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Virus/Spyware & Security Help


Virus Related - Free

AntiSpyware / AntiMalware


Preventive Measures

AntiVirus Software Anti-Malware Check Your Security The Most Important PC Tasks
Virus Check Online Phone Scam You have a virus! Link ZoneAlarm Firewall (Free) Fake Microsoft Patch
Virus / Spyware Alerts! Poisoned Search Results Outlook Express Tips Some Search Results are EXEs

Hoax / Virus / Security Info
Be careful of phone scams! Microsoft does not call you uninvited.
Scareware: Many security products push a misleading “system optimizer” designed to scare users into paying for unneeded repairs. So beware and click NO THANKS!

Top reports from anti-virus companies Grisoft AVG Sophos Trend / PC-cillin Norton

The most important Windows tasks.

1. Backups! General Back-Up Help
2. AntiVirus
3. Windows Updates
4. AntiSpyware
5. Firewall - Unless you have a router with a hardware firewall built in.


Keep Windows up-to-date!
Some viruses depend on those who don't update!
Unpatched / Unprotected Windows PCs connected to the Internet will be
 compromised by malware or virus.

There are some viruses that claim to be a security update...NOT!
Watch out for fake Microsoft Security Alert Spam
There's a batch of spam going around that purports to be from Microsoft and has a link to what is supposed to be a patch for a virus, worm, or spyware but is really a Trojan virus program. It's labeled as Microsoft Security Bulletin, update or patch. If you get this e-mail, don't open it or execute the attachment! 

Live up to date virus reports here
New! Live Virus Threat Information (Continually Updated)
A new feature page that provides you constantly updated virus threat
information from three well-respected Anti-Virus Services.

Steps that you can take to help identify and to help protect yourself
from deceptive (spoofed) Web sites and malicious hyperlinks in email.
Go here to a helpful MS link

Virus Alerts!
Routinely Updated

You can get a virus simply by viewing the email without opening the attachment! Most of the new AntiVirus programs today can scan an incoming email and detect the virus before you view it.

A Good Rule of Thumb:
Never, never run a program or open a Microsoft Word or Excel document that arrives via e-mail unless you've verified that the sender intended to send it to you. Have a working, up-to-date virus scanner. If you aren't expecting it, don't open it. If your not sure, send an e-mail to the sender asking if the file attachment was sent intentionally.

Do not open ANY unknown e-mail attachment with an ".EXE, .SCR, .HTA, .BAT, .COM, .PIF, .LNK or .VBS" extension! Like: anyname.exe / anyname.jpg.vbs / etc.
  If you do, you're asking for a virus!

If you MUST see that attached file, save it to disk first and scan it for viruses (with up-to-date anti-virus software) before you open it! (Right-click the file and scan) The person, that sent it to you, may not know he/she is infected! Most Viruses come from unknowing friends!

Also, if you have detected a virus on your system, don't forget to scan your removable drives for this virus. Like floppy disks, CD-Rs, and external hard drives, that you use for backups.

Also See Hoaxes
Such as:
virus hoax and "Columbia Shuttle pictures" hoax

Free Virus Check

Scan for Viruses
On-Line Virus Checks for your computer!
Go Here!

Outlook Express Tips

Outlook Express, Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird... email users

Do not automatically view incoming e-mails:
! Using the Preview Pane can automatically load a virus!
Also, when you are sent a web page address, it no longer automatically loads a link and puts a cookie on your system. (Cookies are used for good and bad reasons) At least you now have a choice.

To block e-mail:
Most email clients have the ability to block senders or junk.

Rules for incoming messages
  Most e-mail programs also allow you to set up rules for incoming messages.

Note: Problems with Outlook Express Spell Checker? Go Here

AntiVirus Software

Top Commercial Software - $39 to $60 

First PickNOD 32
Low Complaints
(Best Commercial AV!)
Lean & Fast

Low Complaints
(A little Bloated)

by Symantec
 I no longer recommend Norton for the home user.
Too bloated and too many upgrade/install complaints!

