The Windows virus situation has gone from bad to the ridiculously bad. I am telling you how it is, and not what the industry would like you believe it is. They're not in control, the bad guys are!
Just look at this virus total site and you will get a good clear picture of what most Windows users, and our Windows IT infrastructure is up against. Just look at the detection rate in the submission chart, under the statistics tab at the site.
Pretty shocking situation! Statistically, at best Windows virus checkers are only finding 38% of the viruses. So if you are confidently using the virus checker you paid $50 to $100 or more for, it ain't going to find all the viruses! OK, the salesman told you that it's all you needed to protect your Windows Computer. Well it is not, and far from it. It doesn't matter whether it is a free, or commercial virus checker, they're all in the same boat, which as far as I can see is sinking in a tidal wave of viruses and malware.
How clear can I make it, no single virus checker is finding all the Windows viruses.
So as I pointed out in this blog I wrote 15 months ago, you need more that one virus checker in Windows to have any chance of finding all the viruses. Back then, I was suggesting Windows users use at lease two checkers. This year I am suggesting using three.
Here are my free virus checker suggestions for non commercial use. You need to use multiple virus checkers with caution, because one virus checker can find the others virus detection data base, and think that it has found a virus and remove it. This would then disable the virus checker.
Generally, in most circumstances, these virus checkers will work together. If you already have a virus checker installed, and are happy with it, try installing one of these and see if they will work together without clashing.
(NOTE: It is important to only have one virus checker active at any one time. Turn off “Real Time Scanning” and "Load at start up," in the settings or options of all the other checkers you have installed, except the one you want to keep active all the time. This is so they don't clash.) If you uncertain how to do this ask some one at a club meeting to show you.
AVG Free (Use this as your main auto scanning / email scanning virus checker)
Avira Free can be used instead of AVG for those who find AVG clashes with something on their computer.
Both AVG and Avira offer paid versions which provide more protection features.
Clamwin, make sure you read the bottom part of my previous blog here, on how to set up and use Clamwin as a secondary virus checker. Us this as a guide on getting multiple anti-virus programs working together.
(NOTE: Comodo Internet Security is also a firewall, so if you don't want to use the firewall feature, just download the Comodo Anti-virus program separately.)
If you have multiple anti-virus programs all with their real time scanning features turned on at the same time, it will slow down your computer. So only have one program with their real time / background scanning feature turned on at any one time!
Read my blog here on Firewalls.
This will provide you with three virus checkers which will work together. Collectively, their combination will be far more effective than any single Windows virus checker. They should be virus signature updated, and run through your Windows computer regularly.
You are also faced with the fact that a lot of modern virus checkers are now flagging more files as viruses incorrectly. Flagging a file as a virus incorrectly is called a false positive. In my opinion, anti-virus vendors are panicking. Most of them now know that they have no chance with their present Windows technologies, of detecting anywhere near all the viruses and malware! Ironically, the hackers are submitting their creations to the Virus Total testing site, to see if their code will be detected as a virus. Now that is innovation for you!
What a ridiculous situation,. You will be spending a part of a day or so, every week, just updating and scanning with your virus checkers, to make sure your Windows OS is clean! Well all I can say is good luck, you're going to need it 🙂 Watch out for those false positives. A lot of our club members now use Linux for the Internet, and use Windows for other things. If you use Linux for the Internet make sure you have created a good root password, and have the firewall turned on and set up securely, plus constantly install all the latest distros updates, and patches. There are people in the club who will show you how to install Linux on your computer. You can have Linux and Windows loaded on a computer at the same time. This is called a dual boot system, you just make a decision which operating system you want to use at start up.
Criminal gangs are just laughing at our inability to protect our private and commercial IT infrastructure. The Chinese are smart, they have created their own secure operating system “Kylin” for their critical infrastructure computers. It is based on Linux / BSD.
© Peter Daley, 2009
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