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Spyware, Anti-Virus, Malware Recommendations

I just bought a new computer running Windows 7. It came with a trial period of Norton Internet Security. I don't really know that much about Norton, but heard there are better (free) programs out there. I also heard that Norton will slow up the computer.

I have been looking at:

Avast and AVG Anti-Virus

I run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Windows Defender.

Could I just d/l Norton, turn on Windows Firewall and run one of the Anti-Virus programs?


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Two Recommendations..


You asked, "Could I just d/l Norton, turn on Windows Firewall and run one of the Anti-Virus programs?" I guess you *could* but .. whether you *should* is an entirely different story. Silly. Generally, the rule is to have only one A/V (and one firewall) installed and running. You open yourself up for a myriad of problems/issues, if you have two running concurrently.

If in the end, you decide to install Avast or AVG, remove NIS by going to Start>Control Panel>Programs>Programs and Features. You will find the option to "uninstall a program". In addition, it's advisable to download and run the Norton Removal Tool. Norton products (along with other's) tend to leave leftover files, which aren't completely removed with Window's A/R utility.

There's a "search" feature at the top of each forum. While you're waiting for other responses, you might want to make use of it. You'd be surprised, at how many varied opinions you'll find. Just something to consider.

Best of luck..

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same thing really

Carol, I'm pretty sure by the context that when Jane said "...d/l Norton..." she was using d/l to be an abbreviation for "delete", not "download", so I suppose your advice is exactly what Jane was suggesting in the first place.

PS - I haven't done it in a while, but I understand that completely deleting Norton isn't the easiest thing in the world to do, even with their removal tool. Sometimes a new PC comes with so much trial junk that you're better off just reformatting and reinstalling the operating system the very first time you turn it on.

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Getting rid of Norton


The way to get rid of Norton totally and completely is to first use the Norton Uninstaller Tool and then clean up the rest with CCleaner. I know this because I just did it for a friend of mine. I installed my "Armorware Arsenal/Cocktail" given in my Main answer below.

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Carol's answer IMOP, hit the mark. One A/V one firewall. There are varying opinions on WHAT to use, the free stuff or the non free stuff, we could go on for hours. Over the years I have used a myriad of different security softwares with varying result(s). Personally I use Kaspersky on a few systems, AVG suite on a couple of others and have had no real issues with any of my systems, laptops/desktops but it does get a little pricey since none of mine are freebies. Good luck and happy computing!!!

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Antivirus/firewall for windows7

Carole, me too. I had XP before upgrading, running Avast and windows firewall. I was completely happy with Avast, knowing from painful experience that it does work and is a good complete tool. Not too sure about win firewall though in relation to other tools. I prefer not to pay for mine if at all possible. Too many seem to come as a package, rather than a standalone firewall. I am going to remove Norton and use Avast again - i will probably keep relying on the windows firewall too. Hope this helps - at least you know you're not alone. Best

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I use Avast too, and find it works very good. I also have MalwareBytes loaded, and it also works very good. I like the way Avast automatically updates it's database daily.


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Norton and Malwarebytes

Don't use any of the stuff you get WITH the computer free for six months or so for free. Those products have gradually sunk into mediocre worthlessness. Trend micro included with your PC OS, will often prevent your youtube working particularly on some Vista Dell machines. AVG started minimizing the effectiveness of its free grisoft product three years ago. The one they offered at the time- they dumbed the next one down, remains better than any AVG since, but they're not updating that old AVG with anything new. Switch to Avast which works fine, but will not necessarily save you from everything. If you get hit with a bad one, get a thumb drive and run the NAME the virus calls itself on a separate 'puter, and you will be directed to the antidote, which is very often malwarebytes these days and sometimes a registry fix freeware too. Don't try to use these unless the victimized 'puter is run in safe mode. See, the virii usually arranges to USE Windows to automatically replant the virus on startup, or send or plant a time bomb that goes off days later reinstalling the same virus. Here's my view on firewalls: If your router has one, don't turn one on in the computer. If you don't have one in the router, use the Microsoft firewall that comes with windows. I'm using the firewall in by WRT 100 linksys 54 KBPS router and none in any of my four operating pcs.

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Uhgm, isn't it a better idea to use BOTH the router's "hardware" firewall AND a good third-party firewall for maximum safety? I always thought so and so do all of my techie friends, most of which are Pros.

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Why not stay with MS throughout?

A simple choice would be installing the free MS Security Essentials; it is unobtrusive, no bells and whistles, and it works spot on. The only thing is you need to make sure to disable Defender. With 7, the built-in firewall is probably adequate, and obviously should have no issues with a home-grown security product. Could be a nice combo, and you are unlikely to want for more.

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Spyware, anti-virus, antimalware recommendations.

