Tag Archives: anti-malware

Returnil System Safe 2011 Free –Virtualization With Added Antimalware Protection

System virtualization is a very cool technology which, if used correctly, has the power to control malware intrusion through the use of a ‘”virtual” environment, rather than operating in a “real” environment.

Running virtualized while surfing the Internet makes sense, and since it does, we’ve reviewed a number of these applications in the last year or two, including -Shadow Defender, Returnil Virtual System (a previous version of the application currently being reviewed), Sandboxie, GeSWall, Wondershare Time Freeze, Free BufferZone Pro, and more – including virtualized Browser add-ons.

A quick overview of Returnil System Safe 2011 Free:

Returnil System Safe clones your computer’s System Partition and boots the PC into a controlled virtual environment, rather than native Windows. Since the OS operates virtually, the “real” OS cannot be compromised by malware, malicious software, etc. Should the virtual OS become compromised, a simple restart will return the machine to its original state.

Returnil System Safe 2011 Free is compatible with both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows systems. As a value added bonus, Returnil System Safe 2011 Free incorporates an Anti-malware and Anti-spyware component.

Installation is uncomplicated and should run error free. All of the following screen captures can be expanded to the original size, by clicking on the graphic.

Pay particular attention to the registration screen. Should you choose not to register the application, certain product features will not be available past 30 days.

image

If you plan on continuing to run the application past the 30 day mark, it seems sensible to register. Registration will be confirmed as per the following screen shot.

image

Setting the Virus Guard real-time protection is simple and straightforward.

image

You will have the option of automatically starting the application on Windows startup but, I caution against this. Once the application is running, any changes (including downloads, for example, cannot be saved). You will, of course, be guided by your own needs.

The following screen capture explains this restriction.

image

Instead of an autostart, launch the application manually as needed – surfing the Web, for example.

image

Fast facts:

  Overall Product

  • New an improved interface
  • Clear protection status of your system
  • Manage main features from one screen

Virus Guard (Anti-malware and Anti-spyware)

  • Real-time protection – define your own shield sensitivity
  • Quick Scan – light on resources and effective
  • Full Scan – thorough scan of pre-defined areas on your computer
  • Scan is dynamically adjustable to user workload (less resource intensive)

Virtual Mode

  • Protect your system – Virtualize it!
  • Virtual Mode Always On or just in current session
  • Ability to save files via File Manager (paid version only)
  • Powerful anti-execute protection

System Restore (System Rollback)

  • Repair infections with ease
  • Restore your system to a previously known/clean state
  • Recover individual infected files
  • Do not ever worry about losing your data

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003, Server 2008,  Windows 7 (all – 32 and 64-bit).

Supported Languages: English, German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Simplified), Russian, Portuguese (Brazil), Dutch, Polish, Bulgarian, Finnish.

Download at: Download.com

Overall assessment:

Compared to previous free versions of Returnil, this version suffers from a major lack of functionality – with the focus primarily directed towards a user upgrade. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that of course – that’s marketing. But, this market driven position ignores the fact that free competitive products offer more substantial features and benefits.

If you’re looking for a free virtualization application that offers a reasonably complete solution, then you should consider Free BufferZone Pro. You can read a full review here – Free BufferZone Pro – Maybe The Best Surfing Virtualization Application At Any Price

Update: July 1, 2011

Mike Wood, from Returnil, has clarified a number of issues in the response which follows:

Thanks for the review and write up. All feedback is welcomed and yours has been taken into account for future versions. Some feedback on a couple of things in the article:

1. “… this version suffers from a major lack of functionality “: In the older RVS 2010 versions, the Virus Guard was limited to Quick Scans only. We changed this in the 3.2x versions to include Full System scans in RSS Free. We also provide updates via the Cloud feature that are based on the unknown/malicious file and behavior data collection and server side analysis in our own engine/AI tech. RSS Free does have some limitations as far as premium features are concerned, but that is actually only for the System Restore and File Manager/Access Real disk features. The latter centers around being able to save content to the real System partition while in Virtual Mode and the former is centered on the additional tools we provide to the native Windows Shadow Copy service used for the SR feature.

