Disable Kaspersky's Squealing Alert
The Hassle: I use Kaspersky Lab's antivirus program. I hate the squealing-pig noise it makes whenever it finds a virus, but it gives no way to change the sound.
The Fix: That oinking sound is both weird and annoying. You can change it by going to Settings, Appearance, Advanced and clearing each item in the Sound column. A better idea is to change the sound file to something more appealing. (My alert simply says, "Uh oh!" You're welcome to use it. Download it here.) From Settings, Service, clear Enable self defense, click Apply, and close Kaspersky. Next head for C:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7.0\Skin\sounds\, delete the Infected.wav file that exists there, and copy your newly downloaded file into its place. Reload Kaspersky and put a check mark on Enable self defense.
Ramp Up Against Spyware
The Hassle: I use antivirus and antispyware software, but I still worry about getting nailed by malware. Give me more protection ideas!
The Fix: Even paranoids have enemies, right? Seriously, I agree that fortifying your PC is a good idea. I get an extra edge with Javacool's SpywareBlaster, a freebie that blocks nasty ActiveX controls and stops them from installing on my system. To test SpywareBlaster's skills, I uninstalled it and scrolled to a couple of unsavory sites. CounterSpy, my antispyware app, detected and stopped five Web-based, ActiveX malware attacks. I then reinstalled SpywareBlaster, and it invisibly blocked those same five Web assaults. Very cool!
If you're still worried, use the Try & Decide feature in Acronis TrueImage 11 while browsing. It acts as a virtual machine, writing disk changes to a hidden recovery partition. If anything goes awry, you can restore a pristine prebrowsing version of Windows from the recovery partition. It's slow and it requires a reboot, but it can save your system from disaster. On top of that, TrueImage is a terrific backup program. Read our TrueImage review and download a free trial. For more security tips, read "15 Great, Free Security Programs," and check out our most popular security downloads in "Safe Web Surfing Utilities."
Two Tools of the Month: ImgBurn and Paint.Net
I'll admit to using Nero, the behemoth disc-burning tool that just seems to grow with each release. At the other end of the functionality spectrum is ImgBurn, a lean but still-powerful tool that, well, burns discs--CDs, DVDs, and, if your optical drive supports it, Blu-ray, too. It runs on every Windows platform, as well as Linux. One bloated app I do avoid is Photoshop; its complexity scares me. That's why I love Paint.Net, a free photo and imaging tool that is packed with features--multiple-image support, layering, unlimited undo, and plenty of filters--but isn't so overwhelming that you won't use what it has to offer.