BOOT CAMP ARCHIVE 2008

  

 

BOOT CAMP 540 (02/09/08)

Freeware Top Tens part 4, Privacy and Security

 

The big problem with this important category of freeware is that there are so many good programs around and whittling the list down to just ten or so items proved to be a near impossible task, so I gave up. Rather than leave out some really worthwhile utilities that can help protect you and your PC, I decided to split this section into two, so without more ado let’s get started with this week’s selection.

 

I am sure that I don’t need to remind you -- but I will anyway, for the benefit of any newcomers -- please note that you use this software entirely at your own risk. We cannot answer any technical queries and if you like what you see, please show your appreciation by making a small donation to the author or publisher, or pay the licence fee. 

 

Ad-Aware, XP & Vista, 18.5Mb

http://tinyurl.com/fh7cs

It is one of the oldest but still one of the best malware scanners, just be careful that you download the real thing! There are numerous similar-sounding fakes and phoneys out there, some of them carrying malicious payloads.  Run it once or twice a week, preferably with one of the other free scanners, to keep your PC free of web-borne nasties.

 

AntiVir, XP & Vista, 24Mb

http://tinyurl.com/kshl

Whilst AntiVir may lack some of the bells and whistles of its more sophisticated cousins it still does a bang-up job of protecting your PC from viruses. As an added bonus it can also detect and remove Rootkits, which is a comparatively rare feature, even on the big name commercial scanners. Just the job for light web users and those still using dial-up connections.   

 

AntiVir, XP & Vista, 24Mb

http://tinyurl.com/kshl

Whilst AntiVir may lack some of the bells and whistles of its more sophisticated cousins it still does a bang-up job of protecting your PC from viruses. As an added bonus it can also detect and remove Rootkits, which is a comparatively rare feature, even on the big name commercial scanners. Just the job for light web users and those still using dial-up connections. 

 

 

A-Squared Free, XP & Vista, 26Mb, http://tinyurl.com/2woy5u

Like most malware cleaners A-Squared Free zaps any infections it finds but you also have the option to quarantine anything you are not sure about, just in case it turns out to be legitimate. Use it once or twice a week, in conjunction with at least one other cleaner for the best results

 

 

Avast! Free Home Edition, XP & Vista, 25.1Mb, http://tinyurl.com/56jes

Providing the same kind of protection as most commercial programs, Avast! has real-time email and network monitoring and signature files are updated on a daily basis. Very easy to set up and use, and few, if any compatibility problems or conflicts with other programs.

 

 

AVG Free Edition 8.0, XP & Vista, 46.7Mb, http://free.avg.com

The latest version of AVG Free has been well hidden as Grisoft pushes hard to persuade users to upgrade to its paid-for anti-virus software. It is worth seeking out, though, as it is still the best and most popular free AV program, better even than some paid-for programs. It has everything you need, including daily signature file up dates and incoming and outgoing email scanning. 

 

 

BtProx, XP & Vista, 18Mb

http://tinyurl.com/6xv7ga

Here’s a simple way to protect your Bluetooth-enabled PC or laptop from prying eyes. BtProx works in conjunction with your cellphone or organiser and as soon as it moves out of range – let’s say you need to pop to the loo -- it automatically locks Windows so no one else can use your computer.

 

 

CCleaner, XP & Vista, 2.8Mb

http://tinyurl.com/3yeav

Did you know that Windows stores details of every website you have ever visited, from the day you first switched it on, in a hidden and protected file? For those who know where to look your computer contains a treasure trove of information about what you get up to, seriously compromising your privacy and security. Crap Cleaner gets rid of it all in one brief operation; easy to use and essential for your piece of mind.

 

 

CleanAfterMe, XP & Vista, 35Mb

http://tinyurl.com/57xrcy

Like CCleaner (see above) CleanAfterMe removes the files and entries created during normal use that could reveal personal and private data. However, what makes it unusual, and really useful, is that it’s a ‘portable’ application. It doesn’t need to be installed, which means it can be run from a USB Flash drive, so you can take it with you, and if you have to use someone else’s computer, or an Internet café, you’ll leave nothing behind. 

 

 

Darik’s Boot and Nuke, XP & Vista, 2.0Mb, http://tinyurl.com/6hxqlw

Sooner or later you are going to sell or dispose of your PC, but unless you wipe the drive you could be passing on a lot of personal and private information that could be used to steal your identity, or worse. Darik’s Boot and Nuke does exactly what it says. Copy the program to a CD, USB drive or floppy, use it to boot the computer and it will quickly destroy every bit of data on the drive; also ideal for bulk or emergency data destruction.

 

 

EAV Antivirus Suite Free Edition, XP & Vista, 1.65Mb,  http://tinyurl.com/27txx2

Don’t be misled, although tiny in comparison with most other anti-virus programs, EAV does a really good job of detecting and destroying the infections that target the inner workings of Windows. It’s not a substitute for a full-blown AV scanner but it’s perfect for carrying on USB flash drives, for checking out public and other people’s PCs, before you use them.

 

Next Week – Freeware Top Tens part 5, Privacy and Security continued…

 

JARGON FILTER

 

BLUETOOTH

Short-range (5 to 10 metres) wireless data communications system used to link electronic devices such as cell phones with hands-free headsets, PCs, printers and peripherals

 

MALWARE

Malicious or intrusive software, including spyware, adware, trojans, premium rate diallers etc., usually inadvertently downloaded from infected websites or by clicking on pop-up boxes

 

ROOTKIT

A set of tools, used by virus writers, to create a stealthy container or wrapper for concealing malicious software

 

 

TOP TIP --  BONUS UTILITY

Click&Clean, XP & Vista, 400kb, http://tinyurl.com/5jpy82

Click and Clean is a browser add-on that works with CCleaner (see above), so you must have this installed on you PC as well. Once installed you will see a new toilet roll icon on your Firefox or Internet Explorer toolbar. With one click it launches CCleaner and then, without any further prompts, sets about removing all of the recently viewed web addresses and private data from your computer.

 

 

Don't forget, there's a full archive of previous Boot Camp Top Tips at www.pctoptips.co.uk

 

---end---

© R. Maybury 2008, 0608

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