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    • gonzo127
    • By gonzo127 28th Sep 11, 12:49 PM
    • 4,379 Posts
    • 5,705 Thanks
    gonzo127
    • #2
    • 28th Sep 11, 12:49 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Sep 11, 12:49 PM
    just a couple of updates i think should be made to the artical

    McAfee is not well rated, and actually comes in pretty low in independant tests, it is also a resource hog and not something most people on the techie forum would recommend

    Avast - well you have already noted its now on version 6 why not update the 'title' from 5 to 6

    AVG - well it is surprisingly quite intrusive at the moment, of course future updates might make it slimmer but is still quite a resource hog compared to Avira MSE or Avast

    it also seems to miss sandboxing and noscript which are very helpful security services
    Drop a brand challenge
    on a 100 shop you might on average get 70 items save
    10p per product = 7 a week ~ 28 a month
    20p per product = 14 a week ~ 56 a month
    30p per product = 21 a week ~ 84 a month (or in other words one weeks shoping at the new price)
  • chrisup
    • #3
    • 28th Sep 11, 3:36 PM
    Mac Anti-virus
    • #3
    • 28th Sep 11, 3:36 PM
    A couple of points on the article regarding Macs:

    I can see very little point in using PC Tools iAntiVirus if it only scans for Mac viruses and malware. There are NO Mac viruses and hardly any malware. The main reason to have a virus scanner on a Mac is to prevent passing-on Windows malware to others.

    Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7 (aka Snow Leopard and Lion) have built-in malware detection which automatically updates without you doing anything. The latest update includes detection for one exploit that has even been released yet.
    In the Security & Privacy panel of System Preferences, make sure the 'Automatically update safe downloads list' option is ticked (it's on by default).

    All Mac malware requires user action to install, i.e. you must run an installer and enter your admin username and password. An easy way to stay safe is to never run anything that you didn't expect to download. Be wary of things pretending to be Adobe Flash Player installers as there are a couple of things which masquerade as this. They are easy to spot as they use Apple's installer program and have a white background with a picture of a red disk image with the Flash 'f' on it. The real Flash Player has its own red and black Adobe installer. If in doubt, always download it directly from Adobe's website.
    • magpiecottage
    • By magpiecottage 30th Sep 11, 5:23 PM
    • 9,114 Posts
    • 5,584 Thanks
    magpiecottage
    • #4
    • 30th Sep 11, 5:23 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Sep 11, 5:23 PM
    A couple of points.

    Firstly, I actually have 2 1 TB hard drives as backup. One live in the garage and I swap over every couple of weeks to minimise the loss if the house actually burned down (the garage is detached!).

    I use Syncback (free) to hold encrypted copies.


    I also keep critical data on its own external hard drive, leaving the computer's own for games and so on. If my main PC fails (as has happened) I simply plug it into another one.

    As it happens, the day this thread started that hard drive failed and my Windows7 machine could not "see" it. XP could see it but read it but it was possible to run a program called CHKDSK (which comes with XP) and restore it.
    • WhiteChristmas
    • By WhiteChristmas 30th Sep 11, 6:37 PM
    • 639 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    WhiteChristmas
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 11, 6:37 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 11, 6:37 PM
    There are NO Mac viruses
    Originally posted by chrisup

    People still believe this? Wow.
    I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.
    But, if the white runs out, I'll drink the red.

  • simonadams
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 11, 7:40 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 11, 7:40 PM
    These products change in their abilities and relative strengths over time. There is an EXCELLENT site that regularly reviews not just security software, but free software for pretty much everything.

    It should be mentioned in every article on saving money on software.

    You can always type "47 best free" into google and you will usually get "Gizmos Freeware Reviews
    " as your first hit. I can't post in a direct link but anyone who uses any type of software is crazy not to check this site before buying anything..
  • Jedi Mind Tricks
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 11, 8:15 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 11, 8:15 PM
    People still believe this? Wow.
    Originally posted by WhiteChristmas
    The user was likely mocking those who do believe so-there are a number of them still knocking about,usually OSX diehards who are only with it for the exclusive tag,the joke was always on them anyway as they had to pay more and wait longer to get new mac parts.
    UNIX is very exploitable,the only reason it's not as infested as Windows is because the operating system has a majority userbase when compared to OSX which has a minority and has always been restricted to mac architecture.

