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Free Anti Spyware Apps.-Common Misconceptions
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David Hartsock
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October 5, 2008 - 5:20 pm
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Spyware Blaster actually just ads keys to the registry, albeit lots of them!

It works for both IE and Firefox. I don't know if Chrome actually looks to the same keys, so I can't say whether or not it would have any affect for Chrome.

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SEGMAT
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October 5, 2008 - 5:44 pm
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Well, all I know is that when I was last researching those kinds of immunization programs, I was running Opera and was turned off the idea by the fact that none of them did much for Opera. That has been my reasoning for staying away from them and just using Windows Defender as a runtime antispyware program.

Matt

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Jim Hillier
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October 5, 2008 - 8:05 pm
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My understanding is that SpywareBlaster has, in the past, been mainly aimed at preventing active X infections and although that base has now been broadened somewhat it remains more useful for IE users than anyone else. For those dedicated Firefox users there are better alternatives.

@Gatehill - I second Matt's recommendations. Spybot S & D is still useful, particularly for IE users, but these days there are better products around. Ad-Aware has, in my humble opinion, never been much use for anything. A lot of people do not realise that Ad-Aware (free) does not include any real time protection (preventative measures) and is merely a scanner/remover....in that category there are far superior free products available, e.g. Malwarebytes Anti Malware and SuperAntiSpyware. I have never understood Ad-Aware's high degree of popularity, it offers zero protection and mediocre (at best) detection and removal.
For Windows users, post Windows 2000, Defender is probably the best free choice....in it's early days Windows Defender was criticised for poor detection rates but it has improved markedly since then and is one of very few free products which offer real time protection as well as scan/remove. Spyware Terminator is another I would recommend, however it comes bundled with some other products which I would not install, they are optional but you have to be wary of what you accept during the installation process. Spyware Terminator has quickly gained a good reputation and loyal following.

cheers......JIM

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Big Geek Daddy
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October 6, 2008 - 7:31 am
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I offer this page for those of you that are interested in how to construct a Layered Defense using only Free Software. I hope you find it useful and perhaps discover a program or two you weren't aware of.

[url:yc24k5ry]http://biggeekdaddy.com/protection.html[/url:yc24k5ry]

Cheers,

Big Geek Daddy

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SEGMAT
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October 6, 2008 - 7:54 am
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Thanks for the link, it had a pretty good list although I think that Windows Firewall is probably good enough for the vast majority of users, most people don't need a 3rd party firewall to keep them safe. In fact, firewalls are the same as HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention System) in that you get so used to clicking the allow button because you initiate so many legitimate things, that when something bad pops up, most people don't even read it and simply click allow, thinking that they probably need to do that for a program that they have running. That is why HIPS and 3rd party firewalls are not on, nor will they ever be on, my computer, and I recommend against them to anyone who asks me for advice.

I would also ask why Windows Defender isn't on that list? And browsers like Google Chrome, Opera, Avant, are also just as secure as Firefox and IE7 and so, for people reading that list, it might be nice to offer some more suggestions.

Although it may look like I'm shooting you down, that's not my intention, I am just curious as to some of your reasons for programs being on the list, but in general, it's a great list and using one of each of the programs on there would offer GREAT security.

Matt

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David Hartsock
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October 6, 2008 - 8:50 am
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@ Big Geek Daddy,

Really glad to see you here on the forum!

@ Matt:
Remember, everyone has their own opinions about software. That's part of what makes computers fun.

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Nightowl78
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October 6, 2008 - 2:13 pm
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Hi Big Daddy Geek:

IMHO your chose of free security apps are very good. Most, if not all, are tried and true.

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wawadave
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October 6, 2008 - 3:47 pm
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If you want average users to be secure start them off on linux Ubuntu!!
The learning curve is not very steep at all. Be about the same as learning win98 only so far very secure. if they can read the help files google and or ubuntu forums for things they can,t get. I started an old lady in her 80,s using it. She started telling me her friends kept say watch out for this that etc etc. She said she don,t have to.

She does email and web surfing with firefox. So if a grate granny can run it why cannot more?

Plus since the old ones most likely won,t be doing high powered graphic programs and such you can dust off your old pen 3,s etc and pass them out.

I got Ubuntu running on a amd 1.2ghz with 256megs of ram you can use far slower cpu,s.

Thats not to say it won,t run on new stuff!!

That my take on security apps and i,m sticking to it!!

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Jim Hillier
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October 6, 2008 - 6:31 pm
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Hmmm, I read through BDG's list of recommendations and make the following observations. First off, it is a very good list of solid, reputable products which cover all major areas of security, however:
Under Item 4. Internet Browsing Security....There are two distinct types of products listed here, heuristic based and definition based. Heuristic based products, such as Threatfire, protect by monitoring key system areas for any changes whereas products like Spyware Terminator rely on a definition data base. That means heuristic based applications are generally better at protecting against zero day attacks than those which rely on updates to their data bases. I mention this mainly because of the attached codicil...[i:14ovon20]"[b:14ovon20]Install One[/b:14ovon20] of these programs"[/i:14ovon20]. I can see no good reason why one of each of these types of programs could not be installed, in fact I recommend doing just that...on the proviso that the target machine has enough memory to support them.

I preface this next bit by saying; this is purely my personal opinion, many 'experts' recommend the use if 3rd party firewalls and lots of people use them:
I do not generally recommend using 3rd party firewalls, they can be intrusive, rely heavily on user input/decision making and, most importantly, seem to be the cause of so many problems/issues.

That said, the security products I use appear on BDG's list, with one notable exception:
Avast
Windows Defender
Threatfire.

cheers....JIM

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