Here’s a typical example of what I go through when removing viruses and spyware from a computer:
AVG (the free version) seems to be fairly popular and I used it for a number of years. But when I came across a particular type of spyware that installed a “fake” antivirus, AVG hadn’t a clue that this had happened. It would detect the viruses being installed on by the spyware but not the spyware itself.
My solution was to download Malwarebyte’s Anti-malware from www.malwarebytes.org. Reboot the computer in “Safe Mode” then install Malwarebytes and scan the computer. When I tried to do this without booting to Safe Mode, the spyware would detect Malwarebytes and delete the executable preventing the Anti-Malware from running.
When this was finished I would reboot the computer as normal, do an update for Malwarebytes. If an update was available I would run another scan to catch anything the previous definitions missed.
Once this was done I would remove “AVG Free” from the computer and install Avira Antivirus. They have a free-for-personal-use version available from www.avira.com/free. I update the virus database and scan the computer, removing any “left-over” viruses from the system.
Sometimes as an added precaution I would download Spybot-Search & Destroy from www.safer-networking.org, install it, update the definitions and run an additional spyware scan. Although Malwarebytes has found the majority of the malicious software I’ve come across, Spybot is good for picking up what Malwarebytes missed.
A quick note on Avira. When I installed Avira and did a scan, I had also installed at the time Windows Defender. When I scanned the computer for viruses and spyware every time Avira detected something Windows Defender would also indicate something had been detected. I suppose that’s saying something for Windows Defender. I also noticed Avira was pretty good at catching spyware that “AVG Free” tended to miss.
This post may seem a bit derogatory towards “AVG Free” but it’s what I’ve personally experienced. As for “AVG Professional” (the one you pay for) I’m under the impression it has more enhanced spyware detection ability but I couldn’t say for sure as I’ve never used it.
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