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  1. #1
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Excellent free antivirus software for home users

    Windows users: If you use a free-for-home-users antivirus software like AVG or AntiVir, you might want to check out the free-for-home-users AOL Kaspersky.



    You don't have to be an AOL user to use it, and it doesn't have any extra AOL junk packed with it. So this is a pretty sweet deal. Kaspersky is one of the best antiviruses out there. During installation, it's recommended that you skip the installation of the security toolbar, it's not really beneficial.

    Stacey points out that the license agreement might mean that they can send you Spam. Maybe it would be smart to use a "throwaway" email account that you only use when you sign up to stuff that might result in Spam. That's what I did.

    Uninstall your old antivirus before installing a new antivirus, so they don't clash. Here's a narrated 2MB Windows Media Player movie where I show how to configure the antivirus software.



    On other security-related topics:

    • Newer computers have a security feature called Data Execution Prevention that you can turn on. Right-click My Computer, choose Properties, and do like in this pic.

    • Windows Defender went final. It's Microsoft's free antispyware program for Windows XP with Service Pack 2.

    • Spybot Search & Destroy 1.4 and SpywareBlaster 3.5.1 are popular free antispyware with immunization features. They could help if you have kids/roommates/relatives using your 'puter, although a Limited account is where to start IMO. Update them every couple weeks or so.

    • You can get a free antivirus/antispyware scan, a firewall check, and a registry tune-up at the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner.

    • FireFox 2.0 came out, including some security fixes versus 1.5.0.7, and an anti-phishing feature (what's phishing?). If you use FF, uninstall old versions using Add/Remove Programs, and install the new one.

    • Internet Explorer 7 is available for WinXP with SP2 and also has an anti-phishing feature.

    • Opera 9.02 is the latest version of Opera, if you prefer Opera. Uninstall old versions and install the new one.

    • Adobe Flash Player 9 fixes some exploitable security problems with Flash Player 8. If you have Flash Player, uninstall the old version and install the latest one.

    • QuickTime 7.1.3, with or without iTunes as you prefer, fixes exploitable security issues. Uninstall older versions and install the new one.

    • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 5.0 Update 9 is the latest version of Sun Java for your PC to run Java applets with. Uninstall all older versions so they can't be exploited, and install the new version.

    • If you use WinAmp, uninstall the old version and install the latest version. WinAmp is periodically exploited as more holes are discovered in it.

    Hope that helps someone

  2. #2
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    I'll try it considering my current one says it can't fix the virus' I currently am plagued with.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pheard
    I'll try it considering my current one says it can't fix the virus' I currently am plagued with.
    Cool, and you can also run that Microsoft online scanner as a second checkup It could take a while to do the full-service scan if you have lots of stuff on your computer, so you might launch it before going to bed and see what's up in the morning.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks for the post, that's really helpful!

  5. #5
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    Maybe I'm just a bit paranoid about AOL, but in the
    past I've had problems getting rid of AOL programs
    that constantly run in the background, eating up precious
    memory.

    This is after I've uninstalled all AOL software, and meticulously
    gone through program file folders erasing all left-over traces of
    AOL I could find. Certain programs, such as aoltpsd, are as tough
    as viruses to get rid of.

    I, for one, would want to make very sure there are no trap-door
    agents embedded in this "free" software.
    Iím not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said whatever it was.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    That's a valid concern. I use the pay-for Kaspersky, but I'll uninstall it and try the AOL flavor, and compare the running processes using Windows Defender's handy Software Explorer feature. Stay tuned...

    (I might add that the AOL version comes strongly-recommended by my bro John over at AnandTech Forums, a longtime virus/spyware buster)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ornery's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up, but how is the overhead? I LOVE AVG because of the low resource usage. I think I tried Kaspersky ages ago, because of some infection, but have stayed with AVG since then.

    Thanks also for the bike locking and visibility info.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I used Windows Defender to check the before-&-after scenario, comparing the $50 pay-for version of Kaspersky to the freebie AOL version. Here are screenshots (attached).

    The before-&-after pics show

    1) startup programs
    2) running programs
    3) network-connected programs
    4) WinSock service providers

    and basically it's the same stuff across the board, except the name of the antivirus software is changed. I don't see any AOL junk along for the ride. No AOL shortcuts on my desktop, no AOL shortcuts on my Favorites, no AOL Instant Messenger or any other AOL-related stuff. So that's a welcome change from AOL's past practices
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    I'll give that a shot on my PC.

