Coly Computer Help

Preventing and Dealing with Viruses

Viruses continue to create havoc, so which anti-virus program is best? From my experience looking after 80 clients in Colyton, the AVG Free anti-virus is the preferred program. It is also the easiest to use. As well as being completely free, it also causes me the least problems.

Click AVG to find out more about AVG 11 free.

Avast free anti-virus came top of the free programs when tested by Which magazine.

Anti-Vir Free is very good but is suitable only if you have have fast broadband as it takes forever to update on dial-up.

The medium priced Bit Defender Total Security (£36 per annum for3 users per household) came top in a recent review of anti-virus programs. It has good anti-spy properties as well.

Of the big expensive anti-virus programs, McAfee used to cause me the most trouble, especially the anti-spam component. Norton, when it is working well, was not too bad but it was often a pain to re-subscribe and it sometimes receives updates which caused problems.
The problems with Norton and McAfee were due to the many extra bits which were bolted on year after year to persuade people to upgrade to the latest version. They had become bloated, especially the internet security versions because they tried to be all things to all men.
and McAfee have now produced completely new products from scratch so you can buy the latest versions lwith confidence; they will deal with everything the virus creators can throw at them.

Panda and Kaspersky anti-virus are good.

Watch out for the two types of protection (i) a plain anti-virus program (ii) an internet security program. Internet Security programs are expensive because they contain many extra features such as anti-spy, a firewall, anti-spam, child protection. You may not need the extras. A free anti virus program such as AVG 11 free contains an anti-spy program and a detector of dodgy links. Windows already has a firewall. Anti spam programs are available free.

Why do they do it? I am frequently asked why people create viruses. Probably for the same reason that vandals enjoy destroying  property and national tabloid journalist enjoy destroying people. These pathetic creeps get pleasure from their power over people and events. Just as journalists in the national tabloids enjoy creating gloom and panic, and revel in character assassination, so vandals enjoy wrecking property and cars. Virus creators are vandals who actually enjoy wrecking computers.

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Update: Anti-virus and anti-spy programs are useless unless they are updated regularly.

So your anti-virus program has found a virus. A virus?Don't panic! The infected file will be repaired by your anti-virus program. Calm down, and make a careful note of everything that the Virus Alert notice says. You will be offered a choice of things to do. Choose Repair first. If this fails, choose Quarantine or (send to the Vault). If that fails, choose Delete.
Repaired, quarantined or deleted viruses are rendered harmless.
Your anti-virus program will also alert you to the presence of a worm or Trojan, in which case the Virus Alert notice may say 'Access to the file was denied'. This may need expert attention because anti-virus programs are sometimes unable to destroy worms or Trojans. Make a careful note of the name and other details of any virus/worm/Trojan; your computer technician will then be able to quickly find it and destroy it.

AVG alert

AVG and a blocked web page.
AVG may block a web page and prevent it from loading. As long as AVG blocked the threat you are quite safe, so don't be alarmed.
If you use a search engine to help you deal with this, most search results will say it is a false positive. This is incorrect. AVG has done its job and has located a bit of Javascript containing an advertising link to a dodgy website. The web page has been hacked as a result of poor security at the host. The superb Supanames host was taken over by (in my experience) an inferior company and then two of my websites were hacked. The only remedy is for the webmaster to change the password using the host's control panel, and then replace the hacked web page with a clean version. On the hacked page, webmasters will find the bit of rogue Javascript code next to the <body> tag.

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