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snyder 01-03-2012 8:34 AM

PC Virus protection opinions
we got our son a laptop for Christmas... before the week was over, he had picked up a virus. I'm gonna guess it came from frostwire which I told him NOT to install. At first the pc would pop up messages about malware, spyware, keyloggers, trojans, etc detected. all kinds of nasty stuff, but the program that was alerting him itself was a malware. it wouldn't even let him open IE or FF without re-directing him to purchase their product (likely a CC# theft attempt). anyway, i was able to get AVG and Spybot to clean it up. i thought. then about 2 days later windows somehow lost association w/.exe files. kept asking "what program do you want to associate this file with"... i couldn't even open regedit or configsys to try to fix it. he got enough grief from me on the frostwire thing that he swears he didn't do anything else on it, and i believe him.

so we took it back to best buy and dropped it off for the geek squad to fix. they said they couldn't get rid of the virus and wiped the hdd and re-installed the os. (i'm pretty sure they probably skipped straight to step two, but whatever).

they scoffed at the avg idea. I've used it for YEARS on our other pc's and knock on wood, have never had an issue. They recommended and sold me Kasperski as part of their recovery process. I've never used it, have not really thought about it since AVG has worked so well for me in the past.
A.) viruses suck and people who write them should die a slow painful death only to be resurrected and killed again.
B.) any suggestions/comments/opinions on Kasperski versus other tools? it'd be nice to have something installed on my router itself that can protect the entire network, but i don't know anything about that.

fly135 01-03-2012 8:49 AM

I prefer the wipe and reinstall method. I never run Virus protection because it slows down the computer. I have a computer that got it's first virus in ages and I wiped the drive just last week. It was a weird one. svchost kept eating up all the memory and using wireshark I could see it downloading from an HTTP server continuously. Never could figure out what service was causing it as the offending svchost instance was handling about 6-8 services.

snyder 01-03-2012 8:58 AM

you know, that brings up another point for me.. windows could do a much better job of managing services that are running. They're way too ambiguous in most cases to even tell what they are. my work laptop has at any given moment 50+ "processes" running and i have no idea what probably 45+ of them even are. and you certainly can't really tell what they are or what they do from task manager. like your svchost example. it's probably the leading cause of performance degradation over time, you think? does MAC osX have this problem? computers have gotten so advanced that you have no idea what they are or are not doing at any given moment....

jason_ssr 01-03-2012 10:25 AM

Im with John. I havent run virus protection in years. Then again, I dont do much cruising in the dark corners of the internet, and I can recognize a scam banner easily and avoid clicking on them (though they are getting much better).

As far as which is better, they are all the same. They are like competing newspapers, they all try to be first scooping a story(new virus) but they all report it generally at the same time.

If it were me setting up a machine for my child and wanted to help them avoid unwanted installs, I would create his user account as a non-admin, and lock it down with policy editor. That way, anything that attempts to install itself will get access denied (including whipping you to death anytime you DO want to install something). In order to do an install you would either have to log in as admin or do a "run as" command.

dabell 01-03-2012 2:03 PM

+1 on Jason's suggestion of non-admin account. If you want an antivirus, Windows Security Essentials is free from Microsoft and I have had success with it and my 5 boys using the computer. It has caught everything thrown at it.

baitkiller 01-03-2012 2:39 PM

The non admin account is dead on for childrens virus protection. I haven't run any installed AV in years.
On a side note what i do do (doodoo?) is to keep an updated copy of Malwarebytes on a flash drive for just such occasions as you described.
Start his machine in safe mode (f-8) and run the Malwarebytes as a program file.
Virus gone.

snyder 01-04-2012 8:03 AM

thanks for the input. people i work with also suggest the non-admin account setup. I'll certainly do that.

magic 01-04-2012 2:09 PM


Originally Posted by dabell (Post 1723882)
+1 on Jason's suggestion of non-admin account. If you want an antivirus, Windows Security Essentials is free from Microsoft and I have had success with it and my 5 boys using the computer. It has caught everything thrown at it.

Yep, I do this too. My wife has not infected a computer in over 5 years now. Our 4yr is using our old lap top with a non admin account and Window's Defender running. She has not managed to download anything so far.

I kinda like getting prompted for Admin rights to install things or make changes. That makes you pause and think if you really want to do this, otherwise it's too easy to just click yes.

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