Keeping secure when you use Information and Communications Technology these days is, and should be, an on-going process.
Before I deal with specialist software I want to mention backups. If it’s important to you – be it pictures, documents, videos, whatever, then you should take a backup copy. Whether that is burned onto a CD or DVD or copied to a USB key, an external hard disk or to the cloud.
At the end of the day a computer can be put back together or a new one purchased but those personal and important files can’t unless they are backed up.
Operating System Updates
I just want to ensure you know that updates are important. They may be annoying but operating systems and some software updates need to take place because they work in tandem with up-to-date anti-virus software to keep your computer system safe. In fact if you notice that updates are not happening then that is a good indication that you may have something nasty on your computer.
When you buy a computer these days it will normally be sold with trial antivirus software installed. When the trial period runs out and you want to continue with this pre-installed software you will have to get the credit card out and purchase a yearly subscription.
If you do subscribe you should never let the subscription lapse. Always renew when prompted, don’t procrastinate because you will forget – I don’t recommend going online for any length of time without protection.
Free Anti-Virus Software
If, like me you don’t want to pay for anti-virus you can download and use free software. My personal recommendation is Avast. It’s easy to download and install and doesn’t become too bloated with other services.
When you install any free anti-virus always choose the custom install option. This means that you can prevent the software from hi-jacking your browser, changing your default search engine and adding toolbars and add-ons that will impact on your computers efficiency and they are annoying.
Other recommendations include AVG, Malwarebytes, Panda and Avira
Free anti-virus software offers basic protection and they generally do not provide real-time protection. So you will have to scan anything you receive or download before opening or using. Some of them will also provide a firewall.
All of these free versions come with a professional version – and when you try to download and renew a subscription they will push you to purchase the paid version. In fact they may make it difficult to find the free version of the software.
One last thing, you should not be running two different anti-virus systems on a computer. It’s unnecessary and they will be competing with each other for resources.