Norton AntiVirus Problems / Older versions

4 FREE AntiVirus Programs to choose from.
You should not install two antivirus programs

No excuse not to protect your PC!
Auto updates and scanning


avast! Home Edition

Microsoft Security Essentials

Avira AntiVir

My picks First Pickmay change, from month to month, based on its ability to catch the latest malware.

First Pick AVG

First Pickavast AntiVirus

Microsoft Security Essentials


Recommend & Most Popular

Do a custom install, so you can pick what you need.

After the small installer downloads it will download the software.
Checks Outlook email

AVG' s New Version Here


Not Recommended any more

They make you jump through too many hoops to get it.







Real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. 

Simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date.

Runs quietly in the background so that you are free to use your PC without interruptions or long wait times.
Does not check Outlook email

Get Microsoft Security Essentials

Best reviews, but pop-ups are irritating.

Virus protection to home-users only. Avira offers: Extensive Malware Recognition of viruses, Trojans, backdoor programs, worms, etc. Automatic incremental updates of antivirus signatures, engine and entire software. Permanent virus protection, with Virus Guard real time monitoring.

Great AntiVirus - Good Reviews
Checks Outlook email

Note: Has nag pop-ups to upgrade to paid version. View Pop-up Example

About 24mb

Get Avira AntiVirus Here

Installing AntiVirus / READ BELOW FIRST

Also See AntiSpyware / AntiMalware

You should not install two antivirus programs (they sometimes fight each other). 
1. Download the new AntiVirus program and save it to your desktop (Don't install yet).
2. Un-install old AntiVirus program!
3. Install new AntiVirus program, from your saved location.

So, with one of the above programs for virus protection, Zone Alarm for your firewall (If you don't have a hardware firewall, like a router) and MalwareBytes for extra spyware protection, you're in good shape.
and for free! No excuse not to protect your PC


What is a rootkit?

Rootkits are a specific type of malware which hide in other applications or a computer‘s operating system kernel. They allow malicious applications to collect passwords and sensitive data from the infected computer without the user’s knowledge, this can be used for personal information theft, spam relay and other criminal activities.

A set of software tools intended to conceal running processes, files or system data from the operating system. Rootkits have their origin in benign applications, but in recent years have been used increasingly by malware to help intruders maintain access to systems while avoiding detection. Rootkits exist for a variety of operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh[1] [2] , Linux and Solaris. Rootkits often modify parts of the operating system or install themselves as drivers or kernel modules.

Spyware, Malware, and Adware Removers
These programs can be used along with your AntiVirus software

Manual Spyware Remover - First Pick First Pick

MalwareBytes Spyware remover - Download / Free

Malwarebytes is a site dedicated to fighting malware. Malwarebytes has developed a variety of tools that can identify and remove malicious software from your computer. When your computer becomes infected, Malwarebytes can provide the needed assistance to remove the infection and restore the machine back to optimum performance.
Also can remove the well known Fake Malware "AntiVirus 360, XP, 2008, 2009, PersonalAntivirus, or ExtraAntivirus".

Great Free Program!
One of the trends has been the dramatic increase in the number of scareware or fake anti-virus programs, designed to fool people into believing they have a security problem (Viruses & Spyware).

The Big Fix - Free
Especially Good for Operating Systems that are no longer supported by Microsoft
(Like Windows XP)

A program that can intelligently detect and correct all kinds of problems before they get a chance to mess up your computer. With BigFix, you are automatically protected from bugs, security holes, and problems caused by outdated software, letting you do more and crash less. Great auto-updater.
Updates all versions of Windows, Updates Microsoft Office, Popular anti-virus programs, security patches and more.

Learn about this program and download
Go Here



Giving out private information?

Many Internet users have received fraudulent emails requesting that they submit sensitive personal information by email, fax, or on a fraudulent Web sites (Like: "Update your credit card information before your service expires in 5 days"). These emails are fake and are set up by criminals to steal your personal information. If in doubt, call your provider.

Example of fraudulent email:
"Dear Earthlink valued customer, 
We have noticed that an un-authorized access attempt was made to your account at Our security software has blocked access from the intruder to your account, but the un-authorized user's attempt managed to replace the password on your account. 

