Archive for August, 2010



The top three security software to use on your computer that is not an antivirus or firewall

Posted on August 30th, 2010 in Security | No Comments »

Security software on the computer usually starts with two things, the antivirus and the firewall. Whenever you hear a beginner’s tutorial on how to protect your computer from the bad guys, these are the two technologies that you will read about. The antivirus and the firewall are definitely some of the most important pieces of software that you can have on your computer but they are not the only two pieces of security software that should be installed. There are other software that will help you protect you computer just as much. We will take a look at this other software and help you protect your computer even more than you already are.

Find the ads and bad cookies on your computer

There is technology out there that some web sites use that will track your movements when you surf the web. They will send a pop up to your screen when you hit a web site that matches a certain keyword that they are looking for. You may think that the web site itself is delivering you the pop up but in reality it is the program that is installed in your computer. This is known as spyware and is something that can be annoying. Luckily for you there is software that is known as antispyware that will help you get this off of your computer. One of the most famous pieces of software that does this is known as Ad-Aware. If you want to make sure that your computer is protected from this kind of menace then this is great software to have.

Protect your password from the bad guys

When we visit a web site that needs a password, some of us usually just use the same password that we use everywhere else. This is never a good ideal and is something that can come back and haunt you. People do this because it is too hard for them to remember a bunch of different password. To stop that problem from happening to you, there are several pieces of software that will store your password in an encrypted database that only you can get to. One of the most famous pieces of software that does this job is known as KeePass. It, and programs like it, allows you to store multiple passwords and pull them up only when you need them. This is a great way to ensure your security when you are signing up to a new web site.

Protect your children from the dangers of the internet

If you have children then a security program that you should have on the computer is a monitoring program. When kids surf the internet they do not usually worry about security and this can mean bad things for them and your computer. They will see bad things that they shouldn’t and they may pick up some kind of infection that will stay on your system. To make sure that doesn’t happen to your system use one of the many children monitoring software that is out there. It will help them safe and give you piece of mind.

These are the top three security software that you should have on your system that doesn’t include antivirus and firewalls. This software with the combination of the other software mentioned makes an unbeatable combination.

Is there a difference between premium and free antivirus software?

Posted on August 26th, 2010 in Antivirus | No Comments »

Picking the right antivirus software for your machine can be a gamble. You can never be sure if you are picking the right one since you are not an expert in the field of computer security. It is even hard for you to know what you should base the decision on. They all seem to say that they do the same thing and the only noticeable difference that you can see is the price of the product. While you may look at it as a good thing when some of the prices are cheaper than the other, the same pricing scale might cause you suspicion when the software is free. We have been brought up to automatically think that free products are useless and if they were worth anything then they would cost some amount of money. That is not always the case when it comes to software. There is plenty of good software that is available for free including antivirus software. So we will take a look in this article and see if there is any real difference between free and premium antivirus software.

Is there a difference?

The quick answer to that question is no. There is usually no difference in the quality of software between the free versions and the paid versions. The long answer is that which software you are looking at makes a huge difference in the discussion. There are some high quality free pieces of antivirus software and there are some low quality ones as well. The same rule goes for premium versions of antivirus software. There are some good brands and there are some bad brands as well. It can be hard to tell the difference but you will find out if your computer is not well protected. If you want to be sure then take a look at reviews of the software.

Why is it free then?

Most free antivirus software is that price because of two reasons, one it is software that has an enterprise version and they want you to buy that one and two the free version is missing certain features. The free version of the software for the ones that have an enterprise version is just to get you used to the software itself so that you will buy a business license. Security software vendors are able to charge a business at a higher price than they can the average consumer so it makes sense that they give it away for free. You can consider it free promotion. The same is true for the software vendors that give away a crippled version for free. They want to sell it to businesses but they also want the regular person to buy it as well. So if you want to make sure that you have full protection then you must purchase the full product. The free product will not usually give you protection for things such as your email, real time scanning, and other things of that nature.