    I <3 my Mac! An Apple a day keeps the geek-doctor away!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ornery
    Thanks for the heads up, but how is the overhead? I LOVE AVG because of the low resource usage. I think I tried Kaspersky ages ago, because of some infection, but have stayed with AVG since then.
    On a fresh reboot, here's how my system's looking. In the second pic, the first three highlighted processes are the antivirus software, whereas the second highlighted ones are the Windows Defender antispyware.






    My system is fairly new and well-equipped, so I'm not the best guy to gauge the impact by the seat of my pants but maybe someone with an older system can chime in with their impression? Like, a 700MHz system or so? I see the freebie version does have the feature where it pauses its scans if the CPU is busy with something else, like a game:



    Thanks also for the bike locking and visibility info.
    Sure thing, I hope they help someone out there

    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre
    I <3 my Mac! An Apple a day keeps the geek-doctor away!
    And you can update your Safari, FireFox, QuickTime, iTunes, and also visit Apple Update Apples wub j00 but they want their updates too Oooo, that rhymes!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ornery's Avatar
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    Hey, that's great. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. As you can see, I'm not too worried about actually using resources:



    I just hate to have them wasted for no good reason. Programs like those from Symantec, make me very leary. Talk about being difficult to remove!

    I'll be giving Kaspersky a shot sometime in the future. Thanks again!

  12. #12
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ornery
    Hey, that's great. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. As you can see, I'm not too worried about actually using resources:



    I just hate to have them wasted for no good reason. Programs like those from Symantec, make me very leary. Talk about being difficult to remove!

    I'll be giving Kaspersky a shot sometime in the future. Thanks again!
    You're welcome Yeah, Norton/Symantec's home-user stuff makes me feel... hmm, how to say it...





    By the way, Kaspersky does uninstall without a hassle. You just need to right-click the tray icon and choose Exit and then you can uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs.

  13. #13
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Hey mech, you familiar with a program called Proxomitron? If not you should check it out. Very nice little freeware utility.
    www.teamnavycycling.org
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  14. #14
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I'm reluctant to go experimenting with just any freeware, in this day & age of rootkits and other nasties. What's it do?

  15. #15
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    It's sort of a proxy, but it filters web pages. Simple things like banner ads, popups, those annoying blinking, bouncing banners (you can set it to show them, just not all hyper) and more complex things, too. In fact, it's completely customizable; you tell it what you want it to fix (header, script, active x whatever) and what you want it to do with the problem (nothing, put in [ad], redirect, etc) and it quietly does it.

    I've been using it for several years now. There's no root kits or anything; in fact, it doesn't "install". You can read more about it at www.proxomitron.org. You can also find lots of resources there, too. The support for this program is pretty good.

    I had a site that was getting past the "stop browser resizing" filters and was able to post in a forum the address and ask for help in creating a filter. Within a few days, someone had figured it out and told me how to make a filter for this specific page.

    It's worth your time to check it out.
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  16. #16
    Cheers! 2wheeled's Avatar
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    Great info, thanks

  17. #17
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    I'm reluctant to go experimenting with just any freeware, in this day & age of rootkits and other nasties. What's it do?
    I am pretty traditionalist. I stick to the stuff you have basically advised (the new aol thing I will take a look at, I am looking for a new enterprise level server for 2007 anyways)

    Great post!!! +10

  18. #18
    Specialized Member ChAnMaN's Avatar
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    Just what i have been looking for, i have a firewall but i have been running without an antivirus forever.....freaking Panda was driving me crazy so i uninstalled it.
    You can never be too Specialized
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  19. #19
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    ChAn, I apparently had Panda, too.

    Mech! What should I do?! I tried installing the Kapersky AV thing, as per your recommendation (my AVG is expiring in Jan!) and it says I can't install it until I uninstall Panda. But Panda isn't installed! WTF?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  20. #20
    ******. zephyr16's Avatar
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    Mech, you are a hero
    he helped me out when i had a wicked virus, big thanks

  21. #21
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre
    ChAn, I apparently had Panda, too.

    Mech! What should I do?! I tried installing the Kapersky AV thing, as per your recommendation (my AVG is expiring in Jan!) and it says I can't install it until I uninstall Panda. But Panda isn't installed! WTF?
    Gaaah! I'll scrounge around for a solution. Ok, can you do this:

    1) Start > Run > services.msc to open the Services window.

