Secure your PC - for free

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by taylor, Jan 10, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Freeware Anti-Spy Tools

    Microsoft AntiSpyware

    [​IMG]
    Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) is a security technology that helps protect Windows users from spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Known spyware on your PC can be detected and removed. This helps reduce negative effects caused by spyware, including slow PC performance, annoying pop-up ads, unwanted changes to Internet settings, and unauthorized use of your private information. Continuous protection improves Internet browsing safety by guarding more than 50 ways spyware can enter your PC. Participants in the worldwide SpyNet™ community play a key role in determining which suspicious programs are classified as spyware. Microsoft researchers quickly develop methods to counteract these threats, and updates are automatically downloaded to your PC so you stay up to date.

    License: Beta
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.microsoft.com
    Download the beta: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=321CD7A2-6A57-4C57-A8BD-DBF62EDA9671&displaylang=en

    Ad-Aware

    AdAware is a privacy tool, that scans your memory, registry, hard, removable and optical drives for known data-mining, aggressive advertising, and tracking components. It then lists the results and offers to remove or quarantine the components. The program detects a wide range of adware/spyware related issues and can be updated with the latest signatures via the built-in update utility. You should fully read the included Ad-aware documentation before removing any files!

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.lavasoftusa.com

    HijackThis

    [​IMG]
    HijackThis is a tool, that lists all installed browser add-on, buttons, startup items and allows you to inspect, and optionally remove selected items. The program can create a backup of your original settings and also ignore selected items. Additional features include a simple list of all startup items, default start page, online updates and more. Intended for advanced users.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.tomcoyote.org/hjt/

    SpywareBlaster

    [​IMG]
    SpywareBlaster doesn`t scan and clean for so-called spyware, but prevents it from being installed in the first place. It achieves this by disabling the CLSIDs of popular spyware ActiveX controls, and also prevents the installation of any of them via a webpage. This allows you to run Internet Explorer with Active-X enabled, but it will never download or even prompt you for any of the known ActiveX controls. All other Active-X controls or plug-ins will work fine. The SpywareBlaster database contains information on these known spyware Active-X controls and can be updated with the click of a button. The application windows displays a list of all controls that it is able to detect (this is not a list of what was found on your computer). The program cannot detect if you have any of the known objects already installed, but if you do, they will be disabled. The program also allows you to take a snapshot of your computer (certain settings) in its clean state and later revert many changes made by spyware and browser hijackers.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html


    Spybot - Search & Destroy

    Spybot - Search & Destroy is an adware and spyware detection and removal tool. This includes removal of certain advertising components, that may gather statistics as well as detection of various keylogging and other spy utilities. In addition, it also securely removes PC and Internet usage tracks, including browser history, temporary pages, cookies (with option to keep selected) and more. The program offers an attractive outlook-style interface that is easy to use and multi-lingual. SpyBot-S&D allows you to exclude selected cookies, programs or extensions from being reported, allowing you to prevent false positive messages for items that you dont want to be alerted of every time. It can even scan your download directory for files that have been downloaded, but not yet installed, allowing you to detect unwanted programs before you even install them. SpyBot produces a detailed and easy to understand report before it deletes any files and allows you to deselect any item that you do not want to be processed. In addition, a recovery feature allows you to restore your settings if needed. Very nice.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.safer-networking.org/

    SpywareGuard

    SpywareGuard provides a real-time protection solution against so-called spyware. It works similar to an anti-virus program, by scanning EXE and CAB files on access and alerting you if known spyware is detected. If this is the case, it initially blocks access to the file and then allows the user to select an action. SpywareGuard provides a fast scanning engine, signature-based scanning, heuristic/generic scanning, a control panel, and an online-update utility for downloading of definition updates. It does not replace your anti-virus protection, but instead detects programs that may cause privacy concerns. The list of detected programs includes AdBreak, AdultLinks/LinkZZ, Brilliant Digital, CommonName, Cytron, FreeScratchAndWin, FriendGreetings, HighTraffic, HotBar, IEDisco, iGetNet, Lop.com, MoneyTree Dialer and others.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.wilderssecurity.net/spywareguard.html


