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How Often Do I Run My Programs?


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#1 alice*in*wonderland

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 07:19 PM

I'm not computer savvy and have just had my computer "fixed" at the computer shop to remove trojans/virus/spyware which Norton Anti-virus let through. Norton has been removed and I now have

AVG 7.5
AVG Anti-Spyware
Ad-aware SE
ZoneAlarm
Spybot 1.4

I don't know how often to run these programs and if I can run several at once to save time. So far I've been running them one at a time (very time consuming) every day - I'm a bit paranoid at the moment. :thumbsup:

The computer technician also installed these programs and I don't know if it is useful to run some of them on a regular basis too or wait until I get a problem.

GWShredder
CleanUp!
RegCure
FxVMond.exe
drweb.cure
VundoFix V6.5.1
SmitfraudFix Tools
HijackThis 1.99.1

Any advice or suggestions gratefully received.

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#2 BlackSpyder

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 07:36 PM

-Zone Alarm Firewall should be run every time you connect to the internet. (or just let it startup with the computer so you dont have to worry about it)
-AVG AV - Let it start up with your computer. Then set updates for some time when you know your computer will be on. Then set the automatic scanning feature for some time when you know the PC will be on and you won't be using it (say, dinner time)
-AVG AS - same thing as the AV but if you use the free version you will have to update and run the scan manually since the automation is only available for the paid version.
- Spybot -once a week update and scan

-AdAware SE and the others I havent used or used recently so i dont know

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#3 jgweed

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 08:25 AM

I always have my firewall and anti-virus launched on boot. Once a week, I make sure everything is updated, and run my A-V and then, sequentially, each anti-spyware application in safe mode. This improves the speed of the tests and reduces the places malware can "hide." Never run any of these applications concurrently, as they may interfere with one another, or find the other's "definition" files and report those as infections.

Certainly, having several anti-spyware applications is a good idea, since every company has a slightly different set of criteria for what its application looks for. Ad-Aware SE and AVG AS are both very good products.

The best protection, however, is a knowing and cautious user, since a vast majority of malware of all sorts is installed unknowingly by the user.

You may wish to run some of these applications more often, however.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#4 Alan D

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 04:40 PM

I don't know how often to run these programs and if I can run several at once to save time. So far I've been running them one at a time (very time consuming) every day - I'm a bit paranoid at the moment. :thumbsup:

It sounds as though you're scanning with all of them every day, one after another - is that right? Well, certainly DON'T have more than one scanning at any one time (that's a bad idea, as someone else has pointed out) but you really don't need to scan with all of them every day unless you're doing some very risky browsing and/or file sharing. I run a 'quick' or 'smart' scan with a different antispyware program just once, every day, and a 'complete' antivirus/antispyware scan once a week. Using this routine I have never been infected by anything so far (but I browse carefully, also).

Looking at your list, I don't see any 'real-time' antispyware protection, unless you're using Spybot's 'Teatimer'. (Are you?) This would be a real help to you, because (like your antivirus, which runs in the background) it would help to prevent any malware getting installed in the first place. I've never used Spybot's Teatimer myself, but I do use Windows Defender, which is also free, and which offers real-time protection.

Additional protective measures that are well worth doing with Spybot if you haven't already:
DO use Spybot's Immunisation feature.
And DO use Spybot's hosts file, which will help to protect you from being diverted to malicious websites (switch to advanced mode and select tools -> hosts file, and click 'add Spybot's hosts file').

Consider adding the excellent Superantispyware to your scanners (it's also free), and don't be paranoid. Just be careful.

Edited by Alan D, 02 July 2007 - 04:46 PM.

Windows XP Home SP2; AVG 7.5 Internet Security Suite (AV/AS r.t.p, and firewall); Windows Defender (r.t.p on); SuperAntispyware Free; a-squared Free 3.5.0.15; Spybot 1.4 (Immunised, but no Tea-timer); AdAware SE Free; AVG Anti-Rootkit Free; Spywareblaster; MVPS Hosts file (with HostsMan); McAfee Site Advisor.

#5 alice*in*wonderland

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 12:59 AM

Thanks everyone for all your help.

I installed the ZoneAlarm myself (on recommendation of these forums) and it runs when the computer starts up.

AVG Anti-virus also runs on start up and the AVG anti-spyware I run manually (its the free version).

The Spybot was installed by the technician and sits on the desktop. I was wondering whether I should have this at computer start up also but was worried that it wouldn't work well with the AVG programs ??

Yes I did try to run a couple of programs at once. I've only just worked out how to get the computer in Safe Mode so I will use that to do the full scans one at a time from now on.

Unfortunately I don't know much about safe browsing on the internet. Family members play games and I suspect it was visits to these sites together with Limewire that started our problems.

