Archive for Monday, November 12, 2007

Protect your computer from viruses

November 12, 2007


Most people who run Windows are accustomed to spending $50 or more a year on anti-virus software. But if you use Windows at home - not for a business - you can lower that cost to zero with one of a few free anti-virus programs. Try, for example, Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition, which has coexisted well with both Windows XP and Windows Vista. Alwil's Avast! 4 Home Edition is another good option. Free anti-virus protection also is available on a Mac with ClamXav, but without any OS X viruses for this program to catch, its primary utility may be stopping you from accidentally forwarding a Windows virus.


portstorm 10 years, 7 months ago

Stop spreading myths. "without any OS X viruses..." that is pure BS. There are a number of them and some are NASTY little things. Look it up... maybe try something like google "OSX Virus"...

SeaFox 10 years, 7 months ago

Sort of. If you'd actually research each of those threats, you'd find most of them are not actually viruses, but worms or trojans. And worms require user action to spread, and trojans require stupid user action to spread. A few that may be classified as viruses are not actually "in the wild" they exist but they are either proof of concepts or so badly written they don't work properly. In other words, they really aren't much of a threat to you online. Reporting about stuff like this in the media usually is inaccurate or unbalanced because reporters are generally technically illiterate and don't recognize these distinctions, they're also falling all over each other to report a Mac virus. Windows viruses aren't news since there are literally thousands of them every year. But the Mac virus that shows up maybe twice a year is much more rare. Taking the advice of antivirus companies is a bad move, too. They want you to buy their antivirus software after all.

If most users are accustomed to spending $50 a year or more for AV software, I'd say most users are idiots. There are some AV programs that are FREE for personal use. AVG Antivirus, ClamWin AV, Avast Antivirus. And even the "normal" for pay programs are available in discounted deals. If you keep you eyes peeled you can find some places selling them for free after mail-in or instant rebate. If you're a KU student you should know that KU makes AV software available free to students as well.

I used to use Norton Antivirus, and I remember a yearly updates subscription being around $20. I don't whose charging $50 a year for their stuff. Maybe for antivirus/antispyware/antiadware/privacy protector, something you can put together with two or three free programs yourself.

Ragingbear 10 years, 7 months ago

AVG and Avast are both excellent anti-viral programs. I use Avast personally and am quite happy with it.

I remember about 7 years ago, I had a free subscription to Norton's with a computer purchase. One day I got a virus in my email. Deciding to do something stupid instead of just deleting it, I scanned the attachment with my Norton's.

Not only did it fail to detect the virus, but in turn my Norton's was infected itself. It was right after that that I decided to go with another company.

Ragingbear 10 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, that is exactly what I want. I want a program that leaves a false signature that states I am in Afghanistan. Perhaps people should think things through before doing stupid things like that.

Sigmund 10 years, 7 months ago

"Most people who run Windows are accustomed to spending $50 or more a year on anti-virus software." Well OK then, don't run Winders. You can't afford a MAC? Me neither (actually I can but refuse to be ripped off by "Steve Jobs, Al Gore, and Co." on their hardware prices). I run a free OS on commodity Intel hardware that is at least as secure as OSX, Fedora's distribution of Linux.

I think it is fair to say that many sites you surf run some flavor Linux (, Linux 2.4.0 - 2.5.20 Uptime 441.227 days without a reboot since Mon Aug 28 08:14:10 2006), not to mention Google.

When I must run Winders (and sometimes I must) I put it behind a firewall (running Linux, BTW) and then run the FREE versions of these software: Ad-Aware Personal (adware blocking), Windows Defender from Microsoft (spyware detection and removal), AVG Free (anti-virus detection and removal), and ZoneAlarm (yet another firewall). All sadly necessary and they can hurt the performance of the hardware. A good list is here....

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

" (actually I can but refuse to be ripped off by "Steve Jobs, Al Gore, and Co." on their hardware prices)."

Their hardware prices are actually fairly competitive these days. But I do agree that Linux is a very viable alternative to either Mac OS or Winders.

Sigmund 10 years, 7 months ago

Over half the Internet runs on free software (Apache).

Half of the most reliable web hosting companies run Open Source Software (Linux, BSD).

Ever since Apple switched to Intel their prices have been more affordable but there are still a few "profit center" hardware prices. For instance, here are Apple's prices for RAM: 1GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x512MB [Included in base price] 2GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB [Add $150] 4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB [Add $850]

Still seems a bit out of touch. If they would kick AlGore off of the BOD, I might pick up a Mac Book Pro. Better yet, if they would sell OSX for generic Intel CPU's, I'd pick a copy up and run it on "generic notebook." Just in the nature of full disclosure, I have personal investment in APPL less than 5% of the company but greater than $5000.

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