    XP-AntiSpy

    [​IMG]
    XP-AntiSpy is a small utility to quickly disable some built-in update and authentication features in WindowsXP that may rise security or privacy concerns in some people. For example, there is a service running in the background which is called Automatic Updates... that may sound useful to most people, but suspicious to others. You can disable all these features manually by going through your configuration, find the settings for each etc. However with XP-AntiSpy there is no need to do this, since it will show you all of them at once and let you choose which ones to disable. Not only will it save you a lot of time disabling them - it will also allow you to quickly re-enable them if you change your mind.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows Win XP
    Author: http://www.xp-antispy.org/

    Freeware Anti-Virus Tools

    avast! Home Edition

    avast! Home Edition is a complete anti-virus package, that is is free for registered home non-commercial users. It contains an on-demand scanner with two interfaces (simple for novices and advanced for experienced users), an on-access scanner with Standard Shield (which protects against execution and opening malware programs) and an embedded e-mail scanner which scans incoming and outgoing email messages. avast! Home integrates with the Windows Explorer right click menu and also includes a special screen saver which is able to scan your system while your computer is not in use. Updates are incremental and frequently made available for manual or scheduled download. You will download a 60 days demo, if you would like to continue free usage beyond that time, you`ll need to register from the home page to obtain a free activation key by email.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home2.html

    AntiVir PE

    [​IMG]
    AntiVir PE (Personal Edition) offers the effective protection against computer viruses for the individual and private use on a single PC-workstation. It detects and removes more than 50,000 viruses and an Internet-Update Wizard for easy updating. The built in resident Virus Guard serves to monitor file movements automatically, for example when downloading files from the internet. Heuristic scanning protects Protection against previously unknown macro viruses.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.free-av.com

    Grisoft's AVG 7.0

    AVG Free Edition is the well-known anti-virus protection tool. AVG Free is available free-of-charge to home users for the life of the product! Rapid virus database updates are available for the lifetime of the product, thereby providing the high-level of detection capability that millions of users around the world trust to protect their computers. AVG Free is easy-to-use and will not slow your system down (low system resource requirements).

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    Author: http://free.grisoft.com

    Freeware Anti-Spam Tools

    Spamihilator

    Spamihilator is an anti-spam filtering program that works with any email client. It runs as a local POP server that sits between your email program and your mail server and filters mail based on a built-in filtering mechanism. In addition, you can maintain a blocklist as well as a list of friends (their mail will never be filtered). The program comes with a nice interface and automatically configures popular email clients (Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape etc.). You can change the aggressiveness of the filter and also add your own spam words to look for. Spamihilator does not delete the spam right away, but moves it to a recycle bin, where you can review it, restore items or permanently delete them.

    recommended

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/2000/XP for all clients!!!
    Author: http://www.spamihilator.com

    SpamBayes

    SpamBayes is an intelligent spam filter and message classifier for Outlook, that automatically categorizes your incoming messages into `good`, `spam` and `unsure` and sorts them into the associated folder. The program uses an advanced, bayesian filtering method that requires no manual setup and gets smarter the more email it processes. It includes a training wizard that can be used to feed it some spam messages, otherwise it will learn from your incoming email as you go. It it misses (or incorrect classified), you can just click the toolbar button and make the message `spam` or `good`, and SpamBayes will automatically learn from it, avoiding to make similar mistakes in the future. The program is easy to use and setup and probably one of the most accurate filtering tools we have come across, with a detection rate of close to 100 percent.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/2000/XP for Outlook 2000/XP/2003
    Author: http://spambayes.sourceforge.net

    Matador Spam Fighter

    Matador Spam Fighter screenshot - click for full size
    Matador Spam Fighter is a Bayesian filter add-in for MS Outlook 2003 that automatically moves spam into a junk mail folder. You can simply click a Spam or NoSpam button to categorize a message, from which it will automatically learn and adjust its filters. Matador Spam Fighter utilizes different filters and technologies that include Bayesian Filtering, Realtime DNS Black List, Content Checks, Realtime DNS White List, Bonded Sender Programs and Contacts Whitelists. The program is very easy to use and does not require any complicated configurations (or any for that matter). It works remarkably well and filtered almost all spam right from the start.
    Requires Outlook 2003!

