Friday, July 25, 2008

How to protect and clean your PC

The most popular and typically the most effective way to rid your computer of malware is to use dedicated antivirus software and antispyware software. These programs rely on their own internal databases of known viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and adware, and as such, must be updated regularly (daily or weekly) to be able to detect and eliminate the latest threats.

Vista is the first operating system to include an antispyware tool, known as Windows Defender. The best part about it is that, left to its own devices, Windows Defender will regularly scan your system and even keep its spyware definitions up to date.

Use Antivirus Softwares to remove Malawares

Following is a list of the more popular antivirus products.
  • Avast Home Edition (
    Freeware, with a slick interface and good feature set.
  • Avira AntiVir Classic (
    Freeware, with frequent updates, but only average detection rates.
  • AVG Anti-Virus (
    Freeware, a popular yet poor-performing antivirus solution.
  • Kaspersky Antivirus Personal (
    Very highly regarded solution with an excellent detection record.
  • McAfee VirusScan (
    Trusted and well-established all-around virus scanner with an intuitiveinterface and few limitations.
  • Panda Anti-Virus Titanium & Platinum (
    Lesser-known but capable antivirus software.
  • Symantec Norton AntiVirus (
    Mediocre, slow antivirus software with a well-known name—but beware of its expensive subscription plan to keep virus definitions updated.
Antispyware software is a more complex field, and as a result, you’ll have the best luck using multiple tools in addition to Windows Defender. The top antispyware products include:

Ad-Aware Personal Edition

Ad-Aware is one of the oldest antispyware tools around, but its definitions are still updated frequently. The personal edition is free and very slick, although it’s not usually as effective at removing spyware as Spy-bot or Spysweeper, both discussed next.
When using Ad-Aware, make sure you click Check for updates now before running a scan. Also, to turn off the awful, jarring sound Ad-Aware plays when it has found spy-ware, click the gear icon to open the Settings window, click the Tweak button, open the Misc Settings category, and turn off the Play sound if scan produced a result option.

Spybot - Search and Destroy

Not quite as nice to look at as Ad-Aware, Spybot excels at purging hard-to-remove spyware. And while both Ad-Aware and Spy-bot remove tracking cookies from Internet Explorer, Spybot supports Firefox as well.

Use Spyware Sweeper to remove Malawares

This highly regarded antispyware tool, while not free like the first two, is still a welcome addition to any spyware-fighter’s toolbox, and can often remove malware that the others miss.

So, armed with proper antivirus and antispyware software, there are four things you should do to protect your computer from malware:
  1. Place a router between your computer and your Internet connection.
  2. Scan your system for viruses regularly, and don’t rely entirely on your antivirus program’s auto-protect feature (see the next section). Run a full system scan at least every two weeks.
  3. Scan your system for spyware regularly, at least once or twice a month. Do it more often if you download and install a lot of software.
  4. Use your head! See the previous section for ways that malware spreads,and the next section for some of the things you can do to reduce yourexposure to viruses, spyware, adware, and other malware.