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Anti-Virus Programs & References

Free Utility Stops Internet Explorer Browser Hijacking

There's a browser hijacking plague at the moment. All it takes is a visit to a pushy web site or a loaded shareware install and next minute your Internet Explorer homepage has been changed, your default search setting altered or phantom bookmarks added to your favorites. This free monitor will let you know when something's trying to change your settings and pass control back to you. (394KB)

Best Free Adware/Spyware Removers

* Spybot Search and Destroy quickly hunt's down all those odious applications that are secretly bundled in with many "advertiser-supported" utilities. It also provides active protection against browser hijackers, auto-dialers and other surreptitiously downloaded scumware products. ( 2.5MB)

* Ad-aware Standard Edition is THE award winning, free, multicomponent detection and removal utility that consistently leads the industry in safety, user satisfaction, support and reliability. With its ability to comprehensively scan your memory, registry, hard, removable and optical drives for known datamining, aggressive advertising, and tracking components, Ad-aware will provide the user with the confidence to surf the Internet knowing that their privacy will remain intact. Let Ad-aware protect your privacy.

Best Free Anti-Virus Software

* AVG Antivirus 7.0 Free Edition. This product has been continuously refined since it was first released in 1991 and now offers very impressive protection capabilities. Additionally, it's relatively small, light on resources, has regular automatic updates and handles email scanning. There is a free and a pro version, the only difference being that the free version has a few non-critical features disabled and has no technical support. Even so, it's an impressive package and a offers the financially challenged a real alternative to the major anti-virus suites.(5MB)

Avast Antivirus (not free!)

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BROWSER Programs and Utilities

Share Bookmarks between Browsers

BookMarkBridge is a free open source utility that allows you to share and synchronize your bookmarks between several browsers. I've got 3 browsers installed at the moment: IE 6, Mozilla-Phoenix and Netscape 4.7. BookMarkBridge correctly identified and synchronized the first two but it couldn't cope with the old version of Netscape.(2.69MB)

Best Free Outlook Express Backup

This free utility allows you to do a full or selective backup of OE's critical files including mail folders, newsgroups, address book and identity settings. Simple, effective ... neat. (2.1MB)

* Best Free Download Accelerator

Star Downloader 1.32 is not only free of charge, it's free of ads, spyware and other undesirable extras packed into most free download accelerators. On top of that, it is blindingly fast and has a raft of features including automatic mirror site detection, automatic resumption of failed downloads, download scheduling, anti-virus integration and more. If you are not yet using a download accelerator, go get this product and start counting the time you save. The faster your internet connection, the more you will gain. Users with slow modem connections will, unfortunately, benefit least. (1.3MB)

* Best Free Spam Filter for the Average User

Mailwasher is for most folk, the easiest way of dealing with Spam. It's a free email preview utility that allows you to check your email on your mail server before you download it to your PC. The advantage of this approach is that you can kill unwanted messages including spam, viruses and large attachments before they get anywhere near your computer. But Mailwasher does more. It automatically flags for you any messages containing viruses and possible spam which makes for quick and easy identification. It also will send a message back to the spam mail sender saying that their message could not be delivered. Hopefully this will encourage some spammers to take your name off their mailing list. The current free version only handles only one POP email account but that's sufficient for most users. ( 1.35MB)
Get a previous (free) version that does handle multiple POP email accounts at:

The Best Bookmark Cleaner

AM-DeadLink scans your bookmark file for dead links or duplicate links.

* Mozilla, Mozilla-Firebird and Thunderbird Click "Download" at the top of the Mozilla page.
Mozilla includes an e-mail client. A very fast and up-to-date browser. No email client built in, but a very good team-up would be with: which is also a very good alternative to Outlook and Outlook Express (and a whole lot safer).

Why are you still using Internet Explorer?

People who use other browsers are immune from browser hijackings.
MSIE lacks nearly every feature common in more modern browsers. It doesn't handle cascading style sheets (like this one) properly, and doesn't correctly render some pages written to W3C standards. It pops up obnoxious errors if you disable ActiveX.
It's just a bad browser, period.

The only reason to have MSIE is to use Windows Update.
Here is some additional reading for those still not convinced they should switch:

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Locate Required DLLs

This free utility can be a lifesaver. It identifies all the DLL and OCX support files required to operate any Windows 32 bit executable file.

