If you are not familiar with this relatively new term “malware”,
it refers to all kinds of nefarious programs that may infect your
are includes all kinds of viruses, spyware, adware, trojans,
rootkits, and others. The word itself stems from “malicious”
I’m always looking for programs that deal with PC infections in new
and better ways. I look for free programs that perform as intended.
After considerable testing I make the decision to write about them so
you have the necessary information to make your decisions. You may
think that free software, particularly security software, can not be
any good if it’s free. Well, think again. Many free security programs
are as good if not better than paid for versions. Why is this?
Viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, and all the other malicious
garbage that can attack your computer isn’t just a threat to you – it
threatens everyone on the internet. This includes big companies and
governments. It is in everyone’s best interests to control these
attacks, but that can’t happen if a malicious program can hide in
your PC. Therefore a number of private companies have committed
themselves to providing free versions of their software for those
that have not maintained security on their PC. A lot of this software
is superior quality. Expect the worst if you have not updated your
security software, scanned your PC for malware, allowed your security
subscription to lag, or you have not installed security software. The
following are my recommendations.
Number one; install an anti-malware program if you haven’t done so.
I highly recommend “Avast”. This program is free and protects against
all forms of malware and is available at www.avast.com. Number two;
you need to provide supplementary protection in the form of an
anti-spyware type program. I now recommend Malwarebytes. This program
has become very popular during 2008 and has an uncanny way of finding
malware that other security programs may miss during scanning. It’s
available at www.malwarebytes.org. On the left side of the page click
the green block that says “Download Now!” The download will come from
download.com which is a safe site for downloads of all types.
Previously I had recommended Spyware Terminator for anti-spyware
protection along with Avast. While Spyware Terminator still performs
well it also has an annoying habit of intrusive pop-up windows. Some
residents that are not familiar with the program have clicked to
allow certain actions in these pop-up windows when they should not
have, and have blocked other actions they should have allowed. If you
are still running Spyware Terminator and understand how it works,
then it’s not necessary to uninstall it unless you want to.
After downloading and installing Malwarebytes there’s nothing to
configure in the program. That is a big plus in my book. Also there
are no annoying pop-up windows to deal with – another plus. One item
I’ll mention is that this free version does not give you real-time
protection. Real-time protection means that a security program will
block intrusive infections or protect your PC while you are on the
Internet. In summary, Avast does provide the necessary real-time
protection and Malwarebytes provides superior clean-up should
anything get by Avast. I believe this one-two combination will
provide a secure, stable, and trouble free way allowing your PC to
operate with very little slow down in its operation.
To find out more about how to download, install, run Avast, and
Malwarebytes, come to our PC Club meeting. We address general
computer, HDTV, and Comcast questions too. Our meetings are held
on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM upstairs in the community Center. Remember to check the Hershey’s Mill website at
www.hersheysmill.org and click on Tech Tips for past Technology