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What is your favorite Anti-Malware application?


What is your favorite Anti-Malware application?  

240 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your favorite Anti-Malware application?

    • Windows Defender
    • Ad-Aware
    • Spybot S&D
    • ewido
    • About:Buster
    • CWShredder
    • HijackThis
    • Spyware Blaster
    • My professional tech mind
    • A combination of the above (Please post)
    • None of the above
    • All of the above

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None of the above. Stopped using signature/reference file based antispyware apps a few years ago. Not of them can be counted on to catch everything, no matter how many you run. Been involved in too many disputes with their vendors over what should or shouldn't be targeted.

I use System Safety Monitor to prevent all unwanted processes and installers from running. When tightly configured, it can prevent most any malware from running or installing.


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I think this "common sense" bit needs explaining. We seek info, we go to the site, if it's a dodgy site, and something nasty is picked up, the user is not to blame, or necessarily without common sense. If you're talking about sex sites, OK, but expected good sites and offered progs can hold problems. For instance, that free weather bar offered by Google, is, I think, dodgy. I accidentally clicked to accept installation. I managed to stop it installing fully, but it dumped three shortcuts on my desktop - one for "Sexy chat". They were all internet shortcuts. Then I ran Spybot and it found 5 new "threats" - all tracking cookies, one of which had 139 entries. They were not there before - I had checked immediately before going online.

Nowadays, you can do nothing without any given program wanting to access the internet. Installation programs on cover disks often actually aren't - they are just internet shortcuts to the real installation prog. I only know this because Zone Alarm tells me. Most users without a firewall - that they can actually use - won't have a clue. And why does Word want to go online? I'm only typing a letter. And the plague of automatic updates - always defaulted to On, is further wresting control from the user.

I've only ever had one virus, and that was 20+ years ago, but, according to Spybot, I am regularly picking up Spyware. I don't do any obviously dodgy sites. Funnily enough, I don't suffer from pop-ups either.

One post mentioned Agnitum. I tried the freebie, and discovered that it held a list of all my visited sites - the full history, which, try as I may, I could neither edit nor delete. I emailed them for an explanation - it seemed a bit daft, a security program that would remove history from Windows, but maintain its own - they did not reply. Dodgy?

Most users don't know what others are up to, and cannot be expected to, which is why we come here, and buy magazines.

A list of clearly-written basic guidelines for safe-surfing would be welcome, so that common sense can be the gift of all. So would a list of the dangers. What's the difference between spyware and malware, and do we need different progs to clean them up? And if they are just modified cookies, how come they're getting past our firewalls?

I've got an old version of Zone Alarm and AVG, and use Spybot after a session. I've also got an image of my C: drive which I reinstall immediately if I'm worried, and from time to time generally.


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Spybot S&D with the SD helper enabled is what I recommend to clients. However Windows Defender's more proactive nature is a nice feature, and it hasn't annoyed me once on 6mo of use...So I have started recommending that as of late.

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AVG Anti-Spyware may work well, but I'm considering replacing it for Windows Defender or removing it altogether.

Sorry, Windows Defender don't support Windows 2000!

At the time of the post, it was working with Windows 2000.

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AVG Anti-Spyware may work well, but I'm considering replacing it for Windows Defender or removing it altogether.

Sorry, Windows Defender don't support Windows 2000!

At the time of the post, it was working with Windows 2000.

You're correct. Microsoft thinks that we're gonna cough up money for a later version of Windows because they tricked people (at least n00bies) into believing that malware removal is impossible with Windows 2000!

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Detection And Removal


Rootkit Revealer+regdelnull (sysinternals)

Spybot S&D (particularly the startup tool)

Ad-Aware SE Pro

Registry Workshop



Process Explorer

Hijack This (merjin)

2nd Computer - Google

Safe Mode


Grey Matter

Script to clean /temp and browser caches with securedel (sysinternals)


Symantec AV Corp Edition v10 (myself)

Nod32 (others)


Firefox+NoScript+AdBlockPro+Delete Cookies on exit setting

Safe Surfing Habits (No pr0n or warez! duh!)




Windows Update

keeping other apps+plugins updated (java runtime, flash etc)

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OK, as I voted for a combination, I should also explain a bit.

First off, I'm using Win98SE (with lots of official/unofficial/manual upgrades). In time, I've had a few light infections, mostly at the beginning of my Internet adventure.

Then, I got a good hang of the common sense, although still surfing dangerous places. But... at one point I stumbled into Ad-Aware, which started showing me the mistakes I've made and their results. After that, I also stumbled into Spyware Blaster.

Both of those tools - the latter preventing malware installation and the former cleaning up whatever managed to slip in - helped me keep my system sane.

Few years ago I also found HijackThis, who introduced me to the world of deeply buried registry keys; not much of a news, though, as I was already using Mike Lin's StartupCPL and Codestuff's Starter to check on autorun items - much better than msconfig, in my opinion. And talking about autorun, a few lines in autoexec.bat also help me keep the system clean and prevent any malware stored in Temporary Internet Files or Temp from running, at boot time or whenever:

@deltree /y c:\windows\cookies
@deltree /y c:\windows\history
@deltree /y c:\windows\tempor~1
@deltree /y c:\windows\temp
@md c:\windows\temp

Another tool I used to use quite often back then, was Trend Micro's Damage Cleanup Engine AKA sysclean. I still regularly update it together with the virus signature file, but I very rarely run it, lately.

Same goes for Ad-Aware - last working version for Win9x being 1.06R1 - and Spyware Blaster. Just because I haven't had an infection in years on my system (not counting a trojan found in a screensaver, while running Win2003Server last year).

My browser of choice is SlimBrowser, IE-based. Some useful features (auto-logins, batch start, etc) combined with popup blocker, in-page filters and many others has made me keep it as a must-have, for years.

No firewall and no real-time antivirus. I just don't need any, and it would only kill the scarce resources I have (Pentium II @ 400MHz, 256MB PC133 SDRAM, MSI GeForce4 Ti4200 running in Dual-View mode).

The best advice I can offer is: always know what's running on your machine. Regularly check startup items, services, run a rootkit revealer, look in the processes list (Task Manager or Codestuff Starter) for any unknown/suspect process and look it up on Google... Oh and never install ANY nicely offered free toolbar.

Be the master of your system - don't let it own you!

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