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#1 Tilnatis

Tilnatis

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 02:33 PM

I have gone over your topic "So how did I get infected in the first place?" several times, and I thank you very much for all the great tips, suggestions, and instructions.

Comment 1: the Ad-Aware info topic needs updating. The instructions do not seem to match the program (I downloaded about a week ago, and it is Ad-Aware 2007. It also seems to have come along with a side program called Ad-Watch 2007.)

Comment 2: the instructions for "lock down ActiveX in Internet Explorer" are also outdated. They call for the "Download signed & unsigned ActiveX controls" to be set at "Prompt." But in IE7, these are now separated into two options, one for signed, one for unsigned. I tried to follow your directions, and set these both to Prompt, but then Spyware Blaster yelled at me, and said that Unsigned ActiveX controls should be set to Disable.

The real reason for this post: I was hoping to get clarification on when I should run these programs. I know some of them work in the background, like Zone Alarm and Spybot. But I am not sure if I should be pro-active and run a full or quick system scan, how often, and for which programs. I've constructed the following notes after following your directions, but if you could make any corrections you think are necessary, and help replace the question marks, I'm sure it will help me & many others NOT have to ask you for help in the future.

Windows Update
Updates: Critical updates done automatically. Manually check for other updates weekly.
Scan: n/a

Default internet browser: Mozilla Firefox
Updates: n/a
Scan: n/a

Anti-Virus: AVG Free Anti-Virus 7.5
Updates: auto
Scan: ??

Firewall: Zone Alarm 7.0
Updates: auto
Scan: n/a

Spyware Blaster
Updates: weekly, manual
Scan: n/a
Other: manually create monthly System Snapshot & Hosts Safe backup

Ad-Aware 2007
Updates: weekly, manual
Scan: Full Scan or Smart Scan? how often?

Spybot Search & Destroy
Updates: auto
Scan: n/a

MVPS Hosts
As far as I can tell, this is a one-time install & I'm done. (The info page is a tad confusing.)

IE-SPYAD
Did not use this, only good for IE 6.x and below, currently using 7.x

AVG Anti-Spyware
Updates: auto
Scan: ?? maybe fast scan weekly, full scan monthly?

Windows Defender
Updates: completed when updating Windows, above
Scan: n/a

Summary schedule I have made for myself so far is:
Weekly: check for Windows updates, Spyware Blaster updates, Ad-Aware updates, and defrag.
Monthly: Spyware Blaster System Snapshot & Hosts Safe backup
Thanks for your answers. My website is: [Removed link. cnm]

#2 Budfred

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 06:55 PM

I have gone over your topic "So how did I get infected in the first place?" several times, and I thank you very much for all the great tips, suggestions, and instructions.

We modified the article with the permission of the author... The main credit goes to Tony Klein....

Comment 1: the Ad-Aware info topic needs updating. The instructions do not seem to match the program (I downloaded about a week ago, and it is Ad-Aware 2007. It also seems to have come along with a side program called Ad-Watch 2007.)

I no longer recommend using Ad-Aware at all... They have made agreements with at least one of the companies producing adware and their detection capabilities are reduced... They are also into marketing other products with their installs (although that is becoming far too common with programs that used to be more honorable)...

Comment 2: the instructions for "lock down ActiveX in Internet Explorer" are also outdated. They call for the "Download signed & unsigned ActiveX controls" to be set at "Prompt." But in IE7, these are now separated into two options, one for signed, one for unsigned. I tried to follow your directions, and set these both to Prompt, but then Spyware Blaster yelled at me, and said that Unsigned ActiveX controls should be set to Disable.

As noted, this is an article and it is a good idea to pay attention to the date it was published... If we update it, it will include more current information and the date will reflect that...

The real reason for this post: I was hoping to get clarification on when I should run these programs. I know some of them work in the background, like Zone Alarm and Spybot. But I am not sure if I should be pro-active and run a full or quick system scan, how often, and for which programs. I've constructed the following notes after following your directions, but if you could make any corrections you think are necessary, and help replace the question marks, I'm sure it will help me & many others NOT have to ask you for help in the future.

The answers for most of your questions are dependent on your surfing habits... I am extremely careful about preventing infections and usually only run scans if I see odd behavior by my computer... I rely mostly on automatic scanning... If you are not as careful and especially if you visit sites that are prone to distributing malware, it would be a good idea to run scans often...

Windows Update
Updates: Critical updates done automatically. Manually check for other updates weekly.
Scan: n/a

I suggest setting Update to notify you when updates are available and then you won't need to manually check...

Default internet browser: Mozilla Firefox
Updates: n/a
Scan: n/a

It is true that no scan is relevant... It is NOT true that updates are n/a... Firefox updates often and it is a good idea to either tell it to notify you or to check for updates often...

Anti-Virus: AVG Free Anti-Virus 7.5
Updates: auto
Scan: ??

Again, depends on your surfing habits -- if it is updating automatically and providing resident protection, you could scan with it on a schedule or as needed, but it isn't really needed unless you are doing risky surfing...

Spyware Blaster
Updates: weekly, manual
Scan: n/a
Other: manually create monthly System Snapshot & Hosts Safe backup

You can pay for automatic updates if you wish -- I am sure Javacool would appreciate the money...

Ad-Aware 2007
Updates: weekly, manual
Scan: Full Scan or Smart Scan? how often?

I recommend removing it... If you use it, please make sure you are not running Ad-Watch since you have other resident protection running as well...

Spybot Search & Destroy
Updates: auto
Scan: n/a

Again, please make sure you are not running TeaTimer since you have other resident malware protection and running both may reduce protection...

MVPS Hosts
As far as I can tell, this is a one-time install & I'm done. (The info page is a tad confusing.)

Yes, it is...

IE-SPYAD
Did not use this, only good for IE 6.x and below, currently using 7.x

I no longer recommend this because it is not clear if it is being updated and other programs can protect, especially if you are not using IE...

AVG Anti-Spyware
Updates: auto
Scan: ?? maybe fast scan weekly, full scan monthly?

This is one more of what seems to be 4 anti-malware programs on your computer... If you are running it in resident mode, you are clearly putting yourself at greater risk... If you wish to use it to manually run scans, frequency depends on your risk level...

Windows Defender
Updates: completed when updating Windows, above
Scan: n/a

Unless you have turned it off, this generally runs in resident mode... If it is off, one of the other programs above could be used in resident mode instead... You can elect to run scans if you wish, again according to your risk level...

Summary schedule I have made for myself so far is:
Weekly: check for Windows updates, Spyware Blaster updates, Ad-Aware updates, and defrag.
Monthly: Spyware Blaster System Snapshot & Hosts Safe backup

I suggest dumping all but Windows Defender of your 4 anti-malware programs and using MBAM for occasional scans... MBAM only runs in resident mode if you pay for it, so it is a safer option than some of the others... SpywareBlaster is a good opton and antivirus and firewall are essential... I don't see what you are using for a firewall, so I am assuming you are using the Windows firewall... If you are running Win7, that is probably sufficient... If you are running XP, it would be a good idea to consider another firewall to protect outgoing signals by default...
Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"




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