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-   -   How to protect and clean your computer from malware (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=538187)

xash 11-01-2009 02:47 AM

How to protect and clean your computer from malware
 
There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who understand binary, and those who don't. This thread is for the latter kind.

There used to be a thread in GQ that gave you some good info on how to fix your computer from viruses or spyware, but that was more than 101 years ago. This is the new and updated version, back by popular demand. Now with shiny new tidbits. Meanwhile, those of you with Macs can just point and laugh.

Even if you don't currently have any problems, you could prevent future attacks by following the instructions below.

Q. My computer seems infected by some spyware/adware/virus. What do I do?

Here's what you need to do:

1. Go offline. Turn off WiFi, remove the Ethernet cable, or do whatever you need to go offline.
Note: If you see a fake "anti-virus" prompt, do not click anywhere on the screen. Just turn off your computer and follow these instructions.

If you are already infected with the fake "anti-virus" follow these steps first, then return and follow the rest of the steps in this thread:

How To Remove Antivirus Live and Other Rogue/Fake Antivirus Malware

2. Backup any important data to an external USB drive or CD/DVD.

3. Install anti-spyware software

Download some spyware removers. If you have access to another computer, download these files on the other computer, then transfer them to your computer using a USB stick. Boot into Safe Mode in Windows on your computer, and run the following software:

Note: To boot into Safe Mode, press F8 just after powering on your computer, and keep pressing F8 in 3 second intervals till you see a screen with choices. Select "Safe Mode" (not Safe Mode with Networking) from the options and press enter. If you don't have access to another computer from which to download the software, then select "Safe Mode with Networking" instead. Once your computer boots up into Safe Mode, proceed with installing the following software.

ATF Cleaner
Note: Run this first to clean out all temporary files. This will greatly reduce scan time.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Spybot Search & Destroy
Note: Make sure to select "TeaTimer" and "Spybot Resident" options during install. TeaTimer is a bit heavy on resources, but will protect you from future attacks. If you have more than 1GB of RAM, select it. After running the full scan and cleaning up whatever was found, click on the Immunize icon on the menu on the left, and then click the Immunize button to immunize against known spyware.

Lavasoft Ad-Aware

Super AntiSpyware

Panda Anti-Rootkit

Trend Micro Rootkit Buster

After installing each of the above, run them one after the other. Make sure to choose "Custom" install whenever possible, because some of these might install additional stuff such as toolbars and other options which you don't need. Once installed, update the software with the latest definitions before running the scans. Run each of the above in full-scan mode, one after the other. Make sure to clean/fix whatever it finds.

4. Install anti-virus software

Download and install one of the following free anti-virus software:

Avira AntiVir
Note: This is reportedly the best free anti-virus, but some users have reported issues with the definitions update function. If the update function doesn't work on your machine, uninstall and install another anti-virus from this list. For advanced users, if you want to disable the upgrade nag screen that Avira displays, please see this page.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Avast! Anti-Virus

AVG Anti-Virus

5. Clean out temp files, and other junk

Download and run:

CCleaner
Note: This is a powerful cleaner software, be careful with what you select. Also run the registry cleaner from Tools/Registry Cleaner

6. Remove suspicious and unused starup entries

After using CCleaner to clean up temp files and cookies, go to the Tools option in CCleaner, then click the Startup option. Here, you'll see a list of all programs that startup when your computer boots up.

If you're sure of what you're doing, you can delete entries. If you are unsure, disable the entry instead.

If you want to scan any individual file on your computer against about 40 anti-virus programs, upload the file to the following site (free, no registration):

http://www.virustotal.com/

You can also check each individual entry against the exhaustive list at the following link to decide whether to keep it or delete it:

http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php
Note: Scroll down on that page to see the Search option, then type in the name of the startup entry to see what it's for.

7. Download and run HijackThis

If, after doing all of the above, you still find that something is not right on your computer - e.g. search results are being hijacked - then your only option to clean up is to get expert help for your individual case.