#6 Alan D

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 04:17 AM

Unfortunately I don't know much about safe browsing on the internet. Family members play games and I suspect it was visits to these sites together with Limewire that started our problems.


Alice, it's much better to stop the malware getting onto your computer in the first place, than to detect and try to remove it afterwards (as you've discovered, sadly). In view of what you say here, I think certain things are essential priorities for you:


1. Your AVG will look after the antivirus department, but it bothers me that you appear to have no real-time antispyware protection that will alert you if spyware tries to install itself. To have only scanners is a significant weakness in your armour. Windows Defender is not the best antispyware solution in the world, but it DOES offer real-time protection, and it's relatively light in its use of your system's resources, and it's free. And you can get it here:
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/s...re/default.mspx
(If you're willing to pay, AVG Antimalware is worth considering. It doesn't cost much, it covers both antivirus and antispyware scanning, and it offers real-time protection for both as an integrated solution.)

2. In view of what you say about browsing habits, my earlier comments about using additional browser protection are even more important. You don't say whether you've used Spybot's Immunise feature. Please do use it, and re-immunise whenever you update the program. Also, please do use the Spybot hosts file as I explained above. These aren't infallible precautions, but they will reduce the browsing risk.

3. You can get additional protection for your browsing by installing Spywareblaster (also free). This will significantly extend the protection already provided by Spybot's Immunise feature, and in a similar kind of way. You can get it here:
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html

4. McAfee Site advisor will alert you when you use a search engine if any of the sites found in your search are 'risky'. Sounds to me as if this would really help you? You can get it here:
http://www.siteadvisor.com/



Basically, the aim of the exercise is to shore up your defences so that you don't actually need to spend great quantities of time scanning your computer!

Edited by Alan D, 03 July 2007 - 04:18 AM.

Windows XP Home SP2; AVG 7.5 Internet Security Suite (AV/AS r.t.p, and firewall); Windows Defender (r.t.p on); SuperAntispyware Free; a-squared Free 3.5.0.15; Spybot 1.4 (Immunised, but no Tea-timer); AdAware SE Free; AVG Anti-Rootkit Free; Spywareblaster; MVPS Hosts file (with HostsMan); McAfee Site Advisor.

#7 alice*in*wonderland

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 07:04 PM

Thanks once again for your help and all the links too.

If you're willing to pay, AVG Antimalware is worth considering. It doesn't cost much, it covers both antivirus and antispyware scanning, and it offers real-time protection for both as an integrated solution.)


It seems to me that buying a program might be the best way for me to get a reasonable level of protection whilst I build my computing skills and knowledge. When I bought the Norton Anti-virus program I didn't use any other programs at all for protection and I now understand that is an important part of safe computer operation.

The AVG (free version) was installed by a technician when the Norton failed. I would probably chose to purchase their product because I now have a little bit of experience finding my way around their program. AVG have
AVG Internet Security ($69.95 for 2 years) and
AVG Anti-virus Professional Edition ($38.95 for 2 years)
Given that the hole in my defences is the real time anti-spyware protection, the "Anti-virus Professional Edition" is not going to fill that hole, so the "Internet Security" version would be the only choice for me ??

When I had the Norton Anti-virus installed, my computer was running very slow. I don't know if it was slow because it was full of virus etc that Norton didn't pick up or if it was because of the size? of the Norton program. Since having the AVG and ZoneAlarm products installed I am really enjoying the speed of the computer and don't want to lose that.

Do I need to uninstall the free AVG program first then buy and install the purchased AVG program?


You don't say whether you've used Spybot's Immunise feature

Yes I did use the Immunise feature (although I must confess that I didn't quite know what I was doing)

Basically, the aim of the exercise is to shore up your defences so that you don't actually need to spend great quantities of time scanning your computer!


I have only ever installed one program myself (ZoneAlarm) and it shows in the bottom right hand side of my screen (I think this is called the System Tray but I'm not sure). When I install the Spywareblaster and McAfee Site advisor I think they will go in that same spot. Should I then move the Spybot to that location (rather than have it sitting on my desk top)?

I'm really sorry if these seem like very stupid questions. I do appreciate the time and effort the people on this forum have put into helping me and I hope I'm not testing everyones patience too much.

#8 Alan D

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 05:04 AM

AVG have
AVG Internet Security ($69.95 for 2 years) and
AVG Anti-virus Professional Edition ($38.95 for 2 years)
Given that the hole in my defences is the real time anti-spyware protection, the "Anti-virus Professional Edition" is not going to fill that hole, so the "Internet Security" version would be the only choice for me ??

