Jump to content
CCleaner Community Forums
razz

My PC Security - help me decide, your comments very welcome!

Recommended Posts

Lately I've been exploring different ways to make sure my security is sufficient (I haven't had a malware problem for many years, thank goodness, at least not that I know of   :rolleyes: , but just want to make sure I am ready for the future).  Any comments will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

 

My current details:

 

- Windows 10 on two laptops, Windows 7 on two desktops.

- Kaspersky Total Security 2017 (paid version, naturally).
- WinPatrol - free version
- Malwarebytes 2 Free - periodic on-demand scans.
- SUPERAntiSpyware Free -         "
- Adwcleaner -                               "
- Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit -        "
- uBlock Origin - in my Chrome browser.
- SpywareBlaster
- MVPS Host file
 
Currently I am running 3 anti-malware programs in order to test them (basically see what I think of them).  All three are free versions that are still in the trial period.  After the trial period, I may upgrade one of these to the paid version.
 
The 3 anti-malware programs I am running real-time are: Malwarebytes 3, Reason Core Security and MalwareFox (amazingly they can all co-exist with no problems).
 
I have 4 questions::
 
(1) In your opinion, which is the best of these three?
 
(2) I believe that most Security Forums believe that you need one real-time anti-malware program to run along side with your real-time anti-virus program.  Considering I have Kaspersky Total Security 2017, do you agree that an upgrade to the paid version of one of them is necessary these days for your PC security?  
 
(3) Now that I think about it, does it make any sense to install MVPS Host file and also run SpywareBlaster?  Am I correct in thinking I need to pick one or the other?
 
(4) Are there any other anti-malware programs that you would recommend for on-demand scans?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have very limited experience with win 10.  . . .

 

"(4) Are there any other anti-malware programs. . ."

Not exactly antimalware, but maybe get a good image backup program, and get yourself an external USB HDD big enough to store several backups of each of your machines.  
Something like  Macrium Reflect, many members here use it.  It offers a good free version which has the most important features.  Or maybe Image for Windows, not much discussed here.  I use Macrium paid to make regular backups of my win 7 & win 10 machines, and Acronis on this old win xp machine.

 

Also not antimalware, but maybe get some sort of light virtualization software.  There is Shadow Defender, not free, I run it on my win 7 machine.  I can install all sorts of stuff, as long as it doesn't require a restart, and when I shut down the computer at the end of the day, all the built up junk is gone.  Cell phone backup software, GPS backup software, free office suite trials, etc. are really bad about leaving junk behind. 

 

Spywareblaster blocks malicious ActiveX installations.  It does more than just a hosts file I think.  It's free and uses virtually no resources, for years has never conflicted with anything I have tried. So maybe no downside to keeping it?  On the other hand, I never have really understood it and never saw it actually DO anything.  :ph34r:

 

Edit: 

MBAM 3 has drawn criticism in some circles, including their forum.  Didn't read for the details.

I've never used 3, but do use MBAM 2 paid and it doesn't seem to conflict with anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with a good system imaging software, something you're comfortable with and that flat out always works without issues - for me that's Macrium Reflect.

 

Personally I would add ClamWin Portable to the mix of scanners you have, it's slower than hell which is why I don't do full system scans with it however it's well worth having to scan downloaded files as a second, third, or fourth, etc., opinion just to make sure.

 

For another second opinion it's good to have a checksum/hash software installed or a portable version that can calculate at the very least MD5 to also verify downloads especially setup files on VirusTotal - simply paste in the hash and if VirusTotal has seen the file before you'll know if it's clean or infected - I do this all the time never trusting any setup, ZIP, etc., file that contains software regardless of where it's from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"For another second opinion it's good to have a checksum/hash software ... "

 

Nirsoft's Hashmyfiles works well on win xp thru win 10.  Just tried the latest version, 2.22.  Unzip it to a folder just about anywhere, no installation needed.  When you click the exe it opens a window, just drag the questioned file into the window and it gives you lots of information about it, uses highlighting to show which files are alike, will check any type of file I ever threw at it, and it's fast  Fwiw. all the Nirsoft utilities I ever tried work as advertised. 