    For AVs other than the ones most people know about,check out Coranti-it is an incredibly hardcore multi engine AV,if are not getting the paid version it is the usual sort of trial software which lasts a month but it gives the system a very deep clean and is well worth the download for a spring clean.
    • spud17
    • By spud17 2nd Oct 11, 1:33 PM
    • 4,265 Posts
    • 1,957 Thanks
    spud17
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 11, 1:33 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 11, 1:33 PM
    You can always type "47 best free" into google and you will usually get "Gizmos Freeware Reviews
    " as your first hit.
    Surely it used to be 46, , it's been posted many times in the past, but won't hurt to post the link again.

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/
    Move along, nothing to see.
  • RussJK
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 11, 1:58 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 11, 1:58 PM
    For AVs other than the ones most people know about,check out Coranti-it is an incredibly hardcore multi engine AV,if are not getting the paid version it is the usual sort of trial software which lasts a month but it gives the system a very deep clean and is well worth the download for a spring clean.
    Originally posted by Jedi Mind Tricks
    Coranti does perform well on the Virus Bulletin chart:
    http://www.virusbtn.com/vb100/latest_comparative/index

    I wouldn't recommend installing an antivirus just for a 'spring clean' with the intention of removing it afterwards - you'll likely be left with a slightly slower computer, as these things never uninstall well. Always best to install an antivirus on a fresh install of Windows, and stick at it - tedious but there it is.
    • Mista_C
    • By Mista_C 2nd Oct 11, 2:19 PM
    • 1,978 Posts
    • 4,375 Thanks
    Mista_C
    In case it helps anyone...

    I get a lot of laptops come in for work running the latest AVG (with most recent updates) and missing a lot of infections/intrusions. The last two laptops with AVG I dealt with totalled 176 of them.

    To clean/remove them I have used NOD32's SysRescue booted from a network location using WDS but this can just as easily be done installing to a USB drive.

    I notice the list gives a brief explanation of Adware and Spyware. Maybe some quick updates to include other forms of frequently found Malware such as Scareware? Or maybe include the lot under Malware with a brief description for each kind?

    Not meaning to be too critical, it's a good resource but the virus/malware world moves exceptionally quick.
  • RussJK
    Agreed with Gonzo re: McAfee, and Sandboxie.

    The virus bulletin chart suggests that free Avira or Avast are more effective than McAfee, so free McAfee is just as unnecessary as paid McAfee. I know it's a money saving website, but just because a paid product is free, doesn't mean it's worth using over a free product. Most infected computers I've seen were running McAfee, and so many 'slow PC' problems have been fixed mainly by removing it and putting something better on. There may be sample bias there as IMO less knowledgeable users are more likely to use McAfee, and in turn more likely to use risky behaviour such as opening any attachment sent to them. McAfee does do well in certain aspects of tests, but it's a horrible product overall IMO and is usually only recommended by people with a financial interest in doing so.

    AVG is a very inconsistent product both in terms of speed as well as effectiveness as an antivirus; sometimes it's decent and sometimes it's not. The latest AV-Comparative suggests that AVG is currently quite light on the system: http://av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/performance/performance_aug_2011.pdf - but next performance review will probably have it slow & heavy again!

    Sandboxie is one of the most useful security products there are - essentially a buffer against infection spreading to the whole system. The only thing better for preventing infection is education/common sense, but not every virus requires the user to do something silly in order to infect e.g. you can get infected from visiting legitimate sites if they are hacked.
  • RussJK
    Regarding point 1, "Keep software up to date", I think some mention needs to be made that the main security reason to update Windows and applications is to patch the vulnerabilities that malware tries to exploit in order to infect a computer.