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    Requires: .NET .NET Framework and Outlook 2003
    Author: http://blogs.clearscreen.com/migs/archive/2004/09/16/400.aspx

    Freeware Personal Firewalls

    ZoneAlarm

    [​IMG]
    ZoneAlarm provides essential protection for Internet users. Combining the safety of a dynamic firewall with total control over applications Internet use, ZoneAlarm gives rock-solid protection against thieves and vandals. ZoneAlarm makes ironclad Internet security easy-to-use. ZoneAlarm gives you control over the door to your computer. With Stealth Mode enabled, ZoneAlarm s Firewall renders your computer invisible to the Internet and potential intruders. If you can t be seen, you can t be attacked. Because you tell ZoneAlarm how you use your computer, the firewall only allows traffic that you understand and initiate. ZoneAlarm s firewall provides the ultimate intrusion security for your personal computer. ZoneAlarm also introduces MailSafe which enables users of ZoneAlarm to detect and control Visual Basic Script attachments to emails they receive while ZoneAlarm is running. Free for personal and non-profit use.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.zonelabs.com

    Kerio Personal Firewall

    [​IMG]
    Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) is a software agent that builds a barrier between your personal computer and the Internet. KPF is designed to protect your PC against attacks from both the Internet, and other computers in the local network. The firewall controls all data flow in both directions from the Internet to your computer and vice versa, and it can also block all attempted connections, allowing only what you choose to permit. MD5 application signatures protect the computer from Trojan horses imitating trusted programs. Kerio features three security levels for easy configuration, as well as options for advanced users to create their own rules. The program initially starts in a learning mode, prompting you for each detected connection and creates customized rules automatically. Kerio Personal Firewall is easy enough to use for novice users, and also provides the flexibility of custom rules for advanced users. Pro version available with additional features.
    Free for personal use. After installation, KPF works as the full edition for 30 days, after which it becomes the limited free edition.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/2000/XP
    File size: 7197 kb
    Author: http://www.kerio.com


    Sygate Personal Firewall

    [​IMG]
    Sygate Personal Firewall is more than an advanced, user-friendly personal firewall -- it is a bi-directional intrusion defense system. Sygate Personal Firewall ensures your personal computer is completely protected from malicious hackers and other intruders while preventing unauthorized access from your computer to a network. In essence, Sygate Personal Firewall makes your protected machines invisible to the outside world. Sygate Personal Firewall delivers unobtrusive, highly configurable, enforceable rule-based security policy by constantly operating in the background of your PC or server. Policies regarding applications, trusted IP addresses, ports, protocols and scheduling can be customized to support and secure any network configurations or requirements. Sygate Personal Firewall is protecting your computer by actively looking for hostile intruders and Trojan horse applications. If an intrusion attempt occurs, Sygate Personal Firewall detects it in real-time with built-in host- and application-based intrusion detection technology, while blocking it by default. You are immediately notified and, with your approval, your Internet connection is adjusted to prohibit further attacks. Likewise, if an unauthorized application on your system attempts to access the Internet, Sygate Personal Firewall blocks it by default, advises you of the situation and waits for your approval before proceeding further (Free for Personal Use)

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    Author: http://smb.sygate.com

    Internet Cleanup Tools

    CleanMOCache

    CleanMOCache is an Internet tracks cleaner for "the other" browsers, and offers support for Mozilla, Netscape, Firefox ans Opera, as well as standard Windows usage tracks (Recent Docs, Office tracks etc.). It cleans the cache, cookies (with manager), history, typed URLs and more for all the supported browsers in a single run. In addition, it can optionally use a secure deletion method, and also allows you to define custom cleaning paths, which allows you to clean files, folder or registry entries of your choice. The cleaning operations can be automated per browser, allowing to to clean selected items on browser close, Windows startup or shutdown.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 2000/XP
    Requires: .NET .NET Framework
    Author: http://www.buttuglysoftware.com

