View Full Version : Virgin media launches malware defence campaign

18-08-2010, 01:37 PM
I have virgin media on my twitter, and receiced a link which i wont post, about their new campaign

I was directed to a link to a press release which i read then followed the links to the promised
pc health check faciility...

as a virgin media customer, i thought woohoo brilliant, as as you will have seen by my reason to come to this forum, it said

“Malware doesn’t just affect computers – it can affect lives. It’s time for ISPs to go beyond the basics and do whatever they can to help protect their customers from this growing problem. Customers may think they are protected, but with the ease by which malware can infect a computer – even just by visiting a innocent-looking website – we’re going to do whatever we can to help defend our customers from serious consequences such as identity theft, and even banking fraud. Malware.. so i downloaded their software... well i cannot see how it helps at all...

also included was live expert help... brilliant... but wait a minute... from £6 a month!!!!

Anyhow, my reason for posting was, not a complaint, i understand its my choice, but just wondered what you all thought.

18-08-2010, 03:21 PM
I am not in the UK and have no means of evaluating this "offer." However there are many tried and true antimalware programs that are known to be effective.

That being said, I would be very very carefull about any unsolicited offers or suggestions that appear on Twitter, Facebook, etc. (Note some of Starbuck's recent posts) You can not even be fully certain that they are legitimate. I assume that if Virgin is making an offer it would appear on their website. To be sure do not follow a link supplied by the social network. Go to the Virgin (or any) site on your own.

18-08-2010, 11:55 PM
It looks genuine but seems it would be done by examining participants browsing habits. Have a read of this thinkbroadband article (http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/4347-virgin-media-launch-malware-protection-campaign.html) and a few of the comments on it.

19-08-2010, 12:30 AM
Not so much by examining browsing habits but noting which ports are live, attempting to connect and by what. You can do it easily using netstat so a company like Virgin could setup monitoring in a jiffy I should think.

Is it PC Guard they are letting you download?

19-08-2010, 01:08 AM
Is it PC Guard they are letting you download?
Yes it is. Varying reports on it but I haven't tried it myself.

20-08-2010, 12:29 AM
There used to be a free version, then paid for versions with additional extras. All said I haven't ever found it as good as the 5 or so top rated products, especially for spyware protection.

20-08-2010, 11:46 AM
All I can say about PC Guard by Virgin:

We've had a lot of threads where it caused a lot of problems. The Radial Point aspect if I recall correctly.

Also as noted there is better out there according to well known security analysts.

20-08-2010, 09:24 PM
I used pc guard (when it was telewest), but when i bought a new pc it was not 64 compatable. Have tried the new version... but all seems much the same.
The thing that i downloaded this time was called Digital Home Support, and really is a waste of time, now ive tried it for a couple of days :@)

Plastic Nev
22-08-2010, 12:32 PM
Well, on the face of it it is about time the ISP's did something, however they are going to try and work that to their advantage and find a way to get you to pay extra. Common business practice anyway.
Have a look at our recommendations for security software here-


Just my personal opinion, but I stick with free software and individual rather than security suits, so bearing that in mind, first off you need a good firewall.

Comodo, offer an independent firewall only but is hard to find on their site now as they want you to install their full security suit. However I regard it as the best.
Agnitum do a good one also, called "Outpost"
Windows own "Windows defender" is getting better though I haven't tried it.
Do not install more than one firewall, and if Windows defender is on the system, disable it if installing another.

Antivirus is the next and also should only have one on your system, again if installing another, Windows Defender should be disabled.
I favour Avast, though Avira is also very good.
then we come to general malware protection, these are security software programs that are only active while actually scanning your system so you can have as many as you feel the need for, so long as you only scan with them one at a time, never two scanning at once.
My preference is for Malwarebytes, but I have found Superantispyware catches a few odd tracking cookies and other spyware that malwarebytes misses, so I have both.
Also a good real time blocker can be a good idea, and the one I use is Spywareblaster, this works from a database of known malware and blocks it from getting in.
All of the above should be updated regularly to keep them up to speed and on top of all the newer threats as they come out. Once a week is the average recommendation, though Avast does update its database at least daily and lets you know it has done so.

A good idea is also to protect your browser and yourself by installing McAfee site advisor, and or WOT, the Web Of Trust.

All the above are only my recommendations and feelings regarding security, no doubt others will have different views.

