Staff Picks Secure your PC

As soon as you connect to the Net, your PC can be found exposed to a multitude of threats. Viruses, malware ( Adware , Spyware , Worms, Rootkits , Trojans, Bots ... ), spam, identity theft, toolbar, the list grows a little more each day. To cope with these problems, there are several ways to act. The most radical method is to adopt one of the many security suites available on the market. These suites bring together in a single "meta- application" a set of tools to protect your PC. Real-time antivirus protection , anti-malware , firewall , identity protection , internet protection with analysis of sites visited , parental control, secure virtual keyboard, track eraser etc.. In short, the best weapon to combat any attacks. Of course, all this at a price. These suites are not cheap and they are generally quite intrusive and costly in terms of resources. Another approach is to develop a good free antivirus ( you will find here the list of antivirus directly downloadable from Allmyapps ), and complete this free protection with the help of some software that we have carefully selected.

Protect your PC and keep away from hackers

PeerBlock is an OpenSource software whose sole purpose is to check the IP address on which you connect when you browse the Net. This technique, called IP filtering, is to check the IP addresses and compare them to lists of addresses known to be harmful. If PeerBlock finds a match, it automatically blocks the connection to the site concerned, protecting your PC from infection. The protection also works in the other direction, that is to say against sites that seek to gain unauthorized access to your PC.
When you first launch PeerBlock, a configuration wizard allows you to select the type(s) of lists for the mode of use that suits you. You can then block the IP addresses of sites "anti-P2P" (Peer to Peer), the sites using trackers for advertising purposes, or even the sites identified as a source of spyware and other viruses. Of course you also have the ability to import other lists (for example those from the site or create your own lists (or to block certain people or sites or on the contrary allow trusted sites). All these lists are automatically updated according to the frequency you choose (daily, weekly etc. ). In case of problems with a list, for example if a site is blocked when you know it's perfectly safe, it will go directly to the creators of the list, no need to contact the developers of PeerBlock, they can't do anything in this situation. Although not as powerful as a real Firewall, PeerBlock still proves very effective and it is much lighter. Once installed and configured, you can forget PeerBlock. The app runs in the background and uses very few resources.

Detect and remove all traces of malware

Regarding safety matters, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is the essential companion for your computer. Where a conventional antivirus focuses primarily on the detection of viruses, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can detect a wide range of malware ( trojans , worms, rootkits, spyware ... ). This is a free app but during installation you can activate the "pro" solution for a 30-day trial. The main advantage of this version is the addition of an active real-time protection to prevent threats automatically. The updates to the database is also done automatically. With the free version you will have to remember to do these updates and regularly scan your PC manually. It is a bit more restrictive but it is not an impossible task. The interface of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is very easy to use with 3 scanning options : a quick scan during which the software will search for the presence of malicious programs with known behavior, a full scan to conduct an analysis of all files on your hard drive (also valid for CD / DVD or USB drive), and finally a flash scan to analyze the programs memories and automatically load when Windows starts. In addition, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware load itself in the context menu of Windows Explorer which allows a simple "right click" on your mouse to quickly verify the potential harmfulness of a file that you just downloaded. If a threat is detected, it is automatically in "quarantine" leaving then the possibility to delete the infected file or otherwise restore it in case of error.

Removal app for toolbars and undesirable programs

AdwCleaner is another "hunting" app for malicious programs that I like. AdwCleaner is a highly effective extremely lightweight portable app to detect and remove adware programs, toolbar and other diversion of the homepage or search engine who regularly pollute your browser if you are not careful enough . The use of AdwCleaner is exceedingly simple. Just click on the "Search" and AdwCleaner launches an analysis of your services, folders, files, shortcuts, registry and browser. Once the analysis is complete the results are visible in a tab dedicated to each element (services, registry, Firefox, Chrome etc. . ) . A checkbox in front of each problem detected is there to validate the analysis or not. Then click the "Delete" button and AdwCleaner take care to remove all the problems that it has encountered. Attention as soon as you start this operation, AdwCleaner automatically close all your programs and restart your computer. AdwCleaner also proposes to install an "Anti-PUP/adware Hosts" tool (PUP / Potentially Unwanted Program). If you choose to install this option, the program will modify your HOSTS file to block known addresses to distribute potentially unwanted software. The list of these addresses is visible here:

Analyze suspicious files and url fom your desktop

Is there still a need to present VirusTotal? The famous free service that allows you to scan your files online with nearly fifty antivirus. The typical use of VirusTotal is as follows: after downloading software online you can "upload" it on VirusTotal to check if it is potentially dangerous. With PhrozenVirusTotal Uploader you can now use the VirusTotal service directly from the desktop of your PC. Once the software is installed and running, you just have to "drag and drop" your files (up to 5 files at once) in the main interface or in a dedicated space ("Drag file here") visible just above the Windows notification area (called systray). The application will notify you as soon as the results are available. No more hassle of having to go online and upload the files one by one. In its latest version Phrozen VirusTotal Uploader, also offers the opportunity to submit to your VirusTotal processes and active services, startup items and programs that open network connections. If you care a little bit to protect your PC, Phrozen VirusTotal Uploader is an essential application.

Ultimate protection from hacking by keyloggers

Oxynger KeyShield is a secure virtual keyboard that can protect you against a widespread threat, the "keyloggers". A keylogger is an unwanted program, and that is an understatement, that records every keystroke you make on your keyboard. This is an effective way to record your passwords or confidential data (credit card numbers, bank account numbers, PINs ...) without your knowledge. when you Install Oxynger KeyShield you have a way to enter sensitive data without using your real keyboard. Why install an additional program while Windows system already provides a virtual keyboard? Simply because the Windows virtual keyboard is not secure. It simply sends the "keyboard events" in the relevant app as plain text, whereas Oxynger KeyShield uses a fully secure communications channel. The keyloggers are unable therefore to intercept data transmitted via this channel. Oxynger KeyShield even has a filter that prevents the virtual keyboard to appear on screenshots. The program also protects against the "mouse logging", a technique that consists in recording the coordinates of each mouse click to guess the content. This does not work with Oxynger KeyShield because the "layout" of the keys, the layout of the keyboard if you prefer, is different for every user of the program . Finally Oxynger KeyShield has an option for "Shoulder Surfing Protection" that prevents curious watching your keyboard too closely to identify keys used!