Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Anti-malware tools need to be run frequently enough, and be kept updated to keep you safe. I'll look at what to consider when configuring protection.
I have Windows XP 2007. Recently,my system crashed. I took it to my wife's ex who built it and he said it was trashed. It had 29 viruses. I run Norton Antivirus ,AdAware, Spybot, and Malware. How do you get all these viruses after running these programs weekly? Am I wasting my $$ on Norton? Please tell me a good way to back up my info since I am using my step daughters 'puter and we think we are going to lose everything in ours.
I'll admit to a little confusion, as there is no such thing as "Windows XP 2007". There's Windows XP, and it may or may not have service pack 1, 2 or 3 applied, but there's never been a year designator on XP.
Fortunately, that doesn't really matter in this case.
I won't say you're wasting your money, but I do think there are a couple of things you'll want to change.
A lot can happen in a week.
While it's quite possible that there were 29 viruses, I'm going to guess that there were 29 "somethings", some of which were viruses, some of which were spyware and some of which were other things.
One of my gripes with many anti-malware tools is that they over report, or over dramatize some of the things they find. For example 29 tracking cookies isn't anywhere near as serious as 29 actual viruses. In fact, 29 tracking cookies might be considered normal and nothing to really worry about, whereas 29 actual viruses represents a serious threat.
Not all malware reports are created equal.
So before we panic too much, let's at least consider that 29 may not be as bad as it seems.
But for our purposes here, let's assume that it is.
One thing that you've said concerns me: "How do you get all these viruses after running these programs weekly?"
Weekly's not often enough. A lot can happen in a week. In fact, depending on things that I'll discuss below, it's quite possible that you could accumulate 29 viruses in a week.
If that's really what's happening, then I recommend:
Making sure that Norton, or any anti-malware tool you might be using, has its "real time" scanning enabled. This scans files and web pages and whatever else as they are downloaded to your computer. The moment something suspicious appears, the software will notify you right then and there.
Scanning your entire system daily. This is best done when you're not using the computer but the idea here is that once a day your anti-malware tool scans your entire hard disk for malicious software. Technically it might be redundant with the prior point, but given the situation here I think it makes a lot of sense, just in case something's missed.
Making sure that your anti-malware solution is updating its database of known threats daily. New malware is being developed every day - that means if the database is even a day out of date you're vulnerable to the latest malware. Malware creators know this, and count on it to infect as many people as they can before anti-malware tools and databases are updated.
There's one more thing I need to touch on, though.
I've said it elsewhere, I've said it before: there's no anti-malware software or solution that will protect your computer from you.
By that I mean you are capable of bypassing any security solution placed on your machine. If you download and execute random attachments sent to you in email, then absolutely you're going to end up with 29 viruses, or more, in short order. Visiting questionable web sites? Downloading lots of illegal files via file sharing services? Clicking on links when you're not sure where they go? Emailing off your user name and password because someone you don't know asked?
I'm not saying that you did any of these things.
I have no idea.
What I do know, though, is that some of those things, all of those things and even more of those kinds of things I haven't even thought of are the kinds of things that can quickly result in a compromised machine.
And 29 Viruses.
Since your info could be scattered all over your computer, I recommend a full image backup of the entire hard disk (or disks) to an external drive. Acronis True Image is one solution, but essentially any solution that will allow you a complete backup, and then later allow you to access that backup to restore individual files will do.
Quite honestly, a daily backup regimen probably needs to be added to your system as well so that no matter what happens or how infected you get, you're always and constantly backed up.
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