No, there's another choice that you've missed on the website somehow: AVG Antimalware. See here:
http://www1.grisoft.com/doc/products-avg-a...alware/us/crp/2
You don't have to buy a TWO year subscription either: click the arrow by the 'subscription' box and you'll see the one year option which costs just $34 (US) which makes more sense while you're getting the hang of things, because you might have changed your mind by next year about how to proceed.

I have the AVG Internet Security suite myself, but you don't need that because you already have a firewall that suits you. So AVG Antimalware looks like your best option, both financially and in terms of minimising the changes. And as you say, you're already becoming familiar with it so it won't seem strange, despite extending your protection very significantly.

Since having the AVG and ZoneAlarm products installed I am really enjoying the speed of the computer and don't want to lose that.

There's bound to be some impact on performance, but you have some idea already about the relatively soft touch of AVG so I think you'll find it acceptable. I used to use Norton too, and no way would I go back to it.

Yes I did use the Immunise feature (although I must confess that I didn't quite know what I was doing)

Doesn't matter. The important thing for now is that you did it.

Do I need to uninstall the free AVG program first then buy and install the purchased AVG program?

This is what I'd do:
1. First buy and download the AVG Antimalware, saving it to desktop. Make a backup of it onto a CD or flash drive.
(Alternatively, download the trial version here: http://www.grisoft.com/doc/31/us/crp/0 and pay for it later.)
2. Create a System Restore point labelled 'Before uninstalling AVG Free'
3. Disconnect from the internet
4. Uninstall AVG Free. (Start ->Control Panel -> Add or remove programs -> highlight AVG Free and follow the prompts)
5. Create a second System Restore point labelled 'Before installing AVG Antimalware'
6. Double click on the AVG setup icon that you saved to your desktop, and follow the instructions.
7. Connect to the internet again so you can update the definitions.

I have only ever installed one program myself (ZoneAlarm) and it shows in the bottom right hand side of my screen (I think this is called the System Tray but I'm not sure). When I install the Spywareblaster and McAfee Site advisor I think they will go in that same spot. Should I then move the Spybot to that location (rather than have it sitting on my desk top)?


The little icons in the system tray (yes that is its name) are just icons, with shortcuts to the programs, and are there for your convenience if you want them. (I only have two icons in my system tray - AVG and Windows Defender.) Similarly, the Spybot icon on your desktop is just a shortcut to the Spybot program. (If the program is a house, then the shortcut icon is a door.) Keep your Spybot shortcut on your desktop, where it is.

When you install Spywareblaster, it too will create a shortcut on your desktop. If you doubleclick it, the program opens. Click 'download updates'. Then click 'enable all protection'. That's all there is to it! (Except to check for updates once a week or so.)

Incidentally, I ALWAYS create a clearly labelled System Restore point before I install (or uninstall) ANY program, and it's saved my bacon more than once. Do you know how to do this?

Edited by Alan D, 05 July 2007 - 05:10 AM.

Windows XP Home SP2; AVG 7.5 Internet Security Suite (AV/AS r.t.p, and firewall); Windows Defender (r.t.p on); SuperAntispyware Free; a-squared Free 3.5.0.15; Spybot 1.4 (Immunised, but no Tea-timer); AdAware SE Free; AVG Anti-Rootkit Free; Spywareblaster; MVPS Hosts file (with HostsMan); McAfee Site Advisor.

#9 alice*in*wonderland

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 05:42 AM

Thanks so much for taking the time to help me Alan, also your instructions are really clear for which I'm very grateful.

No, there's another choice that you've missed on the website somehow: AVG Antimalware. See here:
http://www1.grisoft.com/doc/products-avg-a...alware/us/crp/2
You don't have to buy a TWO year subscription either: click the arrow by the 'subscription' box and you'll see the one year option which costs just $34 (US) which makes more sense while you're getting the hang of things, because you might have changed your mind by next year about how to proceed.


You are right, I didn't find this product at all first time round. I thought it was odd that they only had 2 products for sale :flowers: . This time round there are a number of products available and I have found the Antimalware product you mentioned, (it's frustrating, but many inexplicable events occur - most likely because I am really new to all this)

Incidentally, I ALWAYS create a clearly labelled System Restore point before I install (or uninstall) ANY program, and it's saved my bacon more than once. Do you know how to do this?


No, I don't know how to do this. I did read about the System Restore idea and I did come across its location on my computer but I can't remember where it is :thumbsup: .

I've been trying to get my computer in safe mode tonight and for whatever reason Windows keeps coming up (another inexplicable event :trumpet:).

