This page was designed to be PC Sympathy’s One-Stop Source for protecting your PC, online and offline, from viruses and other malicious programs that you may encounter.
Each section below will provide you with the resources you need for various levels of protection. While there are many choices out there, these are the ones that I know and trust and I will continue modifying this page as I see fit. If you are the creator of a program, or just simply want a program added to this list, please contact me and I will evaluate it and add it to this page if I feel it is valuable. I do not, and will not, promote garbage on this site.
Now, before you do anything, hop on over to Windows Update (in your Control Panel in Vista and Windows 7) and make sure you are all caught up with Microsoft’s “Critical Updates”. This is very important if you are a Windows user. There may also be Critical Updates for other Microsoft software like Office, Internet Explorer, etc. So this is the most important step in securing your PC from the outside world!
|:: Anti-Virus Online Scans ::|
|HouseCall||This is a free Online Virus Scan from Trend Micro.||Scan Now!|
|Panda ActiveScan||Panda ActiveScan is Panda Software’s online antivirus, that works directly over the Internet. With a simple click from your browser you can scan all your files and e-mail for viruses.||Scan Now!|
|Kaspersky Online Scanner||Welcome to Kaspersky Online Scanner 7.0! Use the program to check your computer for viruses and other malware for free.||Scan Now!|
|Symantec’s Scan for Viruses||Examine your computer using Symantec’s award-winning virus detection technology to determine if it is infected by any known virus or Trojan horse.||Scan Now!|
|BitDefender Online Scanner||BitDefender Online Scanner is an on-demand virus scanner which incorporates the award-winning BitDefender scanning engines. You can use it to scan your system’s memory, all files and drives’ boot sectors, and to automatically clean infected files.||Scan Now!|
|:: Anti-Virus Programs ::|
|Microsoft Security Essentials||Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.||Download Now!|
|AVG Free Edition||AVG Free Edition is the well-known anti-virus protection tool. AVG Free is available free-of-charge to home users for the life of the product! Rapid virus database updates are available for the lifetime of the product, thereby providing the high-level of detection capability that millions of users around the world trust to protect their computers. AVG Free is easy-to-use and will not slow your system down (low system resource requirements).||Download Now!|
|avast! Antivirus Home Edition||avast! antivirus Home Edition represents the best antivirus protection available and is available free of charge for non-commercial, home use. It is designed to protect your valuable data and programs, as well as keep itself up-to-date. It also comes with the kind of built-in features that many vendors charge for additionally, or don’t include at all such as anti-spyware, anti-rootkit and strong self-protection. Simply install and forget.||Download Now!|
|Avira AntiVir Personal||Avira AntiVir Personal – FREE Antivirus is a reliable free antivirus solution, that constantly and rapidly scans your computer for malicious programs such as viruses, Trojans, backdoor programs, hoaxes, worms, dialers etc. Monitors every action executed by the user or the operating system and reacts promptly when a malicious program is detected. Avira AntiVir Personal is a comprehensive, easy to use antivirus program, designed to offer reliable free of charge virus protection to home-users, for personal use only, and is not for business or commercial use. Available for Windows or UNIX.||Download Now!|
|:: Backup Utilities ::|
|SyncToy||SyncToy is a free PowerToy designed by Microsoft that provides an easy to use graphical user interface that can automate synchronizing files and folders. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another. SyncToy can keep track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder.||Download Now!|
|:: Disk Encryption ::|
|TrueCrypt||Protect your sensitive data with this free open-source disk encryption software. Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mount it as a real disk. Encrypt an entire hard disk partition or a device, such as USB flash drive. Automatically and transparently encrypt in real time.TrueCrypt provides two levels of plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password: a hidden volume (steganography- more information may be found here); no TrueCrypt volume can be identified (volumes cannot be distinguished from random data). TrueCrypt uses encryption algorithms AES-256, Blowfish (448-bit key), CAST5, Serpent, Triple DES, and Twofish. It is based on Encryption for the Masses (E4M) 2.02a, conceived in 1997.||Download Now!|
|:: Internet Browsers ::|
|The WhiteHat Aviator||With every website you visit, you’re vulnerable to malicious hackers out to steal your surfing history, passwords, email access, bank account numbers, medical info, and more. And the “big browsers” don’t do enough to stop it.But now you can protect yourself before you go on the Web – with WhiteHat Aviator, the Web’s most secure and private browser. With WhiteHat Aviator, you get the industry’s best and tightest security and privacy safeguards – all built-in, all activated, all ready-to-go.||Download Now!|
