Antivirus Software - Free Antivirus Advice


Tips to Ensure Your Computer Stays Virus-Free

If you surf the web, then the risk of your system becoming infected with a virus is ever-present; this is why you must ensure that your computer's security is complete and up-to-date; for full protection, you need both updated antivirus software and a hardware and software firewall. You also need to regularly apply patches to all of the software that you use since hackers are always discovering new vulnerabilities to exploit. Disabling java script in your browser, whether it is Internet Explorer or freeware such as Firefox Mozilla, will further ensure your computer's security as well as preventing unwanted pop-ups.

Buying a full security suite to protect your computer can be expensive. Fortunately for those on a budget, it is perfectly possible to build your own suite using free antivirus utilities that you can download from the Internet. The suite should consist of an antivirus scan utility, an anti-spyware scanner and a firewall. To provide further antivirus protection, you should also have an anti-spam filter and an anti-phishing filter. Once you’ve created your security suite, make sure that you keep it secure by regularly downloading updates.

However, if despite all your precautions your system still suffers an infection, here are a few troubleshooting fixes you should already have on hand to address the problem.

If your computer is unable to boot into Windows because of a malware infection, you will need a rescue CD. A rescue CD is antivirus freeware that allows you to boot your system, scan for threats and repair the infected computer. All you have to do is download a copy and then burn it onto a CD. Vendors are also regularly releasing updates so you also have to download these, although one vendor allows you to download updates onto a USB drive from where they can be accessed by the rescue CD. A rootkit is a particularly sinister form of virus infection, not just because of the havoc it can wreak on your system, but also because of their ability to avoid detection by concealing themselves deep within the operating system. This also makes rootkits particularly hard to remove, and once they have become entrenched in your system install additional programs that will take over control of your system. Once these malicious programs are installed, they may monitor your activities and transmit vital information such as your password over the net. The main way to detect a rootkit is by the evidence of its activities on your computer, such as very slow performance and a mysterious and rapid increase in hard disk space, although rootkit detectors may identify some of the more common ones. Because of the difficulty of removing rootkits, IT people often deal with the problem by simply backing up data files, reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system. So you should make regular backup images of your hard drive on a CD or DVD so you can recreate it the way it was before the infection.

However, if you are not prepared to take this drastic step, or you suspect that the backup disks themselves are infected, then you can download a rootkit removal utility that will detect and remove these threats to a limited extent. Make sure that you get one from a reputable vendor that has a good reputation for detecting and removing rootkits.



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