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new computer -is my security ok?


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#1 swanboy

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 08:53 AM

Hi,

I've just bought a new computer (windows 7, 64 bit) and would like advice if my security is OK.

I have:
AVG 2011
Malwarebytes
Spyblaster
Windows firewall (and I think firewall in my router - BT Home Hub)

On my previous computer I also had spybot but i've been told it uses lots of resources so havent installed that.

I also used to have ccleaner but haven't read the recommendations here about possible registry damage also haven't installed that - although I did find ccleaner did get rid of stray files like odd old history files not seemingly deleted by IE or firefox directly.

any advice appreciated.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 09:50 AM

I have been disappointed with AVG ever since they made a decision in April 2010 to partner with LimeWire and promote the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, a security risk which can make your system susceptible to a smörgåsbord of malware infections, remote attacks, and exposure of personal information.

With the release of AVG 2011, there have been numerous complaints about issues and conflicts with other security tools like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Read the related discussions at AVG:There have been reports of issues with the computer starting properly on 64-bit Windows sytems for which AVG has had to release these fix instructions.

There have also been reported problems with computers after using new features like PC Analyzer and PC Tuneup which purport to fix registry errors in order to make the system more stable and various optimizing tools which can make changes to system settings.

Even MajorGeeks, a popular download hosting site has issued a Statement on AVG Free 2011 and recommends using other free alternatives.

For these reasons, I no longer recommend AVG as a free alternative.


While CCleaner is safe and useful for removing temporary and junk files, I do not recommend using the built-in registry cleaner unless you have a good understanding of the registry. In fact, I do not recommend the routine use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.


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#3 swanboy

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:00 AM

Ok thanks - so if not AVG 2011 any alternatives?

thanks

#4 quietman7

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:02 PM

Free Antivirus programs: (choose and install only one). I recommend any of the first three.
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