Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Is Free really secure?

Spyware...viruses. Two words that make pc users cringe often. Yep, getting a spyware object or a virus on your pc can often times be as painful as getting a tooth removed. The whole process of getting one's system back to norm can be a gigantic headache. I do PC Repair and Maintainence as a service for our company (The Brico Group, Inc. visit us at www.thebricogroup.com) and I tell you well over 75% of my service calls come from folks whose pc has been infected. Here's a quick note - if you have a dsl or cable modem connection get a router if you do not already have one. It is a true firewall and will prevent alot of the spyware/virus headaches.

Anyway, I digress back to the main subject at hand. So the fact is that spyware objects and viruses are not going away anytime soon. People pay alot of money to subscribe to virus protection/spyware protection services or software. Take note however - there are quality spyware/virus protection programs available FOR FREE.

One of the main spyware programs I use is MS Anti-Spyware from Microsoft. It's a free download available on their site (under the download area). It takes roughly 5 minutes to download and install. Microsoft updates the software periodically and it automatically updates the spyware definitions whenever there are updates available and you are connected to the internet. That is a key point. New spyware programs are often created so fast that it is imperative to have an auto update feature that will keep the spyware defense programs current. Only complaint you may have about MS AntiSpyware is that the Alert Notification feature often comes up at inopportune times and may startle some of you. The good thing is that the Alert Notification popup clearly defines what program is trying to gain access to your system and allows you to either allow or block access from that program. This could be aggravating to some but my motto is better safe than sorry.

Now for virus protection - I use AVG Free from Grisoft. The free download is available at grisoft.com. Look for the Free Edition (you have to look on the main page closely or you will not see it). They offer other versions but the free one works well. It works the same as the MS Anit-Spyware in that it has an auto update feature. This is especially imperative for anti-virus programs since virues have potential to do more damage to your system. It also allows you to scheudle scans and updates. I usually let my scans take place weekly at 2am...a time I am not usually on my pc. Since I have a cable modem, the scan runs with no problem and does not need to be monitored. For those of you who have dial-up connection, if you schedule a scan/updates and the pc cannot access the server to check for updates, it will do so as soon as you connect to the internet so do not be alarmed.

Well folks that's about all from Brico Daily centeral today. Give those downloads a try if you have not already. Let us know what you think, what you like, what you dislike, etc by posting to the Blog. Bear in mind - your system will be in good hands with these to protection programs.
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