    CleanCache

    CleanCache allows you to clean your Internet tracks, including IE browser cache, cookies history, typed URLs, index.dat files and more. The cookie cleaning allows you to mainatin a list of cookies to keep and (optionally) keep all cookies from sites that are in your IE Favorites or managed via IE. The program can also delete your computer usage tracks like Recent Documents menu, Temporary Files, Recycle Bins and more, as well as Outlook Express items. The selected cleaning options can be performed as needed, or automatically at system start or browser closing. In addition, CleanCache allows you to specify custom folders, files or registry entries to be included in the cleaning process. Runs in the system tray, offers a good set of features and is easy to use. As the company name may indicate, the interface is rather plain and limited to functionality without much eye candy.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 2000/XP
    Requires: .NET .NET Framework
    Author: http://www.buttuglysoftware.com


    IE Privacy Keeper

    IE Privacy Keeper automatically cleans up all traces of your Internet activity when the last window of Internet Explorer is closed. You can select to clean the URL history, typed URLs, Temporary Internet Files, Cookies (keep the ones you need), Recent Documents, Auto-complete history, Windows temporary files and the recycle bin. In addition, you can choose to clean custom folder locations as well as registry keys and even use secure deltion method to permanently wipe from your disk. IE Privacy Keeper can perform the cleanup automatically, or manually from the Tools menu in Internet Explorer.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    File size: 1115 kb
    Author: http://www.unhsolutions.com/IEPK/

    Freeware Cookie Management

    AnalogX CookieWall

    AnalogX CookieWall allows you to quickly and easily decide which cookies can stay on your system, and which cookies should go - once you let CookieWall know which ones are unwelcome, it does the rest. CookieWall can be configured to delete cookies as soon as they arrive, to notify you of any new ones, or just que them up for you to check out at a later date. CookieWall is currently only compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer or derived versions (such as NeoPlanet); Netscape support should be available in the near future.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/NT/ME/2000
    Author: http://www.analogx.com

    IECookiesView

    IECookiesView is a small and handy utility, that displays the details of all cookies that Internet Explorer stores on your computer. In addition, it allows you to sort the cookies, delete selected ones, view detailed information about each one and even save the cookies to a readable text file. If you are connected to a network, you can watch the cookies of other computers, as long as you have a read permission on the cookies folder and under Windows 2000, you can view the cookies of other users (admin rights). IECookiesView also allows you to view references to deleted cookies, that are still stored in the index.dat file. A very nice and functional cookie viewer.

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
    Author: http://www.nirsoft.net

    Freeware System Optimization Tools

    CCleaner

    CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less that a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!

    License: Freeware
    Price: Free
    O/S: windows 95/98/NT4/ME/2000/XP/2003
    Author: http://www.ccleaner.com/
     
  2. Some good tools here mate....

    There used to be a Microsoft utility which optimised a PC's start up, but I think it was withdrawn. I cant for the life of me remember what it was called, but it was pretty effective.

    Any ideas what it was/where I can find it again?
     
  3. I know the utility you are on about, I believe it was called WinOptimize (yes with a Z) they withdrew it due to several thousand complaints that it had Malware and Spyware attached to it.
     
  4. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    These days I work as a Staff Software Engineer for a multinational IT megacorporation. I personally specialise in the mainframe field but I have acquired more than my share of understanding of Windows (and qualifications to prove it!). For what I don't know personally, we have internal forums where some of the best in the business can put me right. So here's my two penn'orth.

    1. Zone Alarm ("ZLID"). The free version is substantially cut back from the full version. If you have a router with a built-in NAT firewall, free ZLID will cover the only potential exposure to your machine: if you managed to get hacked in any way and your machine becomes an e-mail zombie, ZLID will protect the OUTGOING ports. Still, as a free product it is entirely suitable (our company used the full version for a number of years because of a hole in the Symantec suite we used previously (and do again now it is fixed). I use it on my home PC (behind a router).