#10 Alan D

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 06:15 AM

I did read about the System Restore idea and I did come across its location on my computer but I can't remember where it is


It's very straightforward, I promise - and it's a very reassuring thing to know that if you really get in a mess, you can restore to an earlier state. There are several ways to do it, but here are two (the route can vary from one machine to another but I don't know why.):

Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System Restore.
Or:
Start -> Help and Support -> Performance and Maintenance -> Using System Restore to undo changes -> Run the system restore wizard

OK, now tick the box next to 'Create a restore point'; click 'Next'; type in your label for this restore point; click 'Create' and you're done.

If you want to see what you've done (a good idea), follow the process again but this time choose 'Restore my computer to an earlier time' and click 'next'. You'll see all the restore points available to you, including the one you just made. Don't select any of them though - make sure you click 'cancel' at the end!
Using System Restore is a rare thing - only for emergencies. But it's good to know you have a safety net if things go haywire.

SAFE MODE:
Start your computer and start tapping the F8 key about twice a second once you see the first bit of text on the screen.
But I wouldn't worry too much about scanning in safe mode just yet, unless you have reason to think you actually are infected at the moment and are having difficulty removing it. Once you've got all your armour in place, you can scan in safe mode now and then as an extra precaution, but the important thing at present is to get the armour.

Edited by Alan D, 05 July 2007 - 06:18 AM.

Windows XP Home SP2; AVG 7.5 Internet Security Suite (AV/AS r.t.p, and firewall); Windows Defender (r.t.p on); SuperAntispyware Free; a-squared Free 3.5.0.15; Spybot 1.4 (Immunised, but no Tea-timer); AdAware SE Free; AVG Anti-Rootkit Free; Spywareblaster; MVPS Hosts file (with HostsMan); McAfee Site Advisor.

#11 alice*in*wonderland

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 07:12 AM

Fantastic, clear instructions yet again. :thumbsup:

I will put it all together on the week-end when I can take my time to focus and actually enjoy the process.

Thanks so much for your help.

#12 Alan D

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 09:02 AM

Thanks so much for your help.

You're welcome, Alice. I'm only passing on the benefit of the huge amount of help that others have given to me. I remember only too well what it's like trying to find a way through this minefield - and through all the jargon.

I'll keep checking this thread, so if you have any more questions put them here, and I'll help if I can.
Windows XP Home SP2; AVG 7.5 Internet Security Suite (AV/AS r.t.p, and firewall); Windows Defender (r.t.p on); SuperAntispyware Free; a-squared Free 3.5.0.15; Spybot 1.4 (Immunised, but no Tea-timer); AdAware SE Free; AVG Anti-Rootkit Free; Spywareblaster; MVPS Hosts file (with HostsMan); McAfee Site Advisor.

#13 alice*in*wonderland

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 09:04 PM

HOORAY, I DID IT - well sort of.

Using System Restore is a rare thing - only for emergencies. But it's good to know you have a safety net if things go haywire.


The system restore point "saved my bacon".

I created a Restore Point
Installed AVG Antimalware (Trial Version)
Uninstalled AVG Spyware (free)
Updated AVG Antimalware
Installed Spywareblaster (free) then updated
Installed McAfee Site advisor (free) then updated.

then the computer started running really, really slow. I turned the computer off then came back to it about an hour later and Windows wouldn't load. I tried several times and it would get to the screen where it said "Windows is loading (or starting up)" but it never did (I waited 30 minutes on one occasion). This morning I went to try again and the computer wouldn't turn on at all so I pulled the power plug out for 15 minutes (apparently the power supply causes problems where I live), replugged it in and it started. I got into safe mode and managed to get to the System Restore - I don't know how, but I tried lots of things and I found it in the end.

I think the problem is that I've got too many things on my computer.

I noticed that the Norton Symantec program still shows in a family members program log so I tried to uninstall it but when it said something about there are other components in other systems I changed my mind and left it there.

A family member has also purchased and downloaded a "Steam" game on my account and when I log in, a Steam login window comes up which I have to cancel before I start. I was going to work out how to change this after I had put all the new Spyware programs on but I think I should have done that first.

At the moment I'm feeling really, really pleased with myself. I installed programs, uninstalled programs, got myself out of a prickly spot and now I'm back on line and ready to start learning more and more. How good is that! :thumbsup:

Edited by alice*in*wonderland, 08 July 2007 - 10:23 PM.


#14 rowal5555

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 11:23 PM

That is why we are all here, and really love to hear that.

Good on ya, and keep learning. One step after the other, and you will soon be a guru. LOL

Keep on smiling :thumbsup:

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#15 alice*in*wonderland

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 01:18 AM

Thanks Rowal. Your encouragement in my first ever post gave me the guts to come back and try again.

One step after the other, and you will soon be a guru. LOL


Ha, I'm even starting to get a bit of credibility with the rest of the family. Whenever the family give me instructions, I tell them "I will have to check that with the experts on MY forum" :thumbsup: . No more having the wool pulled over my eyes.




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