Here: 

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/hash_my_files.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

all your programs you have actively running or scanning on-demand are spot on Razz.

 

I'm also, in addition to the one's you mention, running on-demand - CWShredder, TDSSkiller, RKill, ZHPCleaner and JRT.

 

CWShredder and TDDSkiller are programs that look for a particular type of infection that was common a few years ago, and I really should stop using them EXCEPT every now and then they find a hit so for me it's worth it for that warm-fuzzy feeling.

 

ZHP and JRT are good and RKill isn't so much a 'cleaner' but a pre-cleaner prep program.  it tries to kill any running malware in order for anti-malware scans to work better.  but I like it on top of that for it's report on how your system is doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe get a good image backup program, and get yourself an external USB HDD big enough to store several backups of each of your machines.  

Something like  Macrium Reflect

 

maybe get some sort of light virtualization software.  There is Shadow Defender, not free

 

Spywareblaster blocks malicious ActiveX installations.  It does more than just a hosts file I think.  It's free and uses virtually no resources, for years has never conflicted with anything I have tried. So maybe no downside to keeping it?  On the other hand, I never have really understood it

 

MBAM 3 has drawn criticism in some circles, including their forum.

 

Thank you login for your input.  I have been using AOMEI Backupper (free version) for system & file backups.  Works very well, but I will definitely check out Macrium Reflect.

 

Good idea regarding light virtualization software.  A long time ago I played around with Sandboxie, but to be honest I forgot about it when I changed PCs.  I'll check out Shadow Defender or perhaps some free software.

 

I'm still not sure if having the MVPS Host file and also using SpywareBlaster makes any sense.  I seem to be a little confused on this.  It seems to me that I need to use one or the other, not both.  If only one should be used, perhaps using SpywareBlaster makes sense.  But on the other hand, as far as I know, many members on here use MVPS Host, including the moderators.  Like I said, I'm a little confused  :unsure: 

 

​I am aware that MBAM 3 has some criticism but some swear by MBAM.  One issue for me is that it is the most expensive of the anti-malware programs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I would add ClamWin Portable to the mix of scanners you have

 

For another second opinion it's good to have a checksum/hash software installed or a portable version

 

Thanks Andavari, I'll check out ClamWin Portable and VirusTotal.  Sounds good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nirsoft's Hashmyfiles works well on win xp thru win 10.  Just tried the latest version, 2.22.  Unzip it to a folder just about anywhere, no installation needed.

all the Nirsoft utilities I ever tried work as advertised. 

 

I'll definitely check out Nirsoft's Hashmyfiles and perhaps other Nirsoft utilities, thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

all your programs you have actively running or scanning on-demand are spot on Razz.

 

Great to know I'm spot on mta.   :)

 

I'll have a look at all your suggestions, thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run MBAM Pro alongside SpywareBlaster without issue.

they both actually attack the problem from different angles, so SpywareBlaster shouldn't interfere with any other software.

in fact SpywareBlaster, once it sets its 'bits' it doesn't even run in the background.

 

to be honest, I don't exactly know what/how SpywareBlaster does it magic, I just knows it works, is good, and maybe not mandatory but at least highly recommended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

to be honest, I don't exactly know what/how SpywareBlaster does it magic, I just knows it works, is good, and maybe not mandatory but at least highly recommended.

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/642655/a-few-questions-regarding-malware-programs/?do=findComment&comment=4205747

 

On a personal note I don't use MBAM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't keep MBAM installed, just install & run it from time to time as a double check.

 

Also never have used a specialized HOSTS file here but probably should. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- @Razz: Is your computer behind a (WiFi) router ? If so, then already a lot of viruses & other malware are eliminated (by the router). Don't know the details on how it works but it works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still not sure if having the MVPS Host file and also using SpywareBlaster makes any sense.

 

MVPS HOSTS File blocks bad sites so your computer never contacts them at all, doesn't matter if it's some random software you have installed or a web browser your system will refuse the connection.

 

SpywareBlaster also blocks bad sites but only in your web browser(s), however it also sets ActiveX Killbits so some malware installations will fail.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- @Razz: Is your computer behind a (WiFi) router ? If so, then already a lot of viruses & other malware are eliminated (by the router). Don't know the details on how it works but it works.

