I don't know what I'd do if my lap-top were to die. For starters, I'd stop being an internet smart-arse. I'm on-line virtually all day (& some of the night, too!). I often talk to people on the 'phone with the 'phone in my left hand and my right hand doing 1-finger typing/mousing.
When my 2nd cousin asked me "Can you find out about the osteopath Paul that works in the Foot Pain Clinic, Winchmore Hill?", within a minute I'd found Paul Costin. When my ex-G/F asked me "who's the bloke that was in such & such TV programme?", I immediately went to The Internet Movie Database.
I therefore take PC security very seriously. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, my lap-top has limited memory and, being over 6 years old, limited CPU & graphics processing power. So, anything that can improve what I have is worth a try.
The first utility I shall mention is one that I've been using for ages. It's a watch-dog program called WinPatrol. It prevents programs from altering critical system files and installing start-up programs & services without your permission.
On 1st Jan, I installed Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (MBAM). It found a load of dodgy stuff in the registry (MyWebSearch & SelectRebates) and deleted it all. The end result was more free memory and a bit more free disk space.
On 2nd Jan, I installed ESET Smart Security 4 (& uninstalled Virgin PCguard) after trying NOD32 Antivirus 4 which detected stuff that Virgin PCguard had missed. I gained ~160MB of free memory and my lap-top ran a bit faster, too.
I test my Firewall from the outside using GRC | ShieldsUP! and from the inside using LeakTest.exe, which I renamed to IEXPLORE.EXE, to try and trick the software. ESET Smart Security 4's firewall, once set to Interactive mode, passed all of the tests.
If I find any other useful programs, I'll let you know.