I got an e-mail earlier this week from a friend (no names) asking for the links to my Free For All Friday posts because she wanted the free anti-virus program that I recommended. Accordingly, she was paying too much for her current program and it was using too many resources and bogging down the computer. I have noticed this when I had an Internet security suite. Why would somebody need this suite? Well, honestly, it is relatively unnecessary these days.
Symantec (Norton) and McAfee need to justify their high-prices, so they make an incredibly bloated security suite that is supposed to protect your computer perfectly. Many people fall for this trick and think that the only way to be safe is to put one of these big resource hogs on their system. So, what do you need to be safe online? That's simple, not as much as you think.
My AV of choice is AVG Free anti-virus software. It does what you want an anti-virus to do, protect your computer from incoming viruses and scan for already existing viruses. AVG is free of charge and available at this convenient direct link to the download page. By the way, you should only have one anti-virus on your system at a time.
I like AdAware to this day. The free version only has scanning and not real-time detection, but that isn't really necessary. AdAware finds and quarantines spyware and malware that gets on your computer. It also removes tracking cookies, because the only good cookies are peanut butter and chocolate chip. AdAware is available at this direct link (face it, I spoil you).
The updated versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer point out when you are entering an unsafe browsing zone or a possible phishing site. It's best to listen to your browser when it tells you this. They also have better pop-up blocking these days. The browsers, from a practical standpoint, are very helpful.
This is actually your first line of defense in safe surfing. If you're not sure if you really need that add-on or plug-in then don't download it. Don't open e-mail attachments unless you're absolutely sure they're from a trusted source. Oh yeah, and don't open anything that says you've been spotted in a video online. It's a worm. Just be careful out there and if you run across something suspicious, feel free to contact me (my username @gmail.com)
I hope you enjoyed this little security update as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you. Have a good day and safe surfing to you. Now, I have more words to write.