Free Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware Software

Protect Floppy Disks

A very simple way to protect your floppy disks from viruses of any kind is to write protect them; for 5.25" disks, cover the write protect notch with opaque tape; for 3.5" disks, slide open the write protect hole.

Executable Files

Files of executable extension such as .BAT, .EXE, .COM, .HLP, .DLL should never be accepted from others as they have the most potential to cause problems or be infected.

Common symptoms of viruses

* Occurrence of strange messages, symbols or images appear on your screen.
* Strange things happen when you are doing routine work.
* The computer makes strange noises at inappropriate times.
* Files you know you saved are missing.
* The operating system acts slow, doesn't come on or just isn't working as normal.

Delete unsolicited emails

All computer users should delete any unsolicited emails. We now know due to recent attacks that the Worms have begun to use Microsoft Outlook's address book, so it will appear as if a friend has sent you an email. If you are not expecting an email or the file name is different from the one you are expecting, delete the email and its attachment.
Electronic Mail text messages cannot in themselves contain viruses. The text portion of a message is just text, and if read, does not contain damaging system codes. If, however, you receive an email message with an attachment, be very careful. File attachments, if executed, CAN launch viruses.

Can a virus hide in a .GIF or .JPEG file?

It was once thought that it would be impossible for a virus to hide in a picture file. But, there currently are security threats that are hiding in picture files and you should be aware of the threats and know how to safeguard your system from these potential infections. Below, I have supplied two articles that may help you know how the infection can occur, how to rid your system of infection and how to keep it from happening: ... 12840.mspx

Types of Viruses

Boot Sector Infectors: The boot program, you get a boot sector virus by leaving an infected diskette in a drive and rebooting the machine. When the boot sector program is read and executed, the virus goes into memory and infects your hard drive.

File Infectors: These are viruses that attach themselves to, or replace .COM and EXE files.( in some cases they can infect files with other extensions) File Infector virus' infect uninfected programs when they are executed in memory. In other cases they are infected when they are opened, occasionally the virus simply infects all of the files in the directory it was run from. The file-infector class is also used to refer to programs that do not physically attach to files but associate themselves with program files names.

Master Boot Record Infectors: Infects the system's Master Boot Record on hard drives and the Boot Sector on floppy diskettes. This type of virus takes control of the system at a low level; activating between the system hardware and the operating system. A Boot Sector virus is loaded into memory upon boot-up, before virus detection code can be executed.

Macro Virus: Some computer applications contain macro languages to help automate tedious tasks. As computers have grown more powerful, the tasks have become more complex. Some macro languages offer the ability to write files other than the original document. This feature may be used by virus authors to create unwanted macros, which "infect" documents. Macro virus' are typically spread through MS Word & Excel files.

Multi-partite Viruses: Multi-partite viruses are a combination of the viruses listed above.

Popular Anti-Virus Software

Here are some popular and very effective anti-virus scanners. These are listed in alphabetical order.
Avast (Free)
AVG (Free)
Norton anti-virus
Trend Micro (Free)

Remove McAfee scheduler icon from systray

To remove the icon in the systray without affecting the functionality of VirusScan 4.x, open the avconsol.ini file in the VirusScan folder. In the general section, locate the entry: ShowIcon=1 and change it (or if there is no entry, add it) to: ShowIcon=0 and save the file.

Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition 1.06

With the ability to scan your RAM, registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data-mining, advertising, and tracking components, Ad-aware SE easily can clean your system, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web.

Ad-aware SE Personal Edition boasts a number of improvements. Extended memory scanning now scans all modules loaded by a process. Scanning uses the all new CSI (Code Sequence Identification) technology to identify new and unknown variants of known targets. Extended registry scanning now scans registry branches of multiple-user accounts and performs additional smart checks to detect dynamically created references. Scanning speed is noticeably faster, and this version offers an Extended Scanning mode for known and unknown/possible browser hijackers.

New in version 1.06: Disk-scan is approximately 30% faster. CSI scan is now more efficient. Added "Scan for low-risk threats" option, to scan for targets with low TAC index. Ad-Watch CSI engine performance highly improved; using less CPU and Memory as well as having a smaller footprint. GUI adapted to use the new TAC.

Lavasoft Date:
5-27-05 License:
Freeware Size:
2.72 Mb Requires:
Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP Preview:

Download Ad-aware SE 1.06

Spybot Search & Destroy

First native multi-installation scanner

On PE boot CDs as well as on any system with multiple installations of Windows 2000 or later, Spybot S&D 1.4 is able to scan the other installations as well, including the registry. From what we know, Spybot S&D is the first anti-spyware solution that offers inactive registry scanning as a native feature. Speed boost-ups
Spybot S&D 1.4 should work noticeably faster than 1.3 during scans. And if you still don't like to wait, you can play our easter egg while scanning.

