Question What is a good malware/virus scanner for Windows 7 ?

M-train

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Dec 16, 2015
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I few days ago I clicked into a questionable site, and got a popup about, " PC security might be at risk".

Of course I didn't open it, but the next day I noticed that I started getting more ads in just about all of the website I normally visit. I've got Adblocker, and Ghostery install for which have taken care of just about all ads including Youtube ads.

Today I got an email saying that another source was trying to use my Netflix account, user name "web browser".

Anyway, I seem to remember a free virus/malware scan which would scan, and eliminate any found threats.

I don't remember what it was, of course that was several years ago, so what is everyone using today?

Also, I'm using Firefox as my browser.

Thanks.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Malwarebytes no longer "really" has a free version. They have a free trial of 14 days, and after that it reverts to only some basic antivirus protection with no protection against, malware, spyware, adware, etc.
 
What you see on the internet changing due to perhaps getting a bad pop up or whatnot may not affect the OS in a way that anti-malware software can detect. For example, the website may contain a malicious payload that modifies the settings in the web browser, but since the web browser was already flagged as trusted software, anti-malware won't do anything with it.
 
I few days ago I clicked into a questionable site, and got a popup about, " PC security might be at risk".

Of course I didn't open it, but the next day I noticed that I started getting more ads in just about all of the website I normally visit. I've got Adblocker, and Ghostery install for which have taken care of just about all ads including Youtube ads.

Today I got an email saying that another source was trying to use my Netflix account, user name "web browser".

Anyway, I seem to remember a free virus/malware scan which would scan, and eliminate any found threats.

I don't remember what it was, of course that was several years ago, so what is everyone using today?

Also, I'm using Firefox as my browser.

Thanks.
Give avast free a look.
 

TheFlash1300

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Mar 15, 2022
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I few days ago I clicked into a questionable site, and got a popup about, " PC security might be at risk".
This was a scam. The purpose of the scam wast o make you believe your PC has a virus, so you can download the offered program that will install malicious software on your PC, while pretending to be a safe program that protects your PC. Never believe such pop-up ads.

Of course I didn't open it, but the next day I noticed that I started getting more ads in just about all of the website I normally visit.
It seems the malicious ad has executed an algorithm that redirects similar ads to your browser. You probably need to make a clean install of your browser.

Today I got an email saying that another source was trying to use my Netflix account, user name "web browser".
Dont click on the links in the e-mail. Just go to your Netflix account, and change your password, if you think it's likely that someone stole your password.

Anyway, I seem to remember a free virus/malware scan which would scan, and eliminate any found threats.

I don't remember what it was, of course that was several years ago, so what is everyone using today?
Maybe Avast and AVG? Those two are popular free anti-virus programs. In m opinion, Avast is the best anti-virus app, even better than Windows Defender. It has many more options than Windows Defender, it even can scan Wi-Fi networks.

If you don't use specific software that isn't compatible with newer than Windows 7 editions, you should move to Windows 10 or 11, because they are much more secure than Windows 7. I have a computer with Windows 7, and i still use it, because my coding project is compatible only with Windows 7, and not with newer versions of Windows. For a person who doesn't engage in specific activities that are possible only on old Windows editions, there is really no reason for such a person to use old Windows editions.

Don't worry about your PC's specifications. If your PC is powerful enough to be able to run Windows XP and 7, It will be also powerful enough to run Windows 10.
 

TheFlash1300

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Mar 15, 2022
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But for Win 7, Microsoft Security Essentials and MalwareBytes.
And that squishy stuff between your ears.
Microsoft Security Essentials will be no longer supported soon. As far as I know, support for MSE will end in 2023.

Windows 7 also have Windows Defender. Windows Defender on Win7 should be supported for as long as Windows Defender on any other Windows edition, like Windows 10 and 11. I think Windows Defender for Windows 7 is part of the same support program as Windows Defender for Windows 10 and 11, and any other future Windows OS is.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Microsoft Security Essentials will be no longer supported soon. As far as I know, support for MSE will end in 2023.

Windows 7 also have Windows Defender. Windows Defender on Win7 should be supported for as long as Windows Defender on any other Windows edition, like Windows 10 and 11. I think Windows Defender for Windows 7 is part of the same support program as Windows Defender for Windows 10 and 11, and any other future Windows OS is.
And by then, Win 7 will be 14 yrs old, and off support for 3.

At some point, its time to move on.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Besides which, Windows defender in Windows 7 is EXTREMELY limited in capability, unlike in later versions of Windows, which is why MS recommends MSE for that OS version. But, yeah, it's REALLY, REALLY time for people on 7 to move on. If you can run 7 you can run 8.1 and if you can run 8.1 you can almost certainly run 10.
 