Those using the Free version can still save content and data to disk; the key is in where that data is stored. In the free version you can still save content to non-system disks/partitions and also have access to the Virtual Disk which can be used as a convenience for those with single partition rigs (only a C:\ drive for example).

The features in the System Restore in the paid versions includes automatic antimalware scanning of restore points and backups prior to implementation as well as the ability to recover files from the previous machine state following a restore. Another feature of the SR is that it can monitor all forms of backups and will list them in the Full Restore option when activated so they can be scanned for malicious content as described above.

2. The discussion of layered security approaches: RSS Pro was designed from the outset to be a vertical layered security approach in a single application where each component part works to not only provide its core functionality, but also to cover the weaknesses in the other component parts. As the free version does have some feature limitations, it is more appropriately placed as a team player in a larger layered strategy that the user is implementing with an ability to cover System level virtualization (as opposed to BZ’s application layer approach), complimentary antimalware, and anti-execute so you can reduce the overall number of other security applications you need to make said strategy work.

The paid version takes this a step further and allows the user to have a layered strategy in a one-stop package that can reduce the need for additional programs in the mix other than a good firewall solution.

With Kind regards,

Mike

Returnil Support

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Malware Protection, Safe Surfing, Software, System File Protection, Virtualization, Windows Tips and Tools

300 Free Emsisoft Anti-Malware License Giveaway At MalwareTips.com

imageThe good people over at MalwareTips.com are at it again – this time out, the guys have 300 one year licenses to giveaway for one of the better AV applications on the market – Emsisoft Anti-Malware.

Fast facts:

2 combined scanners for cleaning: Anti-Virus + Anti-Malware

    • Not just any scanners, but a combination of two world class products – the Emsisoft Anti-Malware, and the Ikarus Anti-Virus engine. Latest tests approve that both are cutting edge in Malware detection.
    • No doubling of the scan duration as would be the case with two separate scanning programs. Considerable performance improvement is possible thanks to the integration of the two engines on the lowest level.
    • No double price – two top security products for the price of one.

3 guards against new infections: file guard, behavior blocker and surf protection

  • Since version 5: The new, free configurable file guard compares all files that are downloaded or started with about 4 million patterns of known malicious software.
  • Unlike conventional protection systems Emsisoft Anti-Malware does not only check files, but it also constantly monitors the behavior of all active programs and raises an alarm as soon as something suspicious happens.
  • Typical ways of infection are disabled in advance. Websites that try to plant trojans or spyware or that offer deceptive contents are blocked by the surf protection.
  • Signature updates at least 5 times per day, in combination with the zero-day protection of the behavior analysis this guarantees the best possible protection from new infections.

3 ways of Malware removal to clean every infection

  • When a Malware infection is detected, the scanner puts the found objects under quarantine or deletes them finally.
  • For tough problems our helpful Malware experts are at your disposal for free. With their step-by-step advises, any infection, no matter how resistant it is, can be purged – guaranteed.
  • Anti-Malware holds plenty of advanced options for experts to detect and delete Malware manually. For this purpose the integrated system analysis tool HiJackFree is included, and helps you to have all processes, services, auto-runs, open ports, browser plug-ins and host entries under your control.

Take a run over to MalwareTips.com, read the article carefully, and follow the instructions to obtain a 12 month license.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

7 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, Free Full Versions, Giveaways, Malware Protection, Recommended Web Sites, Spyware - Adware Protection, Windows Tips and Tools

Malwarebytes – A Must Have for Every PC Tech

Guest writer Julie Myers, gives us her personal take (backed up by her 14 years in IT Support), on why she believes Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware should be a part of every PC Tech’s toolbox.

Once Upon a Time

imageOnce upon a time, computers were free to roam the Internet. Websites took up very little space and not much traffic was on the sparkling new information highway. It was a time of early development and little risk for business folks. It was a time of discovery and information sharing for everyone else.

