-2007, 20:15
People laugh now that still do HTML code in notepad and do not use front page.

Notepad is how it should be done.. :) Who needs bloated code? lol

gregory
28-01-2007, 22:02
Notepad is how it should be done.. :) Who needs bloated code? lolRIGHT ON, Michael. All the webpages I have ever put together have been done that way too - gives you total control.
If you don't believe me, just create one in Word ("save as web page"), and then go in and look at the source code :eek: - miles of utter garbage. Then strip it out - and the page works just as well - and faster ! The same applies to programmes. Most of the bugs in new versions are caused by left over code which should have been taken out....

floracove
29-01-2007, 00:08
Ok, I'm a scardy cat.
So, tell me please.
I have a McAfee firewall that came with my windows XP computer.
It has expired.
Do I just go into the add/remove program and remove it first?
This won't hurt my computer right?

When I do remove the McAfee, then straightway I should download and install the Zone Alarm.

And I do use the Spybot Search & Destroy.
My Windows Update are all up to date.
Mozilla Firefox is my choice of browers.

I just want to make sure I'm not gonna screw up my pc.

I had tried the AVG on my old computer (windows 98) which gave me a real headache in trying to figure out the problem and removing it, so AVG is not something i want to tangle with again. As well as the AdAware.

Michael
29-01-2007, 00:18
If you want to be really safe then I'd download Zone Alarm first (don't install it yet).

Disconnect from the internet before you uninstall McAfee Firewall. When you have uninstalled this, then you can install Zone Alarm. Reconnect to the internet once Zone Alarm is installed.

That's the scaredy cat approach. :)

AVG Pro is my choice of anti-virus. I used to use Norton, but it missed loads of stuff that AVG managed to pick up.

Michael :)

gregory
29-01-2007, 00:20
Download Zonealarm.

LOG OFF THE INTERNET !!! (unplug whatever you have to, if you are on broadband; I don't know how that works !)

THEN, and only then, do the uninstall programme (no it won't hurt your computer, but you will get all kinds of warnings about how you will be unprotected and stuff. Well of course you will, DUH - but you will be protected again in a minute !) and install Zonealarm !!! (I know someone who uninstalled while still on line. BAD IDEA.)

AVG can have hiccups with Win98 but is brilliant with 2000 and XP. And their free spyware thing is great too.

You don't have to worry with XP anyway - worst case scenario - you can always go for system restore, and then BUY the McAfee - but I wouldn't !there are loads of websites about their payment and collection methods. Scary stuff (mine (antivirus) just got to the stage where it couldn't be updated any more, so I've just gone AVG.)

floracove
29-01-2007, 00:26
Alright I'll disconnect to do this. I am on dial up. Do I need to unplug the telephone line from the modem? Or just go offline to proceed?
I'll go download the Zone Alarm now and then follow your council.
Thanks!

gregory
29-01-2007, 00:41
No - going off line is fine. I just didn't know if you were on broadband, like I'm not !!!

floracove
29-01-2007, 00:50
Thank you very much.

gregory
29-01-2007, 02:29
So how you doing then ? :D

Gavriela
16-03-2007, 13:01
I know it isn't coming from here, but I have found so much spyware and new worms on my computer the past week or so it's scary. And yes, I have a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware. There just seems to be a new spate of the stuff coming out (the anti-virus is updating itself several times a day - never a good sign).

Aside from Ad-Aware and Spybot S&D, another good one is Emsisoft's A-Squared (http://www.emsisoft.com). Which is currently scanning and finding more, and cleaning out the crud left in my registry. You can get the always-on version as a 30-day trial. The freebie isn't always-on, but still scans, picks up, and gets rid of any number of dialers, trojans, worms, adware, and other fun things.

SweetIsTheTruth
25-03-2007, 12:32
I have found so much spyware and new worms on my computer the past week or so it's scary. And yes, I have a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware.

What is this spyware, worms, firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware of which you speak?

Oh, I get it. You must be using Microsoft Virus-Whore (tm) products. I remember those days, some 7 years ago. I switched to Linux back then. I can't tell you exactly how many copies of klez were in my inbox, although I left them in my email until I had 80 copies of it. It didn't matter of course, since Microsoft viruses don't run on Linux.

Let's all keep honest here and admit there is no such thing as a 'computer' virus or 'computer' worm. They are all Microsoft viruses and worms, which means you only get to enjoy such code on Microsoft based systems.

Since leaving Microsoft 7 years ago, I've had no viruses, no spyware, no adware, no installed applications taking over my machines, etc and so on.

Macs are good for the same thing. The Unix-based and Unix-cloned systems just don't have the problems Microsoft systems do, but then, the Unices were designed with security from the ground up, not globbed on haphazardly as an after thought, as with Microsoft products.

Gavriela
25-03-2007, 23:14
And let's be honest and admit that not all of us are in situations where we can use *NIX or a Mac at all times.

Not the forum for an OS flame war.

gregory
26-03-2007, 03:26
ACTUALLY it is very RARE - but I have known Mac invasions..... And they are the worst sort because of mac-related complacency !! (Love both, have PC just now, with loads of free computer-contraception and it's good and clean !)

Stormdancer
03-12-2009, 11:44
I am looking for a GOOD web based email program. I REALLY don't want to download email. I've been using gmail, but now I'm kinda rethinking that.

On a side note...I just got my hands on a very useful program for when task mgr shows your CPU at astronomical levels.....called "process explorer" shows EXACTLY which processes are using stuff in a much easier to understand than task mgr.....WUB it!!

closrapexa
26-11-2011, 22:54
And here I was coming over to recommend Linux as a free OS that is safe and free from viruses, but people already beat me to it!

Aerin
27-11-2011, 00:25
Does anyone here who knows about computers share my view that because we have all these huge processors and gigs and gigs of HD space, programmers are just getting lazier and lazier; programmes could be much shorter if they didn't just add more and more code to existing ones rather than stripping out what isn't needed first. Office 97, which is on my geriatric Win95 machine, is SO much smaller than Office 2003.... and eats less resources too. I can't say it is as fast - but with a pre-pentium processor.... :eek: - it does pretty well ;)



Yes.

Elegance used to be REQUIRED because you had a miniscule amount of memory and storage space to play with. People were remarkably inventive, some machine code was beautiful and contained more than one program within the same lines of code [depending on where you started] just to save space. A Terabyte used to be a whole warehouse full of hard drives, now you can just buy it on a USB stick (my husband calls a terabyte a data centre).

All "point and click" methods of building code result in clunky code, but as space isn't at a premium this affects very few people now.

Having a physical firewall helps, we've had far fewer problems since we got one instead of relying on software for everything.

WolfyJames
19-03-2013, 12:49
If any of you don't like the new bloated version 2 of Spybot Search & Destroy, you can find the previous version 1.6.2 here:

http://www.filehippo.com/download_spybot_search_destroy/5168/

I personally don't like the version 2 at all, it's bloated and confusing. Good thing FileHippo keeps old versions around. I made the mistake to delete 1.6.2 when I installed the version 2, so I ran on FileHippo to see if they had the app.