Virus, spyware and malware protection products

vbimport

#1

In the market for a new virus protection product, was running CA, but think there may be better products out there now. Any recommendations? This is for a PC running Windows XP Home Edition.
Also, is there any truth to the rumor that XP is being phased out and no support will be available for it or software?


#2

Windows XP is already on Extended Support. Mainstream support ended April 14, 2009. Extended support will last until April 8, 2014. You should have Service Pack 3 installed to be eligible for extended support.

Microsoft has come out with a very good antivirus product, and it is free to use. It is called Microsoft Security Essentials and you can download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/default.aspx


#3

Update[B] ALL[/B] XP patches…directly from Microsoft, and especially important as Kerry said is your SP3.

As far as a [B]general anti-virus[/B] product goes…there are several [B]freebies[/B] worth investigating: AntiVir or AVG are both good and popular, or Kaspersky, the new and lighter Norton, Bit Defender etc…

Look here and here


#4

Don’t feel safe only because you installed some “security software”.
There are basically three steps to secure a system:

[ol]
[li]Close security holes and block possible infection vectors
[/li][li]Prevent malware from installation
[/li][li]Prevent malware from execution
[/li][/ol]
“Security” software can’t do that with acceptable reliability, but it adds potential vulnerabilities.

Michael


#5

I appreciate the posts. To Senior Moderator Michael, do you mean that getting this “free” antivirus software increases risk to my computer (you said" adds potential vulnerabilities"). The CA that I am currently running has antivirus and I think also stops malware. When you say close security holes, could you be more specific? I am not a very knowledgable person re: computers, thats why I turn to forums to try to learn more.
Thank you.
fifemidwife


#6

The free offerings from AVG, Avast, Antivir and Microsoft are all pretty competent, as are most of the ISP offerrings.

Do not be tempted by Comodo’s free suite, as the antivirus is inferior to all the above.

There are other things to use, such as the safety options in a lot of browsers (avoid hitting KNOWN badsites).

Threatfire is another one worth looking at as an additional protection.

And “Close security holes” generally means keeping updates current, particularly on all Internet exposed applications, there has been a recent security update for Adobe PDF reader, for instance.

Also, where possible, replace vulnerable applications with less vulnerable, for instance, Pegasus mail has a reputation for threat resistance, though with sensible settings, even Outlook Express can be made more resistant, by defaulting to plain text, or restricted zone.
http://www.pmail.com/overviews/ovw_winpmail.htm

Foxit Reader is potentially more secure than Adobe for PDF
http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/addons.php

Basically, your antivirus should be the last line of defence, not the only one - if something hits that, it’s because your own caution and safe settings have failed.


#7

I would totally agree with Matth all in one is no gurantee it work as there are give and take with such compromises in a suite software package. How I protect my system is I have Win7x64 ult with defender and Avira free and ZA pro protecting each part that they are made for thus giving me at least well rounded protection. And as well updated the defender from M$ auto or manually but auto if possible as well with Avira by default will update itself. ZA on the other had you can auto update but I choose manual update as it is for my use very good and secure. Also get a good router with firewall you can never have enough firewall but update the router firewall and reconfigure the settings if you need to as well. Also another more involved process is to edit your “Host” file in Win O/S itself this will block and redirects or sites that tries to open sending it to zero and killing it from loading. The last part I have been using for the past 9 years since I found it and started using it and you wouldn’t believe how much better my internet works. You can have a look at the site as I think they also mentioned about “host” blocking on here as well.

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

This last part as I said does become involved but once you have the rights and privileges from windows to edit the “Host” file it will save your own system from accidentally click on or a infected site from infecting your system. This is from my experience of using the host edit and this is one of the smallest part everyone should do would.


#8

Hi,[QUOTE=fifemidwife;2539772]Michael, do you mean that getting this “free” antivirus software increases risk to my computer (you said" adds potential vulnerabilities").[/quote]There had been flaws in “security software” that could have been abused for injection of malware into computer systems. Paid or free version does not matter here.
Manufacturers of AV software are expected to be careful, but their sloppyness is proven any time when AV products falsely declare essential system files as malware and thus rendering the system unuseable. :a

The CA that I am currently running has antivirus and I think also stops malware.
No AV software can defeat all the evil stuff “released” by the criminals. AV software is always a leap behind.

When you say close security holes, could you be more specific?
This is rather simple. Just make sure your operating system always has the latest patches and updates. Same applies to all other software (especially internet related software) uncluding browser plugins like Java, Flash, whatever. Some software has a poor security record, like Adobe and Apple. If possible, consider other products for the same purpose.
I recommend to check a computer security related news website (like http://www.h-online.com/security/) at least weekly.

Michael