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Security for my PC: What are my best options?


Tasker

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My McAfee security expired and I know I need some kind of protection but what are my best options at this point. I tried to download the "free" McAfee stuff from Comcast but was not succesful, always getting error codes and the "chat room" was no help. Based on the chat conversation, I'm sure I was sent to India, or worse.

 

Also, is Spybot still a good thing to use these days?

 

Your thoughts are appreciated!

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Francois_Dumas

Yup, been using Avast too for many years, both private and business. Excellent package and service. And have a router with firewall for extra protection from the Internet Criminals.

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Yup, been using Avast too for many years, both private and business. Excellent package and service. And have a router with firewall for extra protection from the Internet Criminals.

 

That is also my setup at home.

 

Andy

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A good starting point is: http://www.microsoft.com/security/default.mspx

 

A better solution is don't use Windows. Neither Mac OS nor Linux have any significant known security threats at this time. The last time I had a virus problem on a Mac was 1992.

 

I recently got a Linux powered netbook, and I hope never again to have to use a Windows machine. 20 second boot time. All the software I need, at no cost. I've tweaked the UI to use my favorite features of Mac OS and Windows XP. Free backup software does a full backup to a USB flash drive in about 15 minutes, and is stone simple to use. Did I mention no viruses?

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i too had a problem...so i called comcast and they straightened it out for me..can't figure out why they can't for you...i am buying a mac next time around....best customer support and from what i have heard.no virus's

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i too had a problem...so i called comcast and they straightened it out for me.

Wow, this is the first positive comment I have ever heard re Comcast customer service (although AT&T, my previous provider of telephone service, was even worse). In all fairness, CC combined cable TV/internet/VoIP phone service has been extremely reliable, and I have become a complete convert to VoIP telephone. As long as things work, fine; but I have never had a good customer service experience with them.

 

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I am buying a mac next time around....best customer support and from what i have heard.no virus's

 

No longer true. While not targeted as much as PCs there are some out there and with some recent changes to an Intel based processor they're finding that some of the PC viruses can effect and infect a Mac. Please do not assume security through obscurity.

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Another vote in favor of Avast!, which includes both antivirus and antispyware.

 

The only reason to use Spybot (or Ad-Aware or Windows Defender) is if you believe something might have gotten past your primary anti-virus/anti-spyware. Multiple spyware scanners or virus scanners runing at the same time is not usually a good thing.

 

Used to use Trend Micro's PC-Cillin or Interent Security Suite, but the product has become bloated and problematic.

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No longer true. While not targeted as much as PCs there are some out there and with some recent changes to an Intel based processor they're finding that some of the PC viruses can effect and infect a Mac. Please do not assume security through obscurity.

True enough, but if one keeps up with Apple and FireFox security updates, it's really difficult to catch something on a Mac or Linux box (not a server). This relative lack of threats tends to be a difficult thing for Windows users to grasp.

 

"What's not in question is that the volume of Mac OS X-specific malware is orders of magnitude less than that affecting Windows boxes. Sophos, for example, list 30 Mac OS X malware strains compared to 330,000 Windows pathogens. The US military recently said it was using more Mac systems because they were less commonly attacked."

 

Source: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2008/01/25/mac_malware_menace/

 

"In recent weeks a worm, a malicious software program, has swept through corporate, educational and public computer networks around the world. Known as Conficker or Downadup, it is spread by a recently discovered Microsoft Windows vulnerability, by guessing network passwords and by hand-carried consumer gadgets like USB keys."

 

Full story at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/technology/internet/23worm.html

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Lone_RT_rider

Tasker,

 

First off, hello! :)

 

Second, Rainy has had us set up on Avast for a couple of years now without any issues. We have it on 4 laptops and 1 server at the house. We have never had any issues. The thing is very seamless and has never caused any issues on my laptop.

 

YMMV.... but probably not. :)

 

Shawn

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Tasker,

 

didi you delete the first file first? Security programs don't like other programs running.