Selynelar

Reputable
Feb 19, 2019
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I was in the same dilemma before. Also used win 10 built in defender but my problem was that sometimes it detected some of my legal and for sure not infected programs. So I decided to use Eset Internet Security. I have to say knock-knock-knock(finger cross) it catches evry suspicious site and file and also very system friendly.
As my main browser is the built in win 10 Edge. I am very impressed with it and it is well secured.


Oohh I just saw you use win 7.
The thing is that already most of the av-s I dont think they support still win7.
 

M-train

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Dec 16, 2015
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Thanks for all of the advice. I'm giving avast a try.

Also, I have win10 on my wife's laptop, and even with classic shell install, I still hate win 10 with a passion.
 

Selynelar

Reputable
Feb 19, 2019
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To be honest I was few years ago very sceptic before I changed it to. But now beleive me it is stable system. I am now in same situation with Win 11. I wait for the change untill all the bugs are fixed in it and become more trustable than now. So lets say like 1more year :)
The thing is that sooner or later you are going to be forced for change. Even win 10 is supported only till 2025 so I bet for you now is necessary to change.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Thanks for all of the advice. I'm giving avast a try.

Also, I have win10 on my wife's laptop, and even with classic shell install, I still hate win 10 with a passion.
I hate that they don't sell cars with standard transmissions anymore, but you know, the world moves on and you have to either move on with it or start digging a hole to climb into and hope somebody will fill it in for you once you get down there so you don't have to spend every night looking up at the stars while laying in a cold hole. LOL.
 

MJS WARLORD

Honorable
As well as my av i use malwarebytes and their adw scanner , i had a isp provided copy of Macaffee on my spare pc , i was given some copy's of our companies cad and put it on the pc and because i am geeky i scanned with the av and malwarebytes , the malwarebytes found multi segment pups and other nasties that the av missed.

I gave a print out of the infections i had found to the guy at work who had given me the software , he said at least i know why my work pc,s keep crashing , the problem was he could not tell the company owner or he would have wanted to know how he found out about the infections , as far as i know all the work cad machines are still infected
 

TheFlash1300

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Mar 15, 2022
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And by then, Win 7 will be 14 yrs old, and off support for 3.

At some point, its time to move on.
If you don't want telemetry, trackers, algorithms, uninstallable apps, forced updates, forced ads, legal spyware and Bloatware, etc... to invade your computer, then you don't have to move on.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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If you don't want telemetry, trackers, algorithms, uninstallable apps, forced updates, forced ads, legal spyware and Bloatware, etc... to invade your computer, then you don't have to move on.
I keep hearing people say all those buzzwords, hinting that they are BadThings.

Yes, forced updates happen. And that is not a BadThing at all.


For the others? I'd be MUCH more concerned with your cell phone, and all the other software you use.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If you don't want telemetry, trackers, algorithms, uninstallable apps, forced updates, forced ads, legal spyware and Bloatware, etc... to invade your computer, then you don't have to move on.
You don't care about any of this when it comes to your phone, so I don't get why people constantly cry about it when it comes to their desktop. Besides which, every one of those things is avoidable on ANY version of Windows if you use the right utilities. Not knowing those utilities exist SHOULD equal not conversing about them as if a person is a highly experienced expert. And when using an OS that will no longer get security updates anymore in 2023, and for the record it will ONLY have been getting them since 2020 if you paid for the extended security update program, that's a WAY, WAY bigger concern than anything you've listed.
 
If you don't want telemetry, trackers, algorithms, uninstallable apps, forced updates, forced ads, legal spyware and Bloatware, etc... to invade your computer, then you don't have to move on.
Windows 7 already does most of this and at some point an update was pushed to include the same or similar telemetry tracking as Windows 10.

Let me fuel your paranoia even more:
  • Sure you could move on to say Linux, but how do you know that the installer you took from the internet is actually clean?
  • Sure you could run an MD5 on it, but how do you trust that someone didn't taint the installer from the server you got it from and replaced the MD5 on the server as well?
  • Sure you could download the source code for the OS, but how do you know the source code wasn't tainted? Are you going to sift through each line?
  • Sure you could do all that and then compile it, but how do you know the compiler you're using is trusted? Because there's something called the Ken Thopson Hack where a compiler can be made to insert a backdoor in any program and if anyone tries to look at it, it can subvert said analysis.
  • So you decide maybe you could find a way to examine the machine code of the compiler you're using to verify it can be trusted, except how do you know your hardware isn't tainted? This isn't limited to the firmware the hardware runs, but the actual transistors and such that is etched into the silicon.
The ultimate answer to computer security is simple: don't use a computer.
 
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