Choosing an Internet Security Suite

Wire FenceIt seems weekly there is news of a PC virus attack or some other malware (malicious software) in the mainstream press. What’s a person to do to protect their computer from outside threats like viruses, spyware and other malware? Become a security expert? No, you just need to install antivirus, antispyware, and firewall software, which are often bundled in one Internet security package.

There are many security suites available so how do you know which software to buy? Check out trusted tech sources like, PC Magazine, and PC World for recent ratings. When you are shopping for a new security suite, make sure it has anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software capabilities.

Check with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to see if they provide security software for free. As long as it gets good ratings from several trusted sources then it’s okay to use it. If it doesn’t receive good reviews, it’s not worth any amount of savings to entrust your PC security to poorly rated software.

Even if you own a Mac, you need to have anti-virus software that scans for Windows® viruses if you will ever trade files with a PC user. You can have a virus infected file on your Mac and nothing will happen to your computer. When you email that file to your mother in New Mexico, you run the risk of infecting her Windows computer. MacWorld has a round up of options and explains when you should consider anti-virus software for your Mac.

Once you’ve chosen your software suite and installed it, be sure it is set to automatically update itself and scan your computer (at least weekly). Most suites have a real-time scanner that scans incoming files to your computer (like email attachments or web downloads) so make sure that is activated. After these simple checks you should be well on your way to safe computing.

This post was original published in January.