I got hit with some scareware a few months ago (viruses that look/act like anti-virus software telling you something catastrophic has happened to your computer). Luckily my McAfee firewall caught it when it was trying to connect to the internet, but couldnd actually stop it from infecting me in the first place. After Googling it, I found out how to get rid of it and I did. I also read up on how sucky everyone thinks my McAfee Security Center AV software is. Who knew? It came free with my AT&T/Yahoo ISP service years ago so I never bothered to research or read any reviews on it.
Fast-forward to a week ago and I get bit by a particularly nasty virus ("backdoor:win32/cycbot.b"). Of course McAfee didnt see it coming at all, Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool popped up out of nowhere and caught it but couldnt fix it. I never even heard of MWMSRT so I Googled that too and it turns out it's legit. Google also says if you're infected by that virus, your best bet is to stop banking/eCommerce-ing on that computer, change all your passwords, reformat your HDD and start over. Luckily for me, I had already backed everything up a few months ago after my scareware-scare for just such an occasion.
Now that I've reformatted I'm hesitant to install McAfee again (I'm using a different computer to type this). I'd prefer to go with something/someone else, but what??? That's where YOU come in. Any suggestions & sharing of expertise would be greatly appreciated :)
I use Microsoft Security Essentials (from from MS) and no firewall. I haven't had a virus in well over a decade, and I *do* go to unknown sites quite a bit.
In fact, my wife has had her CC # stolen twice, but those were both physical instances of it happening. One didn't get anywhere, but the second time they were able to make around $1000 worth of purchases before we realized what happened. The only non-Amazon place she had used it was at a clothing store in town, so the culprit was caught and charged fairly quickly.
(edited by Mike Zeidler on 20.2.12 1653) "Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark
When I built this computer over two years ago I asked the same question.
What I ended up doing was purchasing Norton Internet Security with a 3 year subscription. (303 days remaining). That license allowed me to install it on 3 different computers which was handy. I've had no problems with it and no viruses / nastiness.
One of the machines I installed it on was a netbook with an Atom single core CPU and Norton behaved itself and didn't kill the performance.
I also had occasion to use Symmantec's tech support and that was a reasonably good experience.
I've also built computers for family / friends based on Microsoft Security Essentials + Avast free anti-virus and they have been OK to. (Although Avast could do to lose the virus definitions updated audio message).
Originally posted by Mike ZeidlerI use Microsoft Security Essentials (from from MS) and no firewall. I haven't had a virus in well over a decade, and I *do* go to unknown sites quite a bit.
I also frequent unknown sites quite a bit, so the idea of using so few AV resources scares me, especially after the last few months I've had. It's odd too because I've never had any trouble EVER until late last year. Weird.
Originally posted by Brian P. DermodyI had McAfee and had the same issue as you, DJ. I switched over to Norton and haven't had those problems since.
I'm hesitant to switch to Norton because last time I had it several years ago it was REALLY obtrusive, not only with constant alerts about this-that-and-the-other, but it was a really "heavy" program that made my whole system drag. I got that one from AT&T/Yahoo too (they switch AV companies every few years. I've had Norton, McAfee, CA, and AVG so far from them). When their contract with Norton ran out and we switched to CA Associates, my computer got 75% faster over night.
So yeah, is that really not the case with Norton anymore?
I just noticed that I'm only running MSE on here now. I also go to sketchy places sometimes, but chrome helps out a lot too.
I worked in computer tech work for half a year in 2010. I highly recommend against McAfee and Norton. I saw a lot of things come in the shop with those programs on it. (most of our business we virus removal).
For free, I would recommend Avira and AVG over Avast.
For spending money, I don't think you can beat VIPRE.
Originally posted by thereminI worked in computer tech work for half a year in 2010. I highly recommend against McAfee and Norton. I saw a lot of things come in the shop with those programs on it. (most of our business we virus removal).
Your experience may be different, but mine has always been the problem is not as much with the McAfee/Nortono software itself, but the way the users use it. Or don't use it. It'll come installed with a 3 month license, and the users were just ignore the expiration warnings until it's too late. If you stay on top of it, they're no worse than the others, but the people who have those on home PCs are the least likely to be paying attention to them, and it just creates a false sense of security. It doesn't sound like that was the problem for DJ FrostyFreeze, but I've run into enough.
I use MSE extensively and recommend it to others, because it's relatively nuisance free and I do not have to worry about it going out of date someplace without being caught. (I have run into issues of late where the daily call back to SpyNet for tracking information has not worked right and the computer just freezes for about 15 minutes, so I've turned that off a few places.)
But I also help out people who've used Norton the last few years, are completely content with it, and wouldn't think of changing to something else.
Besides the anti-virus program, I always try to have an anti-malware program handy. (Malwarebytes is my current favorite, but there are others.) Sometimes the virus will obstruct MSE, but the anti-malware program can remove it. Sometimes an issue just be sitting in the background and it can be swept up before it becomes a problem. It's something I try to run at least once a month, just to so I'm not totally dependent on one piece of software for all my protection.
What they may do is login to your account, and email your friends from it. Were the invites you received from your friends' email accounts? You could always create a test webmail account to see what happens.