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 spyware and malware protection, How I keep spyware and malware off my personal computer
post Mar 12 2010, 10:27 PM
Post #1
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  Joined: 20-January 10
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I use a few tried and mostly true methods to help prevent my pc from becoming infected with viruses/malware.

1. I use Firefox as my main web browser.
1a. I use the AdBlock extension for Firefox
1b. I use the TACO (Targeted Advertising Cookie Optout) extension for Firefox.
1c. I use the FlashBlock extension to help give me some control over what Flash ads are displayed on sites I visit frequently. Especially since recently there was a nasty one making the rounds on MySpace (a fake antivirus program that was in fact a virus/malware combination).

2. In both Firefox and Internet Explorer I limit the action of cookies by overriding the default cookie handling method and setting it to allow session cookies and to block third party cookies (doesn't work well with some sites unfortunately).

3. I use Spybot Search & Destroy to 'Immunize' my system, this adds several sites to the restricted sites list as well as blocking several sites by listing them in the Hosts file but forcing them to link back to my pc so they never get to connect to the internet if any pages I visit try to call them.

4. I use Spyware Blaster, it does some of the same things as Spybot but does not provide for any form of 'live' monitoring in the way that Spybot does, it merely helps block sites by adding settings for blocking cookies for certain sites and adding sites to the restricted sites list and Hosts file like Spybot does

5. I use Avast Free edition for my virus scanner, I don't mind having to re-enter the password once a year as opposed to the nag screens that Avira pestered me with.

6. I change my default action for .vbs and other types of windows script files to 'Edit' (open with notepad) instead of 'Open' (run with associated scripting engine), this is a trick I picked up from the days when I used Norton Antivirus with their script blocking features (back before Norton software became Bloatware).

7. If I have any doubt about what a file is I examine it closely with a Hex Editor before I try to execute it (I look for references to common windows dll's).

8. And first and foremost if I see an unrecognized item in my windows task manager process list I research it using the internet to help verify if it's a legitimate process or if it may be a virus. I compare the location of the file that the process was launched with against the known legitimate locations for that process.

9. I periodically check my 'Fonts' folder for the presence of any executables (they have no business being there unless it's a virus usually).

10. I periodically check my User profile folder for any executables as well, typically if they're legit they'll be in a subfolder of my user profile folder (usually in the 'Application Data' folder), not in the main folder for my user profile.

11. Additionally I periodically inspect the Windows folder for what appear to be randomly named hidden files (these are usually virus/malware related files).

12. And of course I also periodically check the root of each of my drives for any unrecognized files (again researching them on the internet and using a Hex Editor to view the contents of any such files).

13. And last of all I set my system to display extensions for known file types, I'd rather see that a file is in fact a .vbs file by seeing the extension before I run it, instead of discovering later on that by running it I infected my pc with a virus or something. I actually had a friend get 3500 files infected with a vbs based virus because he didn't see the extension that was appended to his mp3 files and when ever he clicked on them to run them it instead ran the .vbs script which in turn infected more files. It was a bit of a pain to cleanup I ended up writing a batch file to find the .vbs files and then delete them, and I set his system to always display the filename extensions of course.

2 user(s) said "Thank you!" to bartman2589 for this fantastic post:
netcom021, Nuno Brito
+Quote Post

Posts in this topic
- bartman2589   spyware and malware protection   Mar 12 2010, 10:27 PM
- - nevel   I'm using many of the abovementioned methods. ...   Mar 12 2010, 11:14 PM
- - breaker   Well, I got sick of malware, so I browse the web, ...   Mar 14 2010, 06:02 AM
|- - john3voltas   QUOTE (breaker @ Mar 14 2010, 06:02 AM) P...   Mar 14 2010, 09:22 PM
- - nevel   Hi breaker, Just out of curiosity: Is there any p...   Mar 14 2010, 09:19 AM
|- - breaker   QUOTE (nevel @ Mar 14 2010, 02:19 AM) Hi ...   Mar 16 2010, 06:36 AM
- - me4833   Another way to keep Virus and other Malware OUT is...   Apr 19 2010, 04:19 PM

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