Posts Tagged ‘anti-virus’

Troubleshooting Computer Problems Related to Malware

Malware is a collective term given to different types of malicious programs that can infect a computer system. They are the most serious threats that most computer users come across, and can cause many types of problems on the system. Errors related to malware are also quite cryptic, and not easy to resolve. For example, the d.exe doesn’t seem to be a process of any use, except that a little research reveals that it is a malware file.

Is there any sure shot defense against malware? Well, by following some very simple steps, it is possible to take care of most malware-related problems in any Windows PC:

  • Antivirus scan – The first step to deal with malware problems is to perform a thorough antivirus scan on your computer. Before running the scan, make sure that your antivirus software is up-to-date with latest definitions so that it is ready to detect and remove the latest threats.
  • Registry cleanup – It is well known that the registry is very important to the proper functioning of the system, and that it is usually very complicated to perform registry repair by yourself. Even if there seem to be no problem with the registry, you should make sure that you check it regularly for errors. The reason is that a corrupt registry weakens the system security, and opens the way for malware to infect the system. For instance, the smss.exe process is a system process easily hijacked by malware. Therefore, make sure that you purchase a good registry cleaner and take care of registry problems before it is too late.
  • Firewall – A lot of importance is given to viruses and the antivirus issue, but people normally forget that network security is also paramount. In fact, it is only because of the weak network security that malware attack the system and make hacking and phishing activities possible. A good firewall establishes itself between the network and your system, filtering all data traffic. In this way, security is enhanced and there is less chance of a malware invading your system or connecting to the internet. There are many free firewalls you can choose from, and they are about as important as any antivirus program out there.
  • Spyware removal – Even though they might be considered the second rung of the ‘malware family’, spyware and adware cause a lot of errors on the system and can even steal confidential user information in severe cases. They can fill up disk space very quickly by replicating themselves very fast, hence keeping your system busy via useless activities. A good example of such malware is the alg.exe process. The most effective defense against such malware is to get a good quality anti-spyware installed on your system that will save your sensitive data from being transferred to attacker websites.

As was shown in this discussion, there are a few common reasons for malware problems. Your skill level and expertise in dealing with computers doesn’t really matter, just as long as you remain informed about malware threats and see to it that you download all software from trusted sources only.

AVG Threat Labs Beta Debuts

AVG Technologies, developers of the world’s most popular free anti-virus software, today announced a limited public beta test of its new online tool, AVG Threat Labs. Designed to help consumers combat criminal elements on the Web, Threat Labs is an innovative online information portal that merges the quantitative Web threat detection data that AVG routinely collects from its almost 100 million users with data from AVG’s LinkScanner technology.

AVG users with LinkScanner already installed are protected in real-time from sites containing malware. Threat Labs complements this software by enabling the user to type in the URL of a specific Web site to gather more information. Users not currently using AVG software still benefit from visiting Threat Labs as this unique tool provides an instant and complete safety analysis of a Web site including detection statistics, a detection timeline, an analysis of linked sites and a detection map. AVG’s Threat Labs augments AVG’s existing free, downloadable anti-virus software and enhances the company’s unique “people powered protection” approach to security.

Bulldog anti-virus review

Like many other anti-virus/internet-security programs, when you first download the software from BullGuard’s website, all you are downloading is a small downloader. Once you run it then you download the actual software, so you will need internet access through the entire process.

The website is well designed and easy to navigate. Getting and installing the software was quite easy. The download time will depend on your internet connection, of course. The initial downloader takes no time at all, and should be very quick over most connections. For me, and I recommend this, I waited until I had downloaded the initial installer before removing my current anti-virus program. Once I had the downloader, then I uninstalled the old one, and rebooted. After the system was back up, I then ran the BullGuard downloader, which downloaded the full installer, and began it’s installation. The installation itself took approximately three minutes, then it required a reboot. During the installation itself it asked no other questions. Start to finish in no time at all. After I rebooted, it then asked for me to create an account. No big deal, I’ve tried others that do the same thing. I only had one issue with this part, and that was the user name. I have a common user name that I use for such items, but when I tried to use it, I was told an e-mail address is required. Granted BullGuard points that out to you, but not till after you have made the mistake. Again, not a big deal, but I would suggest they add that to the initial text. Once I had the information correctly in, BullGuard was installed and ready to use.

I then went onto other things, writing this article for one. I did not notice any significant sluggishness in the system that I’ve noticed with other anti-virus programs, and even more so in Internet Security packages. Response time seemed quick and the system seemed as responsive as ever. As I’m typing this I am noticing pop-ups telling me this program or that program has been granted access to the internet. It tells me the name of each program that it grants, all the normal items so far. The pop-ups do not require any intervention on my part, and vanish fairly quickly. They seem to be a FYI more than anything else, which I like. This tells me: one – that it is doing it’s job, two – what it’s doing it with, and three – I don’t have to explain to it that these are normal programs.

As you can see I was pretty impressed, that was until I closed out of this word processor. I then noticed a pop-under had come up. Not a big deal, it was the backup feature of BullGuard asking if I wanted backup my files. Fine, I liked the fact that it had popped into the background and waited for me to attend to it. What I did not like was when I tried to close it, it did not seem to want to close. So I tried opening something else, and it would not open. So I rebooted the system. Upon reboot I noticed the system was very sluggish, and I was having difficulty accessing anything. So, I thought okay, obviously I jumped the gun a little bit with my praise. I decided I’d let the system wait, I had an errand to run anyway. So I left the system on and left the house for about two hours. That should give it plenty of time to work out whatever it had to do. When I got back, it still seemed sluggish and unresponsive. I rebooted again, now I was determined to get this software back off my machine and back to my previous programs, I’d had enough of this. Well, as it rebooted BullGuard popped up with a couple of infections it had found, which it promptly removed. At that point the system began functioning even faster that it had before I started. Apparently I had an infection that my previous anti-virus had never found. Here I was ready to trash the whole thing, when BullGuard was simply doing it’s job. Okay, I went back to being fairly impressed by it.

I then ran a full scan and found a few more infections that had not been picked up before. Going through the software, everything seemed easy to find and use. In closing, I must admit that BullGuard is a rather formidable anti-virus and internet security product. In the end I was most impressed with it’s performance and recommend it highly.

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