The quality of the software all depends on the particular software that you are talking about and not the price of the product. In the software world, there is a lot of software that is free.

Your computer security measures should not just stop at installing antivirus software

Posted on August 24th, 2010 in Firewall, Security | No Comments »

Creating a secure computing environment can take some work but it needs to be done. It needs to happen so that you can make sure that you will not be affected by all of the bad guys on the internet. When you are looking for ways to make sure that your computer is safe, the first thing that you will hear is to make sure that your computer has antivirus software installed in it. They will then tell you what kind of antivirus you should have installed and then they will send you on your way. In this day and age that logic is not good enough for a person who is looking to make sure that they are safe. Having antivirus installed on your system is a good first step but it is not the only step that you need. We will take the time to tell you several other steps that you need to take to make sure that your computer is safe when it surfs the internet.

The firewall

The next thing that you should do right after you install the antivirus is to make sure that you have the firewall on your computer set up correctly. Firewall is the thing that is going to stop the intruders from having a look at your local network. If you cannot stop them then all of the secrets that you have on the computer will be exposed. So you need to make sure that your firewall is both set up on the operating system and on the router. This will mean that you have two firewalls protecting your system. One may be enough but two is even better.

The right software

After you have the antivirus and the firewall set up, now you need to take a look at the software that you use on the internet. This includes the browser, phone services such as Skype, instant messengers and any other thing that need the internet to work. You should make sure that there are no security warnings on the software. When it comes to the browser, make sure that it is one of the latest versions of the brand that you are using, especially if you are using internet explorer. If you are using Internet Explorer then there should be no version on your computer earlier than 8. The rest of them are not secure enough to be used as everyday internet devices. If you have to, you might want to think about switching browsers to one of the alternatives out there, Firefox or Chrome.

After all of this is done, you want to make sure that you add some common sense to the pot as well. A lot of the security risk that you will see on your computer will involve mistakes that you make. If you are careful and you have the right software installed then you should be safe on the internet.

Does switching operating systems allow you to have a safer computer?

Posted on August 9th, 2010 in Security | No Comments »

For as long as there have been computers around, there has been a battle on which operating system is better. In the past, the battle was more divided since there were dozens of operating systems that you could choose from. These days, that is no longer the case. Even though there is still a bunch of operating systems out there, there are only three main systems that people use. The operating systems that are most popular with the people are Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. You can easily start a flame war at any time of the day by going into any forum and declaring why a certain operating system is the best. People hold the choice of their operating system sacred and each one believes that their system is the safest.

In the past

If you look at recent history then it is true, there were definitely huge differences n the attention paid to security on these systems. A lot of early Microsoft decision went with the usability of the user in mind when they thought about security. If the security measure was too hard in the mind of the user, then they would drop it. This left many holes in their system. Many of these holes would last through several iterations of the operating system. This many holes and exploits allowed the other operating systems to look a lot safer, and there is a good chance they were.

Now

Things are much different now than they use to be. The Windows operating system is much safer and they have really made security a first class issue in the newly releases of the OS. They have finally realized that with the internet, they could no longer have security be an afterthought. And due to its newfound popularity, Apples operating system has been under attack as well. A lot of Apple’s security came from their low market share. Now that the company is one of the top companies in the world, people are starting to go after it. There are now antivirus and malware solutions available to install on the Mac operating system. Some of the users have been out of the hacker’s radar for so long when it comes to virus hunters that they are now making easy prey. But overall, the modern day Mac is just as secured as Windows 7. It has a UNIX background that offers it decades of security tactics. When it comes to Linux, it is still one of the most secured operating systems that you can use. But on the server side, there are still many Linux exploits found. This means that the system is safe but do not expect 100% security.

When it comes to operating systems there is no such thing as the ultimate secured OS. They all have flaws that you will have to deal with. If you follow the security guidelines offered by your computer then most of the threats that you will have to face will not be that difficult to defeat.

