Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tech Advice - Malware/Spyware prevention

The AVRL Systems Support Team is back, as promised, with the final step in protecting your computer. 

Step 4: Malware/Spyware prevention
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  With malware (aka spyware) this is especially true because there are programs out there that are so difficult to get rid of and get so deep into your operating system, you are actually better off wiping out the computer and starting fresh. 
There are many programs that can help secure your computer against potentially unwanted software.  They prevent the installation of spyware and help guard against security exploits.  While you can safely run more than one program to defend against malware, running too many could drag your system down to a crawl.  We have a few favorites that we run regularly that work well together and do not cause the computer to lag. 

Spywareblaster is a passive protection; it works by blocking the installation of certain kinds of malware.  You run the program, update it and apply protection.  That’s it, close the program and you are good to go. You do have to remember to check for and apply any updates once a week, if you would like to have this done automatically; you can purchase a key from the developers that add this function. You can watch a tutorial here

Spybot Search and Destroy is one of the oldest and most popular antispyware programs. It offers both passive protection through an “immunization” function and a scanner that will scan your hard drive and try to fix any problems it detects. Updates are released regularly and you should try to check for updates about once a week and remember to apply the immunization. 
*** When installing, make sure you read through all of the install screens and uncheck “Use system settings protection (TeaTimer)”.  TeaTimer is a good theory, but it seems to slow down the computer and you get way too many pop-ups asking about changes to really be effective.

Malwarebytes is what we reach for when nothing else works.  The free version is an on demand scanner which means that you have to manually update and scan your computer.  You can also subscribe to the paid version that provides real time protection and the ability to perform scheduled scans. Its’ scanning engine, though a bit slow, can detect and repair almost any threat it encounters. Here's your video tutorial.

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