As an IT professional I’m often tasked with virus and malicious activity removal from computers. It amazes me how fast a computer can get contaminated with malicious programs. A computer can get easily effect and from almost everywhere. A user could download an email with a hidden virus or a Trojan horse. Then these programs go infect other computers on the network or access your address book and send out contaminated emails or do other malicious activities. Even if you do not get these types of emails and do not open attachments from unknown sources, your computer still can get infected from websites, downloads, and resource sharing sites.
Even safe sites and safe programs could be infected. Personally I haven’t met a person or heard of anyone being effected from a safe and trusted site or even from trusted programs, but its always possible. I have read news stories about sites being hacked. The hackers will not damage the site or even steal information, all they do is install malicious code and files into the website’s code and do it in away the site owners might not detect it for hours if not days. – Image source: Locks via Flickr
As for files, some trusted files could be infected from safe sites, but if you download them only from their download pages or their trusted partner sites then you are safe. But it doesn’t hurt to be safe, get yourself a virus program that will scan all your download programs for viruses. Also, some sites offer free programs. The only cost might be to you, it could be full of spyware and adware. So always remember, read the find print, read the install instructions, and research the programs you plan to install for adware to see if its full of spyware/adware. If it has that junk, don’t install it. It could cost you serious headaches and time to remove the problem areas from your computer.
How to Avoid getting Computer Viruses, Trojan Horses, Spyware, and Adware
There are a few things you can do to avoid getting your computer infected with malicious programs.
- Do not install unknown programs, open unknown attachments, or visit sites from unsafe neighbors (could have code that installs malicious programs without you knowing).
- Make sure Windows, your web browser, firewall, and antivirus is up to date.
- Stop using Internet Explorer and start using Firefox and Google Chrome.
- If you are not using a anti virus program or a firewall program, get one. Or download an internet security suite.
How to Choose the Right Internet Security Suite
When I first started looking for a way to project my computers and network, internet security packages confused me and it still does. So if its confusing to you, don’t worry there a few things to look for when purchases the right internet security package. I won’t go into detail today, there is actually a lot of things to consider when looking for security suite for your network. I will write a complete list of things to look very soon. But today, here’s the basics of what you need.
Choosing the right security suite isn’t about buying the most expensive brand, or what every one is buying or even what currently on sale. Its about what you need in your security suite, how well the suite works, and extra features that are nice but do not necessarily need. – Image Source It Looks Insoluble via Flickr
Computer Protection Methods
You can always download individual protection programs, but doing this can cost you more money and even slow your system down more. So it might be a better choice to choose a security suite. A good suite should have:
- Malware detection
- Hacker Intrusion detection
- instant message protection
- signature-based software data base (lists of known malicious files and programs)
- Sandbox protection
- spam filter
- virus scanner (online, offline, and email)
Level of Protection
You want a high level of projection form your suite. So check the test results from AV Tests and choose a suite that has a high level of protection rating.
User Interface and Usability
You can have the best Internet Security suite but, if its has a unfriendly user interface you are not going to be able use the suite to its full potential. So do a little research, check review sites, and Amazon customer views of the suites you are interested in.
The Best Internet Security Suites of 2011 and Track in 2012
To get you started here are top internet security suites from 2011. So if you are looking the start the new year with securing your network, these are the top security suites to buy in the first quarter of 2012.
Below is a list of Internet Security Suites that AV-Test have tested and scored better than a 4 out of 6 in the test results. ( Testes were done on Windows 7 consumer machines) – Image source: Cadeado – Lock Via Flickr
BitDefender: Internet Security
BitDefender Internet Security 2011 and Bitdefender Internet Security 2012 received great scores from AV-Test and even received a 6 out of 6 in protection, 5 out of 6 for repairs, and 5.5 out of 6 for usability. I have following this product for a few years now and I have heard a lot of great things about BitDefender and their products. These results show us this product does what it was designed to do.
Panda: Internet Security
Panda Internet Security 2012 received at 5.5 out of 6 for protection, 5.0 out of 6 for repairs, and a 5 out of 6 for usability. I am actually impressed by these results, user reviews aren’t the best for their products on Amazon, but the test results shows that that this suite works and works well. I am not sure if I would purchase, product yet. But after looking at the results its worth it to do some more research.
Kaspersky: Internet Security
Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 also did well during the testing and the results from AV-Test showed that the suite received a 6 out of 6 for projection, 4.5 out of 6 for repairs, and 5 out of 6 for usability. This another suite that have heard a lot about and have been tracking for the last several months. The results are great the price is good. This suit has great protection, but the repairs not as good but still passes. For me this is a hard decision. For me it’s a tie between BitDefender and Kaspersky for which version I might would buy.
F-Secure: Internet Security
F-Secure Internet Security 2011 was tested and received a 5.5 out of 6 for protection, 5 out of 6 for repairs, and a 5 out of 6 for usability. Although you can look around and find this version, F-Secure has released F-Secure Internet Security 2012. But after looking at the results and the pricing for 2012, its cheaper to get BitDefender or Karpesky. Both scored just a little better in some areas than F-Secure. I really do not know much about this software and I ‘m still doing a little research on this product.
AVG: Internet Security
AVG Internet Security 2012 is the latest version and I haven’t found any test results for Windows 7. But this product has always had a trustworthy suite and work did a great job at protecting computers. However, AVG Internet Security 2011 was tested and scored very high on the AV-Test results. It scored 5 out of 6 in protection, 4.5 out of 6 in repair, and 5 of 6 in usability.
As you can see, just looking through the options and the results for these five internet security suites can be confusing. AV-Test didn’t even test all the suites that are on the market. These are just a few of the more popular ones. I should also mention, that both Norton and MacAfee’s internet security suites didn’t make the cut this time. Check the results and see the results of the suites that were tested.