System Protection… use it or lose it

Every once in a while I like to update you about the tools, that I use to protect my system from account thieves (trojans/keyloggers), spyware, and viruses.  This includes the firewall, anti-spyware, anti-virus, as well as rootkit detectors, worm detectors, etc.  This time around, I found a unique tool, which is more of a passive resistance, but now plays a vital role in my protection suite.

Let me tell you that this software is not actually a suite, not something integrated to work altogether.  Rather it's software that works really well and does not mess with the other tools I use.  I use the free versions of each of them, and they work really well.  I also want to mention, that if you're using Norton's AV, then you're a fool.  Recent tests by objective parties have found that Nortons (besides being bloatware) blocked out 80% of the threats.  On the other hand, both Avast! and AVG blocked well over 95%.

First off, my antivirus is Avast! I use the free version of this, it updates daily and blocks me from going to a site which tries to download trojans onto my computer.  It scans the pages and will not let me go there... I like this feature. It's also a powerful AV!  It blocks worms, trojans, rootkits, and much more.  Above I mentioned AVG as being better then Norton's... it's true, but I used it in the past, and much prefer Avast! I even love Avast!' screensaver mode where it scans during my downtime.

Next, my Anti-Spyware.  I have been using Spybot Search & Destroy for well over 5 years now, used it on my XP system, and use it on my Vista system as well.  Was recommended to me, but I also use the TeaTimer feature, which prevents certain files from being rewritten by software, without my go ahead, including the hosts file and the registry.

For my firewall, I use Outpost Firewall.  Over the years, I have tried just about everything that was free and many that were paid as well.  I can tell you that overall, this is one of the best I have ever used... I also want to warn you Comodo users out there - it's crap that will F-up your system.  After I removed Comodo, I couldn't access my peripheral devices, till I found a suitable replacement.

Next, I use FireFox, but that's not the tool I am writing about today.  The tool instead is NoScript. This tool prevents any site from running Javascript or ActiveX without your express permission.  You will never fear a site, flash banner, trojan, or anything else coming from a site again.  Peruse the web in total blanket security.

If you just have to try out a program, to see if it will work well on your system, but for what ever reason don't want to worry about it messing up your system, then you might want to try Sand Boxie.  Sand Boxie, runs everything in a protected environment, and it's free for non-commercial use.  If you're curious, yes you can run a game in it.  I ran World of Warcraft in it, as a test.

My last, and newest addition to the protection of my system is more passive, in that it won't stop a keylogger, but if there is one on my system, it won't grab anything I type on the web... for $30 more, I could have it protect my games as well.  It works, by scrambling everything I type.  It's called KeyScrambler.  Even if you just have the free version, it's a powerful and recommended tool.

So there you have it, my recommended tools for keeping your system clean and safe - and more importantly your account safe too.

Other handy tools PCTools' Password Generator, KeePass Password Safe, CCleaner, Defraggler, Revo Uninstaller, & HijackThis.

Postscript: I know some of you are thinking that my assessment is off, or maybe I don't know what I am talking about.  But part of my job is to bring you the best programs and game hacks, and still try to keep you safe to some extent.  Over the years, I have downloaded hundreds of trojans, keyloggers, worms, rootkits, and even some RATs. I try to keep up to date on my protection, and that means trying different things.  I can assure you, Avast! is better then AVG, I tried them both, in fact in the last few years I have tried 20+ anti-viruses.  I can assure you that Outpost is better then anything else out there, I tried everything else out there.  Spybot, is spyware free.  It stands to reason, right? Well sadly there are anti-spyware programs out there, that are not spyware free.  The best example, is Ad-Aware.  They spy on you, as they prevent others from spying.  If you find a new tool, that you think should be added to this list, post it, and I will check it out.

8 Responses to System Protection… use it or lose it

  1. TomRiddle says:

    I was always asked by co-workers about computers, so eventually made a site about what security and utilities I use and could recommend

    I list all I use including Cnet links………

    I use avast, spybot is bugged for me now but it was my first utility, i have about 12 things but all are shut down only the firewall and avast run full time.. then I run 2 or 3 at a time of my stand alones

    I keep my start menu prunned at one time had 63 apps/processes running at once as all the defense stuff wanted to run full time as they “improved: so stripped that down to 29 and the old pc is frisky again on its fourth birthday….

  2. TomRiddle says:

    Maybe along side your post and my web page of recomeended security and utilities, a list of free software would be in order

    I plan to get a new pc in 2011 (if I can stand to wait that long) With my just replaced power supply, and video card and two year old replaced harddrive the four year old might make it till then, and I might have cleared up my debts enough to afford it by then:) Plus I did just get a new monitor (might have to return it though an abnormal amount of discolored pixels when viewing text) so that is already bought:)

    For the new pc I was thinking of not moving much more than my favorites and loading clean the games etc

    BUT I wasn’t going to buy word, or an image editor or security

    the security we have talked about, the programs we havent


    I am getting ideas

    Gimp for photos or even the online imagemajik from my webtv days



    VLC media player

    By then guess I’ll be forced to take whatever version of windows 7 is out there (sighs wish xp could last forever:)

  3. Spitt says:

    I posted the security software as both the best in free protection, and the need to have this info available because of game hackers and trojan programs out there.

    As for a list of need to have software… idk. It really depends on your usage and what you plan to do with the software, or what your overall goal is for your computer is.

    One of the sites I visit everyday is Most of the time, the software is crap, but once in a while, you get a real gem. I got Revo Uninstaller from there, and it’s something I use everyday.

    I use OpenOffice for dox/spreadsheets, Paint.NET for image editing, and Digsby for messaging. I don’t actually use Chrome very often, but I have all the major browsers installed, including Safari, so i can see how my sites display.

    I use uTorrent (beta version) for torrents, VLC for movies, Winamp for music, and Skype for secure chatting. I have a ton of software and FF plugins I use for various things, but to really list them all, doesn’t make sense. It would be better to ask others what they use for a given task, and go from there.

  4. Spitt says:

    Decided to add to this list, now includes other handy tools (Other handy tools; PCTools’ Password Generator, KeePass Password Safe, CCleaner, Defraggler, Revo Uninstaller, & HijackThis) and Sand Boxie.

  5. TomRiddle says:

    Well Spitt,

    2011 is coming up fast what are your security recommendations, have they changed?

    For new rpg-exploiter readers this post might lead them to search for all your security topics and then to other off topic things like the great two part series on blackjack!

    Maybe you should do a retrospective of your best posts of 2010?

  6. Spitt says:

    As this point, nothing has changed. These are still my security recommendations – though I do not have a 64 bit OS, nor do I have Mac OSx, so the general rules still apply. Should something change, I will be sure to note it and edit the post.

    I have been to some pretty shady sites, and have no problems what-so-ever with visiting them, with my security measures in place.

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