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What EXACTLY do I need for protection on my computer?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 SeanMadd

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:24 PM

I mean how many anti virus programs, spywares, firewalls.. etc?

I had to do a system recovery due to a bad virus caused by having 2 anti virus programs clashing. Norton came with the computer so I installed it but just uninstalled it due to problems. I'm now downloading AVG free, and have norton personal firewall, and was going to download malwarebytes so I could do quick scans.

Am I good to go or do I need more?

Edited by SeanMadd, 05 February 2011 - 01:52 PM.


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#2 quietman7

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:05 PM

This is what I tell most folks who ask the question you have.

Choosing a security toolkit with anti-virus, firewall and anti-malware programs is a matter of personal preference, your needs, your technical ability and experience, features offered, user friendliness, ease of updating (and upgrading to new program release), ease of installation/removal, available technical support from the vendor and price. Other factors to consider include detection rates and methods, scanning engine effectiveness, how often virus definitions are updated, the amount of resources the program utilizes, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. A particular anti-virus that works well for one person may not work as well for another. You may need to experiment and find the one most suitable for your use and your system. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution that works for everyone and there is no best anti-virus. For more specific information to consider, please read Choosing Your Anti-virus Software.

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.

As a general rule, using more than one anti-spyware program like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SuperAntispyware, Windows Defender, Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware, Spyware Terminator, etc. will not conflict with each other or your anti-virus if using only one of them for real-time protection and others as stand-alone scanners. In fact, doing so increases your protection coverage without causing the same kind of conflicts or affecting the stability of your system that can occur when using more than one anti-virus. The overlap of protection from using different signature databases will aid in detection and removal of more threats when scanning your system for malware. However, competing tools may provide redundant alerts which can be annoying and/or confusing as a result of the overlap in protection.

If using multiple real-time resident shields (TeaTimer, Ad-Watch, MBAM Protection Module, Spyware Terminator Shields, etc.) together at the same time, there can be conflicts when each application tries to compete for resources and exclusive rights to perform an action. They may identify the activity of each other as suspicious and produce alerts. Further, your anti-virus may detect suspicious activity while these programs are scanning (reading) files, especially if it uses a heuristic scanning engine, regardless if they are running in real-time or on demand. The anti-virus may even detect as threats, any malware removed by these programs and placed into quarantined areas. This can lead to a repetitive cycle of endless alerts or false alarms that continually warn a threat has been found if the contents of the quarantine folder are not removed before beginning a new security scan.

Keep in mind that you can overkill a system with resource heavy security programs that will slow down performance. Sometimes you just have to experiment to get the right combination for your particular system.

Use trustworthy security tools like:I recommend taking advantage of the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Pro) Protection Module in the full version which uses advanced heuristic scanning technology to monitor your system and provide real-time protection to prevent the installation of most new malware. This technology runs at startup where it monitors every process and helps stop malicious processes before they can infect your computer. The database that defines the heuristics is updated as often as there is something to add to it. Keep in mind that Malwarebytes does not act as a real-time protection scanner for every file like an anti-virus program so it is intended to be a supplement, not a substitute. Enabling the Protection Module feature requires registration and purchase of a license key that includes free lifetime upgrades and support. After activation, Malwarebytes can be set to update itself and schedule scans automatically on a daily basis. The Protection Module is not intrusive as the program utilizes few system resources and should not conflict with other scanners or anti-virus programs.

If any conflicts between Malwarebytes' and another security program are reported, suggested solutions are usually provided in the Common Issues, Questions, and their Solutions, FAQs thread. I know and have worked with some members of the research team so I can attest that they make every effort to resolve issues as quickly as possible.

List of Virus & Malware Resources:
You can also get a second opinion by performing an an Online Virus Scan.


NOTE: With the release of AVG 2011, there have been numerous complaints about issues and conflicts with other security tools like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Unlike previous versions, AVG 2011 cannot be effectively disabled to prevent it from interfering with other security tools...after restarting the computer, AVG re-enables all protections. Read these related discussions: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.

I do not recommend the routine use of registry cleaners/optimizers as they are extremely powerful applications that can damage the Windows registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from booting properly. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

Even MajorGeeks, a popular download hosting site, has issued a Statement on AVG Free 2011 and has removed its Editor's Pick listing.

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

My personal choice is NOD32 Anti-Virus if choosing a paid for program as it leaves a small foortprint or one of the following if choosing a free alternative.

Edited by quietman7, 05 February 2011 - 02:08 PM.

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#3 SeanMadd

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:27 PM

Thanks for your help! I downloaded the free 30 day trial for Internet Security on AVG, but when that's up I'll just switch to the free version. The trial includes anti virus, anti spyware, firewall. etc. so I'm guessing I don't need to downloaded anything else for the next 30 days.

BUT.. When that expires, I just need to confirm..
I need 1 firewall - Yes? If so, which do you recommend? I hear zone alarm is good.
I need 1(or 2) anti-spyware programs - Malwaresbytes(free version) is my choice anyway.
and I need 1 anti-virus program - I'll be using AVG I guess!

Let me know and feel free to give me some more recommendations.

#4 quietman7

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 04:50 PM

Choosing a firewall is also a matter of personal preference, your needs, your technical ability/experience, features offered, etc just as I noted above. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution that works for everyone.

What OS are you using?

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 so many users were advised to use third-party alternatives. Microsoft significantly improved the firewall to address these concerns in Vista and then added more improvements in Windows 7.

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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#5 learntime

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:19 PM

Oh wow and i use a registry cleaner more than a few times a week

#6 quietman7

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 07:33 AM

Oh wow and i use a registry cleaner more than a few times a week

Time to change that routine.
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#7 SeanMadd

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 03:56 PM

Thanks for your help :)

#8 quietman7

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 05:03 PM

You're welcome.
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