Download and run HijackThis:

http://free.antivirus.com/hijackthis/

Read the FAQ of HijackThis from the above link. Once you have saved your HijackThis log, upload it to the following forum to get help from a techie:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/forum22.html
Note: Please read the instructions carefully before posting to the above forum

If you want to quickly scan your HijackThis log using a web-based automated tool, use this:

http://hjt.networktechs.com/
Note: Use this for reference purposes only. If you don't understand any of this, just get help from the bleepingcomputer.com forum linked above instead.

8. Re-install Windows

If you still have problems caused by spyware/adware/virus, do a clean re-install of Windows. Make sure to backup your product keys, etc. before doing a clean install. There are freeware tools that will extract keys from existing installations on your computer. One such tool is:

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

9. Start a thread in GQ
If you believe that the solutions listed above do not apply to you, or you have attempted them and have further screwed up your computer, or if you are unsure about how to proceed, feel free to start a new thread in GQ.

10. Start a thread in the Pit
If you just can't take it anymore, rant about it.

11. Other useful software
Download and install Ghostery and set it to auto-update the blacklist.

This site contains an exhaustive list of the best free software for Windows, including Firewalls, Disk Deframenters, System Utilities, and other software to optimize your computer:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/

12. Backup Backup Backup
I cannot stress enough on this. Anyone who has lost data in the past will tell you how important this is. External USB hard disks are available for under $100 these days, and allow you to backup your entire computer.

My favorite backup software is Acronis TrueImage. It's not free, but totally worth the money:

www.acronis.com

Another favorite is Dropbox. Download and install it, and set your important folders to backup directly to Dropbox.

Other free backup software options are reviewed here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...backup-program

Note: This post will be updated from time to time. If you have general computer questions, or solutions to common problems, that you think will be of help to others and should be included in this thread, feel free to add it below. Some of the posts from this thead that contain useful info may be copy/pasted into the OP. Some posts may be deleted to keep this thread useful.

Thanks for reading.

-xash

xash 11-01-2009 04:56 AM

If you wish to discuss this thread (rather than add info to it), feel free to do so in this related ATMB thread:

Where's the "Read this before posting a computer problem" sticky?

Kal 12-07-2009 04:56 PM

Lifehacker's guide to protecting yourself from drive-by browser malware attacks:

Link

Quote:

What Is Drive-By Malware?

Drive-by malware infects your computer by exploiting a vulnerability in your browser, browser plug-ins, or by opening a file in a hidden frame and exploiting a security hole in an application, like Adobe Reader. Think you only browse safe sites? They've also been known to hijack advertisements on popular sites. We'll take a quick tour through some of the best ways to protect yourself.

Cleophus 12-16-2009 09:59 PM

I would like to suggest the new Microsoft Security Essentials as a free AV solution. Ars Technicia and Cnet like it.

I have to caution about the recommendation to use TeaTimer, though. It relies on the user's experience to make correct decisions to a far higher degree than other active protection programs. If you're going to use TeaTimer, though, I must emphasize that you should not get into the habit of clicking "deny" without reading the dialog, especially if it popped up right after you made some change in an existing, legitimate program. I've known users who click "deny" every time TeaTimer pops up, regardless of what prompted the check. And, like any other active protection program, you shouldn't run two simultaneously.

Hilarity N. Suze 01-02-2010 11:40 PM

Cautionary tale
 
Sometime in mid-Dec., as a result of having picked up some awful thing or another, I was following the directions given in the previous iteration of this message, when my computer failed.

It would not start in Safe mode. After that, it would never start again.

So, before following the steps given, be sure you know what you are doing. I didn't, and I deeply regret it, as I'm typing this from my old, slow computer, and I'm looking at paying somebody a lot of money to "wipe" my computer. Then I will have to install all my software again, which laborious as it is will be the easy part. The hard part will be finding all that stuff. I have some of it, but a lot of it is residing in a box somewhere in my garage. Hopefully, I labeled the box, because there are about 500 of them out there.