Nothing tried to rob our computers of their speed, network connectivity, or corrupt a file, nor unknowingly get our computers to spread a virus. Roaming the Internet was fun, though sometimes boring – but, crime free.

Times Have Changed

Unfortunately, it is no longer “once upon a time”. Today, the greatest threat to a computer is malware and the best post-invasion force is you, the PC Tech. As a PC Tech, your job is to rid the computer of malware. To do this you need an arsenal of the best software tools, and Google.

Since the best anti-malware software changes from time to time, it is important to stay current with which ones are the best. As of June, 2011, one of the best free anti-malware software programs, that you must have, is Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.

Why Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes just plain works. A team of ten PC Techs and I, have run Malwarebytes on at least two hundred infected computers, over the past year, with outstanding success (there were, of course, a few computers that were so badly infected all tools failed, thus the only solution was to reimage).

Malwarebytes downloads and installs quickly. And, the user interface is relatively easy to figure out and navigate. It takes around 25 minutes to an hour to run a full scan, depending on how much data is on the user’s hard drive, and how badly infected the computer is. And, the user interface is relatively easy to figure out and navigate.

The employees at Malwarebytes Corp. do such an outstanding job at keeping on top of the latest threats, and programming their software to delete it from a computer, all you need to do is make sure you have the latest engine update before running a scan. From what I have seen Malwarebytes removes a variety of malware, 9 out of 10 times, with just one scan and a reboot.

Here are some additional features to get you even more excited:

  • It’s free. There is a PRO version that is very reasonably priced at $24.95 per license and the added features seem well worth the cost.
  • Scans are relatively fast compared to other malware software. The PRO version is said to be even faster.
  • It does a full scan on all drives, both free and PRO version.
  • PRO version has a real-time active malware prevention engine. In other words, the free version has to be run manually to scan your hard drive. The PRO version can be configured to run automatically in the background.
  • Currently, Malwarebytes will run on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 (32bit and 64bit).

Danger Continues

In the foreseeable future, malware will continue to be a threat to computers. You, the PC Tech, will need to keep up to date with the best tools to rid computers of these annoyances. Today, Malwarebytes is one of the best free anti-malware tools out there.

Good luck, and don’t swear at the computer too much. Now, go visit Malwarebytes.org and add their anti-malware software to your arsenal.

For more details and to download Malwarebytes, go to: http://www.malwarebytes.org

To compare the differences between the free and PRO versions, go to: http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free

Biography:

Guest writer Julie Myers has been in IT Support for 14 years, surfing the Internet since the mid 90s, and has been playing around with computers since the Apple II. Currently, Julie is tinkering with creating websites and she’s in the process of learning Java.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

12 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, cybercrime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Guest Writers, Malware Removal, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Technicians Advise, Windows Tips and Tools

Risk Rate Running Processes With Free Glary Security Process Explorer

Security Process Explorer, from the developer’s of the powerful, free system tool Glary Utilities, operates as an security tool, and provides advanced risk information on processes, running on your computer.

The program displays specific task manager information, (this application is not a replacement for Windows task manager), including file name, directory path, description, CPU usage, and so on. What sets the application apart, is the unique security risk rating that is applied to running processes.

Security process explorer new 1

The major caveat here however is, the user must make the decision whether a particular process, or program, should be terminated, or removed. Thankfully, you can get help in making that decision by clicking on the More Info Tab. Doing so, opens GlarySoft’s web based database where additional information about the specific program/process can be obtained, along with a risk factor for that inquiry, as the following graphic illustrates.

Security process explorer new 2

Note: As an added bonus you can even Google the process from within the application.

Using Security Process Explorer you can easily find and remove unnecessary background processes. As well, you can assign more resources to demanding processes like games, real-time multimedia applications and CD writing software, where necessary.

Quick facts:

Provides detailed information about all running processes

Specifies whether a process is safe or not

Single click process termination

Block unneeded processes or malware

Simple user interface

If you are an experienced/advanced computer user, and you’re looking for a program to strengthen your anti-malware resources, then Security Process Explorer is one that’s worth taking a look at.

