Friday, June 5, 2009

Protect Your Computer - Free AntiVirus Programs

I haven't posted anything for a while, as I have been quite busy. Also, my computer has been attacked by a virus and I spent some time trying to fix it.

Here is my virus story, how I solved it and what you should do do if your computer becomes infected by a virus. I also listed several free recommended anti virus programs.

The virus: Somehow, a program called WinBlueSoft installed itself on my computer. It messed up my computer. Then, it wanted me to pay them to clean my computer!

It's extremely 'smart'. It wouldn't allow me to run most anti virus programs. It actually wouldn't let me run any program at all. It wouldn't even let me open Notepad! Also, every 5 minutes, it logged me out of Windows. I could actually see the cursor moving to the Start menu but I couldn't do anything to stop it! It also filled the screen with a scary message about viruses and spyware. WinBluSoft is an extremely annoying and sophisticated virus.

It's a long story, but basically I tried all different anti virus programs but nothing worked. Some I couldn't run, while others just couldn't kill the virus. I started copying my files off my computer, but took a long time to copy everything to an external hard drive because this virus kicked me off every few minutes. I was about to reformat my whole computer.

The solution: I came across a program called HijackThis and some helpful forums.
HijackThis is a program that runs a diagnostic on your entire computer. It logs everything about your computer into a notepad document.

Then, there are forums where you post your log from HijackThis and people on the forum will try to help you clean your computer. The forum I used is GeekPolice.net. It's totally free! The guy there was extremely helpful. After a few tries, my computer is once again totally clean and virus-free.

Warning: HijackThis is an extremely powerful tool. It is not meant to be used unless you know exactly what you are doing, or someone is directing you exactly what to do.

Free Anti virus Recommendations:
There are a few good free anti virus programs out there. I don't claim to be a pro at which one is better. This is based on what I have been recommended.

To help keep your computer clean you should have one (and only one!) anti virus program installed. AVG and Avira are both good free anti virus programs. Avira is supposed to be better than AVG. If you already installed AVG, I don't think you need to switch.

You should also install a program called Malewarebytes. This program keeps spyware out of your computer.

Another program that I have been using, but shouldn't be needed once you have Avira and Malewarebytes, is Spybot.

You can download all these programs at the top ten download list at Cnet.

Bottom Line:
Choose one anti virus program (either Avira or AVG) and Malewarebytes. Make sure to keep them updated and watch what you install on your computer.

And if you have a virus on your computer that your antivirus programs can't get rid of, first try and backup your files , then download HijackThis and go to Geekpolice.net or bleepingcomputers.com.

In general it's a good idea to keep your files backed up on a regular basis.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks!

You send the cure before the illness!

shimzah said...

what about a firewall?

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