Note that as I was doing them in order I had already done #2, so I didn't really lose anything important, except I'm anticipating about 40 hours of MY TIME.

You need something for 3 different kinds of people. Knows binary, doesn't know binary, doesn't know shit about computers.

And the recommendation for person no. 3 (or would that be no. 11) would be: Find somebody who knows what they're doing!!!

BigT 02-26-2010 05:58 AM

I saw the sticky, and I noticed that the malware scanner programs will not be able to automatically update their definition files in Safe mode. Most of the time, doing so offline is quite painless, and I wonder if we might should instruct people to do that.

Here are the links I found doing a quick Google Search. All you do is run the update installer after you install the program, but before you run it and do a scan.

I'm not sure about Ad-aware, as updating is a bit less painless. I don't know if the average user would find it worthwhile. I also couldn't find any for Panda Anti-Rootkit, and Trend Micro Rootkit Buster seems to always point to the latest version.

Wordy 03-06-2010 02:40 AM

Whoah! Don't Go Over Your Head with Anti-Virus Programs!
 
[1] First off, it appears there are quite a number of people that are getting this fake "XP Internet Security 2010" program on their computer. You guys are asking how to get rid of it when the real question you should be asking is why you got it on your computer in the first place.

Looking at various posts on the net, "XP Internet Security 2010" is NOT A VIRUS. It is a rouge program. This means that it cannot automatically install on your computer without you actually giving it permission to run. In my experience, it is usually the person in front of the computer that's at fault for downloading and running these rouge programs because they don't know any better. I know because I'm the family IT guy and I'm also a programmer. If you are really, really, really, really sure that you were "infected" at no fault of your own, I would like to hear about it.

These best overview of this rouge program is at http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/viru...rus-vista-2010



[2] Now, onto the question of the "best malware defense". I would like to say as a computer security enthusiast, that once you've had untrusted code run on your computer, it is best to nuke it from orbit with a reinstall of your operating system. There is an easy way and a hard way of reinstalling your operating system.

The hard way is to manually reinstall Windows and all your programs every time you think you've been infected with something. The easy way is if you made an image of your hard drive immediately after you installed your operating system and favorite programs, using a tool such as Drive Image XML (free):

http://download.cnet.com/DriveImage-...-10443230.html

With Drive Image XML, you store a fresh copy of your operating system on a external backup hard drive and when you think you've been infected, you just boot up from the external hard drive and your computer is quickly restored to when you first installed everything. A full restore will take on the order of 15 minutes compared to hours you could be spending trying to reinstall everything from scratch. The external hard drive will cost you about $50-$100 at your local computer store an can also be used to back up your data.

[3] Now, onto the subject of anti-virus programs. The important thing about anti-virus programs is to only choose ONE of them and let it update itself. Anti-virus programs should be install and forget. Don't go overboard by installing multiple anti-virus programs, that borders on paranoia and there are better ways to spend your time PREVENTING bad things from happening. On Windows, without a doubt, the best anti virus program is Microsoft Security Essentials (free):

http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/

Install it and let it do it's thing. Forget it is even there. Oh yeah, LEAVE AUTOMATIC UPDATES ON. DON'T FREAKING TURN IT OFF. You NEED updates for Windows and Microsoft Security Essentials updates itself through automatic updates.




[4] Now, for the most effective way of preventing unwanted "infections": Changing your habits. On Windows, NEVER EVER RUN AS THE ADMINISTRATOR UNLESS YOU ARE DOING SYSTEM MAINTENANCE. Always run as the limited/standard user. If you don't know what I just said, you are most likely running as the adminstrator with full privileges over your computer and I recommend you get someone to show you how to run as a limited/standard user.



[5] Upgrade to Windows Vista/7 for a better security architecture. Did you know XP is 10 years old? That's ancient and software security has greatly advanced since then. Windows Vista/7 has UAC, which is a GREAT feature, no matter what your run of the mill techy friend might tell you. If they tell you to turn UAC off, I say get a new techy friend because he/she is not competent with computer security. Vista/7 also has other features like more thorough DEP, ASLR, and kernel patch guard.