When you first buy a Windows 7 computer, you need to check these settings to make sure that it is secured

Posted on August 5th, 2010 in Antivirus, Firewall, Internet, Security, Windows 7 | No Comments »

If you are buying a new computer then there are many things that you will want to do with it once it is set up. These things that you would want to do are all different depending on your skill level with computers. If you are a person who is new to computers and has never owned one before, then you are probably going to try and get used to the machine as it is now before you do anything. If you are a person that has experience with owning a computer, then you are going to install some programs that you use on a regular basis and uninstall some programs that came with the operating system. But no matter, if you are a new person when it comes to computers or someone who has experience, there are certain things that you need to check for on your new Windows 7 operating system to make sure that it is going to be safe when you use it. In this article we will discuss these settings that you need to check.

The first thing that you need to look at

When you first turn on the computer, the thing you need to look at first is the default programs that are installed on it. Some of these programs are demos and they either offer limited functionality or they will expire in a week or a month. This is especially true for the security products that may come with the computer. Some people when they see that the program is already installed on the computer do not realize that it only works for a limited time and so they are not really protected long term. Make sure that you have an antivirus that is going to work for a long time installed on the system. If that means uninstalling the demo that is on there already and installing a truly free version such as AVG, then that is what you should do.

Make sure that your computer is protected from remote threats

Once you are certain that the software that came installed on your computer works or you have replaced it with a version that does work, your next step is to make sure that your computer is protected from remote threats. You do this by making sure that the firewall that came already installed into the system is running. Some people prefer to download new firewall software from other places but Windows 7 already has one installed in it. When you turn on the system, you need to make sure that the installed firewall is on if you haven’t replaced it already. You can go into the Network Control Panel and it will tell you if it is on or not. Most of the time, it will be on already but there are some cases where it is not.

These are the main two steps that you need to take when you purchase a brand new computer with Windows 7 on it. Windows 7 is a very secure operating system but you need to make sure that you help keep it secure by enabling all of the tools that it needs to stay that way.

Facebook has become one of the top web sites that distributes malware

Posted on August 3rd, 2010 in Internet, Malware, Security | No Comments »

When it comes to the distribution of malware, Facebook is slowly becoming one of the top places on the internet where it happens. The rise of malware on Facebook is only partially the fault of the service itself. When a web site all of the sudden becomes popular, it starts to attract different kinds of attention. Some of that attention happens to be from both good guys and bad guys. Bad guys usually gravitate to where most of the people are. They need a good amount of people to be able to entice with their offers or they will not make enough for it to be worth anything. Most people know to stay away from links that do not look right. But there are many more that will click on the wrong links and make the bad guy efforts worth the time and energy. Now that you know how dangerous Facebook can be at times, we will go through some of the steps that you can take to avoid being caught in a trap yourself.

The type of malware on Facebook

Most of the attacks that happen on Facebook have to do with either click jacking or phising attacks. Click Jacking is when the attacker sends you to another web site and the ads are hidden on the site. You might think that you are clicking a submit button or a link to take you to another part of the web page but in actuality you are clicking an invisible ad. A phising attack is when you are sent to another web site and it seems like the site that is legitimate. It might look like another page on Facebook or your bank web site. Actually, if you look at the URL, the site is not affiliated with either one of them. It is a fake web site that someone has set up to fool you. An easy way to tell is to take a look at the URL in the address bar. That will tell you if you are on the right page or not.

Prevent the malware from hurting you

If you want to make sure that you are not affected by the malware that is on Facebook then there are several things that you can do. The first thing to do is to make sure that the person who you think sent a link was actually the one that sent it. There have been times when a person’s account has been hacked and someone has taken it over. If the person account seems to be saying things that it would not normally say then you should be careful about the links that you click from there. If you are careful in which links that you click, that will lead you to be able to avoid 90% of the malware that is on the site. Also, be careful of the apps that you install from Facebook as well. The apps are also known to have infections in them and can be dangerous. Check the reputation of an app before you install it. Make sure that it is OK. 

If you are careful on Facebook then the service will hold no problems for you. If not, then the service can be very dangerous.