Tuesday, December 18, 2007

MUST-HAVE Free Security Utilities

Ten free security utilities you should already be using:

  1. Secunia Personal Software Inspector, quite possibly the most useful and important free application you can have running on your Windows machine. It can be used to scan all the installed applications on the PC to determine which programs are missing security patches/updates.

  2. OpenDNS is a must-have free service (there's no software to install) that speeds up Web surfing, corrects domain typos on the fly and protects you from phishing scams. All you do is change your DNS settings (instructions here) to the OpenDNS servers: and

  3. America Online's Active Virus Shield, powered by Kaspersky Lab, is one of the better free anti-virus packages available for Windows users. The program installs smoothly, pulls down hourly virus definition signatures from Kaspersky Lab and features real-time protection (including e-mail scanning).

  4. Haute Secure is a browser plug-in currently available for Microsoft's Internet Explorer that does real-time blocking of drive-by malware downloads. The tool, the brainchild of for ex-Microsoft staffers, fits behaviour-based profiling algorithms into the browser (Firefox support is coming soon) to identify and intercept malicious files in real-time.

  5. GMER, a free rootkit scanning tool built by Polish Windows internals guru, is widely hailed as the best at ferreting out stealth rootkits from PCs. GMER does an excellent job of finding hidden processes hidden services, hidden files hidden registry keys, hidden drivers and all kinds of driver hooking.

  6. Netcraft Toolbar is effectively a giant neighbourhood watch that helps you spot phishing and other identity theft schemes. It provides a direct glimpse at the hosting location and Risk Rating of every site you visit.

  7. File Shredder is a must-have privacy tool that wipes/destroys documents beyond recovery. With File Shredder, you can choose between 5 different shredding algorithms, each one gradually stronger than the previous one to get rid of files forever.

  8. CCleaner can remove unused files, temporary files, URL history, cookies from the three main Web browsers (IE, Firefox and Opera). It can also be used to delete temp files and recent file lists for all those third-party applications sitting on your PC.

  9. PC Decrapifier does exactly that -- removes crapware that comes pre-installed on Windows computers. This program will not remove crapware from older computers but is perfect for new machines that ships with trialware.

  10. NoScript for Firefox must-have Firefox extension does pre-emptive blocking malicious scripts and allows JavaScript, Java and other potentially dangerous content only from sites you trust.

1 comment:

Rina Huang said...

Thanks for the share Shoaib Yousuf. I use as the primary DNS :)