The password has been restored for mail and internet access, however the intruder may still be able to get access to your account and or any personal information that you might have used with your account.

To avoid further problems with your account such as credit-card number, or personal information loss we advise you to replace the password to your account as soon as possible. 

*To change your password, click the button below. 

* has no responsibility or liability if your information is lost or stolen if you decide to leave your password the same or elect not to change it per our

eBay PayPal
Spot phony e-mail. 

The e-mail may look genuine, it even sports the right logos and live links to eBay, but it's really a phishing scam designed to steal your identity.

Neither eBay nor its PayPal subsidiary will ever send you e-mail with live links inside it, says eBay's Jim Griffith, dean of eBay Education. So no matter how real they may look, be aware that any PayPal or eBay e-mail containing live links is an outright fake (also known as spoof e-mail).

Think before you click. Never click the live link inside such e-mail; if you want to check your account status, manually type eBay or PayPal's address into your browser and log on normally.

These additional tips may also be useful:
1. NEVER send your password, credit card number, secret word, or PIN in an email.

2. When you receive an email that directs you to a Web page, be careful. Criminals may use links that actually redirect you to a different Web page from the address that appears in the email. Always type the Web address directly into the address bar of your Web browser before visiting a site that asks you to submit personal information.

3. If you think you may have already submitted sensitive information in response to a fraudulent email, please contact your bank and/or credit card company immediately.

Here is a copy of the fraudulent email and Earthlink's reply (Text format)

What is Phishing and Pharming? (Details)
This involves creating a replica of a legitimate web page to hook users and trick them into submitting personal or financial information or passwords.

Dangerous Keyword Searches
Which is the most dangerous keyword to search for using public search engines these days? It’s “screensavers” with a maximum risk of 59.1 percent, according to McAfee.

Upon searching for 2,658 unique popular keywords and phrases across 413,368 unique URLs, McAfee’s research concludes that "lyrics" and anything that includes ‘free” has the highest risk percentage of exposing users to malware and fraudulent web sites. The research further states that the category with the safest risk profile are health-related search terms.



Poisoned Searches

The season to be wary – follow our dos and don’ts

They say that Christmas is the season to be merry, but it is also a time to be most wary. Users should be extra vigilant at this time of year. Here are some best practices to follow:

1. Directly type the URL of your online e-commerce site that you want to do your shopping on, instead of searching for it in search engines. This eliminates the risk of falling prey to poisoned searches.
2. Do not click suspicious-looking URLs even if they appear as top search engine results. A clue that a URL may be malicious is if any or some of its components are made up of a string of random characters.
3. Read the overview of the search result. The search result can also be considered suspicious if the overview does not provide a sensible brief description of the site itself. If it consists of randomly-stuffed keywords, then you can consider that page tampered with.
4. Install a good URL-filtering program that can be integrated into browsers. Trend Micro’s Web Protection Add-On is one of these.
5. Keep in mind that the best things in life are hardly ever free, and if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

More from Trend Micro here Poisoned Search Results

Some Internet Search Results are EXE Files!
It has been shown that some Google results can actually be links to executable files that could infect your machine with viruses or spyware from simply clicking them. Please make sure to take a second and check before you click.


Shields Up

Quickly checks the security of your computer's connection to the Internet.
Without your knowledge or explicit permission, the Windows networking technology, which connects your computer to the Internet, may be offering some or all of your computer's data to the entire world at this very moment!
Click on Common Port check and then do All Service Ports check.
Shields UP! Check Your Security Here! (Link)

ZoneAlarm Firewall (If you failed the Shields Up test above)
 A Firewall is a "Always on" must!
(Even if you have a hardware firewall built into your router.)
 Install a personal firewall, especially if you have a persistent Internet broadband connection (without a built in hardware firewall on your router). You may never know that you needed a firewall until it's too late, and since this is free, it makes sense not installing it.
  ZoneAlarm Firewall stops attacks on your computer.

Go Here for info and Download

BACK UP your important files often!
Go here for help


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