Malware, spyware, nuisanceware-- what do you DO about it?

United States
February 16, 2007 10:40am CST
As computers have gotten more sophisticated, so (it seems) have the many kinds of nuisances computer users have to deal with. Most of us are familiar with viruses and the damage they can cause to a computer system, so we run software to protect ourselves against "infections." But there's so much more out there. There's spyware-- which doesn't actually harm your computer, but may gather personal information that could lead to identity theft. There are also various forms of "grayware" that don't really DO much, except occupy space and memory on your system. This stuff isn't always an actual "invasion," sometimes it's merely a nuisance-- the most harmless and mainstream software often runs background processes that accesses remote websites to update itself on a regular basis. Some include routines that mess with your computer's settings, ostensibly in the name of "efficiency." I have one piece of (useful) software that causes a conflict that turns my speakers to "mute," every time I run it. Everytime we face "technology challenges," bunches of "technology solutions" come to market. Unfortunately, many of the so-called solutions are little better than the original problems. "Anti-spyware" programs have their own embedded algorithms that-- in effect-- "spy" on you and report back your web surfing and computer habits, all in the name of "working better" for you. So my question this morning, for everyone, but ESPECIALLY for the serious computer g33eks out there is what IS the most effective/least invasive malware/spyware detection and removal software out there? Something that doesn't just create a new set of problems, and doesn't just create it's own "spying" elements. And I don't want to have to manually edit registry files and so on. What's YOUR opinion? Have you found something that really WORKS, but without just creating a new set of problems?
6 people like this
19 responses
@nalin777 (14)
• Australia
16 Feb 07
this is the best thing I suggest. If you can install O/S from the scratch 1. get a backup of the registry to your USB key 2. Create a System restore point if it's Xp 3.then install basic applications you want (eg.Office etc) 4. then using Norton ghost of some similar software create a image of the entire system to a CD 5. Get a backup at least once a week of your important data to a USB key. 5.Use some PC sync software to compare all your important files in the USB drive,so nothing will be lost. 6.Install a antivirus software which you can afford ( some performs very slow with some particular configurations,eg.McAfee is v slow in some machines). 7.Don't make it sooo complicated by installing thousands of features as you'll have no idea what's happening when you see nothing when browsing some sites. 8.Schedule the virus scanner to scan your be at least twise a week and enable auto protect. 8.There are some sites do online free virus and spyware scans,better to to online spyware scan if you can trst the site and the provider.(eg.Trend micro) 9.But even after you installing the scanner you may get viruses.eg.Mcafee doesn't detect all viruses which are detected by Norton. (vise versa) try to clean it from the scanner yuou have. 10.If it's not possible,easy thing is reload the OS from the image you created and load the data youy backed up to the USB key. 11.Thsi works 100% to my knowledge
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Feb 07
Thanks-- that's certainly a valid way to go about things; I have gone right down to reformatting my hard drive a couple of times, when things get messed up. It was my hope to find something a little simpler, in the form of some kind of security software. I have the basic commercial security software (Norton, McAfee, etc.) and run housecall periodically as a backup measure.
@jenalyn (675)
• United States
16 Feb 07
I havven't ever really found anything that I was just so happy about that I told other people about. When I get stumped with an issue, I usually research long and hard on the internet for solutions and read advice on message boards. I am not a knowledgable geek. I took Microsoft certified classes, but decided I hated it. (Everyone I knew kept calling me for help, and I could not fix their bugs viruses etc). Anyway, I use AVG anti virus program. I also back up my computer regularly and do regular maintanence. I have owned this computer since November and so far I haven't had any major issues, but I also don't let my husband go to video game sites or p0rn sites on my computer. He can mame his own computer doing that. Those seem to be where the problems come from in our experience. My daughter and I don't really go anywhere on the internet unless it is here or ebay, and myspace. I would say there is always potential risk on any of these sites, but so far we haven't had any problems. I don't download things from the internet, so I have been able to avoid getting burned, but that is not saying that I think I am completly safe. I keep my computer protected the best I can.
• United States
17 Feb 07
Thanks for the feedback! That's precisely what prompted my question-- I have tried various security programs, but haven't been over-the-top impressed by any of them. Most of the cr@p I pick up tends to come from blogs where someone has copied something from some other site and it has embedded "grayware" of some kind.