22-08-2010, 02:54 PM
I agree with Nev on this am lucky though I have a hardware firewall through work so I see every single connection I use MSE as antivirus which has its own realtime scanner now for malware I also have malwarebytes and superantispyware on my work laptop I have comodo firewall too , yes I have had the odd infection but it's the nature of my job I am lucky enough to have the knowledge to fix things some are not as fortunate , it's one of the reasons am here it's why I love my job it's why I love computing nothing makes me smile more when i get thanks or see a post confirming my advice along with the other great folks here has sorted many problems that users have.


23-08-2010, 11:35 PM
I like NIS 2010 very much. It has just done well (http://www.av-comparatives.org/comparativesreviews/performance-tests ) over at AV-Comparatives, has it's own 'safe site' feature (equivalent to SiteAdvisor - WOT), it auto updates, automatically scans the computer for malware during computer idle time, has a password safe, a firewall that has or makes its own rules and I'm never asked any questions.

I guess I'd be lax if that alone was relied on. Every security program can have a failure rate afterall ..and quite honestly, I don't believe any of them can keep up with the number of bits of malware that arrive daily on the Internet. For that reason, Sandboxie is used. So, in fact, Norton will only be called on to do its job if that fails.

Sandboxie, like NIS, is another program that needs no care. Both programs just sit there quietly looking after the computer with only minimal intervention (the sandbox needs emptying once in a while). Just what I require of security programs these days.

Just in case any of that should let me down, there's always an up to date disk image around. Dead simple no-brainer solutions. That must be why they suit me so well. :)

Dalo Harkin
24-08-2010, 09:47 AM
Nortons 'home' software is shockingly bad, I agree that its got better the last few years (not as resource hungry as it once was and updates are more frequent) and many of the main AVs around still use some of Nortons technology.

Their corporate stuff I have never had an issue with, and the best firewall I have ever used was Sygate (again part of Norton) but is it all necessary??

I now use Windows firewall and MSE (and I have not had a virus, malware or anything for longer than I can remember) I have back ups just incase, but as far as I am concerned no more is needed....

If you know what to do and what not to do on the net then you shouldnt get infected with anything.

24-08-2010, 10:54 AM
I can't speak for all of Norton's home software but I think the security suite from 2009 onwards is good. I stopped using it for a while when I went to Windows 7. I used a combination of Sphinx firewall control, MSE and (as always) Sandboxie. I found Sphinx a pain with it always asking for permissions and there were certain things about NIS that I missed (mentioned in the last post), so I went back to using it. I'm well into the second year now and can foresee a 3rd.

True that it's not necessary as such because there are always free security programs ..but having tried many free and paid programs, I still prefer the current arrangement over anything else. NIS isn't expensive. A little over £22-00 (Amazon) for a 3 computer licence isn't bad. I use it on my own and Mrs.wellies's computer.

24-08-2010, 11:24 AM
I can't speak for all of Norton's home software but I think the security suite from 2009 onwards is good

I agree.

I don't understand why it could be described as that bad, none of the respected reviews and tests on the web support that view.

I think also that it is is important to differentiate between sensible users such as people that help out here and average Mr teenager, or non tech computer user. Alot of people want/need a suite of security that just works, and Norton provides that, and most are happy with it.

24-08-2010, 11:45 AM
Is it just me or are we getting a little off track on this thread? :)

Dalo Harkin
24-08-2010, 01:59 PM
Sorry Randy,

Last note on this I mentioned how bad Norton used to be if you type say 'Norton false positives' into Google you will get an idea..

While its not as bad as it used to be I know lots of people both standard users and IT professionals who will not touch Norton with a barge pole from 2003 to 2008 seemed to be where all the problems were.

It only gets installed on so many PCs as the manufacturers DELL, HP, whoever else ship them with a 3 month free trial, most people just run with it.

In my personal and professional opinion I wouldn't recommend it

24-08-2010, 03:30 PM
Sorry too but try typing false positive for any AV product into Google.

Dalo Harkin
24-08-2010, 05:18 PM
I know you will find more for the likes of Norton and AVG over any others

24-08-2010, 05:39 PM
Can't agree. Better than some and no worse than others. Published over a year old and fortunes can vary over a time but:

Virus Bulletin : News - AV-Comparatives releases latest detection figures (http://www.virusbtn.com/news/2009/03_23.xml?rss)