|Mozilla Firefox||Firefox has security, speed and new features that will change the way you use the Web. Don’t settle for anything less.At the very least, I recommend three plugins: NoScript, Adblock Plus, and Locationbar.||Download Now!|
|Google Chrome||Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.||Download Now!|
|:: Password Managers ::|
|KeePass Password Safe||KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).||Download Now!|
|LastPass||LastPass is a password manager that makes web browsing easier and more secure.||Download Now!|
|:: Secure Hard Drive Wiping ::|
|Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN)||Dariks Boot and Nuke (DBAN) runs from a bootable CD or Floppy disk, and securely deletes (wipes) the entire content of the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect. The program is perfect for cleaning a computer before giving it away or selling it.||Download Now!|
|:: Software Firewalls ::|
|ZoneAlarm (Free edition)||Easy-to-use firewall blocks hackers and other unknown threats. Stealth mode automatically makes your PC invisible to anyone on the Internet. The Free version provides you with only the basic protection, but it is enough to keep you and your PC safe from intruders.||Download Now!|
|Comodo Firewall (Free edition)||Unlike some other free firewalls, this is not a stripped down version, but is a fully functional product. Updates are also free.
Install now for out-of-the-box protection against identity theft hackers, trojans, viruses, scripts and other unknown threats.
|:: Spyware Detection and Removal ::|
|Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware (MBAM)||Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is considered to be the next step in the detection and removal of malware. In our product we have compiled a number of new technologies that are designed to quickly detect, destroy, and prevent malware. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware can detect and remove malware that even the most well known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to detect.||Download Now!|
|SUPERAntiSpyware||SUPERAntiSpyware is the most thorough AntiSpyware scanner on the market. Our Multi-Dimensional Scanning and Process Interrogation Technology will detect spyware that other products miss! SUPERAntiSpyware will remove ALL the Spyware, NOT just the easy ones!||Download Now!|
|RootkitRevealer||RootkitRevealer is an advanced patent-pending root kit detection utility. It runs on Windows NT 4 and higher and its output lists Registry and file system API discrepancies that may indicate the presence of a user-mode or kernel-mode rootkit. RootkitRevealer successfully detects all persistent rootkits published at www.rootkit.com, including AFX, Vanquish and HackerDefender (note: RootkitRevealer is not intended to detect rootkits like Fu that don’t attempt to hide their files or registry keys).||Download Now!|
|Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition||Ad-Aware is designed to provide advanced protection from known Data-mining, aggressive advertising, Parasites, Scumware, selected traditional Trojans, Dialers, Malware, Browser hijackers, and tracking components.||Download Now!|
|Spybot – Search & Destroy||Application to scan for spyware, adware, hijackers and other malicious software.||Download Now!|
|HijackThis||HijackThis lists the contents of key areas of the Registry and hard drive–areas that are used by both legitimate programmers and hijackers. The program is continually updated to detect and remove new hijacks. It does not target specific programs and URLs, only the methods used by hijackers to force you onto their sites.||Download Now!|
|ComboFix||ComboFix is a program, created by sUBs, that scans your computer for known malware, and when found, attempts to clean these infections automatically. In addition to being able to remove a large amount of the most common and current malware, ComboFix also displays a log when it is finished that contains a great deal of information that an experienced helper can use to diagnose, retrieve samples of, and remove infections that are not automatically removed.||Download Now!|
|StartupList||A simple tool that lists all and every auto starting program on your system. You might be surprised what it finds, this is way better than Msconfig. Commonly used to troubleshoot malfunctioning systems, trojan/viral infections, new spyware/malware breed and the likes.||Download Now!|
Trend Micro CWShredder is the premier tool to find and remove traces of CoolWebSearch – the name for a wide range of insidious browser hijackers– from your PC. CWShredder removes these browser hijackers. CoolWebSearch installs dozens of bookmarks–mostly to porn Web sites–on your desktop, changes your home page without asking, and continually changes it back if you attempt to correct it. Furthermore, it significantly slows down the performance of your PC, and introduces modifications which cause Microsoft Windows™ to freeze, crash or randomly reboot.