Jane,we have 6 computers in our house and we got dissatisfied with mcafee and norton quite some time ago. We switched to Avast and we were satisfied with it until Microsoft came out with Security Essencials. We are now using Security Essencials on all our computers and it has picked up some malware that even Avast did not. Also it is totally free, no pay version and totally compatable with any version of Windows. We use Windows built in firewall also. Suggest you add Threatfire free version anti-virus. It operates differently than other anti-virus's and does not conflict with them. Malwarebytes is good to have on your machine and also suggest downloading Microsoft's malicious software removal tool if you don't already have it. thyis and Malwarebytes has helped us remove a lot of virs's fro friends and neighbors machines. And one last idea, Add revo uninstaller to your list of tools. It does a much better job of removing software programs from your machine than Microsoft's built-in A/R tool. Roger in Winnemucca, NV.

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I recently purchased a new came with a bunch of trialware...none of which I wanted.

I thought about backing out that stuff....but sometimes that gets messy.

Sooo....I stuck in the recovery discs and hit go.

Poof.....all the trialware vanished and I got to verify that the recovery disc worked.

Turn on the windows firewall.

Go directly to windows update....get the critical updates.

Install your favorite flavor of AV...Avast is's modular.

Anti-malware......Windows defender is part of the OS....let it fly.

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Spyware, viruses, & security Forum

Everyone is using 2 1/2 year old data or news since Norten 2009 release in Sept 2008 Norten has been rated among the top security security suites. Either No 1, 2,3 or 4. PC Computing, Computer Magazine and Consuer Reports all rated it that high. Norten Antivirus is NO longer slow but one of the fastest and the suite is NO longer a resource hog. Unfortunately too many people repeat the same stuff over and over and if you read CNET daily....a lot individuals still have not forgotten their bad experiences with Noten. So if you can get a good deal on Norten 2010 ISS either through rebates, from buying tax SW, FRY's electronics or because you have a student discount..go ahead buy it. Other good suites are Kaspersky, G-Data and Bit defender. Yes you can do a good job with free applications; AVAST, AVRIL, MS Security Essentials...NOT AVG free. Malwarebytes, Spybot, SuperAntispyware and Windows Defender. Use Commodo or PC Tool Firewall and or Windows firewall on Windows 7 with the Windows firewall add-on to configure outbound request..availavble from CNET.

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Norton by Norton vs. Norton by Symantec


Do you have at least three(3) reputable sources that back up your claims about S-Norton(Symantec/Norton)? Confused And just how long have you used it? Confused How long ago? Confused

And why would or should someone pay for something when they can get something else that is just as good, or better, for FREE? Confused (I'm talking personal use, here - NOT Commercial. Plain )

Just wondering......

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Effectively Fighting Malware & More ALL for Free

For the time being, the very BEST anti-malware to use is Linux. Why Linux Is Better Cool
Sorry for that but I simply could not resist! Mischief Laugh Ssshhhh! Wink Devil

Plain In all seriousness now, one must first understand that there is NO such thing as only one Anti-Virus or one Anti-Spyware program that can catch %100 of malware floating around out there. Malware writers are so hard a work that it's impossible for any one company to keep up with it all!! This is why it's so important to use a 'layered' approach.

But before you get rid of the Norton, you should download all the .exe files of the programs that you're going to replace it with and use to augment and compliment each other with.

Here's a list "Armorware" that I can suggest to mitigate against and/or clean up any infestation that you may run into:

--->True: Use only ONE installed on-board AV solution because using two or more can/will cause each to tag the other as viruses due to their definition files containing what looks to each other like viruses, themselves. This is what can slow a computer down to a slug's pace and most likely freeze it solid.

*The only caveat, so far, with AV solutions is Threatfire. Threatfire is in deed in a class of its own (at this time) and can be run along side of and with a 'regular' AV. Since they have two different ways of looking for things and with, more importantly, two different definition databases to draw from one could easily find something the other may miss. Therefore, they back each other up. That's a GOOD thing!

X--->Solution: First, download the .exe of the AV solution of your choice. I, personally, ditched AVG several years ago (when it let my computer get so infested I immediately had to wipe the drive and do an OS re-install!) and, since, have had great luck with Avast Anti-virus. Avast not only protects against viruses, but also against "poisoned web pages" and a smattering of spyware/mal-ware. I have it on my Win box, my room mates box, and three friend's boxes - two of them running XP and one Vista. In addition to me, they all have had very good experiences with Avast.

*After you've downloaded the .exe files of the AV and other progs you choose to replace the Norton [etc.] with, use the Norton Removal Tool given in a previous answer to get rid of your Norton installation.

You can also download CCleaner to clean up any left-over "orphaned files" that the Norton and/or any other program leaves behind. While this is not an anti-malware tool, it is quite a useful utility to find pieces of rogue-ware programs that other programs such as Malwarebytes' may miss and also as a maintenance tool help keep your computer running cleanly and smoothly.