[6] I recommend you get the Professional version of Vista/7 if at all possible because it has a great feature called the Software Restriction Policy. This means that if you are an idiot, you can get a techy friend to set up your computer where you cannot run any programs other than the ones that are protected and installed with the administrator password. I can't stress how absolutely GREAT THIS FEATURE IS! It's one of the ways of making a computer idiot proof.


[7] Keep your non-Microsoft programs updated with the Secunia Personal Software Inspector: http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/ This program scans your computer and provides you with a list of required updates. It is highly regarded by security enthusiasts.


[8] If you pirate programs, may God help you.

kaoruchan42 03-08-2010 07:30 PM

I find that one of the best ways to avoid malware is to use Firefox, or really any browser besides Internet Explorer, which really is a piece of junk. Firefox is definitely the best, with pretty much no security vulnerabilities. A simple piece of advice, but all too many people still use Internet Explorer, despite its vulnerabilities

You can get Firefox at mozilla.com

misling 03-28-2010 11:14 AM

If you go with Firefox, make it even safer by using a couple of the security plug-ins. At minimum I'd recommend Adblock Plus and NoScript. Adblock Plus disallows ads (duh). NoScript prevents pages from running scripts, and also prevents popups. With NoScript you have to give permission to the sites for which you want to allow scripts/popups, such as your banking sites, but it's totally worth it.

BaconAndEggs 04-10-2010 06:28 AM

I have a computer question- Hope this is the right place. Is there a way to have the computer automatically shut itself down after no mouse activity for say 10 minutes. I have a "friend" who just leaves the computer and forgets to shut it down. It annoys me so I would like to know how to make the computer do this.

BaconAndEggs 04-10-2010 06:38 AM

I missed the edit feature. How do I get a a "system 32" to stop going on the screen everytime I start up the computer. I've looked for ways to delete it, but can't find a way.

Chickenwrangler 04-25-2010 04:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BaconAndEggs (Post 12325041)
I have a computer question- Hope this is the right place. Is there a way to have the computer automatically shut itself down after no mouse activity for say 10 minutes. I have a "friend" who just leaves the computer and forgets to shut it down. It annoys me so I would like to know how to make the computer do this.

If you're using Windows:-

Right click on Desktop - Screen Saver tab - click Power Button.

Here you have various options to put computer to Stand By, Hibernate or Shut Down

:)

foolscap 05-22-2010 01:46 AM

When I have to reinstall windows I first
run some version of linux to format the drive
That way the drive is CLEAN.
No lurking virii hiding in some sector that windows cannot touch.
Then I install windows.

drumfun101 07-13-2010 02:04 PM

Uh.... just get a Mac.

Done.

SH

DenAuffen 08-11-2010 02:02 AM

Sorry - Macs, as smarmy as those ads are - have indeed had some virus activity as hackers are turning their attention in that direction. Maybe it's that smug "Nyaa nyaa We don't have viruses" taunting? As far as PC protection - I run Avast and also Threatfire (TF runs in the background and will not conflict with your main antivirus software). I found an article - PC Mag Best Freeware 2010 and it had a lot of good stuff.

Any Other Name 08-17-2010 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wordy (Post 12194406)
[3] Now, onto the subject of anti-virus programs. The important thing about anti-virus programs is to only choose ONE of them and let it update itself.

Does the same go for Malware detection programs like Ad-Aware and Search+Destroy? Both protect actively (while browsing), AdAware with Ad-Watch Live, S+D as Resident and with TeaTimer, so it seems they might not work nicely together. MalwareBytes Anti Malware doesn't seem to have an active component, it seems to be a cleanup tool after problems occur (and it seems to work very well!). Specifically, I'm adding Microsoft Security Essentials which also protects against malware, and I already have Ad-Aware running Ad-Watch Live actively.

