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Thread: Any advice on free anti-virus software

  1. #1

    Any advice on free anti-virus software

    Hi . i've been using AVG anti-virus for awhile now but i downloaded the new version and it looks like i need to subscribe to one of their partners to have the free service (?)

    any advice on good quality, or inexpensive, anti-virus software?

  2. #2
    I used to head to www.secuser.com every now and again before I got Sophos from my company.
    The website is in French though...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLB
    Hi . i've been using AVG anti-virus for awhile now but i downloaded the new version and it looks like i need to subscribe to one of their partners to have the free service (?)

    any advice on good quality, or inexpensive, anti-virus software?
    Current industry stats say that the best A/V packages miss at least 50% of the exploits out there (meaning viruses, trojans, key-loggers, spyware,, etc.).

    The very best A/V protection you can get yourself is an Apple computer.

    Failing that, get a 'Internet Suite' - Symantec, McAffee. The Windows Onecare has been rated as the poorest protection you can get. And don't believe the crap about Vista being all that secure. That's just hype from people who made the mistake who paid for it, and are embarrassed that they got ripped off.

    You will also want to grab a couple of anti-spyware packages

    Spybot Search & Destroy, even the free version is good

    Only download them from a trusted site because the bad guys actually put up spyware with the same name as some anti-spyware stuff. Same goes for anti-virus - buy it direct from symantec.

    Download.com is run by cnet and is a safe place to go

    http://www.download.com/1770-20_4-0....70-20_4-0.html

    Also - go buy yourself a firewall - most home routers have some capability. <Make sure you require a password to get onto your wireless network at home and make sure you also change the main password. most people leave them as admin and so bad folks can lock you out of your own network.

    letting other people access your betwork is really bad, they can scoop up your personal information, and sell it on the open market, or empty your bank account.

    But, for real - get a Mac. Any of the hacker/security conferences I go to (and I go to a lot) they are what anyone who cares about security uses. I've used one since 1986 and had one virus the entire time.
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

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    By the way

    I am not going to tell you why I know all this shit, but trust me, I am knee-deep in net security, I'm not some random blowhard on an anonymous board. Mod 5 & Mod 8 & Fred Zed know my real-life name. If you are worried about my advice, PM them, ask them if I am for real.

    Failure to secure your computer means your data and personal information is at huge risk. A few years ago the BBC did a test. they put an unprotected windows computer on the net. It was attacked immediately, and compromised within 8 minutes.

    Update your computer every day. There are 'windows updates' settings to get this done automatically. if you can't figure them out, run the application as soon as you boot up everyday. update your anti-=virus software and applications every day too.

    But, by the time you have downloaded all those Windows updates, you are likely already compromised, unless you download from behind a secure, firewalled network.

    Happy Holidays. Some Russian Mobster is drinking on your dime.
    Last edited by YouVantOption; 12-24-2008 at 12:17 AM.
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

  5. #5

    Lightbulb Another option

    The very best A/V protection you can get yourself is an Apple computer.
    The above is very good advice! But failing that and if you don't mind a bit of a learning curve you might want to try out one of the more user friendly versions of Linux e.g. Kubuntu. Once you have it set up it can be as easy to use as Windows. The developers have written software to mirror almost anything that is dedicated to Windows. Most viruses are written for Windows and related software so will not work with any versions of Linux. Just one other option.
    Confucius say: Man who take woman into house on side of hill - not on level.

  6. #6
    avast.com is another freebie.

    Also, if you are that concerned and don't want to shell out for Apple crap, go with LINUX.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-4Roger
    Also, for your health, when cleaning your keyboard use Kleenx Anti-Viral.
    Kleenex Anti-Viral tissue has three soft layers, including a moisture-activated middle layer that kills 99.9% of viruses in the tissue within 15 minutes. For sale in Canada only.
    Of course, if Scarlett Johansson hawks a loogie up on your keyboard, save that snot-rag! It is worth money!

    http://thesuperficial.com/2008/12/sc...snot_worth.php
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    I'll avoid the comments about Apple and Linux to avoid a flame war.

    But as for the question asked...if you want to spend a bit of money, one of the best anti-virus programs on the market is Kaspersky and it is also one of the lowest priced. Stay far away from Norton and McAfee products. They are bloated and overly problematic. If you want a free solution I would go with Avast.

    Personally I don't like the security suites and find that most users have no need of them, and the messages they tend to frequently pop up with are generally beyond most users ability to understand. If you are using a router, and everyone with a high speed connection should be, the Windows firewall should be all the protection you need. If you are already having a problem with a malware infection, one of the best things to download and run is called Smitfraud fix. Many of the worst malware floating around are variations of either smitfraud or Vundo and this tool will remove both of those problems.

    When it comes to spyware protection, the two best on the market today are SuperAntispyware and Malwarebytes AntiMalware. Both have free versions that can be downloaded from www.download.com I would recommend using both of them to scan your system as no program will catch everything that is out there. Be aware that the free versions do not provide real time protection and you will have to do regular scans to protect your system. And to achieve the best results, scans should be done in safe mode after turning off the system restore function in Windows. Some malware have the ability to hide in the system restore area and will reinfect your system after it has been cleaned.

    One thing I will mention is that Vista is very secure against malware and virus problems. I have been running a Vista system with no real time protection for over a year and surfing the typical sites where you will become infected and have had no problems. I service computers for a living and have had only two malware problems on Vista systems, both caused by the user installing the malware against the UAC warnings that Vista gave them.

