Cyber/Tech - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Which virus protection is the best one to use?

Q: What is a good Internet Security Suite, since all of them claim to be the best, how do you know which one to choose?

A: We're glad you asked this question.  It seems like there are so many choices, it's like shopping for toothpaste at the grocery store!  You're confronted with almost too may choices.  Really it boils down to this - what are your personal internet habits?  List out those habits before you go shopping so you pick the right software designed to meet your needs.  For example:  do you do a lot of downloads from many different websites?  do you like to shop online?  do you click on links and open attachments all the time?  are you fairly technical and don't really need any phone or web chat support?  The answers to these questions can help you choose the product that is right for you.  

Here are some products we have used at home or at work that may fit your needs.  This does not imply an endorsement as there are many choices and there could be a better product out there suited to your surfing needs.  For a list of the "Top 10" internet security products, look at the review conducted by PC World Magazine:  http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/collection/3247/2010_suites.html

These companies offer free tools.  

Drawbacks:  they tend to get updated after the pay-for antivirus products and if you feel you will need technical support, these might not be a good choice for you.

Sophos: www.sophos.com
Microsoft: www.microsoft.com/security

1. McAfee offers free trials: home.mcafee.com/store/free-antivirus-trials
2. Tools for Purchase:  There are many wonderful tools to choose from but here are three options you might want to look at.
3. Don't forget to list out your surfing habits and check out the review by PC World to make sure you choose the tool that is right for you.
4. BitDefender:  www.bitdefender.com/
5. Sophos:  www.sophos.com
6. McAfee:  www.mcafee.com
7. And just a safe surfing reminder - there is no 100% security solution.  
8. No product on the market can stop all of the bad guys from infecting your machine.
9. The best defense is you.  In addition to your antivirus software, following two rules of thumb will help you have fun and safe surfing:
10. Think before you click.  Verify-then-trust before you open attachments, even from people you know!

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Q: Which virus protection is the best one to use?

A: Viruses attack your computers and other internet ready devices in a variety of ways.  A common method is by hiding the software in an attachment or a link in an email.  Always think twice before clicking on a link or attachment, even if you know the sender.

You may want to consider using a free software tool or purchasing a tool to add a layer of protection to your computer.  If you have a Mac instead of the Windows operating system, make sure you look at the product for compatibility.

What to look for in a tool:
1.  Is it easy to use and install?  Look for customer reviews.
2.  Features included.  Does it include antivirus, antimalware, and antispyware?
3.  Never purchase a tool from a pop up ad, these are usually bogus packages

There are many free tools out there that do a great job.  Two examples of those tools include:
1.  Microsoft has a free scanner and removal tool at:   http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx  

2.  Sophos also offers free tools at:   http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools.aspx

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