Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

I Answer A Common Question

Is antivirus “X” better than antivirus “Y”?

Both in my “real job” as a Support & Repair Tech, and as a World Renown Tech Blogger (Ahem), I am frequently asked about various programs folks can use to prevent computer infections, or clean up an infection up after “my teenage son/grandson downloaded something.” ¹

If I had a nickel for each of the times I have been asked “is antivirus “X” better than antivirus “Y”? ” and/or “which anti-spyware do you use, Paul?” it would have added up to a pretty nice pile of nickels.
Like.. maybe.. oh.. twenty gazillion dollars worth.

Identity Theft Yes. I get asked a lot. But I don’t mind and I don’t charge a nickel. Because there’s an organized, criminal enterprise bent on using the Internet to turn our PC’s into spam “bots” in a “botnet”, steal our personal information (“identities”), and are always hoping to hit the jackpot by recording a bank login and/or credit card number.

[Fact: Online crime is bigger than the global drugs trade. The Internet shadow economy is worth over $105 billion/year.  No country, no person, no business and no government is immune from Cybercrime.]

I hate repeating myself, so I refer the askers to Top 10 things you should do to your computer and Basic Steps For Protecting Your PC. But they come back with, “yeah, yeah, yeah, but I want your private and personal recommendations.”

So.. always give the same baseline answer — if you connect a Windows computer to the Internet you should have:
1) a firewall turned on (just one).
2) an up-to-date antivirus (just one).
3) One up-to-date anti-spyware with “active shielding” (heuristics)
4) One “passive”, up-to-date, anti-spyware that you run once a week to catch what the other one misses.
5) A healthy stock of “paranoid common sense”. (No. You did not just win the Irish E-mail Lottery.)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but I want your private and personal recommendations.

Well, folks, Okay. I will tell you about a tool I use that I haven’t mentioned here before. It is an anti-malware scanner that I use on the job, and on several of my own machines. And I install it on the PC’s of my friends and family. And, I’ll tell you why — it’s simple and it’s effective.

Typically, I install the free version to use as a “passive” scanner. On the job, I use it as one of my “go to” detect-and-remove tools. And to my clients and friends, and since prevention is better, I reco’ that they purchase the Professional version so they can have the real-time (“active”) protection and auto-scheduling — set it and forget it. (Another reason I do this is because this tool “plays very nicely with others”.)
This has been true for years.

The program I’m about to name will be (um.. should be) familiar to my geekier readers, but many folks have never heard of it — it’s called SUPERAntiSpyware (aka “SAS”). I  am not going to run through it’s details here (this post is already lengthy) but instead refer you to this Bill Mullins article, SUPERAntiSpyware Professional – The Name Says It All!

I also want to say that I admire the people behind SAS, and they get a big tip of my geek hat. They are hard working and generous and they know their stuff. Their motto is “Remove ALL the Spyware, NOT just the easy ones” and I like that attitude!SAS_shrtcut_icon

Tip of the day: The good folks there at SAS have generously donated five Professional licenses to me, “lifetime” licenses no less, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am going to do a random drawing from folks who “enter” by posting a comment (below). The drawing will be held early next week, so act now.
Simply click on “comment”, and enter a name and valid e-mail in the form. Actually commenting is optional. And, I shouldn’t have to say this, but multiple entries will result in disqualification.

Today’s free download: Why not get a jump on the game and download a trial version of SUPERAntiSpyware Professional today.. you just might get an “activation” as a winner. And if not, you can either purchase (if you do, I advise getting the lifetime upgrade) or it will revert to the free version. Check it out here.

¹ I use quotes, because, well, that sounds a bit like “the dog ate my homework” to a tech.

[update: The contest ends today (Sept. 10th) at 12 noon, Pacific. Winners will be posted at 5pm.]

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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September 4, 2009 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, firewall, how to, Internet, PC, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments