Free Malware Fighters
By Bob Rankin
Bob suggests you arm yourself with these malware removal tools in your fight against malware mafia.–PC Pitstop
Nothing is perfect, especially in the realm of malware removal tools. In the ever-escalating arms race between malware authors and defenders of civilized computer users, the advantage shifts from one side to the other constantly. You may have the top-rated security and disinfection suite, but one day some clever new species of malware will defeat it. Here’s what to do when that happens to you, a friend, or family member…
Reinforcing Your Security Defenses
If your first line of defense fails, you need to call in allies. An infection that one anti-malware program cannot erase (or even detect, sometimes) may be dealt with effectively by another Internet security tool. Even if it doesn’t happen to your computer, you may be the person that friends and family call upon when their computer gets fouled up by a virus, spyware, rootkit, or botnet. It’s good to have several alternatives to your main anti-malware program on hand, up to date, and ready to come to the rescue.
Of course, nobody wants to pay tens or hundreds of dollars per year for subscriptions to multiple programs they rarely use. Fortunately, there are capable free options. Previously, I’ve recommended Five Free Anti-Virus Programs, which I recommend for every-day always-on protection. In this article, you’ll find five free anti-malware tools that I recommend for your “last resort” toolbox. Use them when you suspect something may have snuck in, or when helping others.
Free Malware Fighters
But before I get into these useful tools, a word of warning: be careful of any free software that is not distributed by its developer but only through “trusted partner sites” such as C|net’s Download.com, Tucows.com, and other freeware supermarkets. Invariably, such packages are loaded with what I call “foistware,” deceptive installation routines that trick the unwary into installing things they don’t want or giving up personal information they should not. You can get a clean copy of the free program you want, without strings attached, but you must read every installation screen carefully and click only when you are certain of what clicking does.
Foistware is getting downright Faustian in its perfidy. I saw one last week in which the “Decline” button indicated you were declining to decline the toolbar that was offered. Yes, “decline” meant “accept.” See my related article DOWNLOAD ALERT: Foistware Warning, and pay particular heed to the section titled CNET/Download.com: A Six-Part Horror Story.
You’re welcome, foistware developers and distributors.
Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.
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