MorganaRue

New Member
My daughter is an online gamer and runs Windows 8.1 on a 64-bit system on a Toshiba Satellite C875D-S7331. We are currently using McAfee Antivirus Plus in conjunction with Malwarebytes Premium and AdwCleaner on demand.

Lately she has been getting bombarded with malware and adware. The latest was the Pricechop one and we had to uninstall chrome and then reinstall to get rid of it as even the AdwCleaner couldn't make it go away. (So I THINK it is gone for good now) Also, when we got Malwarebytes and did the scan, it found more than 40 malicious files on her laptop.

So, here is my problem. I have been told a lot lately that McAfee isn't a great antivirus program. In fact, it's been highly recommended to me that I get rid of it completely and purchase one that is much better. Now, since my daughter is a gamer and has been having all these problems, the research that I have been doing is leading me towards the Bitdefender and Kaspersky antivirus programs but then someone else recommended Microsoft Essentials. Can anyone advise me as to what I should be looking for and which are the best for our situation?

Thanks!
 

Exterminator

Community Manager
Verified
Staff member
You should make sure UAC is enabled.You can go here on how to find it and check http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/what-are-user-account-control-settings#1TC=windows-7
You could use Malwarebytes Premium as an on demand scanner and also add one or two more such as Hitman Pro,Herd Protect & Emsisoft Emergency Kit
ADW Cleaner is a removal tool for PUPs ,Hijackers ( browser),toolbars ,adware.A nice tool to have the ones mentioned are on demand scanners that you can add to check your PC also
Some type of back up solution if you dont already have one
You could add AdBlock Plus to FF
CCleaner also if not already installed
You could go with Avast AV Free if you are not happy with McAfee and in the meantime look around the site and get a feel for what others like to use,paid & free
 

BoraMurdar

Community Manager
Verified
Staff member
For online gamers, all, or most of things, are done in Web Browser, so the main thing is securing it.
  • Good Adblock extension like uBlock, Adblock Plus or AdGuard
  • Disable Java
  • Always use the newest version of the Web Browser for security patches.
Next step is your Antivirus program.
Here's were it goes complicated :D You can have the Uber Antivirus (it's not a real antivirus program), that has highest detection rate on the market, and still get infected, especially with adware programs. And, still, you can have only Windows 8.1 Built In security programs (Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, Smart Screen and User Account Control) and never get any infection.

So where's is the catch?
The best security is from the chair to the mouse click. So, you must exercise caution, where to click, and especially where not to click. "Clickers " will get themselves infected mostly. You can read this article.

I didn't answer your question "Best AV software for online gamers" as there's no such thing. ESET, Norton, Kaspersky, Emsisoft... They are good, but not free.
Additional protection you can get by sandboxing the Web Browser, and install Unchecky.

Welcome to MT ;)
 

Paul Lee

Level 10
Verified
I personally wouldn't recommend Microsoft Security Essentials OR McAfee. MSE's detection rate is too low and McAfee would be too heavy for gaming. Which brings me back to your question. For a free overall antivirus I would recommend Avast! Free antivirus for the following reasons.
  • Non-intrusive
  • Light on system resources
  • Pretty good detection-wise
  • Very user friendly
The lightest antivirus I could think of would be Webroot SecureAnywhere (Paid internet security suite). But that would come with certain inconveniences like a lower detection rate which is caused by the fact that it's a cloud based product and not definition based.For an excellent paid antivirus I would recommend ESET NOD32 Antivirus 8 for the following reasons.
  • Excellent 0-day threat prevention
  • Very user friendly
  • Surprisingly lightweight for a paid AV
  • Install and forget
  • The only inconvenience is that it's a paid product ($39.99)
  • Gamer mode (Use gamer mode to avoid pop-ups and postpone updates.)
  • Excellent detection of Potentially Unwanted Programs. Which was in your case
But don't take my word for it! Install both and see which one suits your needs.
 