    Basically the old rules still apply: do not open e-mail unless you know the sender and even then be careful. Use a web based e-mail program instead of your ISP e-mail account as they have good integrated virus protection.
    When downloading, use torrent and not a p2p program like Kazaa or other similar programs and download torrents from reliable trackers such as mininova or piratebay. Be aware that many cracks for software and games are infected with trojans and proceed accordingly.

    It's not as bad as many people like to portray. Most people have no problems with malware if they have a good AV program and anti spyware.

    Oh yeah...one note on Apple that I just can't resist... Apple released a bulletin that all users should have at least one and preferably two anti-virus programs installed on their systems. Apple products are not inherently secure against virus attacks any more than Windows systems are. It's just that no one bothers to attack them. That may be changing.

    Techman
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Techman
    Oh yeah...one note on Apple that I just can't resist... Apple released a bulletin that all users should have at least one and preferably two anti-virus programs installed on their systems. Apple products are not inherently secure against virus attacks any more than Windows systems are. It's just that no one bothers to attack them. That may be changing.
    That posting is actually several years old. Shrug. Disable 'root', limit all user accounts to non-admin rights, save one admin account, and be done with it.

    No, this doesn't protect you from all the security risks online. Nothing does.

    With almost no exception what TM wrote is great advice, with one exception: It really is that bad out there. At any given time there are between 50 & 100MM compromised computers on the net, most of them forming vast zombie armies. And most of them? Running Windows.

    But yes, it is a numbers game. If I want to get the most bang for my buck, I'm going to develop a virus for Windows, not the computers fighting for the remaining 2% of the market.
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by YouVantOption
    That posting is actually several years old. Shrug. Disable 'root', limit all user accounts to non-admin rights, save one admin account, and be done with it.

    No, this doesn't protect you from all the security risks online. Nothing does.

    With almost no exception what TM wrote is great advice, with one exception: It really is that bad out there. At any given time there are between 50 & 100MM compromised computers on the net, most of them forming vast zombie armies. And most of them? Running Windows.

    But yes, it is a numbers game. If I want to get the most bang for my buck, I'm going to develop a virus for Windows, not the computers fighting for the remaining 2% of the market.
    I beg to differ. The Apple posting I mention is about only a month old and deals with the latest Version of Mac O/S.

    I do agree with the number of zombies out there. Most of them are running non-updated Windows XP with outdated virus protection. The number of systems I see with 3 to 5 year old expired Notron AV is downright scary. If your system is reasonably protected with up to date AV software and has all the latest Windows updates installed, you are at a much lower risk. One of the main problems is from inexperienced so called 'experts' who actually tell people not to update their installations as it will cause problems.

    It also has to be realized that wheras in the past many if not most virus writers did it for the 'fame' and bragging rights, now the malware writers do it for the profit and are connected with organized crime. This makes a big difference. And when the vast majority of the market is running Windows, that is where the possible profit will lie.

    Bottom line is think of protecting your system with decent software to be like fucking with good quality condoms. Spend a few bucks and buy a decent anti-virus program. You will be thankful in the end and the 50 bucks or so will buy a lot of peace of mind.

    Techman
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techman
    I beg to differ. The Apple posting I mention is about only a month old and deals with the latest Version of Mac O/S.
    No, it's not. WaPo's Kreb's noticed it a month ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Techman
    Bottom line is think of protecting your system with decent software to be like fucking with good quality condoms.
    You are completely and totally wrong. Condoms give protection above 98% of the time.

    The very best A/V packages do not offer half that. Zero day exploits are swamping A/V so thoroughly they are now considered to be a joke. And, no, this has nothing to do with un-patched systems, either. Sorry. You clearly don't know what you are talking about.
    You are cordially invited to toss my salad. There's an app for that!

  13. #13

    Yay Kubuntu!

    Sorry. You clearly don't know what you are talking about.
    Does this also mean that maybe Linux isn't so bad after all as was implied?
    Confucius say: Man who take woman into house on side of hill - not on level.

  14. #14
    YVO, condoms do not give 98% protection on everything. For crabs as an example, they give no protection at all. And I was not even suggesting a direct comparison...what I was saying is that if you don't fuck without a condom, you should not have a system with out dated or no protection. That's all.

    Also, the majority of infected systems are un-patched systems. Zero day exploits infect a very small percentage of systems. In fact most of the systems they infect are already infected by an older malware and are thereby vulnerable to new infections.

    As far as whether I know what I am talking about...I have over 30 years experience in the computer industry. I support thousands of systems on a day to day basis, few of which ever experiience any malware problems at all . The very few that do tend to be user inflicted. That's hands on experience, not surfing the net or reading about other people's horror stories about what can possibly happen.

    Lastly, the Apple notice is not a 'few years old' as you put it. If it was, it would hardly reference OS 10.5x versions of Mac OS. When I return to work on the 5th, I will be happy to send you the link to it.

    Arguing about who knows more than the other is irrelevant and stupid. The bottom line is that people should protect their systems to the best of their ability. No protection is 100% effective, not now and not in the future. The only system that is 100% safe is one that has no internet or network access. The same way that the only 100% safe hobbyist is one that never has sexual contact with another human being and exists only as a voyeur.
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Regular Guy
    Does this also mean that maybe Linux isn't so bad after all as was implied?
    The average user has trouble using a Windows system. Expecting them to learn how to use one of the dozens of varieties of Linux is foolish at best. Especially if they actually want to use their systems to run the software they bring home from work or the games they or their kids want to play.

    Not to mention the problems with finding drivers for hardware that are far beyond the average PC user. Linux is fun to play with but it is far from being ready for mainstream users.
    And the Lord said unto John, "Come forth and receive eternal life." But John came fifth and won a toaster.

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