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I Need Advice On Malware Protection

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#1 Jlventre


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Posted 30 October 2010 - 08:32 PM

Hi, at the moment I have AVG Internet Security and from my experiences, it seems good for removing simple viruses but after that isnt very useful. What would you say would be the best all round Malware protection software?(I dont mind paying.)

PS - Im in need of a good firewall too :^)

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#2 quietman7


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Posted 31 October 2010 - 07:11 AM

Choosing a security toolkit with anti-virus, firewall and anti-malware programs is a matter of personal preference, your technical ability and experience, features offered, the amount of resources utilized, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. Other factors to consider include effectiveness, user friendliness, ease of updating, ease of installation and removal. A particular combination that works well for one person may not work as well for another. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution that works for everyone. You may need to experiment and find what is most suitable for your needs. Another factor to consider is whether you want to use paid for products or free alternatives. For more specific information to consider, please read Choosing Your Anti-virus Software.

Anti-virus software Comparisons & Reviews
These types of comparative testing results will vary depending on who is doing the testing, what they are testing for, what versions of anti-virus software is being tested, etc. There are no universally predefined set of standards/criteria for testing and each test will yield different results. Thus, you need to look for detailed information about how the tests were conducted, the procedures used, and data results. Read Anti-virus Testing Websites: An overview of testing sites

No single product is 100% foolproof and can prevent, detect and remove all threats at any given time. The security community is in a constant state of change as new infections appear. Each vendor has its own definition of what constitutes malware and scanning your computer using different criteria will yield different results. The fact that each program has its own definition files means that some malware may be picked up by one that could be missed by another. Thus, a multi-layered defense using several anti-spyware products (including an effective firewall) to supplement your anti-virus combined with common sense, safe computing and safe surfing habits provides the most complete protection.

There is always the option to use Windows built-in Firewall. Most concerns you may have heard or read about the Windows Firewall were in the XP operating system. Microsoft significantly improved the firewall to address these concerns in Vista and then added more improvements in Windows 7.

Windows Vista Firewall offers two-way filtering for better security than it did in XP but it is still limited. The firewall is combined with IPsec, turned on by default and set to a basic configuration that works in tandem with the Windows Service Hardening feature. If the firewall detects activity that it considers prohibited behavior according to the Service Hardenings preset rules, the firewall will block the suspicious activity. Another feature in the Vista firewall is that it can set rules based on three different types of networks using the Rules Wizard so creating firewall rules is much simpler.

By default, most (not all) outbound filtering is turned off (outbound connections are allowed) and inbound filtering is turned on (inbound connections are blocked/not allowed). Why? This is what Microsoft has to say:

Matt Parretta, a former spokesperson for Microsoft's PR agency, Waggener Edstrom, offered this defense: "If we turned on outbound filtering by default for consumers, it forces the user to make a trust decision for every application they run which touches the network. After they upgrade to Windows Vista or purchase a new PC with that OS, they will be prompted on the first launch of every application that touches the network: Instant Messaging, IE, e-mail, Windows Media, iTunes, every self-updating app such as Adobe, and so on. Unless they click 'allow', the app will be broken and won't function properly. The out of box experience would be poor, and they would soon be desensitized to the prompts."

Although most outbound filtering is disabled, Vista’s firewall does provide limited outbound filtering which users may not be aware of as it is essentially invisible.

Jason Leznek, Microsoft senior product manager, told Computerworld that outbound filtering rules "are enabled by default for core Windows services as part of Windows Service Hardening, which enables the firewall to understand specific behaviors Windows services should have, and block them if they are doing something unexpected (ie, via an exploited vulnerability). Windows Firewall also protects the computer by blocking certain outgoing messages to help prevent the computer against certain port scanning attacks."

Outbound filtering can be configured to provide an additional layer of security and it does provide corporate and business administrators control over applications (i.e. peer-to-peer file sharing) they may want to restrict. Any such applications that require outbound access must be added to the rules list by using the firewall with the Advanced Security Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Configuration may be confusing for some and there is no practical way to to configure outbound filtering to stop all unwanted outbound connections. Inbound filtering can be turned on or off and through various tabs and configuration settings. For more specific information about configuration and security, please refer to these articles:Another very good resource is Microsoft Technet: Windows Firewall which includes information for troubleshooting.

For an independent review read these articles (some include a response by Microsoft regarding outbound filtering as quoted above):If you are going to use Vista's firewall, see Using Windows Vista firewall. If not, see How to turn off the firewall in Vista.

Windows 7 Firewall is similar to Vista and also offers two-way filtering for inbound and outbound traffic. However, Windows 7 adds a few new features in the firewall and related network-safety areas such as separate configuration settings for private (Home or Work) and public networks.

The Vista firewall was built on a new Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) and added the ability to filter outbound traffic via the Advanced Security MMC snap-in. With Windows 7, Microsoft has tweaked the firewall further and made it much more useable, especially on mobile computers, by adding support for multiple active firewall policies.

The Windows 7 Firewall refines the much-improved firewall that was included in Windows Vista, and brings its "hidden" advanced features out into the open. Many users, including some IT professionals, were unaware that you could filter outbound traffic, monitor and otherwise perform advanced configuration tasks for the Vista firewall, because none of that was apparent from the Firewall applet in Control Panel. With Windows 7, Microsoft has created a built-in host firewall that is much more functional than its predecessors and now poses a viable alternative to third party host firewall products.

What's new in the Windows 7 Firewall?

As with Vista, the basic settings for the Windows 7 firewall are accessed via the Control Panel applet. Unlike Vista, you can also access the advanced settings (including configuration of filtering for outbound connections) through the Control Panel instead of having to create an empty MMC and add a snap-in...

The Vista firewall allows you to choose whether you are on a public or private network. With Windows 7, you have three choices - public network, home network or work network. The two latter options are treated as private networks...With all network types, by default the Windows 7 firewall blocks connections to programs that are not on the list of allowed programs. Windows 7 allows you to configure the settings for each network type separately,...

What's new in the Windows 7 Firewall?

For information about using the Windows 7 firewall, managing settings, block programs from accessing the Internet, open/close ports or disabling firewall notifications, please refer to:For an independent review read:
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