Sunday, November 30, 2008

Zonelog Analyzer

Here is another post about a cool little program. It is called Zonelog Analyser. It's a few years old but it's still pretty neat. Basically, it will take all of your ZoneAlarm logs and put it into a database. It then gives you many ways of viewing the logs which include Graphs and Pie Charts. For example, here is some information about my logs for this computer.

I'm averaging 5,176 hits per week, or 739 hits a day. The biggest day was on November 3rd, 2007. The most popular port that's scanned is port 1026 (messenger spam). You can also see the IP Addresses of the most active sources.

To use this, you obviously need to use ZoneAlarm firewall. This really isn't a program that you NEED, but it's a cool program if you are curious and want some extra information about what all ZoneAlarm is blocking.

You can download it Here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

SpamBully Review

Here is another program that may be useful to those reading this blog. I decided to do a SpamBully Review.

This program is called SpamBully. Basically, you can guess what it does from it's name. It helps get rid of Spam.

Personally, I don't get a lot of Spam. I try not to give my e-mail address out often, I make sure not to post it on forums, and I use GMail which is great at putting Spam into the Spam Folder. However, not everyone can do these things. Some people need to give their e-mail address out, others just may be using a different e-mail provider who's spam controls aren't as great. For those that are in that situation, then I would recommend SpamBully.

SpamBully provides many different options for stopping Spam. For instance, you can set a filter so it filters out e-mails from certain countries. You can also set filters based on certain words, certain IP addresses, and certain e-mail addresses.

In addition to that, you can also report Spam to the FTC, have non-Spam e-mail forwarded to your cell phone, look at graphs to see how well the program is performing for you, and more. It's pretty cool.

I definitely recommend this program if you are having issues with Spam. The program also offers a free trial so you can see if you like it first before buying it. Here is the link again. Good luck!

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

It's time to review another program that can help keep your computer safe. This one is called Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. There is a free version available. The difference between the free version and the full version is that the full version has a scheduler and realtime projection. If you don't have the money to spend for the full version then that's ok! SpywareBlaster, IE-Spyad, and SpywareGuard are great ways to prevent Spyware from getting onto your computer in the first place.

After you install and load the program, you will see a screen with many tabs at the top. The tabs are Scanner, Protection, Update, Quarantine, Logs, Ignore List, Settings, More Tools, and About. All of these are pretty self explanatory. So after updating to the latest definitions, let's go right to the scan!

There are two scans available, a quick scan, and a full scan. To start, I decided to run the quick scan. The quick scan finished in 9 minutes and 16 seconds. This was while I was listening to music, surfing the web with Firefox, and chatting on Trillian. A pretty quick scan when you factor all of that in. It also found 10 objects infected. Wow!

Among the 10 that were found, there wasn't anything serious. They were just remains of Spyware that tried to get onto the system but was stopped from the other programs. Some of it was also from Spyware infections from years ago. So basically, the computer was secure before the scan, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware just found some leftover bits of Spyware from a long time ago. These objects weren't capable of doing anything on their own, so there is no reason at all for me to worry. However, it is impressive that Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware found these objects when the other scanners did not.

After this, I went ahead and did a full scan. The full scan took over 40 minutes with 0 objects infected. The full scan took a bit of time, but again, I'm running this while running many other programs. Many people report much quicker scan times.

Overall, I am impressed with this software. The scans are reasonably quick, it is great at finding infections, and it has a free version! It is definitely a great tool to use in fighting Spyware and Viruses. To download it, go to this link.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Great IE/Firefox Extension For Staying Safe.

Here is a great extension for Internet Explorer or Firefox (whichever you use) that will help keep you safe. It is called McAfee SiteAdvisor.

Basically, SiteAdvisor adds a button to your browser. Whenever you go to a site, the button will turn a certain color. If the site appears to be safe, the button will turn green. If the site is questionable, it will turn yellow. If the site may be harmful, the button will turn red. If it's white, then the site hasn't been tested.

After visiting a site and seeing if the site is safe or not, you can click on the button and view the site details. On this page you will find why McAfee SiteAdvisor gave the site its rating. You also may find reviews from other site visitors about the site.