 

2nd, been using Norton provide for a fee from Verizon (it use to be free). I've never had any issues. Verizon's support was good.

 

Good luck.

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I have used and resubscribe to ZoneAlarm Pro and Norton Antivirus for years now, and no invasive culprits of any kind has gotten into my DSL systems.

 

Free software for protection is free, but not reliable... IMHO. Quality and reliable insurance and protection of ANY kind is going to cost you something, and the above two software agents are as good as you can get.

 

Fragmentum

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I had been using Norton (supplied "free" by my internet provider), but recently had glitches with it that they (ISP) could not solve. I uninstalled Norton and started using AVG Free (freeware, obviously). I'm satisfied so far. I'm hooked to a router, so I do not use separate firewall software (as suggested by a local PC repair guy).

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Free software for protection is free, but not reliable...

Free or paid has little to do with it.

McAfee started out free. As did ZoneAlarm.

AVG and Avast both have paid versions.

 

Fee proves nothing.

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My McAfee also expired a few months ago. I picked up Norton 360 at a reasonable cost and installed it on my desktop and laptop. It has been an absolute drag on my system resources. Both computers are much slower now. I added RAM to my desktop and that helped, but I would never install Norton again.

 

 

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Jerry Johnston
My McAfee also expired a few months ago. I picked up Norton 360 at a reasonable cost and installed it on my desktop and laptop. It has been an absolute drag on my system resources. Both computers are much slower now. I added RAM to my desktop and that helped, but I would never install Norton again.

 

My biggest complaint against Norton. The AVG runs soooo much faster than Norton. For those of you who have the free version, you should know that it doesn't get the definitions updated but once a week where as the paid ver. is daily and includes a spam shield. I know there are many good programs out there w/o having to use Norton or McAfee. I've read Trend Micro is pretty good besides the ones already mentioned. I also made a desktop icon of 'Internet Options' and use it every time I get off a site that is iffy (by del all cookies & Files.
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AVG runs soooo much faster than Norton. For those of you who have the free version, you should know that it doesn't get the definitions updated but once a week

AVG Free version 8 checks for updates as often as every 4 hours.

Trend Micro PC-cillin used to be good, but has gotten as bloated as Norton.

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Another vote for Avast here!

It's free and it's the best anti virus I've used. Best of all if you have an "older" system, it won't slow it down like some of the big name/big $$$ anti viruses.

Use it with Windows defender or Adaware from Lava Soft. It's all free, and it works great. Just make sure you uninstall all thing McAffee before you load the Avast.

Also load the latest version of Ccleaner, and you're set.

 

Good luck,

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+1 for McAfee over Norton. +1000 for Mac over PC. I use a PC for work and Mac at home, there's no comparison... Good luck and may the force be with you.

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Hi Tasker,

If you are really serious with protecting your PC with the same kind of protection that the banks use ( Mcafee and Norton are not even in the ball game),eliminate all of your computer performance problems and repair bills for pennies a day contact me ( Rick ) at rburn1@gmail.com or my home office 256-693-2097. I also agree that Macs are great machines but as their popularity grows so does their vulnerability as the story indicates.

 

 

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The Tech Blog

 

Macs hit with BitTorrent-embedded malware attack

 

Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:47PM EST

 

For years, Mac users have long been rightfully smug about their platform's relative immunity to virus and malware attacks, but it's inevitable that those days will eventually come to an end. (As the Mac gains in popularity, it also earns more attention from malware developers, and it's this lack of malware being actively developed, not some special, inherent security, that have really kept the Mac a "safe" platform for the time being.)

 

Now we're seeing one of the first moderately-sized exploits to take advantage of Mac users. The iServices.A Trojan horse is an attack being distributed via BitTorrent, where it's disguised as a bootleg copy of the new iWork 09. Once installed, the malware takes administrator access and connects to remote servers over the Internet, where it can be given additional instructions as the author commands, from installing additional malware to stealing information off the Mac in question. The malware creator can also take complete remote control of any compromised machine.

 

Security firm Intego said that just 20,000 machines had been infected as of January 21 but that the risk of ongoing infection was "serious, and users may face extremely serious consequences" if they are stricken with the malware.

 

Mac users are suggested to use common sense -- that is, don't try to download and installed pirated software -- and to update any antivirus definitions immediately. If you're a Mac user and aren't using security software, well, this might be a good time to start.

 

As well, if you've been hit by this piece of malware, a removal tool is available here. (Please note: I have not tested it.)

 

 

 

Comments on Macs hit with BitTorrent-embedded malware attack

 

Join in the discussion. Here you'll see the comments in the order they were posted.

 

· 1 Posted by d.tfish95 on Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:44PM EST Report Abuse

 

I'm almost happy. Maybe it'll take attention off of Windows....

 

· 2 Posted by coolkyle4@snet.net on Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:49PM EST Report Abuse

 

Maybe now, people will stop saying Macs are so much better than Windows. It all comes to the look of it, do people really have to say ones better than the other.

 

· 3 Posted by spaulding2k on Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:13AM EST Report Abuse

 

Does it always have to end in a debate of which is better? whether it's windows or mac, ps3 or xbox...let's just be happy and satisfied of what we have. some countries like in africa and asia doesn't have computers to begin with. they are dying of diseases and starvation. let's just focus on results and not on flaws. ;-)

 

· 4 Posted by spaulding2k on Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:14AM EST Report Abuse

 

Does it always have to end in a debate of which is better? whether it's windows or mac, ps3 or xbox...let's just be happy and satisfied of what we have. some countries like in africa and asia don't have computers to begin with. they are dying of diseases and starvation. let's just focus on results and not on flaws. ;-)

 

 

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Jerry Johnston

Just to be more accurate I looked up what you get (or dont't) with the free version of AVG and this is what they show..........

 

AVG Free contains basic antivirus protection (base level only).

 

AVG Free only includes the Safe Search protection which provides you with advice on search results. It does not protect against infected pages. Only AVG paid versions contain the Safe Surf technology.

 

AVG Free does not contain the new Safe Downloads & Instant Messaging protection (Web Shield technology) so it does not screen your downloads and communication for viruses and spyware.

 

AVG Free does not contain a firewall which can protect you against these threats.

 

AVG Free does not contain Anti-Spam which can monitor and block SPAM and fraudulent e-mails.

 

AVG Free does not contain Anti-Rootkit protection so rootkits may be hidden in your system.

 

 

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Jerry Johnston

I tried to find a comparison of Avast AV but couldn't find any comparison of it to anyone else. I did find that the majority of people who use it are very impressed with it and claim it's better than AVG8.0 but that's not very conclusive without some decent comparisons. The next time I recommend a free virus checker I WILL recommend AVAST just to get familiar with it.

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Jerry Johnston

There was no comparison of the free ver. vrs the paid version. Looked to me like the free version was stand alone home use and the paid version was for networked and buinesses.

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Just curious, does the Avast do a scan of your computer to clean up what you allready might have. I do not think I have a virus, but probably could use some cleaning up just the same.

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Avast will offer to do a boot time scan after the initial install.

(except on 64-bit Windows). If answered yes, scan will run after system is restarted but before Windows loads.

 

After initial install, one can launch a full scan manually whenever desired, either run within windows, or after the next restart as a boot time scan.

 

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Jerry Johnston

If you find you have malware, download a free program called Malwarebytes (from another computer) boot in the safe mode. Log on as Administrator and run the program from a Thumb drive.

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Jerry Johnston

That's that's the kind of site I was looking for and couldn't seem to find.

I did however find some interesting comments on www.vundo.org while looking for a fix to the Vundo.EY trogan virus.

He has comments on both AVG and AVAST.

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