Improved tools We've improved the Tools section that Spybot S&D offers in advanced mode - the process list now offers a list of open network connection per application (Windows 2000 or newer only), helping you to quickly identify which applications are local and which do use connections to the outside. Our detection mechanisms have also been updated, from detecting and cleaning services over protocol filters to the afore-mentioned scanning in inactive installations registries.

Graphics remake, and more:
We've replaced the old home made icons with a bunch of great graphics provided by the guys at Yellow Icon Studio to make the user interface look smoother. But while this is highly visible on the surface, there have been more than 104 important changes underneath.

PepiMK Software Date:
6/2/2005 License:
Freeware Size:
4.80 Mb (ver#1.4) Requires:
Windows (All)

Download Spybot - Search & Destroy


What is CWShredder?

CWShredder finds and destroys traces of CoolWebSearch. CoolWebSearch is a name given to a wide range of different browser hijackers. Though the code is very different between variants, they are all used to redirect users to and other sites affiliated with its operators.

What's New With CWShredder?

CWShredder now cleans the CWS. Cassandra variant that includes a desktop hijack as well as a browser hijack.

Originally developed by Merijn Bellekom of the Netherlands, CWShredder was owned and maintained by InterMute until June of 2005 when InterMute was acquired by Trend Micro.
InterMute Date:
March 2005 License:
Freeware Version:
2.15 Size:
454kb Requires:
Windows (All)

Download CWShredder


ToolbarCop enables advanced users to remove the unwanted Toolbands, Toolbar icons and Browser Helper Objects BHOs) from Internet Explorer. You can disable BHOs, remove them and prevent them from starting with Windows Explorer. It also displays available details for any installed Toolbars, Context Menu Extensions and Toolbar buttons and allows you to remove them. You should only use this tool if you know what you are doing, there is no Undo and no documentation.

Ramesh Date:
Feb 26, 2004 License:
Freeware Version:
2.2 Size:
80 KB Requires:

Download ToolBarCop

Spy Sweeper

Webroot Spy Sweeper safeguards your identity and restores system performance through fast, smart and powerful anti-spyware protection.

* Comprehensive sweeps eliminate spyware in minutes
* Smart shields conveniently block spyware before it installs on your PC
* One-of-a-kind research system uncovers spyware threats faster for better protection
* Unparalleled protection with the most frequently updated threat database
* 30-day satisfaction guarantee - no questions asked

Limitations: Included in this free version of the software is a one-time update to your spyware definitions, which will enable immediate detection and removal of more than 120,000 spyware threats. It is available to purchase (at the time of this writing) for $29.95 per year.
Author: License:
Freeware Trial Version:
4.0.3 (Build 359) Size:
6.49mb Requires:
Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP

Spy Sweeper Version 4.0


"A general homepage hijackers detector and remover. Initially based on the article Hijacked!, but expanded with almost a dozen other checks against hijacker tricks. It is continually updated to detect and remove new hijacks. It does not target specific programs/URLs, just the methods used by hijackers to force you onto their sites. As a result, false positives are imminent and unless you are sure what you're doing, you should always consult with knowledgeable folks (e.g. the forums) before deleting anything. Additional features include a simple list of all startup items, default start page, online updates and more. Intended for advanced users." Be sure to download HijackThis to your desktop.

TrendMicro License:
Freeware Version:
V2 Size:
594KB Requires:
Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista

HijackThis Download


CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. That removes unused and temporary files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster, more efficiently and giving you more hard disk space. The best part is that it's free.

Cleans the following:

* Internet Explorer Cache, History, Cookies, Index.dat.
* Recycle Bin, Temporary files and Log files.
* Recently opened URLs and files.
* Third-party application temp files and recent file lists (MRUs).
Including: Firefox, Opera, Media Player, eMule, Kazaa, Google Toolbar, Netscape, Office XP, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and more...
* Advanced Registry scanner and cleaner to remove unused and old entries.
Including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more... Backup for registry clean.
* Windows Startup tool.

TUTORIAL Author: License:
Freeware Version:
V2.00.500 Size:
2.49 MB Developed for:
Windows All versions


Windows Live

Get a free PC safety scan

Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is a free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC.

* Check for and remove viruses
* Improve your PC's performance
* Get rid of junk on your hard disk

Fix specific PC issues

Use the full service scan to check everything. To help fix particular problems on your PC, turn to the individual scanners below.
Download: []Windows Live OnceCare[/url]

Windows Defender

Windows Defender is a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. It features Real-Time Protection, a monitoring system that recommends actions against spyware when it's detected and minimizes interruptions and helps you stay productive. For additional information and a free download of Windows Defender, click the link below:

Download Windows Defender