I like your suggestion about Drive Image XML. When there's a problem and you boot from the external drive, how does the operating system on the original drive get repaired? Data on the original drive (in My Documents and on the desktop) is unchanged?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wordy (Post 12194406)
[4] Now, for the most effective way of preventing unwanted "infections": Changing your habits. On Windows, NEVER EVER RUN AS THE ADMINISTRATOR UNLESS YOU ARE DOING SYSTEM MAINTENANCE. Always run as the limited/standard user. If you don't know what I just said, you are most likely running as the adminstrator with full privileges over your computer and I recommend you get someone to show you how to run as a limited/standard user.

I'm looking at UAC on Windows 7 on a new system. It seems like it allows you to have administrator privileges but to downgrade yourself to a regular unprivileged user (and add user privileges back whenever needed). If I'm running Windows XP on an older machine, is there anything similar I can do about an existing account which already has admin privileges? I hate to do all the work to essentially setup a new account with everything I've done to this account. Can I create a new admin account for use going forward and change the original account to a simple user? Can the original account be changed back to an admin in case it's necessary?

dzero 09-28-2010 04:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by misling (Post 12275939)
If you go with Firefox, make it even safer by using a couple of the security plug-ins. At minimum I'd recommend Adblock Plus and NoScript. Adblock Plus disallows ads (duh). NoScript prevents pages from running scripts, and also prevents popups. With NoScript you have to give permission to the sites for which you want to allow scripts/popups, such as your banking sites, but it's totally worth it.

Excellent advice. Noscript will default to disallow scripts universally so you will have to permit (either temp or permanently) them for each site you visit. But it only has to be done once for sites that you trust and it is easy to do from a rt click context menu.

I would also recommend

1. flasblock - prevents flash from loading automatically
2. lastpass - stores your passwords securely and logs you in to sites while bypassing the keyboard and thus defeating key loggers.
3. Ghostery - identifies 3rd part web bugs on a page
4. xmarks - sync bookmarks across multiple machines.

Another important safety measure is to set your email client - whether it's run on your computer (eg, outlook) or is a web client (eg, gmail, yahoo) so that it does not automatically dl and display images. These are used to see if you have opened the email and can also be an entry point for phishing exploits and even malware.

BigT 12-23-2010 05:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Any Other Name (Post 12810868)
I'm looking at UAC on Windows 7 on a new system. It seems like it allows you to have administrator privileges but to downgrade yourself to a regular unprivileged user (and add user privileges back whenever needed). If I'm running Windows XP on an older machine, is there anything similar I can do about an existing account which already has admin privileges? I hate to do all the work to essentially setup a new account with everything I've done to this account. Can I create a new admin account for use going forward and change the original account to a simple user? Can the original account be changed back to an admin in case it's necessary?

I feel bad that I missed this. Someone created a third party UAC-type program for Windows XP before Vista/Win7 even came out. The latest iteration is called SuRun.

Here's an online guide to setting it up. It's pretty simple, and I recommend it to anyone who is running Windows XP and can understand that article. It includes a link to the program.

I will make some alterations: you don't need to create a new SuRunner account--you can use the account you're already using. What you do need to do is make sure you have one Administrator account that you do not make a SuRunner. And you will have to install SuRun while you are an administrator.

If you now have two accounts instead of just one, and you want to make one account automatically log in, you can access a sometimes hidden Control Panel at Start > Run > "control user userpasswords2". And if you want to hide the Administrator account from the login screen, you can get TweakUI, run it as an administrator, and go to Login, and uncheck the appropriate option.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 05-10-2011 05:36 PM

Nasty new malware aromud.

My computer at work was so badly damaged that IT had to replace it.

Z. R. Test 05-29-2011 02:09 AM

The Mac is under attack! Again, anyway, but this time it's a bit more widespread. Don't Panic. It's not that bad.

Turns out some entrepreneur has created a fill-in-the-blank malware generator for Macs, just like they have em for PCs. This malware Trojan is going under various names, such as MacDefender, MacProtector or MacSecurity. It does the usual schtick, trying to tell you your Mac is infected and getting you to give them your credit card number. It is NOT a virus in the purest sense of the concept, so it's relatively harmless and won't corrupt your computer at this point.

