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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NW suburbs, Chicago
    Posts
    870

    Default OT: recent computer problems

    ok, so more and more i'm seeing threads with posts commenting on malware. i have been a computer hobbyist since dos. windows has had it's fair(more than) share of virus problems. this is not the case today with a little prep. hype has not caught up with reality. if you are running windows 7 or 8, the only way to sure fire defend yourself from attacks, is not to click on stuff unless you know where it came from. even java updates have been subject to malware. now having said that, the only anti virus i've used since 7's launch is microsoft security essentials. every computer i work on or own has it. it has never failed me. it's called windows defender on 8. same thing different name. and it's free. all of the time.

    another thing i would use is McAfee(ok, so he shot his neighbor) site adviser. this will literally stop you from going to sites that have been reported, or likely contain, all of the bad stuff on the net. links included.

    to the norton and McAfee users, nothing is lighter in windows 7 than WSE. in 8 windows defender is a force to be reckoned with, as long as you can resist clicking on the "get 100 smileys for free!" ads. nothing can protect you from yourself.

    ok last point. tv commercial cures for pc woes rarely ever work(for long). i won't mention names. a vast majority of these things just charge you money for a software, and then a year later they cripple your pc again pending a new "update" payment. be careful where you spend your money.


    all of this is my opinion. i just figure, i want to help people that are on this forum trying to spend their money on projects, and not on stuff that won't help anyways. i get nothing for doing this. i just wanted to share my experience.

  2. #2

    Default Re: OT: recent computer problems

    Microsoft security essentials is good. No one program stops or finds everything though, so being careful and having everything updated does a lot. I have seen so many computers infected that were running both McAfee and Norton. IMO, they both kind of suck. Viruses have disabled both. The worst part is, because both act as a firewall, if they are disabled, the computer has zero internet access. I have no ideal what series of events that takes place to bypass security programs, but by the time I get them, they are messed up.

    I'd also have malewarebytes and super anti spypware loaded on your computer ready to go. Even if they aren't actively protecting in live time, its good to have them updated and ready to go. It also doesn't hurt to have highjackthis, GMER anti-rootkit tools already downloaded and ready to go. Also a microsoft defender offline boot up disk.

    If you don't need Java, don't have it installed. If you need it, make sure you have the latest version. I only have it on my laptop for REW, but my main computer doesn't even have it installed. I don't need it.

    As far as the TV commercial cures, they are pretty much a scam. I read a break down on them awhile ago. Their doesn't seem to be any legal definition of what a computer "problem" really is and they report a lot of legit stuff just to boast scary numbers on what they find. Also, if you've ever really had a nasty virus, chances are, you couldn't even get to the web page even if it really worked. From someone who cleans up and repairs these things, I can say that it isn't very realistic that one source could clean up your computer. If it did, it would be a all in one magical tool.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NW suburbs, Chicago
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: OT: recent computer problems

    Quote Originally Posted by generic View Post
    Microsoft security essentials is good. No one program stops or finds everything though, so being careful and having everything updated does a lot. I have seen so many computers infected that were running both McAfee and Norton. IMO, they both kind of suck. Viruses have disabled both. The worst part is, because both act as a firewall, if they are disabled, the computer has zero internet access. I have no ideal what series of events that takes place to bypass security programs, but by the time I get them, they are messed up.

    I'd also have malewarebytes and super anti spypware loaded on your computer ready to go. Even if they aren't actively protecting in live time, its good to have them updated and ready to go. It also doesn't hurt to have highjackthis, GMER anti-rootkit tools already downloaded and ready to go. Also a microsoft defender offline boot up disk.

    If you don't need Java, don't have it installed. If you need it, make sure you have the latest version. I only have it on my laptop for REW, but my main computer doesn't even have it installed. I don't need it.
    i was keeping it non IT. but great ideas. also, keep all of these on cds, and usb. small usb. less chance for corruption. cd drive won't work? usb. vice vs.

  4. #4

    Default Re: OT: recent computer problems

    I tried to keep it somewhat simple. I have much more, but I think I listed my top favorites. BTW, on GMER and highjackthis, don't remove anything without a help forum such as majorgeeks.com Or, you can also google every file on the list and make sure you don't remove anything you actually need. Sometimes legit software files have some odd ball names.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Grenada, West Indies
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: OT: recent computer problems

    Great ideas all. I also rely on just MSE (only my older PCs). But I have used Malaware MalBytes on some other Windows PCs to clear stubborn infections that managed to break through the defences (usually because the owner of said PC refused to patch it on a regular basis, or made a habit of visiting questionable sites when logged on under admin credentials).

    Another thing that comes in handy - familiarize yourself with what services, exes and startups are running on your PC. That will make it easier for you to determine what looks out of the ordinary and may likely be malware.

    For services, start..run..services.msc.
    For exes, start Task Manager and look at the running process.
    For startups, run Regedit, then look under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: OT: recent computer problems

    Keeping windows clean: More ideas:


    Manually set DNS to opendns servers instead of the dns forwarded to the machine via DHCP from the ISP. This filters out about 90% of problems by simply not resolving names of known sources of gunkware.

    Use the *actual* add-block plug-in for your browser.

    The Microsoft free "defender/security" software is about all that should be necessary as far as anti-gunk software is concerned after doing the above.

    For a long time the answer was also never to use IE for browsing the web. Not sure if they ever slipped a condom on that browser or not but I still encourage the use of a 3rd party browser.

    After the above is done, about the only thing that the user will ever "see" that could be a "trick" link, is going to be in their email. Have to be very careful with email.


    --------

    I've been on linux now almost 3 years. I haven't found a compelling reason to go back to a mainstream OS at this point. Linux keeps getting easier for me to get my head around, while Mac and Windows keep getting further from what I want my desktop experience to be. Right now I'm very impressed with Linux Mint [mate]. It has probably the most refined, out-of-box capability of any of the distros right now.
    Pro/Fi Cinema Speaker project: "From the Ashes"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Grenada, West Indies
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: OT: recent computer problems

    Quote Originally Posted by mdocod View Post
    For a long time the answer was also never to use IE for browsing the web. Not sure if they ever slipped a condom on that browser or not but I still encourage the use of a 3rd party browser.
    IE on Win7 has "SmartScreen" technology, which blocks many bad sites. Win8 has this technology baked into the OS, so it works no matter which browser you use. Right now the choice of which browser to use should be more about performance and privacy, rather than susceptibility to malware.

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