Restore Missing Toolbars

Inexperienced PC users just always seem to be losing their Windows and Internet Explorer toolbars. I've never quite worked out exactly how they do it but they sure manage it somehow. Luckily, this free utility makes recovery a snack.

* Best Free Inventory Tool

AIDA32 is arguably the best system inventorying tools I've used regardless of price. It will document just about every aspect of your hardware and software configuration. Throw in the fact that it checks out networks, gives memory benchmarks and that it is totally free, and you end up with a product that should be in everyone's toolkit. Download from the link below but remember to download the documentation as well. Corporate users need to register - but there's still no charge.

Best Free Process Viewer

PrcView displays detailed information about all running Windows processes including memory used, threads and DLL usage. For each process and DLL, full path and version information is also displayed. Individual processes can be killed or their priorities changed. It even allows you to automatically run a script to check if a process is running and kill it. All this is crammed into a tiny 100KB package. Works for all versions of Windows.

Best Free Secure Erase Utility

Eraser is a free, GNU license utility that will securely erase files, folders or even whole disks from any Windows or DOS PC. Eraser overwrites data area with selectable random data patterns and also wipes data in the paging file, Internet cache, temporary files, Internet cookies, unused disk space and a number of other places where data can secretly lurk. It handles FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS partitions as well. Erasing files with high security will always be a difficult and time consuming task and can never offer absolute 100% safety. However Eraser makes the task about as easy as it be, with a security level beyond most conceivable requirements. An impressive package. (2.6MB)

* Best Free Windows Driver Backup

WinDriversBackup is a nifty free utility that identifies all your Windows driver files and saves them to a nominated location. This utility is great for simplifying operating system reinstalls, particularly for PCs whose exact hardware configuration is not fully known or documented. Works across a network as well. Recommended.

Best Free File Cleaner

I've tried quite a few commercial products designed to clean unneeded temporary files off your hard disk but must say that the free utility "Empty Temp Folders" ranks with the best. It takes a few minutes to set up but after that, all you need do is press a button to recover many megabytes of disk space. (667KB)

* Best Free DLL Cleaner

Over time most PCs become cluttered up with the unwanted remainders of long deleted programs. DLL Archive is a free utility that will scan your PC for DLLs that are no longer referenced. You can then archive the unwanted programs away or delete them entirely. Archived items can easily be restored to their original location if any problems arise. (227KB)

Control Startups

* Startup Manager allows selective disabling of programs that load during Windows startup.

The only startup items you absolutely need are:

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The CD "read only" Problem Solved

Anyone who has restored data from a CD onto their hard drive has faced the problem that all the restored files are marked as "read only" and cannot be modified. Changing these settings in Windows is a real pain particularly if a large number of files is involved. With this free utility you can change the file settings for dozens of files or even whole folders with a single click. Actually while the product is free of charge, the developer requests your feedback. None-the-less, ReadOnly should be on every PC. (315KB) (towards bottom of page)

* Best Free Rename Utility

Lupas Rename 2000 is a small Windows utility that globally renames all the files in a directory and its subdirectories. It can convert names to upper/lower case, change the case of the first letter, add text, left crop, right crop and just about anything else you can think of. And unlike DOS based utilities, it will work on hidden files as well. Add in a nice GUI interface, an undo feature, full preview of changes and the fact that it's free and you have a utility that should be in every toolkit.

* Best Free File Manager

Windows Explorer is fine for simple file management activities but when you have some serious work to do, you need a two pane file manager. I use Directory Opus which is excellent but costs $59. Recently I discovered 2X Explorer. It offers most of the functionality of Directory Opus and is totally free. As a bonus, its user interface is very similar to Windows Explorer, so most users will find this tool easy to learn and use.(392KB)

Best Free Search and Replace Utility

I've been a long time user of Funduc Software's excellent Search and Replace utility, now in version 4. However, I have to admit that after using HandyFile's free Find and Replace program, my loyalties are torn. Granted, it does pretty much the same thing, but it's faster as changes are made in memory rather than by writing to disk. This feature also provides a degree of safety. If you need to do text file replacements over multiple files, I suggest you give this tiny free utility a spin.(361KB)

* The Best Free Screen Capture Utility

I've used over half a dozen screen-capture utilities and none of them has really satisfied. Until now. Gadwin screen capture does exactly what I want in the way I want. Further, it avoids the trap of providing lots of useless and confusing features. It's the little things that count like making the hot key PrtSc so I don't have to remember it, and automatically sequentially naming the output files for multiple screen shots. Gadwin will stay on my PC permanently. (976KB)

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* Really Useful Text-Image-URL Saver

A super powerful Windows clipboard extender/memory- now in its third generation. Handles Pictures, Richtext, URLS, etc - any size. Features printing, drag and drop, optional permanent storage of clippings. Familiar "Outlook" interface. Freeware.

