Protecting your computer for free was written in response
to a question from S.Allain of Sao Paulo who wrote.
After buying a new computer, I was told by the sales person it contained everything I needed including the all the software.
But after 90 days I kept getting a popup advising that my antivirus was out of date, and I needed to register which included paying for a license.
It turns out the pc had come with a 90 day trial license, which appears to be a common way for antivirus companies to sell their software, which is very annoying.
Protecting your computer for free is this really possible?
In my opinion YES
When it comes to protecting your computer it’s a balance of getting the security in place, but not so much as it can cause you security problems and slow down your computer.
Over the past few years we’ve seen the introduction of what I call mega security products, that supposedly give your computer total protection, but from what I have seen they use as much system resources as normal applications, and they can literally take over your computer.
Now don’t me wrong, we all need good security on a computer, but Windows security should not slow down your computer, and it should run silently in the background unless it finds something.
The types of security we need are..
- Application protection
- Common sense protection
I’ve listed firewall as plural here as we’ll actually be using two of them, one of them is built into the router, and the other is part of Windows as Windows comes with its own firewall software that is on as a default and offers good levels of protection (A firewall is part of a computer system that is designed to stop unauthorized remote access, and yet allow authorized access)
Antivirus & Antimalware
There are lots of these types of products on the market but my favorite of the moment is Microsoft Security Essentials (totally free) which seems to be fantastic at protecting against all manner nasties.
Other good products to consider include, Spybot search and destroy (totally free), Malwarebytes, AVG, Avast (free versions).
In fact I also run Spybot search and destroy once a week, in addition to Microsoft Security Essentials (it has never found anything that Microsoft Security Essentials has missed, but it does no harm to take extra precautions, as no product can guarantee 100%
Windows 7 comes with built in application protection (user account control), so whenever an application tries to install itself you will be prompted to allow or prevent the installation, it can be viewed upon as an annoyance having to do this, but to me it’s more than worth it in light of the protection it offers.
Common Sense Protection
Probably the most important part of protecting your computer for free is common sense.
Did you know the most common way a computer gets infected is by its user opening an email attachment or by clicking to install something from the web.
Computer viruses are getting smarter and today the latest ones (security viruses) actually popup as a webpage and look like antivirus software that’s scanning your computer, they will then advise that your computer is infected, as soon as you click on the page it will attempt to install the virus, then you will be prompted to give credit card details to buy the software to remove a virus, of course buying the software will not remove anything, but if you give your credit card details you could be charged more than you think.
Once you have a security virus on your pc removal it can be very difficult to remove, so prevention/being extra cautious in regard to anything you’re not sure of is the best way be when it comes to your computers security.
Any user accounts must have good passwords to prevent anyone being able to get onto your pc, a good password should have one number, one uppercase and lower case letter and one non standard character for example, having a password such as richards would be pretty easy to crack, but change it around to something like r1charD$ still easy to remember, but almost impossible to hack.
Lastly, every month Microsoft releases updates, it’s important to install these as many offer extra security.
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