@supra_guy (165)
• Romania
16 Feb 07
I had no problems with Internet threats since i was using BitDefender 9 and than 10. And i've surfed on some dangerous sites and downloaded some dangerous objects but the antivrus always blocked anything that tried to reach my PC. I feel very secure with this security package that i'm using now BitDefender 10 wich also contains firewall, antispyware and antispam no problems at all. I also would like to mention that i've used Norton as well and it was disastrous i've got my PC so infected within 5 days that i had to format my hard drive and this without browsing too much and downloading almost anything! Now the only antivirus i trust is BitDefender because in over one year of use it kept me safe of the internet threats.
• United States
17 Feb 07
Thanks! I'm not a big fan of Norton-- mostly because it's such a resource hog.
• India
17 Feb 07
nothing just install the best anti virus and put in a good net connection frequent upgrades should do their best....just for the word- there no permanent security.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Feb 07
on my experienced this thing really annoys me, spyware even if they dont do damage they pester me and annoy me i think the best way to avoid this create a restore point when you know that your spyware free, and then when the times comes that you know that youve been infected, restore your system, some anti spyware only do is delete the file which this spyware are creating, by restoring your system the spyware that have been installed will be keep out of your registry automatically this works on my system, once i have been infected and this really annoys me i thought im gonna have to format my OS but restoring my system works, i hope this helps even if you have lots of recomendation
1 person likes this
@toonatoons (3739)
• Philippines
17 Feb 07
my computer has fallen victim from these internet virus. my e-gold account was hacked, so was my email address! i was so depressed. i contacted e-gold about the matter, and i was advised to clean my pc with an antivirus to get rid of the malware/spyware or whatever it was. i can't download any antivirus software from the internet, though, because i'm pretty sure it's loaded with virus already.
@Profetu (1253)
• Romania
17 Feb 07
really easy one from my point of view.There is a LOT of trouble with them (a friend of mine got a virus and a few worms from Microsoft site so anything is possible and anywere with ALL the protections in the world).I recommend that you install a very good antivirus with updates and if it fails you...you can always format C:.Now that is very efficient :)
1 person likes this
• India
17 Feb 07
malware and spywares the most disaterous things that the world of cyber world.these programs not only damage the xbox but also can breach our privacy.to fight them we do install antivirus .but even these software are no less harmful.it's believed that these antivivirus company are only the sources of malware.if an error has occuered on our computer and we send that error our all private data is sent to place.thus every second we are monitored by someone on the internet.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Feb 07
I have respective Spyware dectectors and lots of resources. Go to the main checkers Norton, Microsoft, Macafee. Do not go off brands these may have what your trying to get rid of or to prevent.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Feb 07
i think anti-virus like avg works for me, and anti spyware to from avg also. other than that i do not restore important data from my computer, i just put it in a usb for future use. and of course i do not let my computer remember my password, and i always sign-out whenever i go out or not using it for safety. good day
1 person likes this
@Randync (544)
• United States
17 Feb 07
Some loser installed a keylogger on my comp somehow. I can't figure out how to get it off either. My anti spyware thingy blocks it but I can't remove it.
1 person likes this
@samseiko (116)
• Malaysia
17 Feb 07
Nope i had yet found anything that really WORKS. All those malwares are inevitable even the one you program yourself will have some error and malware. it is hard to get a good stuff in these days. Even nowadays i keep formatting my hard disk due to some corrupted files, i think its my hard disk problem, thats why nothign really works! Hate to say this, no matter how good is your computers, as long you surf the web, you are infected and will have to keep facing the same thing like spyware. Yeah maybe computer g33ks can help most of the user as they are good in the computer, I like to hang out with them as they are good in computer which is a neccessity for me
1 person likes this
@timgerst (14)
• United States
17 Feb 07
I forgot...get a reuter....it can really help.
@timgerst (14)
• United States
17 Feb 07
I just use 3 spograms Spybot, AdAware and AVG...use them once a week and you find only one or two case each time. Also, make sure you have a firewall.
17 Feb 07
Spybot search and destroy seems to be the best fro spyware, though I also run Windws Defender. Both should block stuff before it arrives, though run checkes every so often - usually picks up the fairly harmless thing my daughter has got
• India
17 Feb 07
There are no softwares available which can completely combat malware, spyware, vruses. This is partly because many people are intentionally creating and propagating such things. Such people should be heavily penalized.
@vinu123 (225)
• India
17 Feb 07
these things are really harmful, in short they screw your PC, so i use an antivirus for that.
@silentwill (1685)
• Philippines
17 Feb 07
I don't really experience much problems regarding this but I'm aware of the threat and how annoying they can be.
@moreinfo (3865)
• China
17 Feb 07
big threats to e-gold and online security. at least try to install spybot search and destroy, and spyware blaster.