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I got this Antivirus Soft installed. It was awfully annoying and my antiviruses (yes, I have more than one) just didn't do anything. So, now I am afraid they might be compromised or something. I am really worried about keyloggers or virus that upload any information/personal files to the web. Is there a way to relieve myself without having to format?

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to make totally sure, disconnect any network cables from your computer and disable or remove any wireless cards. to make absolutely, totally sure, turn your computer off. –  quack quixote Mar 1 '10 at 10:19

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

For a start, multiple anti virus engines is a VERY bad idea.

Next, you really can never be 100% sure your machine is malware free, the best you can do is simply to install legitimate software, install all updates and then a good antivirus (such as Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows).

lastly, don't download pirate or software that you don't trust - I cannot say this enough. Anything can be infected.

Now, just be careful when browsing the internet.

For good general virus help/information, take a look here.

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+1 for multiple anti virus engines is a VERY bad idea –  Nifle Mar 1 '10 at 9:10
    
But why is it a bad idea, or even a very bad idea? –  Arjan Mar 13 '10 at 11:25
    
@Arjan van Bentem - Simple, multiple AV engines do not understand that there are other AV engines on the machine, if you have two "active" scanners, you can get in to endless loops of scanning files or other unforseen problems. –  William Hilsum Mar 14 '10 at 6:53

As @Wil commented, multiple AV engines running at the same time is counter-productive.

To verify nothing gets transmitted from your machine, use a sniffer (like Wireshark etc.) or download TcpView from SysInternals. It'll show you which applications are in contact with the outside world. If you stop all you regular browsing/streaming/download activity - the apps that are left are worth inspection (mind you, they might be innocent OS components, so don't just go hacking randomly :))

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