    2) Click on the Status header bar until all the Started ones are grouped on top

    3) take screenshots (one or more as necessary to show all the Started services), and post them here

    4) for ones that are obviously Panda-related, double-click them to open their panel, stop them with the STOP button, set them to Disabled, reboot and see if you can move forward now. I think there may be about 5 of them, so still post screenies if you keep encountering resistance.

    5) also run Microsoft's "Clean Up" dealiebob on this page, maybe it can purge the Registry of Panda junk.


    Quote Originally Posted by zephyr16
    Mech, you are a hero
    he helped me out when i had a wicked virus, big thanks
    Sweet

  22. #22
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    IE 7 doesn't trust this site. Should I?


  23. #23
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    From: http://www.activevirusshield.com/ant...et_started.adp


    Quote Originally Posted by Download page
    By clicking, "Get it Now", you acknowledge receipt of, and agree to the terms of the Active Virus Shield License and User Agreement and Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive electronically from us periodic notices about Active Virus Shield and other services that may be of interest to you. Click the "No Thanks" link below if you do not agree to any of these terms.
    Bold and italics mine. My interpertation: By clicking "Get It Now" I'm agreeing to let them spam me. No thanks! I'm very happy with the way Avast keeps my system secure. Its two processes only use 9,820k of my resources.

  24. #24
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    From: http://www.activevirusshield.com/ant...et_started.adp




    Bold and italics mine. My interpertation: By clicking "Get It Now" I'm agreeing to let them spam me. No thanks! I'm very happy with the way Avast keeps my system secure. Its two processes only use 9,820k of my resources.
    People who'd rather use Avast, you can get it from http://www.avast.com/ Make sure you fully configure it to use all its bag of tricks. Hey Stacey, does it still say "Avast database has been updated!" in a human voice when it updates? That made me jump sometimes

    If you want Kaspersky, but are concerned about getting Spam as a result, then do what you usually do: use a throw-away email address to sign up. I haven't gotten any Spam yet that seems related to registering for AOL Kaspersky, but maybe they'll do that eventually.

    Going into my third week of collecting samples of a certain rapidly-changing family of Trojans, it might shake people a bit to know how many of the Trojans blow right by Avast, AVG, AntiVir and even some of the big-name antivirus companies. Kaspersky is nailing them to the wall within an hour or two, thanks partly to Kaspersky's hallmark hourly updates. With the bad guys deploying an average of one new version of their Trojan every 90 minutes, an antivirus product that updates its virus definitions once or twice per day is usually watching for yesterday's variants, which are long gone.

    The project wasn't intended as a Kaspersky-supremacy demonstration, but that's turning out to be a side effect Anyhow, if I had to suggest a next-best free antivirus product for this particular family of Trojans, it would be AntiVir from http://www.free-av.com, which has developed heuristics that get at least some of the new variants without needing a formal signature-based identification for them. Stacey, if you'd like, I can send you a Zip file containing a selection of the Trojans, and you can see how Avast's detection rate is on them... (for people who don't know this already, I'm not threatening to try to infect Stacey's computer here)

    IE 7 doesn't trust this site. Should I?
    Click the padlock icon up there by the address and check the certificate, and it should say it's registered to AOL (free.aol.com). If you download the installer and start it, the digital signature (also cert-based) should say it's registered to Kaspersky Lab. Good enough?


    BTW another semi-free option is a free 6-month trial of F-Secure's antivirus software. It's based on the Kaspersky engine. They don't do 24+ updates a day, but they've been known to do up to 12 when the situation calls for it (Bagle outbreaks, for example). F-Secure trialware download page

  25. #25
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    People who'd rather use Avast, you can get it from http://www.avast.com/ Make sure you fully configure it to use all its bag of tricks. Hey Stacey, does it still say "Avast database has been updated!" in a human voice when it updates? That made me jump sometimes
    Yeah still has that pleasing and reasuring vioce telling me everything is secure on my computer. But you know, it's configurable as well... you can even turn it off.

    No need to send me a zip file of trojans... too much like playing with fire fo me. I'd probably end up burning myself because the little bastids are running over my my mnachine.


    Question on the AOL/Kapersky... do I have to download and install directly to my machine or can I just download to my computer, install it in a seperate functionand then later save to a CD and install in other machines?

    Ya talked me into trying it, if I likey... I'll probably take it to the store and use in our customers machines who are running the interwebs unprotected or with expired protection.

    Just Friday I hat to wipe an outdated and corrupted install of Norton 2002. The sad thing is, these people really believed that they had anti-virus protection.

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