--->True: It is best to run only ONE firewall. Again, firewalls can conflict badly with each other. However, the built-in MS firewall only controls traffic going in ONE direction. One truly needs a firewall that controls traffic going both in to the computer and out of it for maximum protection.

X--->Solution: For this task Comodo Firewall is KING! However, it tries to install a Toolbar and another program that you do NOT need, nor want!!! During installation, if you choose to use it, UNCHECK the Toolbar box and the box for the other program, too. ONLY install the Firewall itself.

--->Anti-malware programs are a bit different than AV programs and Firewalls in that you can install more than one on your computer and it is recommended that you do so. However, only use the 'real-time' protection of ONE of them because the same type of conflicts can occur with that 'real-time' protection that can occur with more than one AV and/or firewall running.

X--->Solutions: Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware version. This is a program the when kept updated on a daily basis can make the difference in cleaning up an infestation and keeping the OS and your files intact ~OR~ having to just wipe the drive and do a clean OS re-install losing all your needed/wanted files along the way. ...(unless you do regular backups to removable media or an external hard drive as you should.)

And Spybot Search & Destroy This is the ONLY free anti-spyware/malware program that offers real-time protection against a myriad of spywarez/malwarez with it's Tea Timer function in addition to protecting your registry from unauthorized/unwanted changes. That said, SS&D has become quite slow, BUT for the protection it gives, it is well WORTH the extra time it takes to Immunize and/or run!!!!

**Once you have chosen the program(s) you want to replace Norton with and have them installed on your computer it's a very good idea to use an on-line malware scanner such as F-Secure Online Scanner to back up your on-board "Armorware Arsenal". This particular one not only finds infestations, but allows you to clean them up as well. You even have the choice to allow it to Automatically Clean or Manually Clean what it finds, if anything. (Strongly suggest the Manual Option.) The reason to use an on-line scanner is that there are certain types of mal-ware running around out there that have the ability to, not only get past your on-board arsenal, but shut it down! By using an on-line scanner you can periodically check to make sure your on-board arsenal is working. AND if any of your on-board real-time arsenal 'cries' you can clean your computer with all of the on-board arsenal and then double-check with the on-line scanner.

***In addition to all of that, because while IE is getting better it still hasn't quite caught up yet, Security-wise. You should replace it along with your Norton. Instead of IE (!!!do NOT try to uninstall IE!!!) you can use Firefox, instead. Simply make Firefox your "Default Browser" if/when you install it. There are some very good Add-ons for Firefox that can help you in the fight against malware. The most important ones are:

WOT (you can get WOT for IE, too, in case you insist upon using IE.)

There are also some Add-ons that just plain come in quite handy! Like for instance:

Navigational Sounds
PDF Download
Print/Print Preview
Secure Login
Unsorted Bookmarks Folder Menu
Yahoo! Toolbar (if you use Yahoo!)

You will find that there are scads of Add-ons and Themes to choose from for Firefox so you can "build your own browser"! The 'Classic Compact' Theme takes up less space on your screen than ANY of the rest. Wink You can even choose "skins" for Firefox with Personas Plus.

X---> Just remember that:

1. All the anti-malware programs in the world are NOT going to do any good at all if they are not KEPT UPDATED and manually used on a regular LEAST weekly if not more often.

2. There is a LOT to be said for staying out of the "back alleys" of the internet, also being quite careful of social networking sites and "Best Practices" when is comes to the use e-mail (E.G.: NOT even opening spam and/or e-mail from those you do not know and NOT downloading attachments unless you know the computer habits of those sending them to you just to mention a couple of those "Best Practices".)

I hope this helps give you some intriguing options and helps you out, Carol. Good Luck!

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Blush I made an extremely embarrassing faux paux! Blush

Shocked I addressed Carol (who was an answerer of the question) instead of janenolan who was the original asker of the question!! Shocked

Blush So, sorry! Blush

But I do hope that my answer gives janenolan a helping hand in some form. Wink
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PC Security advice

This is spot-on advice young sir. I've read these posts out of interest, being off-line (no home PC) for a considerable time and recently returning to CNET forums. I've had to get back to setting up my own system and have done quite a bit of on-line research as a result. There has always been a great deal of advice on the web about secuity, privacy etc, but not too much independant advice about which programs to use. A lot of it has been trail and error, and it obviously still is. THAT IS THE GREAT THING ABOUT FORUMS LIKE THIS!! At the end of the day, which program is best will usually come down to personal opinion. There will be exceptions to this of course, once in a while a program will appear and be judged by most to be the best in its class.
The important thing is that users are able to keep in touch with other users on a real-time basis, just like this. One of the absolutely BEST things about the internet is the community of techies who believe in a free internet and provide free programs for all to use and enjoy - OPEN SOURCE RULES!!! and long may it, and the community spirit continue.

ps - I completely agree with your assessment of FireFox, I wouldn't be without it.

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