Soulweave

Moderator
Verified
Content Creator
Staff member
As I'm on my mobile right now I can't really type that fast nor accurate but will edit the post with my old configuration for online gaming. Will edit shortly.


Edit: sorry for the delay. Here are my old configurations:

FREE: Avast or AVG free. Both are decent enough however I would personally do a custom install of avast and remove their bundled tools (the list of tools and modules in the middle )

PAID: Webroot secureanywhere Antivirus or ESET or Symantec Norton. Webroot works a little different from other solutions and it's mainly a cloud base but does have some decent protecton aND in case of an infection detected it's roll back feature will roll back all the changes made by the infection. ESET offers good protection by default but if you want that little extra then you have to learn the HIPS way of ESET and configure it which requires switching to learning mode for a few days and then activate one of the following: smart mode (recommended for new users who just used learning mode for rules to be recorded) interactive mode (prepare for a rain of pop up dialogs but the plus side is you have full control of what changes are done) and finally my personal favorite which is policy based mode: if action is not present in list of rules it will block the operation.

Symantec offers decent protection as well but doesn't have HIPS.

On both free and paid solutions I used the standard windows firewall so there is no need really to go Internet security versions unless u like the bells and whistles (with kaspersky this doesn't apply as kaspersky Internet security has good and important protection modules not included in the antivirus version.


Hope this helps
 
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hjlbx

Hello MorganaRue,

You are going to be bombarded with suggestions.

First some questions:

How much knowledge do you have with Windows 8.1 and security software?
NOTE: Really nothing to fret over if minimal...there is always lots of help. It will just take time and effort to get it.

For example, do you readily know how to uninstall unneeded/unwanted software?

Another example, do you know how to reset your PC back to original factory setup?

Are you confident in using Windows 8.1? Have you used previous version of Windows, e.g. Windows 7?

What do you consider to be an ideal experience with antivirus software: "Set-It-and-Forget-It" or some user interaction with antivirus or you do not mind heavy interaction?

What games does your daughter play? This is an important detail for selecting a group of game specific compatible antivirus software.

What is the size of your laptop's memory (RAM)? Toshiba specs say 4 GB

What is the laptop's processor brand name and model (e.g. Intel i5-4210, AMD A8-6410)? Toshiba specs say AMD A4-4300M (did Norton Antivirus come preinstalled on your system?)

Start with these basic questions and it will quickly narrow down to a small group of suitable security software options.

Hope this helps.

hjlbx
 
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hjlbx

If the laptop specs highlighted in blue in post above are correct, then you need an AV that is as light as possible on system resources.

1. ESET (there are many ESET users on this forum) NOTE: See Paul Lee's post above about NOD32 AV.
ESET suite has HIPS...you will need help w/settings.
2. Bitdefender
3. Kaspersky (maybe you will not find acceptable on your system)

You may want to perform some online Google searches and see if there are any incompatibilities between the games your daughter plays and the AV listed above. If she is playing Candy Crush or equivalent type game then no need.

Bitdefender was/is offering one year giveaway. In either case, you can download trials for each and evaluate.

hjlbx

PS - you will likely have to uninstall unneeded/unwanted applications and tweak system.
 

nissimezra

New Member
ESET or 360IS
ESET has one of the best webfilter on the market. the problem when it comes to unknown malware eset seems to ket it through.
360IS has very good signatures and better to unknown malware protection. it is lighter than eset and free.
I would give 360IS a try.
so far I never had anyone that came back to me with infected pc
 

Cats-4_Owners-2

Level 37
Verified
Trusted
As BoraMurdar & miketan77 mentioned sandboxing and the free program Sandboxie,
here is a link for info. & downloading this protective program:
When a browser, AKA the port-o-call to most infections, is opened within a sandbox (Sandboxie) any changes to settings & additions such as added extensions last only until the browser is closed & the sandbox is deleted. This, in turn, protects your system from exposure to unwanted changes. It's like wearing waterproof galoshes which keep your feet warm & dry, and only being able to change socks when you've removed the protective layer.:cool:

Another easy to understand alternative is one we use on our XP system that sits in dry dock, it's called Time Freeze.
From your description, needing protection for your game loving daughter is paramount.;) As has already been mentioned, adware & malware getting through has to do with <clicking> whilst opening links of seemingly trustworthy points of interest.:confused:
Although McAffy is easy to blame, know that even with a highly rated Anti-virus we are all subject to stumbling over malicious internet :eek:potholes!