    2. Spambayes. I have been using it for a couple of years and it's rock solid, but it's Outlook only. There is also a version for Thunderbird called Thunderbayes, but from what I have read it is a little more effort to install. Once I have got around to evaluating and installing it, I'll finally be able to rip out the last vestiges of Microsoft Orifice from both my machines.

    ps I have been using Open Office both at home and work for a good few months now and have had close to zero compatibility problems: mainly with bleeding edge Powerpoint animations. Open Office will open virtually all MS Office documents quite happily (brand new and very old MS versions not supported) and can save them in either proprietary MS format or ISO standard Open format (reducing the size by 2/3 in the process btw). And it's free.

    One edit cos I remembered the word I was looking for right after I subbed it
     
  5. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I use StartupCPL (Google for it). A very small free download which installs into Control Panel (you can put it on the desktop, quicklaunch tray etc) and gives total and easy control over what starts at start-up.

    Something else I haven't mentioned. Google for "ERUNT". It's an Emergency Registry Utility for NT (class - i.e. includes 2000 and XP: new version available for Vista) machines. Free, comes with NTregopt, an NT (class) registry optimiser.

    According to the website, MS Registry backup utilities simply plaster a backup over the top of a corrupt registry and the process can never work. ERUNT can automatically back up your registry at every logon (it's a very small backup). NTregopt tidies up dead branches etc of the registry sort of like a defragger. Free download. Both installed at home and at work.
     
  6. ZoneAlarm is also possibly the MOST ANNOYING software package on the planet... install it if you like clicking your mouse... a lot.

    TB
     
  7. If you have a laptop that you travel with and have data on it that you don't want people to get hold of if you lose it or have it nicked then try this.

    http://www.ce-infosys.com.sg/english/index.html

    Compusec is free and I've found it works well and I've been using it for 18 months now on my laptop.
     
  8. [/quote]

    You dont need to be clicking your mouse all the time with Zone Alarm

    By default it asks for each program that wishes to connect to the net to be confirmed by you

    If you trust the program you have a little tick box on it that you can tick that will allow it to connect without asking or if you wish prevent it from connecting to the net permanantly. You can also do this in program control (3 choices ask each time, connect without asking and do not allow to connect at all)

    This is to ensure that you know what is going on on your comp and gives you the chance to decide what is safe or not.

    I dont want programs just connecting when they like I decide when also gives me an idea if a prog has a prob (spool server kept trying then windows explorer, I never asked em to but zone alarms 'annoying' security alert informed me so whats the problem unless you have dozens of programs connecting all the time and closing
     
  9. msr

    msr LE

    Apart from the backdoor they installed for the NSA: http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2007/12/20/nsa-0wnz-popular-firewalls

    Thunderbird comes with junk mail filters....

    msr
     
  10. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I presume this is aimed at Symantec. Given that my employers are US based, I am not surprised.

    Maybe so, but I have found the Bayesian logic of a well-trained Spambayes to be far and away the best method of preventing false positives. If just 1% of my mail is NOT SPAM, I don't want to have to trawl through hundreds of SPAMs every day to verify that something I want hasn't been binned: it still wastes me far to much of my life.
     
  11. Excellent and useful work taylor. My only very general comment would be that your empahsis is on what is free, and whilst there are loads of good stuff that is free, there are some better packages that in my opinion are worth paying for, particularly on the AV side of life. Still excellent post though, thanks
     
  12. Ref my last, found the program I was wittering on about.....Its called Bootvis, and optimises and defrags startup files to enable a cold start PC to boot up in 30 seconds or less.....

    Its available from here : http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/BootVis-Download-3465.html
     
  13. I just use AVG and windows firewall, never seemed to have a problem. Got rid of Norton as it seemed to take over my machine, i would have a list of what NOT to install as well, Norton should be near the top, the useless piece of dogpoo it was.
     
  14. avg anti virus
    avg anti spyware
    spybot s&d
    No interest in porn
    keeps me clean.
    oh and speedstartup but thats about to be history thanks to lumpy remembering boot-vis