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What can you believe with Antispyware and security?


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#1
Curious D

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I recently reinstalled Windows XP on a new hard drive. I'm looking at programs to keep my computer relatively free of things that would hinder performance (or crash my hard drive). I have AntiVir for antivirus, Comodo for firewall, Spyware Blaster for blocking some spyware, but I ran into a problem selecting an antispyware program. I have read several websites regarding most free programs as being ineffective against spywares and adwares. In fact, there are no programs that claim 100% effectiveness. That being said, I have read a number of conflicting reports regarding different programs (such as SpySweeper, Spyware Doctor) and their effectiveness and their resource burden. How does one shift through the reviews and determine which brand deserves our business (or if it's free, which is worthy of download)? What are the gurus using for their computer's protection? Thanks.
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#2
Neil Jones

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There is no 100% solution. There never has been and there probably never will be. As long as there are people who click "Yes" to every pop-up that comes their way without actually reading it, there will be a need for anti-spyware/virus software.

A simple solution is to run with an all-in-one Internet Security package - something like Norton Internet Security, Panda, McAfee, F-Secure or Kaspersky. These all have their own quirks and problems and share of stuff they don't find so you should read user reviews and take some of them with a pinch of salt.
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#3
Curious D

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How many of the gurus out there would use a freeware solution for security. Is it true that you would consider "you get what you pay for"? Or are there viable and reliable security measures that are freeware? I used to think that was the case, but when I read a bit more for the spyware, I was lead to believe otherwise.
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#4
Chopin

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"You get what you pay for" isn't true for Norton's $80 Internet Security :whistling:

I use almost the same things you do: AntiVir for antivirus, Comodo as a firewall, I actually don't use spywareblaster - I just don't like it, and for AS I use SUPERAntiSpyware Free.
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#5
Excal

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one of the best ways to make your computer secure is to practice safe surfing habits. Also don't accept unknowing attachments in emails and IM's files. monitor people if they use your computer.

As Neil previously stated, there is no sure way to 100 % protect your computer. I would never suggest to anyone to purchase a program that will make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside, yet not offer any more protection than a free one (norton comes to mind :blink:). I use AVG for quite a while now, and have had no problem. For Anti-spyware, I use SpywareTerminator, and have had no issues with it(offers realtime protection and daily updates). I follow that up with weekly runnings of ATF and AdAware.

Hope that helps :help:

:whistling:

Excal
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#6
Curious D

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I was looking into Spyware Terminator and then I read the review given by PC Mag (or PC World). It had failed several tests. This is what worries me. I don't install popup programs or emailed programs. Yet I still encounter spyware. I'm confused at some of the spyware that has popped up since I have my usual websites and don't stray too far from it unless I have some research (or curiosity about a topic). Worse yet, it's my antivirus program that alarms me to the problem. So I'm really confused as to what is good in the antispyware and antiadware programs. I know I sound really paranoid, but I have come to the realization that if my computer were to become infected, I may not realize it despite my measures to keep my computer relatively safe. I think I know enough to be a danger to my computer, but not enough to recognize and fix subtle problems.

Incidently, thanks to all for your replies and the assurances you are giving.
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#7
1101doc

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If you haven't encountered a reference to "Gizmo" Richards yet, take a look. Very level-headed stuff, and he tests things himself. Here's a link to his "Security Sites" post:
http://www.techsuppo...urity_sites.htm

Results of his testing of security products:
http://www.techsuppo...ty_scanners.htm

Myself, I use AVG free behind the Comodo firewall, supported by SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard, with full-time active protection by the commercial version of A-Squared anti-malware.

A2, Webroot Spysweeper, and AVG Anti-spyware seem to be among the top-rated commercial active clients going today. I think that the dollars spent for a full-time anti-spy/mal/ad-ware client are well-spent.

Of course, I also scan with Spybot, Ad-aware SE, SuperAntiSpyware, and Panda on-line every week just to be sure, but usually nothing is found.

For ultra-secure browsing, use free Sandboxie: http://www.sandboxie.com/
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