Virus Facts and Myths
Antivirus Tips and FYI
To start, NO antivirus can get rid of or disable all Viruses.
None can do it and ALL admit it.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but a fact that is usually stated on every antivirus website.
Any antivirus is only as good as it's latest update, no matter WHEN you bought it or how new it is.
Most antivirus distributors disable advanced heuristics functions to encourage you to continue using their product, since heuristics analysis is more memory intensive than a basic scan.
You NEED advanced heuristics to catch virii before they can change your files, so if it isn't turned on now, do it before you continue reading.
No antivirus will do you ANY good if you turn off intelligent background scanning.
If that little icon is on your taskbar telling you that you are protected from several billion viruses but the automatic scanner is diabled then you may as well not have it installed.
Remember that new viruses are created every day, not all work, not all can harm you but most can.
Most virii are designed to attack windows (Microsoft Versions) of every type.
Almost any other type of OS is safer than windows by some degree.
Since new malware IE Virii get their start from email and web browsing, it is important to protect those areas first and best.
Since new Invasive and harmful virii are identified almost weekly, you need to realize that, before a cure can be found SOMEONE has to get infected.
That someone may be you!
Remember that few antivirus companies routinely scour the web in search of new Viruses to to circumvent and disable.
For them to know what virii to prevent disable or destroy, the Provider of the antivirus needs for you to tell them that you were infected.
Most quality antivirus manufacturers provide a plugin or scheduler that alerts them automatically when a virus is found on your computer.
Some provide a pop up notice that says you were infected with a virus such as mydoom32a. It then asks if you want to send a report to the company for analysis, always say yes.
While your antivirus may CALL the virus for instance (mydoom32a), that may not actually BE the real name of the virus.
Many types of Virii share the same or a similar code and often have the same or similar characteristics, yet are radically different.
So sending in that report only protects you and the other few hundred thousand people who may become infected.
No matter which antivirus you have currently installed on your PC, you may still have a worm, trojan, virus or bug somewhere on your PC
If you feel that you are infected there are several simple steps you can take to completely destroy the bug.
Remember that, just because your antivirus program happened to stop an attack last week, that doesn't mean that it stopped every attack or even completely removed all traces of the last attack from your PC.
An example is the Antivrus Vault.
Open whatever antivirus you have, look for the vault or virus storage area.
Find the tab that allows you to send this file or information to the AV company, then EMPTY the vault.
Set up scheduling.
This may seem like a tedious process but scheduling is important for continued safe operation of your PC.
Open your scheduler and choose a time that you will not be active on your PC.
Set all of your scanning methods to the most stringent settings available then save and exit.
Make sure that you have allowed for at least 4 hours of undisturbed scanning.
In other words, make sure you wont be getting up and messing with the PC before the scan is finished.
If all goes well, you will wake up to find a scan completed, a result window and scan time completion notification.
This varies with different versions, but you will always see some type of notice.
If you wake and discover that the PC has rebooted (which is evident by the obvious lack of a notification window) or has shut down, then your work is just beginning.
Lets Clean This Mess up!
If the scenario above describes you to ANY degree then this is your best answer for removing the threat, my best answer anyway.
First thing to remember is, your antivirus failed or it wouldn't have rebooted or shut down.
Your antivirus doesn't stink just because it got nuked.
What you do now is download at least 3 of the best free antiviruses you can get. My choices are usually, Avast then Quickheal followed by the weakest, AVG. The first thing to do, however is run a malware cleaner and removal tool such as Malwarebytes or Spybot since most viruses target Antivirus programs, not malware killers. This will prepare you for the next step.
The next step is almost too easy.
1. Uninstall your Current Antivirus, it has already been compromised and the executable (.exe) may have been over written by the virus.
2.Install Avast, do an update, scan (remove virus as needed) then uninstall.
Repeat this step with the other 2 Free Antivirus programs until you have completely removed all traces.
If all went well, you removed the virus, if it didn't then leave the last Antivirus in the list installed.
Go to my computer and right click your Primary hard drive and go to properties, then tools then choose defrag.
This method is always my last choice since the active scanner will see and examine every file processed with defrag.
Most Antiviruses choose NOT to scan every file, and by doing so usually overlook a file that has been renamed to keep itself hidden.
When doing the defrag the antivirus will treat every file as if it were an executable, at least most do.
If a virus is found during defrag simply follow the removal instructions as each new virus is encountered.
Now for the final step
This final step is quite simple and easy to do.
Use a cache cleaner such as Advanced System Care, Windows Washer or Eastec Eraser or Evidence Eliminator if you have a copy, (Windows Washer is usually a free download) .
Do a cleanup of unwanted and unnecessary files, but ESPECIALLY the Internet Exploder Cache file!
Also choose clear paging file at reboot or shutdown if that is listed.
If it says you need a reboot then Reboot, BUT if the antivirus alerts you that a virus has been found deal with that first, then proceed.
when all virii have been found and reboot is recommended then press that little ok button and reboot.
After your windows has completely reloaded, you need to delete and remove your windows restore file and make a new one.
Go to Control Panel, system then hardware and open system restore.
Click turn Off system Restore, then apply then reboot .
When your PC comes back on go back and repeat these steps to turn ON system Restore.
What this does is eliminate any SAVED virus traces left from previous infections.
Just to be safe now, uninstall the antivirus you have installed and reinstall your antivirus of choice.
Update, then rescan and go back to whatever it is you do when you aren't messing with your PC.
The reason you use the 3 antiviruses is simply because each of those versions I listed are based on different signature types, and are aggressive to specific virus types more than the others are.
One of them attacks adware and spyware as well.
Remember, just because you LIKE your antivirus, and just because your antivirus Looks great to you runs fast, and is user friendly Doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best one you can get for cash or free.
It just happens to feel good to YOU!
One side note on Norton antivirus that you may not know.
While MOST antiviruses stop or kill an email virus BEFORE they can be downloaded and hurt you, Norton downloads it and saves it, THEN tries to kill it.
This leaves you exposed to the consequences if Norton FAILS to disable or kill the virus.
Another thing you should NEVER use is Stopsign Antivirus or ANY of their line of products.
They come with masked spyware so nasty that they sued and won an injunction to supress it from detection by most popular spyware detectors.
They say this advertising, and Information Gathering tool is the reason for the low price and is completely harmless.
When you call their corporate headquarters or the toll free number they give and ask what etrust is and WHY they load their product down with so many megs of spyware they get extremely defensive and start reciting a well planned speech about how harmless it is.
Users immediately see an influx of unwanted junk email that they never had before.
Their browser gets hijacked when they reboot, and windows becomes more unstable the longer they use it.
Yet they claim to have a superior spam killer for your in-box?
E-trust and E-acceleration have been on the hit list of most non corporate Spyware killers for years.
Dont Buy it.
Good Luck to ya!
on Mar 11, 2010 | Computers & Internet