PROFESSIONAL · RELIABLE · THOROUGH · ECONOMICAL · PERSONAL SERVICE
Security Programs and Tools
Thank you for choosing Affordable Technical Solutions. You may have arrived directly at this page from a link on your computer or a reference in one of my newspaper columns. For more general information about all the products and services offered by Affordable Technical Solutions, see this page.
If you know what you are doing you may be able to scan, detect, identify, and remove viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, adware, and other malware or troublesome programs on your own. There are several good 'free' downloadable programs available, but there are also many ineffective, questionable, or totally bogus security suites and PC cleanup/tune up programs. Some are outright scams and are actually malware themselves. Contact me me for professional support. Remote Support is available and may be effective if the computer is not severely infected.
Please note that there is no program 100% effective at blocking, detecting, or cleaning all malware. Even a combination of programs may not find or clean a badly infected computer.
Running any antimalware program from the operating system when the system is already infected is of limited effectiveness, since the system has already been compromised. The malware is already running and therefore can block scans, hide itself from scans, or disable many of the standard system tools. Even external scanning may not be effective to remove malware and repair other problems.
Sometimes the only solution is to erase the hard drive and start with a clean slate. I can save your important data no matter how badly infected your computer is, even if the computer will not boot at all.
Here is information about some of my favorite anti-malware programs:
Real time virus protection: Most users MUST have real-time antivirus protection. I generally recommend a full commercial product over the free antivirus offerings. There are some very good free antivirus programs but the best commercial products are usually a little better and are supported by the manufacturer, and are fully licensed for both individual and business use. I routinely check reviews and test results and choose to sell what is currently top rated by reputable sources. Please contact me for my current top pick.
CCleaner is a not a malware scanner, but can be used by an experienced computer professional to aid in the removal of malware and fix other problems.
It is a great utility for cleaning and tuning your computer if you know what you are doing. If not, like any other cleanup/tune-up program it can be dangerous.
I have been using it for years. I liked it so much after using the free version for only a few months, I donated to the company.
It is not a magic cure-all and there is no such thing. You should not believe the claims of any PC cleanup/tune-up program (free or not) especially if it promises to do everything from detect and remove viruses to speed up your computer automatically. Some of these programs do more harm than good.
Emsisoft Emergency Kit is a good free on-demand malware scanner that runs under Windows but does not actually require installation. Updating and scanning is rather slow but it is pretty effective and identifies a lot of adware and other programs that may not actually be malicious but definitely tend to clog up and slow down your system.
Malwarebytes (free version) is a favorite of many computer service professionals when used as an on-demand scanner.
Trend Micro Housecall is a good free on-line malware scanner. While I think there are better choices for full-time protection than Trend Micro products, Housecall is a useful free tool for scanning.