This is the new Resources page for Fran’s Computer Services. I moved it here so I could update it more easily. The items that are highlighted with * on either side in *BOLD* are the ones that I highly suggest.
Software and other Internet Resources
Free Security Related Software
Most of the following software is available for free or free after a trial period. Most also have a Pay version available as well. Some are totally free, some are donationware.
- *MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials* (Free from Microsoft – but requires WGA validation and participation in their basic membership to the Microsoft SpyNet system)
- Avast! Home Edition(Free for home use)
- AntiVir (Free personal use version)
- AVG Free(Free version)
- Microsoft’s Windows Live Safety Scanner
- ESET’s Online Scanner
- McAfee’s FreeScan
- Symantec’s Security Check
- TrendMicro’s HouseCall
Online File Scanners (used to submit specific file(s) to find out if the files are infected and with what). Detection Only.
- Kaspersky File Scanner – Checks single files less than 1Mb in size. Multiple files can be zipped as one and scanned, provided the resulting archive is 1Mb or less. Includes excellent Trojan detection, making it great for checking email and IM attachments.
- VirusTotal – Submit single files only to Virustotal> May be submitted through their online scanner or email. File must not exceed 5Mb. The file is scanned by several different scan engines and results reported for each.
- Jotti Online Malware Scan – Jotti returns scan results from several (currently 19) different scanners. Jottie’s scan results come from different scan engines than Virustotal, which makes it worthwhile to use both. There is a 20MB limit per file.
- *Malwarebytes Anti-Malware* (Free/Trial/Pay-to-Play) Excellent program. When you go past the trial period, you just need to manually get the updates and do your own scans.
- SpyBot Search & Destroy (Free)
- Windows Defender (Free but requires WGA validation – NOTE: Be sure to use Internet Explorer to download. Windows XP or later required. Included in MSE so not needed if you use MSE.
- *WinPatrol* (free and pay-to-play versions) – Excellent Program – does a great job. Particularly good for slower computers or computers with less memory
- *SpywareBlaster* (free, pay for automatic updates) – a must have
- *Secunia Software Inspector* Browser based – (free) browser/Java based software inspection of the components like Java, Flash, Windows Updates, and other “Internet-facing” programs to ensure you have the latest versions. This is especially important to make sure you do not have any latent earlier versions laying around to be exploited and that you have the latest patched versions.
- MyWOT (free), Browser Extension – MYWot, also known as My Web Of Trust. Works great for Internet Explorer and Firefox. Google Chrome and Safari browser now have MyWOT, aka WOT, as well. Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
For more advanced browsing safety and control in Firefox (some available for Chrome as well):
- NoScript (free), NoScript allows you to have control over what sites are trusted enough to run scripting. Sometimes malware can be inserted into webpages and they often use scripting to run in your browser. By only allowing scripting only on trusted pages, you limit your liability to malicious scripts. Firefox versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
- BetterPrivacy Firefox Addon (free), BetterPrivacy allows you to have granular control over what sites can or can not save LSO (Flash Cookies).
- Flashblock (free), Prevents sites from running Flash unless you allow it. Can help prevent malware and helpful for slower computers with limited RAM as well. Firefox versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
- PDF Download (free), Lets you control how PDF files are handled within your browser (save, limit how it is opened, convert to image, more) which can help prevent malicious PDF files from running in your browers. Firefox versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Temporary Files and TIF (Temporary Internet Files) remover, and more
- *CCleaner* (free) NOTE: During install, recommend unclicking Yahoo! Toolbar if you don’t want it. Configure settings (Windows and Applications Tabs) before running CCleaner – unclick cookies for browsers and let antispyware products take care of cookies, and maybe recent documents if you use that feature.
- ATF Cleaner – great to be used with CCleaner or standalone. No installation needed. Small and handy cleanup tool for Windows. Not sure how it works on Windows 7 as it has not been updated recently, but works great in Windows XP.
Alternative Browsers and Email Clients
Parental Help – Free Internet Filtering
Non Free Security Solutions
Office softwareAbiWord(free)OpenOffice (free)
Disk Imaging softwareWindows 7 comes with very good Disk Imaging (free) software built-in (free), as well as the ability to make a System Recovery Disk to use if you need to restore your system from the Disk Image. Windows 7 also comes with a Backup/Restore utility (also free) that can backup/restore your personal files/folders. The only things you need are writable CD/DVD for the System Recovery Disk, and a USB External Hard Drive (not the backup drives where they provide the software that writes to the drive. Needs to be able to be accessed directly like any other drive on your system). NOTE: The external hard drive needs to be at least the size of the hard drive you are backing up. So if you have a 1TB drive on your computer, you need at least a 1TB drive, preferably 2TB if you don’t want to have to remove versions of the Disk Image, and/or backups.Macrium Reflect FREE Edition(free for personal use) – The only free XP, Vista and Windows 7 compatible disk imaging software with BartPE and Linux based recovery optionsDriveImage XML– DriveImage XML is a hard disk imaging utility that allows you to backup a PC’s hard disk or partition from within Windows XP (XP Home and/or XP Professional only). It can image a partition that is currently in use (such as the system drive), compress the image while backing up, restore an image to another partition/drive and clone a drive. (more info on the webpage noted below).And many others listed here: Free Hard Disk and Partition Imaging and Backup Software, along with explanations, options and instructions.
Many of the free security programs you will need to update on a weekly basis if they don’t an auto update function (antivirus software generally has an auto update function).
Many find it’s easier to remember to run their ‘Weekies’ if they put the short cuts for their security programs into a new folder on the Desktop called Weekly as a reminder. I generally create a folder called Weekly and change the folder Icon to the little security lock image under customize Icon to make it easier to locate on the Desktop.