    The particular programs that are routinely exploited are Sun Java (easily the most exploited), Adobe PDF Reader, Adobe Flash, and Internet Explorer. Other exploits will be directed at components of the operating system itself, but essentially any internet facing application can be exploited. The result of a successful exploit is simply that the computer will be infected.

    Just look at this chart generated by a malware server itself, with statistics on computers it has infected. The bottom right shows which exploits were most successful in allowing infection, and as you can see it is mainly Sun Java exploits:
    http://labs.m86security.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Statistics.png

    Generally speaking, web page based exploits (Exploit Kits) will mostly target applications, and don't require much user interaction other than to browse a trusted site that has been hacked. Internet worms (that scan any computer connected to the internet) generally target vulnerabilities in the operating system itself - and again don't require any user interaction to infect a computer.

    I would go as far to say uninstall Sun Java if a person doesn't actually use it. A safer way to use it is to install it in a sandbox, or only browse websites under something like Sandboxie. An alternative I haven't yet tried myself is to use the Windows virtualised mode (see this post http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1852108&postcount=13), but this will be too difficult for the average user.

    Of course, my post is probably far too complicated - so less helpful than the article
    Last edited by RussJK; 02-10-2011 at 3:02 PM.
    • ex-dmp
    • By ex-dmp 4th Oct 11, 11:38 AM
    • 77 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    ex-dmp
    All the posts here make valid points and I fully support the suggestion of checking out av comparison sites such as av-comparatives.org and others, as the effectiveness of antivirus products vary over time. Whilst I support a lot that MSE has to say, doing antivirus on the cheap is bad advice.

    You cannot protect a device, be it a pc/laptop, routers, games console, PDA etc, that executes program code 100%, you can only minimise the risk with a decent current antivirus product.

    However the article and posts here miss an important point. That is in my some 30 odd years of telecom/IT industry experience, a lot of the info here would go straight over the heads of a lot of the general public who would not have a clue what is being being discussed here and a lot of people who do understand can't be bothered with hassle anyway, so a different approach is needed.

    One of the increasing popular ways of minimising risk is to keep your data and operating systems (OS) resources separate, and then use a CD live type system where you reload your OS from a clean source everytime you switch on or wake up your computing device.

    Some critical sites I have worked at in the past reload their OS at least every 30mins.

    As for MACs and their supposedly virus free world, well let me say my IT colleagues who work on MAC platforms only, wish that was the case. The MAC world has only got off lightly until recently because of their low market share compared to Windows, the iphone and ipad has changed all that.

    A number of newly formed Academy schools in my area have gone exclusively to the MAC platform with no Windows machines at all AND given all their students ipad's for school and personal use. As one of my colleagues said it's only a matter of time before all hell breaks out in the MAC world
  • jdo
    Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread and MSE for the original article. I have made use of similar previous articles to do my best at protecting my online/digital presence.

    There are a couple of things I wanted to ask which I don't think have been covered by the article or posts so far.

    Firstly is the combination of these products installed on a machine. I guess there is a trade off between the protection installed and the speed that your pc will run at. In the past I have been concerned that I may have installed too much 'security' software which has slowed my machine down. I recognise people will have different opinions but I welcome them all - from the free software available, is there an optimum combination?

    Secondly is the choice of browser. I have always been under the impression that Internet Explorer is the most 'risky' to use simply due to the fact that it dominated the market so it was more worthwhile for people to spend time exploiting it. That market dominance has waned somewhat recently with Firefox now also very popular. Personally I use Opera which has a much smaller useage. Am I still right to think this way or am I wrong - please tell me straight!!

    Lastly, can I ask whether the McAfee, Kapersky and Microsoft Security Essentials products are simply anti-virus products as is suggested by their listing under the "Antivirus" heading in the main article? I thought they might comprise a suite of products including a firewall as well for example?

    Thanks again for all the help so far, it is greatly appreciated.
  • Alfa Female
    Is this true?...
    A PC 'Expert' in PC World told me today

    1) That the free Anti-Virus softwares give it to you free because they send viruses to you to see if their software is working. Sometimes the viruses they send to you get through and then your computer is infected.

