Archive for the ‘Malware Prevention’ Category

Avoid Crapware When Installing Software

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

When downloading and installing new software, it’s easy to get duped into installing bundled crapware at the same time. That’s because a surprisingly large number of software vendors hide these annoying add-ons in their installers and deliberately try to trick you into allowing them through. Weblog FreewareGenius and Lifehacker.com have some tips on avoiding these sneaky tricks in the future. The most popular tricks you’ll run into include:

  • Making the crapware look like it’s the original program’s privacy policy, which you (of course) agree to
  • Hiding the choice under “Custom Installation,” so the “Typical” installation gives you the toolbar automatically
  • Offering you crapware multiple times throughout the installation, perhaps with different wordings

Be sure to pay close attention during the installation process. If you’re given an “Advanced” or “Custom” installation method, use it! Watch out for these dubious tricks or you’ll likely end up with a mysterious new web browser toolbar or search engine alongside the next piece of software you install.

Checkout Lifehacker’s article or the post by FreewareGenius for more tips!

Zoodles: A Free, Safe And Kid-Friendly Browser

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Much like the kid-friendly educational software of yesterday, free web browser Zoodles gives young kids an easy-to-use window into the Internet while keeping them (and your computer) safe. For ages 2-8, Zoodles attempts to always deliver safe, fun, and educational content through a dead-simple interface that can even get more complex as your child grows and learns.

Zoodles is available for Windows and Mac, and comes in either a free version or a $7.95/month premium version which gives parents extra functionality such as enhanced ad blocking, content filtering, and activity monitoring. A free trial of the premium membership is included with the download.

If your kids are older, you should definitely teach them how to use a computer properly without special software installed. However, kid-friendly browsers such as Zoodles are a great way to introduce younger children to the computer and provide them with a safe and enriching experience.

Free Rock Solid Virus Protection

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Your favorite helpful nerds are starting a series of youtube videos with simple tips and tricks to keep your computer running at its best. Check out the first in the series, where we show you how to stay protected while browsing the web using totally free software!

The Future of Anti-Virus

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

The problem with your typical signature-based anti-virus software is that it relies on virus signature definitions to do its detection. It works sort of like a vaccine. You get vaccinated against the latest threats, which should protect you should you happen to run into them, and your “vaccinations” come in the form of downloadable updates to your virus signature database. Unfortunately, hundreds of new viruses are released every single day–that’s just way too much for the “vaccination makers” to keep up with. By the time you download the latest virus signatures, they’re already out of date and you’re still left unprotected against the latest threats. That’s where sandboxing comes in.
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Microsoft Security Essentials: Let The Downloads Begin!

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Microsoft released their free anti-malware product yesterday, and it’s still awesome. If you’re on a Windows computer, you should stop reading this post now and head here to download it. In case you missed my original post on MSE, let me just recap by saying it’s the single best signature-based anti-virus software available. It’s low on resources, simple to setup and use, and high on performance. Did I mention it’s also free?

Also, in case you’re wondering, all of the default settings in Security Essentials look great to me–except for one. I would recommend that you turn ON “Scan Removable Drives” under Settings->Advanced. This will make sure that your USB thumb drives get scanned as well when MSE does a full scan. Happy downloading!

Windows Updates: Half The Battle

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

A secure system begins with the installation of all the latest patches for Windows (and whatever other software you might have running). Without them, you’re a sitting duck for whatever malicious website or hacker you might happen upon. This is why it’s so important to keep your computer updated at all times. Too often do I see clients infected with a virus because they simply didn’t have their Windows updates installed–they were too lazy to install them, they didn’t want to restart their computer, or they just didn’t realize they had to. If you’re like them, you could be one website away from a malware infection.
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Microsoft Releases Free Anti-Virus Software

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Microsoft has recently released a beta version of Security Essentials (previously Morro), their free anti-virus security software. I’ve taken a look, and I’ve come to a rather shocking conclusion: it’s good. I mean, really really good. In fact, I think it’s safe to ignore my last post about which free malware prevention software is the best. Let me just come right out and say it… Microsoft Security Essentials is the single best product, free or otherwise, to protect your computer from malware.
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Free Malware Prevention Software Roundup

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

When it first hit the scene, the free avast! virus scanner was a pretty new and novel idea. It was the first really good virus protection suite I had found that was not only free, but was free to update with the latest virus definitions. Not a free trial, like McAfee or Symantec, but a totally free virus protection solution that would last forever.

I’ve been a faithful avast! advocate ever since, but recently decided to test out some of the other free malware protection software available (Avira and AVG). Has my faith been shaken? Read on to find out!
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