We are using ESET NOD 32 w/Windows Firewall which is a very light combination on Windows 7, & use Avast! on Windows 8.1 as we visit game sites with both computers.

You can try ESET NOD 32 free for 30 days with no obligation here:
..or opt for Avast! free here:
Thank you for sharing your configuration, MorganaRue, and for practicing good online parenting (..whom would have thought?o_O:p) for your daughter. Well done!:D

PS You have no bad choices!;)

Edit: Here's another choice,
360 IS, you can read more about on the safe download site, Softpedia:
 
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nissimezra

New Member
As BoraMurdar & miketan77 mentioned sandboxing and the free program Sandboxie,
here is a link for info. & downloading this protective program:
When a browser, AKA the port-o-call to most infections, is opened within a sandbox (Sandboxie) any changes to settings & additions such as added extensions last only until the browser is close & the sandbox is deleted. It's like wearing waterproof galoshes which keep your feet warm & dry, but only being able to change socks when you remove the protective layer.:cool:

Another easy to understand alternative is one I use on our XP system that sits in dry dock, it's called Time Freeze.
From your description, needing protection for your game loving daughter is paramount.;) As has already been mentioned, adware & malware getting through has to do with <clicking> whilst opening links or seemingly trustworthy points of interest.:confused:
Although McAffy is easy to blame, know that even with a highly rated Anti-virus we are all subject to stumbling over malicious internet :eek:potholes!

We are using ESET NOD 32 w/Windows Firewall which is very light combination on Windows 7, & use Avast! on Windows 8.1, and visit game sites with both computers.

You can try ESET NOD 32 free for 30 day with no obligation here:
..or opt for Avast! free here:
Thank you for sharing your configuration, MorganaRue, and for practicing good online parenting (..whom would have thought?o_O:p) for your daughter. Well done!:D

PS You have no bad choices!;)

Edit: Here's another choice,
360 IS, you can read more about on the safe download site, Softpedia:
i know you are sandboxie fan but i did not like having it on my pc. it started after a month to delay the first start of the browser and after 2 months started to crash. i wouldn't want this c..p on my os.

cheers
 

Jaspion

Level 16
Verified
No one antivirus, internet security package, combo or any software alone will ever protect you and your family 100%. This is very serious.

The best thing you can do is educate her. Learn yourself what you still need to learn, remember there's always new types of threats and defense mechanisms being invented so keep at least minimally up with tech news, and pass this knowledge on to her. Teach her, for example, how to use VirusTotal for file and URL checking, along with how to operate the antivirus of your choice. Teach her how to identify potentially malicious websites and files, and how to identify phishing messages. She can learn how to play so many games, I'm sure, that learning those basics will be a piece of cake. And once you two understand those few basics, you'll be able to do a much better job than any antivirus on the planet.
 

nissimezra

New Member
No one antivirus, internet security package, combo or any software alone will ever protect you and your family 100%. This is very serious.

