Having problems with your computer running too slowly -or with computer viruses? See THIS:

Alert Icon "Five plus" (5+) Free ANTI-VIRUS solutions (2 from Microsoft)
--Published: Friday, 15 October 2010, and UPDATED today, as of: Wednesday, 22 March 2017, courtesy: The Register

FIRST of 5: (a) Microsoft Security Essentials: http://www.Microsoft.com/security_essentials ** (What!? This redirects to https://www.Microsoft.com/en-us/windows)

OK, we all know that Microsoft Security Essentials is now outdated, but you can still download it here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5201 and you can manually update it here: https://Support.Microsoft.com/en-us/help/971606/how-to-manually-download-the-latest-definition-updates-for-microsoft-security-essentials, which may be necessary because the 'updates' function may not work when using the program, itself. (I've noticed that it doesn't work on my desktop, but does seem to update on my laptop, both running Windows XP.)

While I, myself, may run XP and Security Essentials (and both seem to work), both the XP Operating System (OS) and Security Essentials are officially outdated and unsupported by Microsoft, which may be why it doesn't update in the normal way on my desktop computer (but only by downloading and running the update).

However, please know that "Windows Defender is built into the latest versions of Windows," according to: https://Support.Microsoft.com/en-us/help/14210/security-essentials-download, and it is basically the replacement and update/upgrade to Microsoft Security Essentials. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED: So, if you decide to use an older, unsupported antivirus program or OS, you proceed at your own risk. But, for older computers, running XP, for example, this may be the only Microsoft Program that is any good. Nonetheless, other, nonMicrosoft antivirus programs, do exist. Read on...

SECOND of 5: (b) Malicious Software Removal Tool: http://www.Microsoft.com/security/pc-security/malware-removal.aspx ** What!? This redirects to https://www.Microsoft.com/library/errorpages/smarterror.aspx It may be better to look at the next link, which, as of publication date, seems to be a good, link: http://www.Microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.aspx

*** SPECIAL UPDATE as of today (Wednesday, 22 March 2017)

Do you see the bad link, above? Do you know how I found out about it? Well, credit must be given to CompariTech.com:

I got an email from one Jeff Grant, who works for their marketing agency, and, yesterday, Jeff informed me, in his 03/21/2017, 06:45:42am (EDT) email, that the "http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/malware-removal.aspx" link (above) was a bad link on this page.

Jeff goes on to say that: "We've recently published a guide to Windows Malware Removal and Prevention and it may make a good replacement; you can see the guide here - https://www.comparitech.com/blog/information-security/windows-malware-removal-prevention/." -- OK, since he was good enough to show me this, I will give him free advertisement, as he asks:

This is an excellent article by Samuel Cook, a freelance writer with a special love for internet privacy and security. Mr. Cook writes on all aspects of internet security issues, including the many uses of VPNs. Here is his article:

** Official CompariTech.com link

** Google cache of their page

** Archive.org "WayBack Machine" snapshot

** The Register's Fair Use snapshot/cache

Moreover, I asked them how they were able to email me about this? I.e., was it a 'bot' alone that found the link, emailed me about it, and addressed me by name? (If so, this was an impressive programme!) Or, rather, was it by manpower alone? (If so, the staff must be commended.) Their boss, Richard Patterson, wrote me back, and he said, in relevant, succinct part, that: "Jeff works at our marketing agency. I know they use automation to find broken links and for contact information but the email will have come from Jeff himself rather than a bot. So to answer your question a mix of automation and good old fashioned manpower!" -- I also asked Richard what other anti-virus programs I might include, here. He suggested this: "When you say other ideas, do you mean for ideas for more links/listings on your anti-virus page? If so Avast and Avira both have free anti-virus so could be worth including (Avast is usually the higher rated of the two). BitDefender also has a limited but still good free version which is worth a mention too in my view. I see you also list Microsoft Security Essentials which now comes built in to Windows 10 under the name Windows Defender so it could be worth mentioning that." -- OK, I'll include them - with comments - below:

** https://www.Avast.com (Comments: I've tried it, and it is excellent but uses up loads of RAM resources, and thereby slows down my computer, an old Windows XP machine, so I gave Avast the boot!)

** https://www.Avira.com (Comments: I don't know about this, but I do recall that it is highly recommended by many experts, not just CompariTech.)

** https://www.BitDefender.com (Comments: Again, I don't know much about this programme, but if you download and program from the Internet, follow these THREE (3) precautions: First (1st), make sure it's recommended by several experts in the field. Secondly (2nd), download it ONLY from its 'official' website, unless it's a place you know and trust. Third (3rd) and last: Once you download it, I recommend you right-click and scan for viruses with ALL your antivirus software FIRST before even THINKING about opening and/or running it.

Thanks for the replies, Richard. I'm giving you free press on both of my mirrors (GordonWatts.com on GoDaddy and GordonWayneWatts.com on HostGator).

Gordon Wayne Watts, tech writer - and Editor-in-Chief, The Register

THIRD of 5: (c) MalWareBytes: http://www.MalWareBytes.org ** Notes: I have the 'paid' version, which has real-time protection, and, at last check, had a 'lifetime' license for a one-time fee. Both Microsoft Security Essentials (which is technically outdated) and MalWareBytes (a nonMicrosoft antiVirus program) have real time protection, and seem to, occasionally catch viruses when surfing online and/or downloading things. Also, while many places to not recommend you run these programs together, they seem to cooperate and work well, running together, on my computers.

This program, MaleWareBytes, is not from Microsoft, but the computer geeks that sold me most of my computers (and are the main techs to work on them when they have problems), recommend that I get the 'paid' version, and, so, I made an exception to the "only get free programs" rule, and I got MalWareBytes' paid version.

