Discussion:A reminder to check your computer for Spyware and Viruses

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Tips --> A reminder to check your computer for Spyware and Viruses


Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

19 January 2008
(This is not spam - I am only mentioning the products used because I actually use them. I am in no way connected to any of these firms.)


This morning I was trying to make an online order at Officedepot.com, but my web browser kept taking me to another site - hijacking it.

I ran my (not free) Norton 360 after updating the definitions, and it said everything was fine - no viruses or spyware.

I then downloaded the free Ad-Aware and ran it - it found 4 critical infections (which it removed) and identified 385 other "infections" which were privacy objects (which I assume to mean cookies). The free version did not delete the privacy objects.

I then downloaded the free Spybot and am running it now - it has already found 3 more critical infections including Aqueduct Profiler and CoolWWWsearch.WCADW which it will remove. I am only 50% finished scanning, but expect it to also identify the tracking cookies and give me a choice of saving or deleting.

Some cookies I want - so that my computer will remember me when I visit a page (like TA). Others I will probably delete.


My point is that sometimes the paid commercial programs (Norton) do not find everything or notify you when there is a problem.

Does anyone else want to name their favorite anti-spyware or share anti-virus stories?

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

19 January 2008
Also remember to re-boot after using anti-spyware software.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

June 21, 2008
One of the IT guys I use said Norton is not the best. I've been using Kaspersky for a little over a year now.

Why do you suggest re-booting after using anti-spyware software?

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

21 June 2008
so that the memory is freed up from any actively running spyware

Taxalmancer (talk|edits) said:

27 January 2009
I've gotten away from the paid integrated packages and use free separate ones. Zone Alarm, Avast, Ad Aware, Spy Bot are a few examples.

Also be aware that sometimes you get false positives.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

January 28, 2009
What do you use for a firewall Taxalmancer -- Windows?

And what about ad blocks?

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

30 January 2009
Thanks for the reminder Kevin..I redownloaded SpyBot & ran my AdAware. Of course now all my cookies are gone so none of my websites recognize me, but that's a small price to pay.

TLF (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2009
I have current version of norton, but i have an old version of spybot 1.3 I think. I recently checked on an upgrade to Spybot and it gave me a meesage that went something like no info will be used to track on spybots computer? Or something to that effect. I was afraid that I was not on a good link so I did not update. Can anyone tell me what the latest version of Spybot is and if the message I got was that same as when you upgraded?

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

January 31, 2009
TLF, I recently downloaded an upgrade to Spybot. It's wise to double check before you download anything these days. Spybot can be legitimately downloaded from several websites. http://www.download.com/Spybot-Search-amp-Destroy/3000-8022_4-10122137.html I see now that they have 1.6.2 out.

Joan, when you run Spybot or AdAware, you should be given the option on which items to fix. It's usually pretty easy to tell which cookies belong to the sites you use regularly. You can fix all of the items except the ones that relate to your favorite sites.

TLF (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2009
Thanks Natalie, It took me awhile (being the computer wiz that I am) but I was able to download Spybot 1.6. Did anyone download windows registry check? I tried but when it scanned it said I had way more than the 20 it would fix for free, so I though I would just buy the version that would fix it all, but they wanted me to sign up for some other offer to get a free version of the registry check? Did not do it. When I ran the updated version it showed one problem - that my windows security feature was diabled. I don't think that good, so I said fix problem, I hope it did! Am I making sense to anyone?

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

January 31, 2009
You're welcome, TLF. One of my computer consultants told me not to bother with the free registry scans. As I recall, he said the problems they find are not that big of an issue. The software makers mainly promote the free scans so they can upsell to customers.

Usually when SpyBot or Ad-Aware find problems on my computer, I Google them to see what the issue is. If you have Ad-Aware on your computer, you probably already know that SpyBot will come up with Ad-Aware in its scans. I guess there's a question about whether Ad-Aware is doing anything it shouldn't, but I leave those items alone when they come up.

As far as the windows security feature warning coming up, in your case, it's probably okay that you fixed it. Occasionally I get that warning as well, but I don't "fix" it automatically. I have the Kaspersky internet suite, complete with firewall. If the windows security feature warning comes on, it means something isn't right with Kaspersky. If I were to "fix" the windows component, I might be missing out on some security I get with Kaspersky. (When Kaspersky is properly running, Windows is properly disabled, and there are no warning messages.)

TLF (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2009
I have Norton Internet Security and that might have been why. I guess I had better check.

Thanks again.

Hgco (talk|edits) said:

1 February 2009
A great site to download free utlities / security software is savemybutt.com. I have no affiliation with the site or free software products.

Genskitty (talk|edits) said:

March 1, 2009
I use Spybot, Ad-Aware, Avast. I used to use Kerio for a firewall. The other day I came across Pc Tools Firewall Plus on www.download.com . This is the best one to date. Not only is it a firewall it is also has a program call Threatfire bundled with it. Threatfire automatically checks for any spyware, viruses, and all kinds of malware. So far, I have not had any problems with this new software.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

March 1, 2009
Genskitty, please let us know in six months how these packages work together.

Genskitty (talk|edits) said:

March 1, 2009
Will do Natalie

AKCCPA (talk|edits) said:

2 March 2009
AVG has a free anti-virus program available if anyone needs a cheap anti-virus program. Spybot and ad-aware are staples as well. The 3 of them lead to free protection which is quite useful.

Genskitty (talk|edits) said:

September 11, 2009
Well, it's six months later and my PC Tools Firewall Plus and Threat Fire is still working great... I have not yet had any viruses, trojans, malware or anything else of that nature. So far I am very pleased with the results.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

September 11, 2009
That's great news! When you run AdAware, how many cookies do you usually find?

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