If you already have gotten the trojan, or want to read about it, Apple has issued a support page here that will help you understand and remove any malware that may have latched onto your Mac. If you aren't sure what to do and are near an Apple store, a Genius can remove it for you for free. Just make an appointment first.

A few steps you can take to help yourself:

- If you use Safari as your browser, open Safari> Preferences ... And under the General tab uncheck the 'Open "safe" files after downloading' check box. This will prevent the malware from attempting to load itself if you accidentally download it.

- NEVER install or allow to be installed a program you are unsure about (goes for Mac and Windows). If something pops up and asks for your password without you being sure what it is, it's safest to say No (or "Deny" or "Cancel") and ask someone later.

- Consider any messages that pop up stating your Mac as being infected with viruses as a hoax, then deny, quit or force quit Safari or whatever browser your using to get away from it.

- You really don't need any anti-virus software on your Mac if you take these precautions. If you want to get something, anyway, try Sophos as they have a free version available.

Apple says it will be issuing an update soon that will attempt to prevent these malware attacks. We'll see.

Wizard One 05-30-2011 12:28 AM

I've done a lot of work in corporate environments and with the DoD. THEY NEVER, EVER, EVER clean a system. They format and reload it.
So, first lesson: BACKUP.
Second lesson: BACKUP.
Third LESSON: Yep, BACKUP.
Then, reload the operating system, formatting the system first OR have a drive image made, which would overwrite the entire hard drive. Then, you can restore your BACKUP.
And if you backup from C: to C:, you'll not make that mistake again, after losing everything.
Back it up to another hard drive, preferably a bit larger than your primary drive and leave it unattached until it is needed for restore.
The problem is, quite a few malware programs download updates AND other malware programs.
So, you just don't trust it again. Besides, some of that malware makes the box forever unstable, in spite of registry cleaners. And I'm the maniac that manually exterminates malware for fun, after figuring out what it does (or tries to do).

Paul12 05-30-2011 03:54 PM

Those are excellent instructions xash. ;)

Here is a removal guide that may prove to be useful to anyone wanting to remove malware from their computer: http://realsecurity.web.officelive.c...vemalware.aspx

boneman1st 06-23-2011 05:30 AM

Pride
 
Come on, after 35 years in the computer hardware and software business these answers are the silliest use of this board. Just goggling can give these answers. Why would anyone think that this board can supply this answer :smack:? My advise would be to find someone who can give a good honest reference to a person or shop that will give you an honest price for honest service and advise :). Pride, the most used emotion today opposite from humility.
No real answer to this question because the user is imperfect like all people. Take this into mind a true knowledgeable person has forgotten more then you will ever know about the subject. That leaves margin for error even with the most skilled engineer, technician, journeyman or person .

Fear Itself 06-23-2011 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boneman1st (Post 13947859)
Come on, after 35 years in the computer hardware and software business these answers are the silliest use of this board. Just goggling can give these answers.

The goggles! They do nothing!

polish 08-21-2011 01:59 PM

If you have online banking, your banks should provide you with free anti virus

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 08-21-2011 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boneman1st (Post 13947859)
Come on, after 35 years in the computer hardware and software business these answers are the silliest use of this board. Just goggling can give these answers. Why would anyone think that this board can supply this answer :smack:? My advise would be to find someone who can give a good honest reference to a person or shop that will give you an honest price for honest service and advise :). Pride, the most used emotion today opposite from humility.
No real answer to this question because the user is imperfect like all people. Take this into mind a true knowledgeable person has forgotten more then you will ever know about the subject. That leaves margin for error even with the most skilled engineer, technician, journeyman or person .

Again, please?

Fear Itself 08-21-2011 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor (Post 14165428)
Again, please?

He hasn't posted in two months, I doubt he is coming back.

simoncarl 09-23-2011 08:02 AM

Thank you for sharing, I'm new to this Computer and I really need to read some useful materials. Something is messing up my computer, the porn website automatically pop-up. Although I'm using firefox but still it will pop-up in IE7. Sigh!

TrueYears 10-25-2011 08:23 PM

I find it that Malaware Remover, Spybot remover and CCleaner have work best for me for keeping my pc clean of bad things

emoticorpse 12-13-2011 09:02 PM

to remove malware best thing to do is format after you save all your stuff. If you don't know how to do that it's complicated so unless you're lookin for a project don't attempt it cuz it can go wrong real easy.

To strictly attempt to clean a already infected virus i suggest in this order

depending on how bad it is I'd suggest a system restore to reasonable period of time you were virus free

then run malwarebytes antimalware is about all you really need I mean it's the best you can get If that won't get something off I don't know what will but after that use ccleaner to clean junk files and that's about as good as you can get to actually remove malware

as far as protection make sure you got a good firewall , antivirus and for malwarebytes antimalware the paid for version which has active monitoring

ryzeup45 01-05-2012 05:45 AM

i do face many problems with my PC. i had formatted it many times due to virus. i am using free version of anti virus and i uses internet too, that are the reasons behind the problem. how can i protect my PC.

Red_Hoodie 02-09-2012 02:18 PM

Help with an external HD?
 
So I have a quick question for the geeks who are obviously much more knowledgeable than I am. I'm not an idiot with computers, but I'd rather have a real person's advice, rather than using one of the dubious links Google gave me that don't have much to do with my question.

I've got a Dell Inspiron 15 with Vista - yes, I know, stock as hell, long story - and although I've had flawless performance the two and a half years I've owned it, it's been acting funny lately. Mostly when I'm online and I'm browsing, I'll get (NOT RESPONDING) all of a sudden, and then nothing works, no CTRL+ALT+DEL, no Task Manager, nothing. I have to hard power cycle, reboot, it runs chkdsk, everything is copacetic, and I go on as usual...until it happens again, 5 minutes or 5 hours down the line.

I run MSE, Avira, and Malwarebytes. Not one has turned up a single issue. Yes, they're all updated.

I use frequently use CCleaner to uninstall shiat I'm not using, and clear my startup list. Everything is updated to within an inch of it's life.

So I bought a WD My Passport 500GB drive, the better to clean my lappie with. I installed the software and ran a backup, thinking that if I used it as a separate storage device and cleared as much as I could from the laptop, things might run a bit smoother. However, I'm not really happy with not being able to browse the files on the WD. I'd rather be able to access and use it just like a flash drive. Is wiping the external drive and using it like a huge memory card a possibility?

candiceslegacy 03-05-2012 02:37 PM

**How To Remove Antivirus Live and Other Rogue/Fake Antivirus Malware:
I have searched site after site to find a list like this....and have always found only one answer at a time....which has caused me to have the "virus" appear again after about a week for the past year!!OMG..THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LIST OF HOW TOs! Virus found, and deleted and am trying the list of "fix its" hopefully I wont see the same malware again....i will know in the next week....and again thank you for posting them all in one place!!

Modevo 03-25-2012 09:59 PM

Avast Free AV seems to be working rather well. I used to use Microsoft Security Essentials, but it had an average detection rate.

john25 03-31-2012 10:19 AM

You can protect your computer from malware by using antivirus. You can use avast version 6 for this job but if you start using avast please do not use another antivirus.

TelecasterLPGTop 03-31-2012 08:30 PM

Malware
 
Stop using Microsoft operating systems and replace Windows with one of the Linux distributions. Ubuntu 11.04 is a good one and 12.04 coming out in 2-3 weeks is supposed to be better. You'll never need another piece of anti-virus or anti-spyware software ever again, not even a firewall is needed although there's one available.
Who do you think creates most of the viruses ? Ask yourself, "who gains?" and follow the money.
Linux OSs are designed in a different way to M$oft so it's difficult for viruses/spyware to get into them.
The best thing is that Ubuntu is totally FREE just Google "download Ubuntu" burn your boot disc and you're free of Micro$oft.