 

Yes Willy2, I am behind a WiFi router that I've setup securely in settings and with a super strong password.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MVPS HOSTS File blocks bad sites so your computer never contacts them at all, doesn't matter if it's some random software you have installed or a web browser your system will refuse the connection.

 

SpywareBlaster also blocks bad sites but only in your web browser(s), however it also sets ActiveX Killbits so some malware installations will fail.

 

 

Do you personally make use of both MVPS Hosts File and SpywareBlaster?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just browse with chrome and adblock. I let Defender scan when it asks to and thats about it. 

I'm confident that windows 10 is overall quite secure as long as you stay on the mainstream side of the internet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just browse with chrome and adblock.

 

rridgely, due to the quote included below I have now switched from Adblock to uBlock Origin.

 

Partial quote: Adblock Plus has an "Acceptable Ads" program. Some firms with questionable privacy practices have been able to pay to have their ads declared "Acceptable"

 

Quote from:

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-AdBlock-Plus-uBlock-Origin-and-uBlock-Why-do-most-of-the-big-technology-companies-support-the-uBlock-Origin-Why-are-most-of-the-newbies-with-AdBlock-Plus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't use adblock plus, the one I have is just called adblock and was on chrome before adblock plus.

It  does have an "acceptable ads" button but I just uncheck it at install because it asks about it. It also auto subscribes to that privacy list your link mentioned. (at least it was checked off when I looked just now)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also not antimalware, but maybe get some sort of light virtualization software.

 

Just installed "Toolwiz Time Freeze 2017", a free virtualization software. Very easy to use and seems very good - and free is good, YAY!   :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The following seems like pretty good advice.

 

Quote from "bellgamin" on Wilders Security Forum:
 
I find it difficult to understand why anyone would want an AV to clean malware. Such clean-ups are not always a 100% certainty. IMO, it's much better to image one's system disk at least weekly & retain 3-4 months of prior images( FIFO). The best cure for an infection this week is to restore a healthy image from a prior week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

it's much better to image one's system disk at least weekly & retain 3-4 months of prior images( FIFO). The best cure for an infection this week is to restore a healthy image from a prior week.

 

I've been a huge fan of Disk Imaging for a long time and would wholeheartedly agree with that. Not just to get rid of malware, but to also recover from simple things like installing a program you thought was good and finding out it just about takes over your computer, or find you have a serious glitch after installing MS updates.

 

They can also be mounted as drives and used to restore files/folders.

 

Doing weekly Images and keeping them for a number of months is maybe taking things farther than most people could manage simply because of the drive space needed to do that. I've never had more than two Images made usually about a month apart.

 

I do it even less now because with XP I'm happily free of MS updates. I've just recently mentioned to someone that I could happily restore a 6 month old Image as very little will have changed on my computer in that time. All my personal data is kept well away from my system drive.

 

But I will take this opportunity to repeat for the umpteenth time, DO NOT take short cuts with Disk Imaging.

 

Always verify the Image after making it, and just as important, always verify an Image before restoring it.

 

Takes a little more time but restoring an unverified Image could have horrendous consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doing weekly Images and keeping them for a number of months is maybe taking things farther than most people could manage simply because of the drive space needed to do that. I've never had more than two Images made usually about a month apart.

 

But I will take this opportunity to repeat for the umpteenth time, DO NOT take short cuts with Disk Imaging.

 

Always verify the Image after making it, and just as important, always verify an Image before restoring it.

 

Takes a little more time but restoring an unverified Image could have horrendous consequences.

 

Hi Dennis, thanks for your input regarding backups.  I agree that weekly is likely an overkill.  I'll copy your schedule and backup monthly   :)  Also only keep at most 2 previous images.

 

Great tips about not taking short cuts and verifying the image after backup & before restoring.

 

I have a 1 Terabyte USB drive which I use for backups.  Currently I use AOMEI Backupper (free version), which seems very good.  I am also taking a look at Macrium Reflect (free) which I know a lot of Piriform members use.

 

Wonder if anyone on this forum has heard anything regarding AOMEI Backupper (free version)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...