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Anti-Virus

A virus can come from files, e-mails, web pages, or even devices you plug in (like thumbdrives or printers) and destroy your files or your computer once they get in. An anti-virus is software designed to detect and prevent that from happening.

For them to work properly, they must download software updates on an almost daily basis, so it is best to use free anti-virus products or keep the subscriptions current. Also note that you can't install multiple anti-virus products simultaneously as they will interfere with each other.

Our currently recommended anti-virus product is AVG:


AVG free anti-virus
AVG free anti-virus

STOP!

Due to rampant privacy invasion, I no longer recommend the AVG anti-virus. At this time, the best free anti-virus available is Avast which can be found here


I'd used Norton products for years because I got them free from working in retail or attending a school with a special license). Now that those days are over, I've had to look at paying for the anti-virus and I've begun to wonder if it's worth it.

Norton software is a notorious hog of system resources and can drastically slow down your computer's start-up time. Switching to free alternatives is a big help.

The newest version of AVG works very well and also includes a feature that automatically checks your search engine results for malicious code. A site with a green check next to it is considered safe and anything else should be treated cautiously.

When you got to the site, remember to be careful to get the free for home use version and not the "Free trial" of any of their other versions. Also be cautious during the install process to uncheck any options for add-ons like Yahoo! Toolbar or such. Other than that, it should be a pretty straight-forward process.

Guide Navigation
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Security Software

Make sure you have a up-to-date Anti-Virus Program to protect you against bad websites or files.
Sometimes spyware gets in your computer and the anti-virus won't stop it. Use a spyware scanner to find and remove spyware and adware.
Use a software firewall to detect bad code on your computer when it tries to connect to the Internet.
Always keep your system up to date with security patches or none of the rest of your security software will matter.
Use an encryption tool to protect your important data when storing or transmitting it.
Switch to Firefox for your web browsing and you'll be better protected from Internet threats.

Safe Computing Practices

Don't get tricked by fake alerts or clever webpages into downloading viruses or spyware!
IDENTITY THEFT
How to Steal Identities - Why It's So Easy
Credit Freeze
Data Defense
Credit Monitoring
Id Theft Insurance
The Identity Theft Victim's Mini-Guide to Recovery
PRIVACY
The Geek Privacy Principle
Nothing to Hide
Data Abuse
RFID - Radio Frequency IDentification
Privacy Alias/Persona
Data Defense
INTERNET SAFETY
Online Addiction
The Consequences of Posting Online
Photo Safety
Tricks and Scams
Account Hijacking
Trusting Companies
PASSWORDS
Bad Passwords
Password Tips and Tricks
Password Protection
Password Mugging
Computer Security
E-mail Safety
Kids and Computers
Shopping Online
Retailers
All About Warranties

Anti-Virus

A virus can come from files, e-mails, web pages, or even devices you plug in (like thumbdrives or printers) and destroy your files or your computer once they get in. An anti-virus is software designed to detect and prevent that from happening.

[Click for full description]

Spyware Scanners

Learn how to detect and remove spyware and adware using a free scanning tool.

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Software Firewall

Learn what a firewall is and why you want one on your computer.

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Operating System Updates

Make sure to keep your operating system up-to-date with security patches or else none of the rest of your security software will be able to protect you.

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File Encryption

Learn how to protect your important files on your computer or when transmitting them with free tools for file encryption.

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Mozilla Firefox - Internet Browser

There are many browser choices out there. Read why I think Firefox is one of the best.

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Fake Alerts

Maybe you've done everything right and you're computer is sufficiently fortress-like, but then you or someone in your family falls for a simple scam that tricks them into directly installing the bad guy's virus! Learn how to spot and ignore fakes!

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