See also: Security | Virus | Worm | Trojan | Spyware

Methods and tools that prevent, remove, or detect viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, etc.

This page will focus on Windows as OS X and Linux are considerably less vulnerable to viruses.


Recommended anti-virus software:

Buying hint: Older versions’ cost is lower and functions mostly the same. Find stores that are selling older versions, usually at a hefty discount. It often works just the same.


There are also free (speech & beer) solutions. Working on a lot of platforms ans OSes.

Other free anti-virus software from

How to avoid viruses, worms, and Trojan Horses

Keep your computer up to date
Anti-Virus software will not protect you from Internet-bound worms like SoBig.

Never open attachments you are not expecting
Even from people you are familiar with. Verify them with the sender first.
Turn on extensions
many windows installations turn off the appearance of file extensions (such as “file.jpg“. Turn them back on by:

  • Open an explorer window, selecting “Tools – Folder Options” and click the “View” tab.
  • Uncheck “Hide File extensions for known file types.”
Once on, open only safe extensions (such as .GIF, .JPG, .TXT)
  • If you do open the file, make sure you are familiar with its extention
  • Files such as .PIF, .BAT, .EXE, .COM, .DOC can also infect or harm your computer.
Avoid using Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Outlook Express
There are many alternatives.

  • If you must, bookmark and check the Outlook update page at least once a month for patches and updates.
Avoid using Microsoft Internet Explorer
There are many alternatives. It is even possible to slipstream Windows by getting rid of MSIE completely.

  • Alternatively, keep MSIE up to date via Windows Update, use 3rd party security enhancers, disable ActiveX.
Close open programs
If you leave your computer idle on the Internet for long periods of time or run a server.
Beware of file sharing services
Don’t run just any file you find off of a file sharing service.

  • Check it with anti-virus software.
  • Make sure you have a signature, or “.SIG” file, that confirms the file’s integrity. A virus-infected or corrupted file will be detected. PGP usually creates and tests these signatures but they are also known as distributed hash tables.

Non-Windows Operating Systems

Macintosh OS X and Linux are both more resillient to virus and worm activity. First, you must be running day-to-day activites without super-user or administrative access. Then, if you find one of your user profiles has been infected, simply log off and log in as administrator. Retrieve non-executable (data) files from the profile and place them elsewhere. Then delete the profile and start another.


TakeDown.NET -> “Anti-Virus