* Best Free Outliner

I'm not a great fan of outliners - my brain doesn't work that way. Some folks however, swear by them and if that includes you, then you should check out Keynote, an Open Source freeware program that has a dedicated band of followers. Its major design attribute is its ease of use. Words like "natural" and "seamless" come close to the mark but really don't capture the essence of what is really a great design. What do you do with it? Well to quote the web site "KeyNote is used by screenwriters to draft screenplays, by medical doctors to keep patient databases, by developers to store source code snippets - and to everyone it serves as a place to put all the random pieces of information that have no particular structure of relationship to other data, and do not fit easily in task-specific applications such as word-processors, databases or spreadsheets." (1.7MB)

Best Free Sticky Notes Utility

The function that I find really useful is the reminder that pops up at a designated time and date. Simple things like "put up the latest issue on the web site." Turbonote is a freeware utility that provides just about every function I need. The same company sells an enhanced version but the free version (v3.9) will suit most folks.

* Best Free Notepad Replacement

There are lots of text editors and Notepad replacements. Some of these aspire to be programming editors while others try to be word processors. What I love about EditPad is that, unlike the others, it concentrates on simply being a better plain text editor and it succeeds brilliantly. It has a Notepad like interface combined with tabbed document windows and the ability to open as many documents as you like with no file size limitations.

Free Office Software Suites

GNUWin II is a free software compilation for Windows. This huge suite features dozens of programs including free alternatives to many expensive commercial products. There is Abi Word as an alternative for MS Word, OpenOffice for MS Office XP, The Gimp for Adobe Photoshop, Gzip for WinZIP are dozens more. Taken collectively this suite provides more than enough software to completely set up a PC without spending a cent on applications or utilities. The suite is available or CD or you download the CD image and cut your own.

* is both an open-source application and project. It is free. The product is a multi-platform office productivity suite compatible with all major file formats.

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Plug-in Players Download Sites

for Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, and CompuServe on Windows:
Macromedia Flash Player Download Center

A complete list of other browser and operating system players:
All current Macromedia Flash Players  


Photoshop Replacement for Nix

Oriens Enhancer is a graphics processing program similar in function to Photoshop and Paintshop. The big difference is that it's free, the others cost big bucks. But don't think free means limited. On the contrary this product can read more than 40 file formats, has filters, textures and color effects to burn and can even handle layers. (4.05MB)

* Best Free Digital Image Utility

Irfanview is a free multimedia viewer and editor that supports a huge range of file formats. Each new version seems to add more capabilities but to me, its most powerful features are its speed and its batch processing capability. If you want to resize sets of digital images for the web or for transmission by email, Irfanview is the best free solution available. It's also a mighty fine image viewer as well.


The source of much of this pages content.


News highlights, Articles & Alerts What's New @ SingCERT

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Memo To All Staff From Tech Support

Management has determined that there is no longer any need for network or software applications support. The goal is to remove all computers from the desktop by Dec. 31, 2003.
Instead, everyone will be provided with an Etch-A-Sketch. There are many sound reasons for doing this:
Frequently Asked Questions for Etch-A-Sketch Technical Support
Q. My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.
A. Pick it up and shake it.

Q. How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off?
A. Pick it up and shake it.

Q. What's the shortcut for Undo?
A. Pick it up and shake it.

Q. How do I create a New Document window?
A. Pick it up and shake it.

Q. How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A. Pick it up and shake it.

Q. What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?
A. Pick it up and shake it.

Q. How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A. Pick it up and shake it.

Q. How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch document?
A. Don't shake it.

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Mailwasher Spam Filter Version 2b19
Multiple POP
e-mail accounts

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Updated Thursday, May 12, 2005, by: 
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