System requirements: Windows 7, 2000, XP and Vista (32bit and 64bit).

Download at: GlarySoft

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

2 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free License Ad-Aware Pro – Today Only!

imageYesterday, I pointed out the difference between companies who are stuck in a Twentieth Century marketing mode, versus those companies who “get it”, and who understand marketing in the Twenty First Century.

I’m referring to mature software developers who focus on the big picture, and create opportunities for significant numbers of users to benefit from giveaways. Not 5 or 10 free licenses, as companies who are stuck in the past continue to do.

The developers of the highly regarded anti-malware application Ad-Aware, for example, have joined forces with CNET and are giving away (for one day only), a one year license for one of their flagship products, Ad-Aware Pro.

The only restriction on this giveaway is – you must signup for any one of CNET’s newsletters since the free offer is restricted to CNET members. This really isn’t overly onerous, since CNET’s newsletter are some of the most interesting and informative available. In point of fact, I subscribe to 10+ CNET newsletters.

The following screen captures will give you an idea of the process involved in getting your free license for this noteworthy anti-malware application. The process is similar to buying a product from a merchant site. But, no money changes hands.

Click on any graphic to expand to its original size.

image

image

image

image

Downloading from both CNET and Ad-Aware directly, was extremely slooow. My normal download speed is 1.7 MB/sec, so the download speed shown in the following screen capture are absolutely unacceptable.

Yes, it may be true that the servers are inordinately busy due to the free offer, but with a little planning, this could have been avoided. I’m not whining here, but good business practices dictate that contingency plans should be in place to deal with the unexpected. Hell, that’s Business 101.

image

Ad-Aware Gives You the Power To…

  • Shop, bank, and make travel arrangements online
    Ad-Aware actively shields you from the latest cyber threats, including virus, spyware, password stealers, keyloggers, trojans, dialers, and other potential identity thieves.
  • Stay safe on social networking sites
    Ad-Aware keeps your passwords and personal information safe to make sure you can socialize freely, without having to worry about dangerous intrusions and prying eyes.
  • Download photos, music, and other files with confidence
    Download Guard and Ad-Aware’s behavior-based detection finds suspicious files and threats before they integrate into your PC and attack your personal information.
  • Control your privacy
    Erase tracks left behind while surfing the Web, on browsers such as Internet Explorer, Opera, and Firefox, in one easy click.
  • Safeguard your secure documents
    Ad-Aware actively shields you and your business from deceptive applications and cyber attacks.
  • Enhance computer performance
    Conserve resources and reduce downtime by using automated scans to identify and remove malicious applications that eat up memory.
  • Get Peace of Mind
    Ad-Aware cleans and restores your system after an attack to keep your PC running as new.

To take advantage of this limited time offer go to: the offer page.

Note: This offer is good until December 28, 2010, at 6 a.m. PT.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

19 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antimalware Suites, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Full Versions, Giveaways, Internet Safety Tools, Malware Protection, Software, Software Giveaways, Windows Tips and Tools

PC Tools Internet Security 2011, Ten License Giveaway! – Reminder

imageAs part of Tech Thoughts “Stay Safe on the Internet focus”, PC Tools has generously provided us with 10 free licenses for their award winning flagship product, PC Tools Internet Security 2011, (retail value $59.95 ).

To enter the contest to win a free license, simply read the review here, and add a comment at the end of the article. On December 17, 2010, (just in time for Christmas), all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 10 names that come up, will win a free license (installable on up to 3 PCs), for this award winning application.

As with previous giveaways, you don’t need to write a paragraph – “enter me”, or something similar, is enough. There’s no need for me to acknowledge your entry, but rest assured, if you comment – you’re in.

Good luck!

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

7 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antimalware Suites, Contests, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Giveaways, Integrated Solutions, Malware Protection, PC Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 – Ten License Giveaway!

imageAs part of Tech Thoughts “Stay Safe on the Internet focus”, PC Tools has generously provided us with 10 free licenses for their award winning flagship product, PC Tools Internet Security 2011, (retail value $59.95 ).

