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Security software

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Anti-Virus Protection

Antivirus software is installed on the local machine to protect your PC against viruses, trojans and various other types of malware. Antivirus programs run in the background and need to be kept up to date to ensure maximum protection against new threats that are released into the wild practically every day.

There are many well known brands of AntiVirus software such as Symantec or McAfee, but we list below a selection of free Antivirus programs.

  • AVG Free Anti Virus for single home users from Grisoft
  • Avast Free Anti Virus for the home PC.
  • Avira Free Anti Virus for home users.
  • Clam Win AV for windows - also standalone which can be run from USB pen drive.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials Free Real time protection for home PCs

It is not recommended to run more than one AntiVirus program at any one time, as this will likely cause conflicts.


Firewalls work by limiting authorised traffic into the local network. There are two types of firewalls:- Hardware and Software firewalls.

Hardware firewalls are machines which limit traffic based on specific configuration and rules. Most of today's adsl routers have an inbuilt firewall which can be configured to restrict certain types of traffic on to the local network. Most also use NAT which adds another layer of protection.

Software firewalls are installed on the local PC to monitor traffic passing to and from that computer.

There is some debate over whether or not you need a software firewall if you have an adsl router. Personally Ive relied upon various NAT based routers for the past 9 years. If you fully explore the features in the router you will find there are various configurations and most can also be set up for logging. However, the final choice is up to you if you want to also install a software firewall on your PC then below is a list of free software firewalls.

  • Private Firewall Desktop Security from Privacyware (Free Firewall)
  • Ashampoo Free Firewall
  • Comodo Free Comodo Firewall Pro.
  • Outpost Free Firewall
  • Zone Alarm Free software download for personal use
  • Windows Firewall Notifier Windows Firewall Notifier (WFN) extends the default Windows embedded firewall behavior, allowing to handle outgoing connections, and displaying (almost) real-time information about the current connections.

You should not only rely on a firewall whether it be software or hardware and you also need Antivrus protection installed on each machine.

Spyware and Malware Tools

Spyware is often malicious software used to gather personal information about a user or a users system without their knowledge. There are varying degrees of spyware, ranging from simple web tracking to more seriously gathering information about passwords and/or credit cards. The latter is often known as phishing. Phishing often occurs by tricking the user into clicking on a disguised link or opening a malicious file which may have been downloaded from an unscrupulous site or as an email attachment.

Free Defence Tools against spyware and malware:

  • Adaware Free spyware and malware scanner.
  • Spybot S&D Spybot Search and Destroy -Free spyware and malware scanner.
  • Anti-Spy Spyware, trojans, keyloggers + adware protection.
  • Windows Defender Microsoft's Free spyware protection.
  • Spyware Blaster Free spyware defence from Javacool
  • a-squared Anti-Malware Malware defence against trojans, worms, diallers, rootkits and spyware.
  • AVG Anti-Spyware Formerly Ewido Security Suite - Full features only active for 30 days.
  • SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition does not include real-time blocking or scheduled scanning
  • MalwarebytesA lightweight, fast and very efficient on-demand scanner which will detect and remove all traces of malware including worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware and more. This free version lacks auto updates....but definitions updates are available twice a day for manual download.
  • Windows Defender Offline Windows Defender Offline (beta) is a free offline tool from Microsoft. Download and create a disc/flash drive for malware removal.

Free Clean up tools against spyware and malware:

  • CWShredder Utility for removing the CoolWebSearch Browser Hijack
  • CoolWWWSearch.SmartKiller Tool for CW variant that stops access to certain sites.
  • BHO Demon Utility to view and disable installed BHOs
  • Hijack This (HJT) Browser Hijacker detector.
  • HJT log file analysis On-line file analysis for HJT
  • Malicious Sortware Removal Tool Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
  • Combofix Powerful tool which scans for malware and rootkits. Use with caution unless you know what you're doing.
  • Multi-AV Scanning Tool The Multi-AV Scanning Tool is a software utility that provides multiple anti malware command line scanners to find or detect malware as well as remove it from your computer.
  • Norton Power Eraser Norton Power Eraser. Eliminates deeply embedded and difficult to remove crimeware that traditional virus scanning doesn't always detect.A powerful and aggressive tool to be used with care as it could list legitimate applications, always double check anything NPE finds prior to removal.

On-line Virus Scanners

Online Virus scanners are either where you upload a particular file to a remote server to be scanned or where you connect to a server which will remotely scan your PC for viruses.

Online virus scanners are no substitute for full antivirus as they are unable to monitor the constant flow of data, but they are very useful if you wish to either check the contents of a particular file you downloaded, or if you suspect your PC may be infected and your existing AV has been disabled in some way. Be warned that a remote scan may take some time depending upon the size of your hard drive and the number of files it has to scan.

Listed below are some free online virus scanners:

Online AV scanners are no substitute for full Antivirus software.

Virus Removal Tools

A selection of tools to remove specific viruses

Other Security Scans

Check your vulnerability to online threats.

  • Various scans, checks and security downloads.
  • PC Pitstop Various internet and PC benchmark tests.
  • PCFlank Various stealth and port scan checks
  • Hackerwatch Port scan and probe check
  • Nmap Network Mapper
  • Personal Software Inspector Secunia PSI inspects your entire system for missed updates, vulnerabilities and out of date software.
  • Secunia Online Scan An online scan from Secunia for those that don't want to run the Secunia application full time.

Content Filtering and Anti Malware Security.

Trusted by millions, OpenDNS is used by schools, colleges and businesses around the world to control accessed content.OpenDNS prevents connection to fraudulent and malware infected sites.

This is the easiest way to prevent malware, botnets and phishing attacks,identity theft and make your Internet faster and more reliable.

Parental Controls and Content Filtering protect all devices connected via your router and keep you famly safe by preventing access to unwholesome content. You choose the categories to filter and decide the level of control and you can white/black list domains as required.

This is a very simple and reliable system and goes a long way to keeping your family and systems safe.

EMET is a free tool from Microsoft that works with any software on your system and is designed to help prevent vulnerabiliteis being exploited. Download,install and configure using the interface to add protection to your system from exploits and vulnerabilities. This goes a long way to preventing malware running on your system.

Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File

Another layer to your system protection is the use of *Hosts Files.

Originally used to block banners and advertising systems which also tracked users and affected privacy the MVPS HOSTS File has now been improved to also block known pararsites and bad domains.

Using the HOSTS FILE will make your browsing experience safer and faster as page load times are much improved where you do not load unwanted advertising material and you have another effective layer of protection from parasites.

The Winhelp page also lists some other HOSTS FILE utilities which can be very helpful.

On Win7 and Vista it is recommended to turn off the *DNS CLIENT in SERVICES to prevent browsing slowing down due to a large DNS CACHE build up. I have found instances where it is required to have the DNS CLIENT running, you can use the workarounds as listed on the page or simply flush your *DNS CACHE via the *CMD PROMPT using a utility such as *CCLeaner.--AdrianH 13:45, 1 January 2012 (GMT)

Blocking Web Bugs and Tracking Behaviour

  • Ghostery Ghostery Web Bug blocking. Installed on your browser this informs you of and blocks web bugs and trackers that collect data on your browsing activities.

--Kitz 01:06, 18 December 2011 (GMT)