10 Unconventional Programs You Can Use for System Protection

Okay, I’m not going to the do the boring comparisons between several antiviruses. To be honest, I was never a big fan of antiviral and anti-malware software in general. The problem I have with these programs is that, they eat a lot of system resources and yet they couldn’t even deliver passable protection. Hell, your system specs and performance are essentially halved when you install them. And I particularly hated those greedy bastards for imposing charges on updates and definitions.

For security and protection, I only stand by one creed: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Having one (or more) antiviruses installed is not enough (moreover, you shouldn’t install more than one program that offers the same functionality, for example Kaspersky & McAfee Antivirus, because it will result in massive consumption of resources and loss of functionality because of the resulting conflict between the two programs.) In fact, sometimes it’s better to skip antiviruses altogether and use alternatives instead, which offers the same functionalities anyway at less price and fewer consumption of resource.

Below are a list of software that you can use for security and protection. They’re all free.

  1. Linux
  2. What’s the surest way of not acquiring any viruses? By using an OS where there aren’t any. Since these malwares run within Windows’ kernel or spread using its own file system, there’s no way it can thrive in a foreign environment. You can also consider Mac OS X if money is not a problem, but in truth it isn’t any securer than Windows. It just so happens that Windows is installed on 90% of the world’s computers, malware programmers are more likely to target the platform because that’s where the goldmine is.

  3. Comodo Internet Security
  4. The program is actually a combination of Comodo Firewall, which has been regarded as one of the best firewall applications in a long time, and Antivirus and Defense+, which are actually derived from the firewall program itself. The antivirus application doesn’t use the same mechanism as the others of its kind. It doesn’t use a real-time shield, rather, it uses a different files/programs/threads/buffer scanning mechanism, which is why it doesn’t consume as much resources as the others. IMO it has a more intelligent malware scanner, detecting and intercepting any attack long before it can cause even minor damage to the system. I included this program because it isn’t your typical anti-malware program.

  5. Sandboxie
  6. This program is uncommonly light, consuming less than 1MB of hard disk space. So what does it exactly do? By installing this program, you have an option to run any program or drive “sandboxed,” or run in a virtual space that’s an exact replica of your system. Doing so ensures that any program run from the sandbox will do any changes to the sandbox and not to your system. You can delete the contents of your sandbox after your session, but you can recover legitimate files out of it just in case.

  7. Sysinternals Suite
  8. Many malwares can readily disable many of Windows’ built-in system utilities such as Task Manager, msconfig or Registry Editor, which if functional can actually help you kill malware. The most useful program in the suite is Process Explorer, a graphical replacement for Task Manager. It shows all programs running from memory, and it can help you kill any viruses in memory. It’s a good starting point in disinfecting your system. Autoruns, on the other hand, monitors programs that loads at startup. You can also kill bombs this way.

  9. Macrium Reflect
  10. Sometimes the best way to remove viruses is to reformat the whole system. You can then restore your data from a previously clean configuration (such as when your OS is freshly installed). This program can help you do just that.

  11. HijackThis
  12. This program scans system files and logs unauthorized revision of files to a text file. This utility can help you identify spyware in your system.

  13. SteadyState
  14. If you own an iCafe, this program can be very beneficial. With this program installed, at every boot, the whole system configuration resets back to a predefined state, for instance, at the time after a fresh installation of the OS when the whole system is clean. This can help you undo any damages done by any malware. Of course, you can still use it for personal use. Don’t worry, user-created documents aren’t lost during the restoration process.

  15. Clamwin
  16. A free antivirus may sound like an oxymoron, but because this program is completely open-source, you can update it forever. An up-to-date malware database is an absolute necessity for any anti-malware program because new virus strains constantly appear everytime. Clamwin is used only for scanning malware in your system, it doesn’t have any shielding mechanism, but what the hell, you can install other programs for that purpose.

  17. Windows Update
  18. You know, you don’t really need to look elsewhere if you want to protect your system, one of the most important program you need is already included in Windows, and it’s called Windows Update. Windows Update isn’t mean to bug or annoy you. Instead, it regularly checks for updates and patches to fix security vulnerabilities and keep your system and all components of the OS clean, secure and up-to-date.

  19. Common Sense
  20. You are already warned that that site isn’t safe, so why should you still continue opening that site? Do you honestly believe those sites who provide free stuffs doesn’t install anything in exchange? Is it really hard to determine whether an email is a fraud? Do you honestly believe that that certain patching program provides only what it says it does and nothing else on your system? Why bother stealing commercial software when you can have free alternatives that has the same or more features? Would you download a song with no bitrate and song length? Why do you insist on double-clicking a removable drive or opening it using AutoPlay when you can view the contents of the same from Windows Explorer?

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