Prevent Re-infection
 

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Prevent Re-infection 

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Highest Priority: Do Not Install Malware Thinking it is Anti-Malware!

It is very easy to get confused. How could you know when a window comes up telling you that you have an infection and need to buy or update an anti-spyware program - that in fact the very program you are going to pay for - is itself one of the most heinous forms of malware, spyware, hard to get rid of ad-ware etc?

All the names sound the same... and the miscreants are free to fraudulently use the names of good-guy products on their bad-guy offerings.

You will also get Google Ads and other ads for the malware spyware in the most legitimate of places! We can't run ads on this site because there's an extremely high probability that you would wind up seeing spyware masquerading as anti-spyware in those ads. The ads are served up automatically from anyone willing to pay the fees. Those producing malware have plenty of money to pay the fees.

Here are two resources that lists most of the fake, or rogue "spyware claiming to be anti-spyware":

SpywareWarrior

MalwareBytes

So *don't* buy or download software that either of the above sites considers suspicious.

*Don't* buy or download from a pop up window or web ad that you run across while surfing that tells you that you are infected.

*Don't* buy or download from advertisements you receive as spam email.

I suggest your first money go into a hardware firewall such as a Linksys WRT-54G,  Netgear , Dlink or similar. The hardware firewall is a pretty trouble-free and cheap first line of defense.

I do not find the Windows firewall at all useful and it seems that Windows doesn't correctly report when it is on, off, or partially on, nor does it always warn when blocking something. This is just anecdotal information based on my own experiences.

For a software firewall and more, I like the free for personal use NetVeda.

Many folks use other software firewalls and you may find others that work well for you. I simply observed that a chronically infected customer no longer got infected after installation of NetVeda.

I also like Rogue Remover, WinPatrol, and CounterSpy. I cannot recommend the add-on to CounterSpy that they will offer you during purchase, called Kerio Firewall. For my customers, Kerio Firewall was too over-bearing and required constant answering of questions.

A problem with software firewalls or active protection that they are always asking you if you want to allow, always allow, remember to allow or deny , deny etc... 

You may be typing at the time the question comes up. In the course of typing you hit the spacebar and automatically answer the question before you see the question. Often this means you permanently blocked something you didn't want blocked, or you allowed something you shouldn't have allowed.

A nice feature of WinPatrol is that you can disable all the crap your computer runs at startup - even in the free version. And WinPatrol does a great job of notifying me when something tries to add itself back into the startup group. WinPatrol lets me prevent that. I like that a lot.

 

ClamWin is a free anti-virus for Windows.  It does not monitor every file or transaction constantly - you must intentionally scan files that you receive or that you wish to test.  The advantage to this is that your computer isn't slowed down by excessive constant monitoring. Many reasonable people do not get infected using only ClamWin - IF they can follow the other recommendations on this page.

You can right click any file you see in My Computer or Windows Explorer, and choose Scan with Clamwin. You can also set up a scheduled scan to run at night while you sleep. Don't let the scan to check your whole system run while you work, as it takes up 100% of the CPU. Make sure your computer is in a cool room or put an extra fan or air conditioner pointed at it for a full system scan.
 

Change your habits to prevent re-infection

Get paranoid.

Don't click on links in email. Don't buy from spammers. Don't download a video codec that you "must have in order to view this movie."

Use Firefox whenever possible, and if you are a real woman or a real man who can take it - install the NoScript plug-in for Firefox. This will prevent most cross-site-scripting exploits of your computer, and many automated infections that can hit you just by visiting a website - but it comes at a cost. You have to allow - or better yet temporarily allow - scripts to run on sites you trust. ( This video demonstrates NoScript: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKW5SMvMKtY )

A few sites will not work unless you globally allow, and these days, there are no websites guaranteed to be safe, regardless of how big or well known the company that runs them, regardless if they are government or even anti-virus vendor websites. You need to be as cautious with your surfing as you are with handing strangers your debit card and making sure they have your PIN memorized before they go on their way.

Finally, although of course you never look at porn on the Internet and no one in your family does either - here's some tips you can pass on to that one friend of yours that does.

Don't install video codecs in order to watch that special movie.

Get a Linux Live cd such as Knoppix, boot from it and use the built in browser when you (I mean, when your friend) want to surf for porn. Knoppix is free... and your friend won't have to buy that tell-tale software that "wipes the history from your hard drive" - there's no history because every time you reboot , all the history is erased with a Linux Live cd.