TelecasterLPGTop 03-31-2012 08:36 PM

All the Mainframe computers use Linux based operating systems, yes even Microsoft, the Department of Defence and many more. You don't think that they'd trust their data with such a bug filled OS as Windows do you ?

ralph124c 04-27-2012 08:04 PM

I dumped IE and now use Firefox. So how does that #$*!%% Zedo cookie get into my system?

Fear Itself 04-27-2012 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ralph124c (Post 15011461)
I dumped IE and now use Firefox. So how does that #$*!%% Zedo cookie get into my system?

Firefox uses cookies.

swilson 07-07-2012 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Modevo (Post 14901331)
Avast Free AV seems to be working rather well. I used to use Microsoft Security Essentials, but it had an average detection rate.

I have used Avast before but had issues with malware which I couldn't figure out how to fix the problem. I then used Norton to clean the problem, but I still like Avast. Are you still using the Avast after all this time? I would like to try it again.

oreally 07-08-2012 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TelecasterLPGTop (Post 14922929)
All the Mainframe computers use Linux based operating systems, yes even Microsoft, the Department of Defence and many more. You don't think that they'd trust their data with such a bug filled OS as Windows do you ?

I think not being able to install Windows on a mainframe might factor in as well. DoD uses Windows a TON overall.

Anyway I use AVG and no complaints (so far). I did have a non-virus issue with some files which MalwareBytes solved, really like that one FWIW.

abhilasha 07-10-2012 07:05 AM

I use malwarebytes.. anti malware... Quite Effective

CC 07-11-2012 12:52 PM

AVG cautionary note
 
AVG comes with an option to install the AVG toolbar and set the AVG Search as the default mode. Do not accept this option if you think you will EVER want to use any other search engine because it is very difficult to get rid of. You can tell your computer that you want to use Google as your default search engine, as your home page, or whatever, and AVG will just hijack it and insert itself right in the front of the line again. Ironic and infuriating for an anti-virus program to include a piece of software that is almost impossible to remove.
I had to uninstall all the AVG toolbar stuff using the IObit Uninstaller (free) because just going through the uninstall procedure in XP didn't do it for me. Just sayin'

oreally 07-12-2012 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CC (Post 15261275)
AVG comes with an option to install the AVG toolbar and set the AVG Search as the default mode. Do not accept this option

NEVER install "toolbars." Invasive and pointless.

Banquo 08-07-2012 03:51 PM

Selctively block java and flash for unknown or questionable sites
 
If you use Firefox get the NoScript add-on. This will allow you to prevent malicious code from being executed through hacked flash ads and java based scripts, which are primary methods of delivering malicious payload.

http://noscript.net/

You can enable/disable flash, java ect. for any site and has a nifty benefit of preventing videos from playing automatically when a page is loaded.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 08-07-2012 06:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Banquo (Post 15359189)
If you use Firefox get the NoScript add-on. This will allow you to prevent malicious code from being executed through hacked flash ads and java based scripts, which are primary methods of delivering malicious payload.

http://noscript.net/

You can enable/disable flash, java ect. for any site and has a nifty benefit of preventing videos from playing automatically when a page is loaded.

Can anybody else vouch for this link? :dubious:

running coach 08-07-2012 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor (Post 15359682)
Can anybody else vouch for this link? :dubious:

Seriously?

That's probably in the top three Firefox add-ons. He just linked to the developer's site rather than Firefox.

Fear Itself 08-07-2012 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor (Post 15359682)
Can anybody else vouch for this link? :dubious:

You can get the the NoScript add-on through FireFox: Tools/Add-ons/ Search "noscript" and install.

Banquo 08-08-2012 09:57 AM

Sorry about that. I should have linked to the firefox add-ons page

Mike Osullivan 08-24-2012 05:54 AM

Many people skip the safe mode scan.... Don't!
The nastiest virii tend to hide in the boot sections or as rookits attached to processes. The only way to remove many of these is a scan in safe mode ;)


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