    2) That when using free anti-spam/malware protection while using Internet banking and your identity is stolen that they will not pay out.

    Are these true? I suspect not, because the free AV software is usually free because it's their old version and the latest version is the one people pay for. And these days banks have their own encryption and virus protection within their website.

    But humour me please!
    • Optimist
    • By Optimist 30th Dec 11, 7:44 PM
    • 4,416 Posts
    • 5,481 Thanks
    Optimist
    A PC 'Expert' in PC World told me today

    1) That the free Anti-Virus softwares give it to you free because they send viruses to you to see if their software is working. Sometimes the viruses they send to you get through and then your computer is infected.

    2) That when using free anti-spam/malware protection while using Internet banking and your identity is stolen that they will not pay out.

    Are these true? I suspect not, because the free AV software is usually free because it's their old version and the latest version is the one people pay for. And these days banks have their own encryption and virus protection within their website.

    But humour me please!
    Originally posted by Alfa Female
    A PC Expert in PC World. A misnomer if ever there was one.

    I have found Microsoft Security Essentials to be a pretty decent anti virus for free. Avast also has high ratings also for free.
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

    Bertrand Russell. British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)
  • JamesK10
    A PC 'Expert' in PC World told me today

    1) That the free Anti-Virus softwares give it to you free because they send viruses to you to see if their software is working. Sometimes the viruses they send to you get through and then your computer is infected.

    2) That when using free anti-spam/malware protection while using Internet banking and your identity is stolen that they will not pay out.

    Are these true? I suspect not, because the free AV software is usually free because it's their old version and the latest version is the one people pay for. And these days banks have their own encryption and virus protection within their website.

    But humour me please!
    Originally posted by Alfa Female
    1) AV firms would be sued out of existence if that was ever proved right. It's more likely to be AV updates that aren't friendly with the OS registry that cause corruption/crashes, but not an actual virus itself.

    2) I'd also be disinclined to believe this, however - I would double check your bank will still cover you if you chose to use different paid AV software than whatever they gave to online users. I personally refuse to use Kaspersky as they've been hacked themselves, the once, and that's what Barclays gives out for free. I'd like to think this is what the guy in PC World meant, as opposed to flat-out lying.
    • Jemma-T
    • By Jemma-T 30th Dec 11, 7:57 PM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 532 Thanks
    Jemma-T
    Everything most people will ever need: http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials

    And a wee bit of common sense if you have it.
  • JamesK10
    Secondly is the choice of browser. I have always been under the impression that Internet Explorer is the most 'risky' to use simply due to the fact that it dominated the market so it was more worthwhile for people to spend time exploiting it. That market dominance has waned somewhat recently with Firefox now also very popular. Personally I use Opera which has a much smaller useage. Am I still right to think this way or am I wrong - please tell me straight!!

    Thanks again for all the help so far, it is greatly appreciated.
    Originally posted by jdo
    For internet banking I use nothing but Opera, just because they seem to have stayed the fastest at fixing bugs as opposed to bringing out whole new versions for banner headlines like Mozilla/Firefox and taking ages to take them to x.0.1. Internet Explorer? It depends whether hackers will bother to attack the 64-Bit version in Windows 7 as much as they did v1-8, but MS does make it easy with updates that are rare outside of the monthly roundup.

    Avira have tinkered with Antivir and if they didn't have a special offer on the version before this one for a 3-user licence covering all the family machines, I may not have bothered. The 2012 version needs to be properly configured if you were used to the regular 2hr update schedule of the old one, and for that reason I've left the old version on the laptop with new updates, until the core engine update gets forced. Just hoping they don't start with the annual updating for the sake of it, as that's what ruined Norton and McCaffee in the first place.
    • debitcardmayhem
    • By debitcardmayhem 30th Dec 11, 9:26 PM
    • 8,726 Posts
    • 6,593 Thanks
    debitcardmayhem
    Troll alert ?? see here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3700941
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