You don't have to pay a cent to keep your computer secure against the bad guys. Watch this discussion on best practices and best apps between CNET TV's Tom Merritt and Download.com's Seth Rosenblatt. When you're done, head on over to our Security Starter Kit to check out must-haves for both newbies and power users.
Published by Johnathan; Pasadena, California
Well, one day I was logging onto my computer when I noticed a virus alert. I had noticed a week or so before that the sites I visit (like Crunchyroll) felt a little slower, and a month before that my computer started restarting randomly and continuously. I had to turn it off for a day to fix it. After I saw the virus alert, the sites I go on took about 8 seconds a page compared to the normal 2 or 3 seconds.
That's not all, however; I found that I couldn't log … Read more
Published by: Bob; Boston
I have an XP Systemax unit that has worked flawlessly for two years. Until today. I checked my e-mail in the morning and noticed it was a little sluggish, so I rebooted--I admit, it had been a while since my last reboot. When the computer came back up, it was almost at a dead stop. Neither my ZoneAlarm nor AVG Anti-Virus would load. Any program I tried relating to anti-anything would not work, either.
Published by Mesila; San Francisco, CA
I recently had unknown malware that was causing Windows to keep rebooting at odd moments. Another thing it did was install a kazillion services and then have all of them running at once. It wasn't something that any scanner would pick up--and being big on file sharing, I've made it a point to keep a whole army of antimalware programs around. I'm assuming the culprit was either one that was new at the time, or a variant that had morphed itself from an older version. Eventually, after a lot of fussing … Read more
Spyware removal, real-time protection, and integrated antivirus for free? These compelling ingredients form the siren song of Spyware Terminator. Digging out spyware is the security tool's chief job description, but the application also adds real-time blocking and integrates the free ClamWin Antivirus tool at your behest. Spyware Terminator scans and zaps on three levels, and helps guard against malicious code swimming in through applications, system files, and the Internet.
I can't say for certain that ISPs, online advertising networks, and other big Web companies are already tracking our Web use and sending us ads and other information based on conclusions they draw from our unique browsing history.
But it wouldn't surprise me one bit if they were. And if they aren't already, I know it's only a matter of time.
Web sites have been using persistent cookies to remember you from session to session for a long time. Usually, sites know only the site you arrived from and the site you go to when you … Read more
This year's major update to user favorite Ad-Aware looks to be more of a course correction from some of the missteps in the 2007 version. The adware and malware detection engine has undergone a significant overhaul, resulting in faster scan times, and the interface has been changed.
The changes to the detection and removal engine will be noticeable to long-time Ad-Aware users, with Lavasoft touting faster scan times and better rootkit detection. New users should notice that the app performs faster than integrated antivirus and antimalware programs, and that's because only the paid version of Ad-Aware comes with … Read more
Submitted by Scott, Vernon Hills, Ill.
This past April, a friend of mine, Jeff, called me on a Saturday afternoon, letting me know that I was instant messaging him right then. I obviously wasn't. He said that after some lines of basic text, I acted panicked and asked for money to be wired to an African bank account, which Jeff knew immediately was bad news for the real me.
I immediately changed some passwords in key accounts and found that my Hotmail account had been mysteriously compromised. The evildoers had got a ton of my contacts and sent out … Read more
Anti-virus software is a necessary evil (unless you're a Mac or Linux user, am I right?), but it doesn't have to be a costly one. Witness Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition, which offers robust virus protection without any money changing hands.
The just-released version 8.0 includes a spiffier, easier interface and a new feature called LinkScanner, which promises protection from malicious links returned by Web searches. Better still, AVG 8.0 adds anti-spyware to the mix, bringing it closer to that other free anti-virus favorite, Avast. (The latter includes rootkit protection as well, which AVG still … Read more
Seventy-five million downloads can't be wrong, right? Phenomenally popular security program AVG Free has upgraded to Version 8, and Editor Seth Rosenblatt takes a first look at the revamp.
New features include a blessing of a new interface that's clean and easy to use, LinkScanner to minimize the risk of clicking on dangerous links during searches, and more.