Again, I highly recommend this extension. It has a free version so don't worry about spending money. Once again, here is the link.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Tip For Staying Safe.

I really should have mentioned this in my original post about how to keep your computer secure. Anyway, another thing I would really recommend is you Update Windows! Windows frequently releases patches to fix critical security flaws they have discovered (years after their products have been released, but I won't even go there). So if you do use Windows, make sure to keep it updated! You can do so at www.WindowsUpdate.com.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Program To Mention

Here is another program I recommend to prevent Spyware and Viruses from getting on your system. It's called IE-Spyad.

In some ways it is similar to SpywareBlaster. With IE-Spyad though, it lists thousands of known websites that try to use Spyware or Viruses and adds it to your Restricted Zone in Internet Explorer. When sites are in your restricted zone, by default they are not allowed to download anything onto your machine, use cookies, etc.

Highly recommended!

Monday, November 24th.

Here is an interesting article.


In short, it says that tomorrow (Monday, November 24th) will be the day with the highest amount of virus activity this year. Just another reminder to keep your security software updated!

Friday, November 21, 2008

By The Way

By the way, just to let everyone know, I have decided to start posting some of my blogs on various article sites. I figured this would be a good way to reach other people that may not see this blog and help them get rid of Spyware. And if you are reading this and came from one of these such sites for articles, then welcome! The relevant links to all the programs mentioned, are in the original blog entry I wrote on keeping your computer quick and secure. You can find a link to it on the right side of the page.

Review of RegDefense

I decided for this posting, I would go ahead and review the computer program RegDefense.

I mentioned RegDefense in a previous post about one of the options available to clean your computer. RegDefense's main purpose is being a registry cleaner. In addition to that though, RegDefense has other tools you can use to keep your computer running smoothly.

When you open RegDefense, you will see 5 buttons on the left. Scan, Settings, Backup, Manage Startup, and Results.

Lets start at the bottom.

Results will display all your results from previous RegDefense scans.

Manage Startup will let you change what programs run when you turn on the computer. As I mentioned before, this is a great way to remove unneeded programs that run at startup (such as messengers), so you can decrease the time it takes for your computer to load. Manage Startup won't actually remove the programs, just disable them from running at startup. So don't worry, you won't lose those programs.

Backup is backups you have made of the registry before making changes with RegDefense. That way when RegDefense makes changes to the computer registry, you can restore the original way the registry was in case something goes wrong.

Settings is program settings obviously.

And finally Scan is when RegDefense scans your registry to remove errors and unneeded registry entries.

RegDefense is definitely a program I recommend people try out. I generally try to keep my computer registry clean. The very first time I ran a scan with RegDefense it found many errors and unneeded entries that could be removed. There are many registry cleaners on the market, and I would consider RegDefense to be a great one. RegDefense isn't free, but you can scan your computer for free. That way you can try RegDefense out and see how many errors RegDefense finds in your registry and decide from there if you wish to purchase this software or not.

In case you missed the link above. You can download RegDefense here. Good luck!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

SpywareGuard

SpywareGuard


I thought I would write a post and tell about another program that can help to protect your computer. It's called SpywareGuard. and it's completely free.

SpywareGuard was created to help prevent Spyware from being installed on your system. What it does is monitor your browser toolbars as well as other parts of your system looking for any changes. If Spyware tries to change something, SpywareGuard will alert you.

SpywareGuard is a bit different from SpywareBlaster though. SpywareBlaster needs to be updated regularly and has a database of Spyware it will block. SpywareGuard relies on catching Spyware by watching your computer for any Spyware like behavior. Infact, it has been over 4 years since the last update to SpywareGuard.

Another difference is that SpywareGuard needs to be running in the background to work. SpywareBlaster on the other hand does not need to be running all the time. SpywareGuard doesn't take too much system resources though, so this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I personally don't use SpywareGuard very often, mainly because all of the other programs I use are enough to keep Spyware and Viruses off my computer. But if you are looking for an extra bit of protection, then SpywareGuard is a great addition.

Stay Safe!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Keeping your computer quick and secure.

