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How many anti-spyware programs are enough?


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#1
dbrodsky

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I just had a computer crash on me because it was infected with spyware and viruses. I purchased a new computer with Vista over the weekend. I purchased Spysweeper and transferred my subscription to Norton Protection center with antivirus and firewall.

The tech at Geek Squad who looked at my old computer saw WinPatrol and Spybot and said I don't trust a lot of these programs, so now I am hesitate to use any free anti-spyware program. On the other hand, they say that some of the best anti-spyware programs can only detect 70% of spyware, which means I may need more than one anti-spyware program.

I currently have the spy sweeper, Norton AV and firewall, and windows defender. Many sites recommend Ad-aware, Spybot, IE-SPYAD, SpywareBlaster, and SpywareGuard, but I am hesitate to add too many unnecessary programs because they could slow my computer down, conflict with each other, or even be unsafe.

Any advice on which programs would be best to use with my spy sweeper, if any?

Any help would be appreciated.
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#2
happyrock

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I recommend Ad-aware... Spybot S& D... CCLEANER...SpywareBlaster AVG and Zone alarm (free)


but I am hesitate to add too many unnecessary programs because they could slow my computer down, conflict with each other, or even be unsafe.

the program thats going to bog you down is norton..

SpywareBlaster...is a blocking program that if you keep it updated will keep most of the crap off your system...uses very little in resources
Ad-aware, Spybot use no resources until you actually run them...
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#3
dbrodsky

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Thanks. I have a few questions.

1. Regarding my anti-virus and firewall, until my Norton subscription is up, should I stay away from AVG anti-virus and Zone Alarm. Since I have Norton anti-virus and firewall, I don't want to add Zone Alarm firewall or AVG anti-virus because Geeks-to-Go recommends only one anti-virus and firewall.

2. What is CCleaner?

3. Regarding my anti-spyware, I will load Ad-Aware, SpywareBlaster, and Spybot S&D, so those three in addition to spy sweeper should keep me really secure right?

Again, thanks for your help.
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#4
MoNsTeReNeRgY22

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Hello dbrodsky,

1) I do not recommend that you have more than one anti virus product installed and running on your computer at a time. The reason for this is that if both products have their automatic (Real-Time) protection switched on, then those products which do not encrypt the virus strings within them can cause other anti virus products to cause "false alarms". It can also lead to a clash as both products fight for access to files which are opened again this is the resident/automatic protection. In general terms, the two programs may conflict and cause:
1) False Alarms: When the anti virus software tells you that your PC has a virus when it actually doesn't.
2) System Performance Problems: Your system may lock up due to both products attempting to access the same file at the same time.

Therefore saying, wait until your Norton subscription it done with, then look for a free alternative.

This also goes with firewalls.

2)CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run).

3)As far as Anti-Spyware goes, you can have as many AS programs as you may like, as long as there is only one running with a real time protection.

Below is also part of my malware prevention speech for once I have cleaned a PC of malware. Feel free to ask any questions.

I highly recommend downloading the following programs, to keep malware of your computer to begin with.
The following is a list of tools and utilities that I like to suggest to people. This list is full of great tools and utilities to help you understand how you got infected and how to keep from getting infected again.

Spybot Search & Destroy - Very powerful tool which can search and annhilate malware that make it onto your system. Now with an Immunize section that will help prevent future infections.
**Tutorial on installing & using this product can be found HERE**

Ad-Aware 2007 Free - Another very powerful tool which searches and kills malware that infect your system. AdAware and Spybot Search & Destroy compliment each other very well.
**Tutorial on installing & using this product can be found HERE**

SpywareBlaster - Great prevention tool to keep malware from installing on your system.
**Tutorial on installing & using this product can be found HERE**

IE-SpyAd - Puts over 5000 sites in your restricted zone so you'll be protected when you visit innocent-looking sites that aren't actually innocent at all.
**Tutorial on installing & using this product can be found HERE**

ATF Cleaner - Cleans temporary files from IE and Windows, empties the recycle bin and more. Great tool to help speed up your computer and knock out malware that like to reside in the temp folders.
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#5
happyrock

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MoNsTeReNeRgY22 is right on the money about anti virus and firewalls...if you have 2 they will fight...
ccleaner and atf cleaner do pretty much the same thing ...except ccleaner gets rid of the index.dat files that on computers that have been around for a few years can grow to a GB or more...
if / when you start having errors with norton (and you will)..uninstall it and get AVG...
another good thing to add is site advisor...lets you know when searching if the site you are about to connect to is bad ...also use firefox for your browser...its safer by default and lighter on your system...I even use it to get and install windows updates..
IE-SpyAd This will only work with Internet Explorer and I don't use or recommend IE for anything

Edited by happyrck, 03 August 2007 - 06:18 AM.

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#6
dbrodsky

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I do use Mozilla Firefox, but my wife uses IE.

My first question associated with the downloads is about Ad-Aware. It has a new feature Ad-Watch with real time monitoring. Is this something I would want enabled or disabled?
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#7
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You need the plus or pro versions for adwatch

With CCleaner - issues scan, always take the back up option before confirming fix selected issues
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#8
dbrodsky

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Ok, it installed the Ad-Watch icon on my desktop so I thought it was actually running.
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#9
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If you click that, or run ad watch from the main window, when you click start you should get a pop up to say you need either of those versions
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#10
happyrock

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you can just delete the ad watch icon....
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#11
dbrodsky

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IE-SPYAD recommends using one program to add sites to your restricted sites zone to avoid conflicts. I believe SpywareBlaster adds sites to this zone. Could this be a problem have both programs adding sites to the restricted zone?

Edited by dbrodsky, 04 August 2007 - 11:19 PM.

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#12
happyrock

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I can't speak about IE-SPYAD because I'm not sure ..

I suspect it works the same as what I use ...a custom hosts file

The Hosts file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. This file is loaded into memory (cache) at startup, then Windows checks the Hosts file before it queries any DNS servers, which enables it to override addresses in the DNS. This prevents access to the listed sites by redirecting any connection attempts back to the local machine. Another feature of the HOSTS file is its ability to block other applications from connecting to the Internet, providing the entry exists.

You can use a HOSTS file to block ads, banners, 3rd party Cookies, 3rd party page counters, web bugs, and even most hijackers. This is accomplished by blocking the connection(s) that supplies these little gems.

you can get the full explanation here and get the custom hosts file there as well ...
I use it and spywareblaster together without any problems...
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#13
dbrodsky

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another good thing to add is site advisor...lets you know when searching if the site you are about to connect to is bad



I use Mozilla firefox but my wife uses IE. How do I install site advisor?

Do I install it and then install the firefox plugin separately? Or is there a different site advisor for each browser? Or do you just install it and it automatically works for all browsers?
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#14
happyrock

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go here for firefox site advisor...after clicking on install it you will get a narrow window just below your tabs...saying something like firefox blocked it..just click on the options on the narrow window and ad site advisor...
the link to get it for IE is here...
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#15
dbrodsky

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I installed and am using all of the recommended programs without problems, except I have not yet downloaded the IE-SPYAD or the mvpshosts.

Happyrck, I know you don't use SPYAD, so does anybody know if any of these programs would cause a conflict since I already have SpywareBlaster adding sites to my restricted zone? The link to the explanation that Happyrck gave me was a little to complicated for me completely understand.

Thanks.

Edited by dbrodsky, 09 August 2007 - 08:32 PM.

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