The best thing you can do is educate her. Learn yourself what you still need to learn, remember there's always new types of threats and defense mechanisms being invented so keep at least minimally up with tech news, and pass this knowledge on to her. Teach her, for example, how to use VirusTotal for file and URL checking, along with how to operate the antivirus of your choice. Teach her how to identify potentially malicious websites and files, and how to identify phishing messages. She can learn how to play so many games, I'm sure, that learning those basics will be a piece of cake. And once you two understand those few basics, you'll be able to do a much better job than any antivirus on the planet.
"The best thing you can do is educate her".
its easy for you to say educate her, they dont want to know and they dont care, the have daddy to fix the problem. all they care is facebook and movies, they dont want to know what AV means. girls
 

Jaspion

Level 16
Verified
"The best thing you can do is educate her".
its easy for you to say educate her, they dont want to know and they dont care, the have daddy to fix the problem. all they care is facebook and movies, they dont want to know what AV means. girls
It's not that hard to educate either. Begin with "you must learn this and that..." and you will surely be welcomed by a negative response. Warn that the infection will happen again, without the proper training. When the child still refuses to see the value of the lesson, just let nature take its course, and then the next time their facebook account is stolen or whatever, maybe they'll start giving a little more attention to this. :D
 

jamescv7

Level 61
Verified
Trusted
When dealing games on the web browser be sure on trusted sites that uses flash player/ Java legitimately and don't click any pop ups therefore adblockers are needed.

Windows Defender is a baseline antivirus therefore it can detect common usual threats but needs alongside like the MBAM premium made.

You need backup and recovery like additional USB/External HDD so that you can have files to store and easy accessible in case of emergency.
 

Jack

Level 85
Verified
Staff member
My daughter is an online gamer and runs Windows 8.1 on a 64-bit system on a Toshiba Satellite C875D-S7331. We are currently using McAfee Antivirus Plus in conjunction with Malwarebytes Premium and AdwCleaner on demand.

Lately she has been getting bombarded with malware and adware. The latest was the Pricechop one and we had to uninstall chrome and then reinstall to get rid of it as even the AdwCleaner couldn't make it go away. (So I THINK it is gone for good now) Also, when we got Malwarebytes and did the scan, it found more than 40 malicious files on her laptop.

So, here is my problem. I have been told a lot lately that McAfee isn't a great antivirus program. In fact, it's been highly recommended to me that I get rid of it completely and purchase one that is much better. Now, since my daughter is a gamer and has been having all these problems, the research that I have been doing is leading me towards the Bitdefender and Kaspersky antivirus programs but then someone else recommended Microsoft Essentials. Can anyone advise me as to what I should be looking for and which are the best for our situation?

Thanks!
Hello and welcome to MalwareTips,

Welcome aboard! Lets secure you computer so that you never see again how the Malware Removal Assistance forum looks... :)
Real-Time Protection:
McAfee is not that great antivirus so I would uninstall it, and I would suggest that you install Avast Free Antivirus to protect your computer.
Next please tweak Avast with the following settings:

1.Enable PUP Detection:
A PUP (potentially unwanted program) is a program that may be unwanted, such as spyware, despite the possibility that users consented to download it. This usually includes: toolbars, browser hijackers or adware (ad-supported software)
  1. Open Avast, click on Settings, then on Active Protection and click on the gear next to the Files System.
  2. In the "Sensitivity", select "Scan for potentially unwanted software (PUPs)".

Next, you will need to do the same for the Web Shield so lets do it.
Click on Settings, then on Active Protection and click on the gear next to the Web Shield. Then select Sensitivity and check "Scan for potentially unwanted software (PUPs)".

2. Enable Warn when downloading files with poor reputation.
In the Web Shield field, you can enable "Warn when downloading files with poor reputation", and it does what it says.. it will warn you when you are downloading a file with a low reputation...
To enable it, click on Settings, then on Active Protection and click on the gear next to the Files System. Then select Web Shield and check Warn when downloading files with poor reputation..



3. Enable Hardened Mode (Recommended)
Hardened Mode is designed to make protection tougher without interfering with the computer usage much.
avast! by default checks suspicious files with DeepScreen within virtual environment to see how they behave. But if you use Hardened Mode, it starts to behave a bit differently.

Hardened Mode: Moderate
Under normal conditions, if avast! decides that some file is too suspicious by various characteristics, it then throws it into the DeepScren for further scanning. But if Moderate Hardened Mode is enabled, avast! automatically blocks files that are detected as suspicious by preliminary analysis.
In most cases DeepScreen checks the file and if it doesn't find obvious malicious problems with it, those files are started automatically after analysis. But Hardened Mode (Moderate) blocks it right there.

Hardened Mode Agressive
This mode behaves a bit differently. It actually relies on analysis on a very small scale and mostly relies on a huge whitelist database located in avast! Cloud. If file is located within the cloud and flagged as safe, it will allow to run it. If it's not found or marked as bad, it will block it. So, at least based on my experience, Aggressive Mode is actually much more secure and also a lot less intrusive. Only time that it will cause problems is with some very rare old software or very very new software that isn't used by thousands of users. Usually some very specialized programs used by only few users.
Moderate mode often feels a bit too paranoid (despite its name) because it often blocks safe programs just because they exhibit local suspicious file characteristics that are basically ignored by the Aggressive mode.

To enable Avast's Hardened mode to go:
Open Avast, click on Settings, then on Antivirus and check "Enable Hardened Mode", then put a check-mark on Aggressive or Moderated as you wish.



2. Browser Protection:
Chrome AdBlocker (uBlock) - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/µblock/cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm?hl=en
Firefox AdBlocker: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/
You need an adblocker becauser apart from the simple fact that most ads are annoying, some of them might even lead you to adware or potentially unwanted programs. This add-on will block all the ads from a web page, making it look very clean and neat!

WOT (Web of Trust):
Firefox Download Link: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/wot-safe-browsing-tool/
Chrome Download Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/wot/bhmmomiinigofkjcapegjjndpbikblnp?hl=en
To help you avoid malicious sites you can use Web of Trust (WOT) a website rating browser plugin. After you add it to your browser make sure you only visit websites rated "Green" by WOT. Here is how it works:


3. On-demand scanners
An on-demand scanners is a type of antivirus program that actively scans your computer for malware only when prompted to do so by the computer user, or by scheduling it as a time-specific task. Unlike a traditional antivirus, an on-demand scanner will NOT protect your computer in Real-Time.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro are two of the most known and used on-demand scanners. It's a good idea to have them installed on your machine, and perform regular scans with these anti-malware software.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - Download link
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware's industry-leading scanner detects and removes malware like worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and more. All you have to do is launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and run a scan.

Hitman Pro - Download Link
An on-demand scanner using multiple anti-malware engines and cloud technology. It offers unlimited free scanning but once you use it to remove detected malware it switches to a 30-day trial version. I recommend using it after you've scanned your hard-drive with the other products you have installed

4. Virtualization
A virtualization software will allow you to browse the web or run another application in a completely safe environment. This is especially useful when visiting high-risk web sites, whether accidentally or deliberately, as the Web browser will be completely contained within the virtual enviroment, preventing any damage to your computer.
A sandbox can also be used to run any other applications which you think may be suspect - you can run the program inside the sandbox to determine whether or not it is safe while remaining completely protected against any malicious actions that it may try to carry out.
I strongly advise you to install Sandboxie and use it for when you're browsing the Internet or running shady or unknown programs. Sandboxie (Free/Paid) - link
Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer.


Always run suspicious of freshly downloaded files in a Sandboxie to verify that he download isn't compromised! Sandboxie will replicate perfectly your operating system so all the files should run without any problems in it.
If you learn how to properly use Sandboxie, then you really decrease your chances of gettings an infection, I'm always running my web browser sandbox just to be on the safe side.....

5. Tips from MalwareTips to keep your computer clean
The single biggest factor in preventing a malware infection on your PC is YOU.
You don’t need expert knowledge or special training.You just need vigilance to avoid downloading and installing anything you do not understand or trust, no matter how tempting might be!

Below you can read , some tips on how to easily avoid a computer infection.Follow them and we can guarantee, that you’ll never have to deal with an infected PC.

1. Avoid running programs that where downloaded from a untrustworthy source or don’t have a digital signature.
Before clicking the ‘Run‘ button make sure you know what the program is and always keep in mind from where you got it.



Everyone has seen this type of alert however most of the user for a reason or another, decide to ignore it and allow the file to run without any kind of restriction.

Files that don’t have a digital signature or were downloaded from a unknown source should always be treated as dangerous.

I strongly recommend that you check each file before allowing it to run :

  1. Scan it with your antivirus.
  2. Scan it with an on-demad scanner (programs that you can install on your computer and use them only for scans) like HitmanPro and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
  3. Submit the file to virustotal.com, a site which will scan your program with the 43 known antivirus engines.
Even so it’s strongly recommended that you run the file in a virtual environment like Sandboxie.

2.Avoid keygens,cracks and other warez
Keygen , cracks and patches are the most common ways of getting your PC infected.
I strongly advise you to avoid them, as there is little quality control in the world of illegal software, and it is easy for an attacker to name a piece of malware after a popular movie, album, or program to tempt you into downloading it.



3. Download files only from trusted sources.
You can drastically reduce the risk of an infection by knowing what and from where you are downloading a file.
We recommend that you install a site advisor like Web of Trust or Norton Safe Web, which will help you decide if the site is trustworthy or not.

As a general rule it’s recommended that you download files from known and reputable sites that have confirmed that the download is malware free.
If you are unsure about the quality of a download, leave the site and research the software you are being asked to install. If it is OK, you can always come back to site and install it. If it is not OK, you will avoid a malware headache.

4. Use common sense while online
Finding something on the internet does not guarantee that it is true. Anyone can publish information online, so before accepting a statement as fact or taking action, verify that the source is reliable.
If it’s sounds to good to be truth then most likely is!
You’ll not win the lottery and you’ll not get an amazing prize on the Internet so don’t fall for this type of scams.
Ignore emails or websites who promise you a great prize as there is always a catch behind this type of promises.
Completing a survey will not grant you a iPhone or 1000$ instead it will give the cyber criminals your personal details.

5. Keep your computer up-to-date and secure
Always update your OS or software when an update is available as this can greatly reduce the chances of an exploit.
Also keep in mind that a simple antivirus engine doesn’t do the job anymore, you need to have a layered system protection as malware threats are constantly changing and improving thus making the antivirus engine obsolete.
An antivirus engine, firewall , host intrusion prevention system, a site advisor and sandbox are security layers which every computer needs to be safe in today’s world.
You can build up your malware defenses with our help by starting a thread in our Security Configuration Wizard forum.
Another common mistake made by Windows users is to disable the User Account Control.
The way Microsoft found to keep security, comfort and function in balance by integrating User Account Control (UAC) that seamlessly, is one of the benefits Windows 7 offers.When using a Limited/Standard User Account , your user profile might still getting compromised, but not Windows 7 basic operating system in the background. Even your profile got hit, all your pictures, MP3 files or documents can be restored easily by logging in to another account that is not yet compromised.

I strongly advise you to let this Windows feature enabled and pay a very close attention to this pop-ups , as this could save your PC from an infection.

Other Quick Security Tips :
    • Uninstall Java if you don’t really need it as this is one of the most exploited programs.
    • Use complex passwords for you online accounts – Passwords should be a minimum of eight characters and contain a combination of letters (uppercase/lowercase), numbers, and special symbols (!,@, #, &, %,*)
    • Do not open email attachments from unknown sources or files sent through an instant messenger
    • Don’t give out your details to people who don’t have a legitimate need to know them.
    • While on social networks it’s best to be reserved when allowing people to see your profile or updates.



Welcome to MalwareTips
 
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hjlbx

Hello Jack,

Your post is an example of solid starting point along with some step-by-step help instructions.

Basics covered.

Hopefully person will review.

Thanks,

hjlbx