For my first post to start this blog off, I thought I would give some tips as to how to get rid of Viruses and Spyware and keep your computer running smoothly.

Is your computer running slower then it should be? Do you find yourself dealing with Spyware a lot? Do you have computer Viruses on your system? These are some problems that many internet users face. You would be surprised just how many people ask me for advice about these subjects. And this includes Grandma calling because she has over 50 viruses on her system, no joke lol. I decided to write this article and explain the best way to keep your computer running smoothly and Spyware/Virus free.

Note: I wrote this article with a focus mainly on computers running Windows. Not all of the programs mentioned in this article may have a Mac or Linux version.

Many times, when people go about searching for programs to fix their computer, they often make the problem worse. The reason is that many security software programs may actually be Spyware in itself or otherwise do a really poor job at removing the Spyware and Viruses from your system. That is why I will also give links to good products in this article so that you do not have this problem.

- First off, if you have any computer Viruses on your system, you need to get rid of them right away. The same goes for Spyware. For getting rid of Viruses, I would recommend you download the free version of AVG Anti-Virus. After you download it, make sure and update it before doing a full scan.

- Now, for getting rid of Spyware, I would recommend you use Spybot Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware. I recommend downloading them both and running a scan. Again, make sure to update it before you do the scan though. I have found that sometimes one program detects something that the other did not. By using two separate scanners, you will have a better chance of getting rid of the Spyware.

Now that you have gotten rid of the Spyware and Viruses on your system, here are some ways to increase the speed of your computer.

- Run Disk Defragmenter on your computer. This is something that many people forget to do. I could go into a long explanation about what this does, but the short way of saying it is that the time the computer takes to access files will be reduced. I recommend doing a Disk Defrag once a month.

Most people already have Disk Defragmenter on their computer. If you are on windows, you should be able to find it under (Programs - Accessories - System Tools). If you don't have DiskDefragmenter. Try going to Download.com. There are many great Disk Defragmenters available to download there.

- Clean your computer registry. But please don't do it yourself. Use software designed for this. You can really mess your computer up if you don't know what you're doing in the computer registry. There are many registry cleaners out there. Unfortunately, they all cost. However, here is one registry cleaner that I have found to be good. It's called Regdefense. They even offer a free scan so you can see just how much your registry may need to be cleaned before you decide if you wish to buy this software or not. In addition to the registry cleaner, this software offers many other tools for keeping your computer running smoothly.

- Remove unneeded programs that are set to run when you turn on the computer. These include various IM messengers, audio and video programs, etc. I have seen many people with over 30-40 programs set to run at startup. No wonder the computer was taking awhile to load! For me, I have a total of 9 programs running at startup. For a free startup manager to remove startup entries, I recommend Startup Inspector.

- Get rid of the unneeded files on your computer. There are many programs that can do this. I'm going to recommend one you should already have on your computer though. It's called Disk Cleanup. You should see it under (Programs - Accessories - System Tools). It may not have some of the advanced features like other cleaners, but it should do the job.

Now that you have done these steps, your computer should be running a lot smoother. Now you need to keep it this way! Run Disk Defrag, Virus scans, and Spyware scans regularly. Try and keep your computer registry clean and your computer startup items to a minimum. And here is an extra link to a program I recommend to keep your computer secure. SpywareBlaster. Once you install it and update it, you will need to click to enable the protection. It will protect you from thousands of types of Spyware and will block it before it even installs onto your system. A very cool program!

If you are on a high-speed connection, I would recommend getting a firewall. ZoneAlarm has a free firewall. I've used it for years and it has never let me down.

Also, I recommend using a System Utilities program. These are computer programs that offer many tools to keep your computer running smoothly. Normally you might have to download separate tools to do these things. System Utility programs combine all of the tools into one big program. They are very useful. I personally recommend iolo System Mechanic. If you would like to read a review I did of System Mechanic, then click here.

Wrapping this up, if you do all of these tips, your computer should stay safe and run smoothly. I have been doing all of these tips for a long time, and it has been years since I have had any type of Spyware or Virus infection. You shouldn't have to deal with these annoyances on the net. Just do these tips, and you shouldn't need to worry. Good luck!

- Justin Truth