FOURTH of 5: (d) tdssKiller.exe from KASPERSKY: Since these 3 programs still fell short on one recent occasion when I could not get MICROSOFT'S Security Essentials to update, I am including mention of one other program that I had to use that bailed me out of trouble then: Microsoft's support gave me a FREE help session online while we chatted on the telephone, and they had to use a program called TDSSkiller.exe, a root-kit removal tool: http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/solutions?qid=208280684 ** What!? I get the following error message: "This site canít be reached [line-break] took too long to respond. [line-break] Check your internet connection..." OK, let's look elsewhere:






[BONUS: Four and a half (4Ĺ) of 5] (-x-) Safe Mode: Even those 4 didn't work recently -that's right: I got a 2nd virus, and I took my computer in to the repair shop to get the virus removed. What did they advise? As I recall, they said I could start my computer in the Safe Mode (by tapping F8 during start-up), and possible use Safe Mode with Networking, then update my software, and run a complete scan. You see, some virii (viruses) won't let you open your anti-virus software unless you run in Safe Mode. If you don't know what Safe Mode is, ask someone - preferably your computer tech.

FIFTH of 5: (e) CCleaner: This 5th program is not strictly an 'anti-virus' program, but I've heard from reliable sources that it *is* recommended by the Tech Guy who has the computer talk show on WFLA-talk-970 AM - and, indeed, its ability to remove junk files and keep the registry clean *does* help in removing some low-level viruses that infect Temp Internet files and the registry. Without any further ado, here's the link to CCleaner, one of my favorite programs to remove junk files that Microsoft's tool (e.g., accessible by the right-click on the C:/ drive's "Disk Cleanup" tool) sometimes misses.

* http://www.CCleaner.com is the official link, but CCleaner is apparently owned by Piriform, whose official link is: http://www.Piriform.com/ccleaner

If my advice backfires, you're on your own: I'm only human, after all, but I am intent on being a good neighbour & a Good Samaritan.

BONUS – Extra Credit: Oh, this just in: STAY UPDATED with the latest Microsoft Windows updates: Latest bug fixes for Microsoft Windows, including fixes for some possible DoS (Denial of Service) attacks:

* http://WindowsUpdate.Microsoft.com, which, in my case, led to this link:

* http://www.Update.Microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us, but it may lead to a different link if it depends on what OS (Operating System) you use.

(-: . . These programs work for me. :-)
#-1-Get them; #2-update them B4 use, and #3-run them each time b4 you get going 4 the day. (-#4-) i¡JUST DO IT!!

NOTE: Oh, one VERY important thing: Before you actually 'open' or 'run' ANY program that you download from the Internet (and/or get in an email), I would recommend that you follow these THREE (3) precautions: First (1st), make sure it's recommended by several experts in the field. Secondly (2nd), download it ONLY from its 'official' website, unless it's a place you know and trust. Third (3rd) and last: Once you download it, I recommend you right-click and scan for viruses with ALL your antivirus software FIRST before even THINKING about opening and/or running it. BEARS REPEATING, so I shall: right-click on it (after you download it), and scan it for computer virii (viruses) with ALL your anti-virus programs, BUT not before you make sure said program(s) is/are updated, themselves. Got it? Even with so-called "anti-virus" programs, you MUST NOT simply 'assume' that they're safe, but rather check them out first.

CRITICAL UPDATE: As of today, Saturday, 19 October 2010, I just realised that I have recently updated to the 'paid' version of MalWareBytes, simply because at like 25-30 dollars (I forget exactly), it is not that expensive. I wasn't going to get it, but my computer techs (who sold me my computer AND who sometimes do free work for me!) recommended I update to the paid version of MalWareBytes because it has real-time protection AND (more importantly) gets a few things that Microsoft security Essentials misses. ~~ Microsoft Security Essentials (which is free, remember?), however, also has real-time protection. --END of Critical Update.

CRITICAL UPDATE: As of today, Tuesday, 03 May 2011, I just realised that I have NOT given proper credit to my computer techs (and so they get some free advertisement here). Remember when I said that I took their advice to upgrade to the paid version of MaleWareBytes, which has real-time protection? Well, I normally DON'T get any anti-virus programs other than free ones. However, once when I was infected, one computer shop told me they couldn't fix the problem unless they erased my files & reinstalled Windows -and they charged me to say that. MY computer shop, however, FIXED the problem -and did NOT charge me --simply because they were grateful I had purchased from them in the very distant past. You know who I trusted after that, so I will give you their names to give them credit: TechMate, LLC is their name, and they are located at: 1107 3rd St SW #4, Winter Haven, FL 33880. Their website is:http://www.TechMateFL.com -- Click here to see a Google map ***

ALSO IMPORTANT: Besides protecting against viruses (aka 'virii,' plural of: 'Virus' --- think: disinfectant), you also need to regularly 'check the disk' for errors (the "check disk" utility is like making sure your walls don't have holes in them or have exposed electrical outlets). You can get to check disk by right clicking on C:/ --- You also need to remove junk files (think: throwing out the trash with both the 'right-click' on C:\ utility and CCleaner above). FURTHERMORE, you need to regularly Defragment the computer (comparable to keeping your room organised so you can find things quicker).

PS: These aren't the **only** anti-virus programs out there; these are just the webmaster's current favourites, but do realise that there are other programs: Don't be off-centre. -- Get with the programme, and cheque it out by doing a 'Google' or 'Yahoo!' search: http://Google.com --- http://Yahoo.com (Did you catch the British spellings above? I'm part British in ancestry, and I underlined them!)

Gordon Wayne Watts

* http://GordonWatts.com
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