|:: Spyware Prevention ::|
|Windows Defender||Windows Defender is a security technology that helps protect Windows users from spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Known spyware on your computer can be detected and removed. This helps reduce negative effects caused by spyware, including slow computer performance, annoying pop-up ads, unwanted changes to Internet settings, and unauthorized use of your private information. Continuous protection improves Internet browsing safety by guarding more than 50 ways spyware can enter your computer. The worldwide SpyNet™ community plays a key role in determining which suspicious programs are classified as spyware. Microsoft researchers quickly develop methods to counteract these threats, and updates are automatically downloaded to your computer so you stay up to date.||Download Now!|
|SpywareBlaster||The most important step you can take is to secure your system. And SpywareBlaster is the most powerful protection program available.
SpywareBlaster can help keep your system spyware-free and secure, without interfering with the “good side” of the web. And unlike other programs, SpywareBlaster does not have to remain running in the background.
|SpywareGuard||An anti-virus program scans files before you open them and prevents execution if a virus is detected – SpywareGuard does the same thing, but for spyware! And you can easily have an anti-virus program running alongside SpywareGuard. SpywareGuard now also features Download Protection and Browser Hijacking Protection!||Download Now!|
|BugOff||This little app disables a few exploits that are commonly used by browser hijackers (including CWS), thus protecting you from infection. This does not remove an existing infection! Applicable to everyone that uses Internet Explorer.||Download Now!|
|BHODemon||Think of BHODemon as a guardian for your Internet Explorer browser: it protects you from unknown Browser Helper Objects (BHOs), by letting you enable/disable them individually. It also monitors your Registry and alerts you when a BHO is installed. Best of all, BHODemon knows about the most common BHOs – the good ones, and the not-so-good ones!||Download Now!|
|:: System Optimization and Privacy Cleaning Tools ::|
|CCleaner||CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!||Download Now!|
|:: Virtualization ::|
|VirtualBox||VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.||Download Now!|
|Microsoft Virtual PC||With Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, you can create and run one or more virtual machines, each with its own operating system, on a single computer. This provides you with the flexibility to use different operating systems on one physical computer.||Download Now!|
|VMware Server||Begin enjoying the benefits of server virtualization for free. VMware Server is a hosted virtualization platform that installs like an application on any existing server hardware and partitions a physical server into multiple virtual machines.||Download Now!|
|:: Vulnerability Scanners ::|
|Nessus||Nessus is the world’s most widely-deployed vulnerability and configuration assessment product. With more than five million downloads to date, Nessus features high-speed discovery, configuration auditing, asset profiling, sensitive data discovery, patch management integration, and vulnerability analysis of your security posture.||Download Now!|
|Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)||The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer provides a streamlined method to identify missing security updates and common security misconfigurations.||Download Now!|
|Secunia Personal Software Inspector||The Secunia PSI is the FREE security tool that is designed with the sole purpose of helping you secure your computer from software vulnerabilities. Software vulnerabilities affect all applications installed on your computer, from the Operating System down to your email client, office application, instant messaging, and so on.||Download Now!|
|F-Secure’s Health Check||Health Check will tell you if you are protected, it checks that you have up to date security applications and finds vulnerabilities in your installed software. It then guides you to a solution when issues are discovered.||Scan Now!|