Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 5.5 Starter Edition

Antivirus Spyware has been around for years, keeping PCs safe from browser hijackers, adware, keyloggers and more. But recently PC Tools have taken the program even further by adding a powerful antivirus engine, ensuring it can handle the full range of threats that you might find online.

The protection starts with an on-demand scanning system that can examine your PC whenever you like. By default this will run an Intelli-Scan, which allows the program to examine running applications, startup files and other locations where infections are commonly found. It's a good start, and runs surprisingly quickly, taking only around five minutes to complete on our test PC.

It's also possible to run the more thorough Full Scan, though, or you might choose the Custom Scan to search specific locations only. These can take much longer, but there's always the Scheduler, which can be set up to run scans automatically when you're not around. You could set up the Scheduler to perform a full system scan at the end of every working week or weekend.

With the Starter Edition, you also get to know how to avail the best protection against virus through a feature called OnGuard. There's a File Guard, for instance, that monitors your PC constantly and prevents any malicious files from being accessed. This includes attempts to open unsafe attachments in Outlook and other email clients. The program also includes Immunizer Guard, a module that blocks known dangerous ActiveX-based threats from running on your PC.

Best of all, though, the Starter Edition will never expire. PC Tools Spyware Doctor with Antivirus spyware Starter Edition 5.5 isn't going to die after three months, and then remind you it needs a new subscription to start working again. It's entirely free, updates too, and so you can go on using it for just as long as you need, along with free definition updates.

Note that PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 5.5 Starter Edition is exclusively licensed for download from

Upgrade Offer – to the commercial edition of Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus

Move to the regular commercial edition of AntiVirus Spyware and you'll gain an extensive range of real-time protection features. Like Browser Guard, which prevents malware from changing your favourites, toolbars, add-ons and more. Network Guard stops threats from hijacking your network connection, Process Guard blocks malicious hidden processes like rootkits, and Cookie Guard deletes tracking cookies automatically. Subscription prices start at £39.95 but, as a Starter Edition user, you can upgrade and save 30% from the standard retail price. This will also protect up to 3 PCs for a year. To upgrade go to Upgrade > Upgrade Now will tell you more.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vipre Antivirus Antispyware (beta)

It takes guts to introduce a brand-new antivirus solution in a crowded market, but Sunbelt Software, known best for its award-winning , is doing just that by creating its own antivirus engine from the ground up. Arriving late has advantages, however. Traditional antivirus engines have been slow to adapt to emerging threats.To bridge the best of traditional antivirus with new cutting-edge thinking, Sunbelt Software hired veteran antivirus expert Joe Wells for about one year to help design a "hybrid" antivirus antispyware engine. While we await the first test results of the final product, Sunbelt has released a public beta. Here's a first look.


What we like is that Vipre packs a lot of extras, extras that other antivirus products should have but often do not.

In addition to understanding antivirus and antispyware, there are useful tools such as a secure file eraser that writes 1s and 0s over deleted files, a history cleaner that goes beyond just what's in your Internet browser cache, and something called PC Explorer, which reveals processes and services running that might be suspect or known to be malicious. Many of these tools are also featured within Sunbelt Software's standalone antispyware product, CounterSpy v2.


Short of final code and formal testing, we cannot say how Vipre performs relative to other antivirus products on the market. But in informal testing, the product feels fast, uses few system resources, and didn't try to convince us that benign Internet cookies were a threat.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spyware Infections Carry Big Costs for Small Businesses

Spyware is no longer an unwanted irritation sitting in your computer and spying on your online activities. It has the potential to disrupt work and cause financial losses to organizations. A research report commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association states that a single spyware infection on a work computer can impact the productivity of the typical small business employee for two-and-a-half days.
CompTIA commissioned Kotler Marketing Group of Washington, D.C. to conduct the survey to better understand the frequency and cost of problems such as spyware, viruses and network and server downtime among small businesses. Kotler Marketing Group is a consulting firm specializing in value-based selling.
In late 2007, the company conducted two separate online surveys. One survey was conducted among 200 IT professionals who support small and mid-sized businesses. Another survey was conducted among 537 end users who work in non-IT roles at small and mid-sized businesses in the financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and professional services industries. Respondents were from North America, where approximately 80 percent where based in United States and 20 percent in Canada.
The survey discovered that businesses with 10 to 200 computer users suffered because of Spyware attacks and they did not have computer help as employees did not report the matter to the concerned departments. More than one in four computer users reported having their productivity impacted by a spyware infection during the past six months. In fact, more than one-third users reported that their computer was infected with multiple spyware detections and it took long time to computer repair.
Often, people delayed reporting the matter to the concerned department for more than 18 hours. The survey estimated that the productivity of the users was reduced by 21 percent when the spyware problem was first noticed; and was reduced by 32 percent when the problem was at its peak.
Once the matter is reported, fixing of the problem causes further delays. It is reported that computer-support professionals spend an average of 2.8 labor hours per infected PC. That’s more than 20 hours of reduced worker productivity for each spyware incident at a small business.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Spyware is a general term used to describe software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent first.

Spyware is often associated with software that displays advertisements (called adware) or software that tracks personal or sensitive information.

That does not mean all software that provides ads or tracks your online activities is bad. For example, you might sign up for a free music service, but you "pay" for the service by agreeing to receive targeted ads. If you understand the terms and agree to them, you may have decided that it is a fair tradeoff. You might also agree to let the company track your online activities to determine which ads to show you.

Other kinds of spyware make changes to your computer that can be annoying and can cause your computer slow down or crash.

These programs can change your Web browser's home page or search page, or add additional components to your browser you don't need or want. These programs also make it very difficult for you to change your settings back to the way you originally had them.

The key in all cases is whether or not you (or someone who uses your computer) understand what the software will do and have agreed to install the software on your computer.

There are a number of ways spyware or other unwanted software can get on your computer. A common trick is to covertly install the software during the installation of other software you want such as a music or video file sharing program.