Wanted to post this so that all our info finding on ATS can be a little safer (for our computer at least
I've come to find through the years that "iffy" web sites are great places to find "information"... but, it's also a great place to pick-up
unwanted viruses, spyware & malware (sometimes just by visiting the site).
We all know how vulnerable the Windows OS can be, especially compared to MAC. But why are we Win. (lose) Users made to pay for securing/protecting
These nuisances can become massive problems to your system and thus your stored information. Of coarse good back-up habits (on external drives) can
prevent any mishaps, such as loosing your compiled files.
But the best thing is to be prepared.
I spent a couple years looking into "Free" programs and testing them out... and yes there is a lot of bogus programs out there. Using the following
programs I have not had a single viral problem since, and resolved other's computers as well. Use all programs at your own risk.
The "Free" programs I'm going to talk about can all be found (conveniently) on WWW.CNET.COM Type in program name in their search tab, or locate the
programs website yourself. REMEMBER to download the latest updates for program to work properly
Virus Protection - Use one or the other:
Microsoft Security Essentials - Is the free version of "Windows Live One Care".
Pro/1 - Excellent on-going protection. I have been able to restore the most virus riddled computers with this program.
Pro/2 - This is a Microsoft program so its completely compatible
Con/1 - I've had massive problems on older versions of Windows (prior XP), and on XP I think you must have all 3 service packs installed prior to
Con/1 - If your RAM memory is less then 500 MB, you could experience some extra lag on your computer
AVG - Great alternative for a virus program
Pro/1 - Works on all versions of Windows I've tried (down to Windows 98)
Pro/2 - Doesn't gobble up to much RAM, so great on computers below 750 MB
Con/1 - It's becoming harder and harder to find the actual free program online. Half the time it's a link to a trial version. Look for a 30 to 60
MB file (can't remember exactly), and not the 2 to 8 MB link file.
Con/2 - I've had some really nasty viruses slip by this program and disable it
Spyware/Malware Protection & Registry Repair - Use both:
Spybot Search & Destroy - Best Restoration & Protection program with extra capabilities, also has a worth reading licensing agreement.
Pro/1 - Extensive list for removal and vaccination of Spy/Mal ware
Pro/2 - Has some great extras
Con/1 - Some of those extras could mess up your system if your not careful.
Con/2 - You need at least 1GB of Ram to have real time protection run without too much bog. Anything less then 1GB you should disable the real time
(through your MSCONFIG).
Advanced System Care - Great all around program, Use instead of, or in combination with SB S&D.
Pro/1 - Removes a great deal of Spy/Mal ware with fast scans.
Pro/2 - Has excellent extras, from game booster to defrag to Start-up Config.
Pro/3 - Great for lower RAM computers
Con/1 - Again some extras can mess up your system if your not careful
Con/2 - To unlock it's "true" potential you need to buy
If you try them, Let me (and the others) know how these worked for you.
[edit on 29-12-2009 by FORMe2p00p0n]