Protect Your Computer Without AntiVirus
AntiViruses Are Not A Perfect Solution
Although it may sound crazy, you don't need an antivirus software to keep your computer clean, I will explain some tips and instructions that will slam the door in bad programs face and you don't have to be an advanced computer user to apply these tips.
Antiviruses in general, consume a huge part of system resources, slow down the system boot up, display many false alarms and they are useless against new malware that are not added to their database yet.
Is it executable or not
All malicious software need to be executed -just like ordinary programs- before they can do any harmful action, execution can be done by you (double click), third party software or operating system itself.
Many of bad software creators change its icon to look like image or video icon, so unaware users could execute it by double click. This trick can be easily stopped if you look at the file extension and avoid to click on any file that has one of Windows executable extensions (EXE,BAT,CMD,COM,MSI,MSC).
The problem is that displaying file extensions is turned off by default on Windows for known file types, so usually you will see filename only. To turned them on go to
Control Panel => Folder Options => View
Then uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types", then OK.
I know that displaying extensions next file names can be annoying when you rename files, but you will use to it fast.
Autorun is a cool feature that allows premade presentations to run automatically when you insert a CD/DVD, but it's like the devil's gate for suspicious software, because it executes them at the same time you insert a USB flash memory or disk in your computer silently.
Follow these steps to disable Autorun on Windows 7:
- Press (Win + R) to open run dialog then type in (gpedit.msc) and hit Enter, this will open "Local Group Policy Editor"
- Inside "Local Group Policy Editor" window, in the left section go to this location:
- Local Computer Policy => Computer Configuration=>Administrative Templates=>Windows Components => AutoPlay Policies
- Double-Click on "Turn off Autoplay" and check "Enabled" and make sure to select "All drives" from left section then hit "Apply".
- After you disable autoplay, you have to run presentations on CD/DVDs manually, but you will be safe from viruses spread by USB storage devices.
If you need to open a new application and you can't be sure that it's clean then you can use online scanners. It's very powerful since it depends on many anti-viruses software and tools, you can compare the result and also check comments from other users on the same file.
Online scanning brings the power of all anti-viruses databases without consuming your computer resources, actually you can't install two anti-virus on the same machine. But there are some cons such as you can't scan large files (Maximum 20-25MB) and you will have to wait a bit if you are submitting a new file.
Here is a list of best online scan websites:
- www.virustotal.com ,this is the most powerful one, uses 40 antiviruses for scan
All you have to do is uploading any suspicious file and wait, if it was scanned before you will get instant results, otherwise it will be add to queue to be scanned by all antiviruses, usually it won't take more than 30 seconds.
Check Startup Programs Using MSConfig
Scan Your Computer Manually
You can check your computer to see if there is any sign of infection. Many viruses and other bad software execute as the system boot up and there is a place to check all of process that starts immediately after system boot.
"System Configurations" is a nice graphical tool in Windows 7 that lets you see all programs that starts after system boot, it can be opened by typing "msconfig" in search, It allows to check each one and disable any process that looks suspicious such as a program found in "temporary files" folder. All changes you make will be effective after you reboot.
By the way, you can disable processes you don't need immediately after booting to speed up system boot.
VirusTotal Windows Uploader
I really recommend this tool, it's not an antivirus but it can save a lot of time because it allows to send files to be scanned online by right click, also it allows to upload executable files related to already running processes and scan them too, this feature helps to check if there is an infection on the computer and determine what malware is running to remove it.
Browser Extensions Poll
Have You Ever Used Browser Extensions ?
Secure Your Browsing
Some suspicious websites and adverting companies uses many tricks in order to let their bad software looks like from creditable and ensured source, such as using similar names,fonts and colors.
To protect yourself from these tricks, there are many extensions or plugins you can download for your favorite browser to warn you and even block such dangerous ads. Here are some of the best security extenstions for browsers:
Unlike ordinary internet security software, these plugins will consume a tiny share of system resources and won't be running if the browser closed.