Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Windows Security Programs

Securing your computer can be tedious and expensive (if you don't know what you are doing) or cheap and easy. I know I, myself, did not pay one cent to secure and maintain my Windows based computer. Before I get started, please make sure that you do not have Norton or McAffee. Both of these programs and all programs named under them are garbage and should be removed.

AVG Free - AVG Free edition is a high quality virus scanner. If there is a virus on your computer, AVG will know it. AVG Free is of more value than Norton or McAffee for the following reasons: Everything.
Spybot: Search and Destroy - In my experience, Spybot is the most effective tool for removing malicious programs, etc. from your computer. Spybot also has the ability to lock your registry and startup. This makes many pieces of malicious code easier to remove and allows you to approve all registry and startup related changes. If a piece of code can not be removed in windows due to the way it is designed, no problem! Spybot can run after a restart before the malicious code gets a chance to protect itself again. As an added bonus, Spybot is extremely simple to use.
HijackThis - HijackThis is a program which will scan your computer (rather quickly) in some known problem areas and makes a log of all the non-default values or changes and alows you to delete them. However, Hijack this does not determine what is bad or good. If you know what you are doing, feel free to go through and 'fix' what you want. If you are not sure, look up the item names that look suspicious on the internet or post your log on a tech forum. They will be sure to help.
CCleaner - Not necessarily a security program itself, but can be used to help you clean up some evil out of your PC. CCleaner scans your computer for wasted space (temp files, cookies, cached web pages, etc.) and cleans them out. It also has a tool for repairing your registry (be sure to make a backup first) and tools for editing your startup. This program can really make a difference.
Defraggler - A faster and easier to use version of Windows' defragmenting tool. Unlike the default tool, Defraggler lets you defragment specific files or folders and gives you alot more details. Like the rest of the programs on this list, it is completely free. Why not give it a shot?

All of the value and ease of a paid setup for no cost at all. What more do you want? (Don't forget to keep your windows firewall ON at all times)

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