Computer virus security

My OS is win 7 Prof 64 bit and I had McAfee total security.  But a recent attack on my pc where a hacker was able to take control of my IE and hold me for ransom, and finally the experts in this Forum were able to suggest the solution to bring my pc to normalacy.  
I downloaded Kaspersky Pure 3.0, the free version, hoping to replace this with mcAfee, but it is the free version at the moment.
My Q is whether the free version of Kaspersky will do a better job than McAfee, since in order to install Kaspersky I had to uninstall McAfee completely, and I am now left with Kaspersky with the only anti virus program.  
My License with McAfee is still valid and I can reinstall everything back again, but it may need to uninstall  Kaspersky.
As I am completely lost, hope the Experts and Gurus could please suggest the best route to take.  
I am also exploring of having a protected DNS router using one of the paid services and also use the solution meanwhile.  
Thank u.
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bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
basically you can't rely on anti-virus software to keep your computer safe and stable, firstly because theoretically AV software can't determine unknown viruses or other malware, secondly any AV software itself is technically another kind of virus as it works the same way that other viruses do therefore it may cause your computer unstable at all.

accordingly, Kaspersky and McAfee are basically the same thing, as well as other AV products in the market. if any one of them was really the best or that extremely good, the other players would have already been out of the arena. but the reality is they all live well, as they are almost the same.

the best weapon against virus is your security awareness and proper behaviour of using a computer. you may start from hardening your computer, as Windows 7 has already offered the essential means to protect your application and data.

1. don't run any unknown software, especially those free offers downloaded from the internet.

2. enable firewall and disable all incoming access for all networks including your home or work network.

3. by default, disable ActiveX, plugins, scripts and cookies on all browsers, especially for IE you need to changed Security Level to High for all zones. only enable the above settings for trusted sites or domains.

4. always read emails in plain text mode except those from trusted source.

5. be aware for any abnormal behaviour of your computer, from screen prompts to disk activities.

6. remove all AV software, especially the third-party ones...

hope it helps,
This is an old EE Article, but everything in it still applies: MALWARE - "An Ounce of Prevention..."
Giovanni HewardCommented:
The primary entry point into your system is via your web browser and e-mail client.  I suggest you think outside the norm and consider placing the most targeted applications (browsers, documents readers, office suite) in secure virtual containers at your endpoint.

See Browser in the Box, Invincea/Dell Data Protection | Protected Workspace, etc.

Unlike signature based anti-malware products (as those you've described), these are behavior-based and isolate any unknown (zero-day) exploits and malware separately from your primary OS.  *When* you are infected again you simply revert your application image back to a known clean state.  This in conjunction with OpenDNS will mitigate a majority of the threats you'll encounter.

Dell Data Protection (DPP) Protected Workspace may be downloaded here, and product manuals are available here.

Very similar (though less convenient,) you could download Virtual Box, install a guest OS, and use that Guest OS to interact with the Internet and Internet-based downloads.  When a problem occurs you'd simply revert back your Guest OS to a known clean state.  The Guest OS should be configured on it's own subnet and isolated from the rest of your network.

The ransomware variant you've described most likely was introduced via an exploitable browser plug-in, such as a vulnerable version of Java or Flash.  In this situation, you need only *visit* a webpage containing the exploit to become infected.

If you are disciplined enough to only use your protected space when interacting on the Internet, and with downloads, then I would argue that you do *not* need to have a signature-based scanner present on your system.

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jegajothyretiredAuthor Commented:
thank u everyone
bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
If you are disciplined enough to only use your protected space when interacting on the Internet, and with downloads, then I would argue that you do *not* need to have a signature-based scanner present on your system.

totally agree. that's what i do, and my computers don't have any anti-virus software.

also testing things in VM is a good practice. a VM wih snapshots allows you to quickly restore the test environment with no need to worry about any possible malware infection.
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