To enter the contest to win a free license, simply add a comment at the end of this article. On December 17, 2010, (just in time for Christmas), all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 10 names that come up, will win a free license (installable on up to 3 PCs), for this award winning application.

As with previous giveaways, you don’t need to write a paragraph – “enter me”, or something similar, is enough. There’s no need for me to acknowledge your entry, but rest assured, if you comment – you’re in.

Good luck!

Read the following review, and I’m sure you’ll agree; this is definitely a contest worth entering!

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 review

Since I had test driven the 2010 version of PC Tools Internet Security, and had given it top marks, I readily accepted an invitation from PC Tools to test drive the 2011 version. And, I’m happy to say, (after testing this application for 30+ days), that this new version is even more impressive than the previous suite.

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 performed superbly in the “real Internet world”. The world that’s full of cyber criminals, scam and fraud artists, and worse. The world that reeks of tainted search engine results, malware infected legitimate websites, drive-by downloads and bogus security software.

By combining the highly regarded technologies of Spyware Doctor, a very efficient Firewall, an Antivirus engine, and ThreatFire’s heuristic detection engine (Behavior Guard), plus a Browser Defender, and more – PC Tools has built a suite of applications that provides powerful Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Firewall, and Spam protection. Taken together, the components provide excellent protection from hackers, cybercriminals, unauthorized software, and network attacks.

PC Tools has a knack for building powerful applications, but still manages to combine each component in a highly functional and easy to understand user interface – not as easy to accomplish as you might imagine.

It’s hard to overstate the fact that typical computer users require a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface in order to get the most out of a security suite, and PC Tools Internet Security excels in this department.

The application is straightforward to setup, customize, and run – as the following screen captures illustrate. (Click on any graphic to enlarge).

image

image

image

Fast facts:

Built on award-winning Spyware Doctor antispyware technology.

ThreatFire Behavioral Intelligence features technology to block new threats faster than traditional signature methods.

Advanced rootkit detection technology identifies and removes hidden threats from your PC.

Memory Scanner helps eradicate threats lurking on your PC.

Download Guard stops new threats by checking your downloads against a cloud-based network.

Multi-layered browsing protection against web-based attacks including phishing attempts, scare tactics and silent automatic malicious downloads.

IntelliGuard™ technology stops potential threats before they infect your PC.

Automated Firewall defends against cybercriminals seeking to gain access to your PC. It analyses network traffic and automatically makes intelligent decisions for you to reduce annoying alerts.

Advanced spam filtering utilizes intuitive behavioral technology to detect spam and effectively block phishing, unsolicited and malware emails.

Smart Updates provide automatic updates to combat the newest malware by silently installing product updates and upgrades that keep you protected without interrupting your online activity.

24/7 Global Malware Research Center constantly tackles the latest threats and implements new technology to quickly combat cybercrime, keeping your online network safe.

Network Awareness: Set “trust levels” for each network you connect to and let the firewall automatically adjust rules to match.

Designed to reduce impact on your PC system and your network – perfect for memory-intensive tasks such as playing games, watching movies and streaming content online.

Improved AntiSpam features. Improved accuracy and performance give you better and faster filtering of unwanted email.

PC Tools Internet Security 2011 , which is available in 28 languages, offers all of the protection that a top notch anti-malware suite should, in an easy installation package leading to a “dead simple” interface, and then does what it sets out to do – protect the user efficiently, against the epidemic of malware and additional dangers circulating on the Internet waiting to trap the under protected, and the unaware.

System requirements: Microsoft Windows 7 (32bit, 64bit), Windows Vista SP1+ (32bit, 64bit), Windows XP SP2+ (32bit)

You may buy PC Tools Internet Security 2011, ($59.95 direct, for three licenses), or you may download a free, limited, trial version , at PC Tools. Please note that the trial version offers time unlimited real-time protection (free threat blocking), but does not remove threats detected during on-demand scans.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

83 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antimalware Suites, Contests, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Giveaways, PC Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, Software Trial Versions, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP