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March 12, 2010 / douglasac

Securing your Computer

Unfortunately, there’s a great deal of people out there who are dumb enough not to have security software on their computers. In an ideal world, these people would be forbidden from using any form of technology for the remainder of their lives, however, this is not the case. So I, being a merciful blog writer, will do the hard work for you and find the security software that you should have if you don’t have any to ensure that your system doesn’t get hacked\attacked\raped by a virus\whatever.

Note: Unless you like dealing with conflicting software, install only one of each of these and uninstall any trials of McCrapfee and whatever you have installed on your computer.

Antivirus\Antispyware

Until recently this crown was shared by Avira and Avast. However, Avira has had to surrender, to, of all people, Microsoft. And with good reason, their software is quite good. If you enjoy having a computer free of crap, you need this.

Avast Antivirus 5

Microsoft Security Essentials

Image

http://www.addictivetips.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/avast5freeantivirus.png

http://www.onlytechtalks.com/techtalks/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Microsoft-Security-Essentials-Beta.png

What it does

Protects your computer from Viruses and spyware

As per Avast

Where you can get it

http://www.avast.com/en-au/free-antivirus-download

http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/

What you need to run it

Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (32/64 bit)

Genuine Windows XP with SP2 or SP3, Windows Vista with no Service Pack, SP1 or SP2, Windows 7.

Support for Windows XP Mode under Windows 7 exists.

Cost

$0

$0

Antiphishing

Phishing is where people masquerade as banks and the like to get your details so they can steal your identity. Sometimes it’s fun to give them false information for teh lulz, but you should never feed them real information. It goes without saying, if your bank is emailing you asking for details you should ignore it and see if you bank has a phishing email address you can forward the email(s) to. If your bank doesn’t have this, then you need a better bank. For instance, Westpac have such an address, of which is spoof@westpac.com.au (Westpac FTW). The elected product, McAfee SiteAdvisor, is one of two of McAfee’s only good products (the other being their Total Protection Service for Small Business). Anything else made by them can go die in a hole. EDIT 1/5/10: After McAfee’s screwup the other week, I have hereby revoked their title of best anti-phising and suggest you switch your web browser to Google Chrome or Opera which have intergrated Antiphising tools in them.

McAfee SiteAdvisor

Image

http://www.imagengratis.org/images/411_mcafee_siteadvisor.jpg

What it does

Steers you away from websites which could harm you, your finances or your computer.

Where you can get it

http://www.siteadvisor.com/download/

What you need to run it

Internet Explorer or Firefox

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

Cost

$0, paid (but pointless) version available

Firewall

The firewall keeps the nasties out, and can also keep any nasties you’ve picked up along the way in as well. It dictates what is allowed to access the internet from your computer and what is allowed to access your computer from the internet. You want one of these as much as you want, say, oxygen.

PC Tools Firewall Plus

Image

http://www.pctools.com/res/zoom.html?/res/images/firewall/screenshot.gif

What it does

Steers you away from websites which could harm you, your finances or your computer.

Where you can get it

http://www.pctools.com/firewall/

What you need to run it

Windows XP, Windows Vista (32 or 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)

Cost

$0

A Real Web Browser

Lets face it, although it works with almost everything on the Internet, and it is getting better (slowly but surely), Internet Explorer is still sucky. Here are some real browsers for you (note that Firefox is the only option that will work with most anti-phising tools, McAfee included)

Google Chrome

Opera 10.50

Firefox

Image

http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/Google-Chrome.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Opera_10.50.png

Clicky

What it does

Lets you use the interwebz. It has an intergrated anti-phishing, anti-nasty site filter, and it looks very slim.

Lets you browse the interwebz. Has the allegedly fastest Javascript engine. Best Windows 7 compatibility of any non-IE Browser

Lets you browse the interwebz. Annoys me to no end to the point where I willingly return to Mother Microsoft’s arms.

Where you can get it

http://chrome.google.com/

http://www.opera.com/

http://www.getfirefox.com

What you need to run it

Windows XP, Windows Vista (32 or 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)

Windows XP, Vista or 7 recommended, can run on Windows 2000

Windows XP, Vista or 7.

Cost

$0

$0

$0

What this will cost you

$0.00

Oh, and maybe about an hour of your time to download and install each one of these. And some downloads, no more than 150MB worth (although with Australian internet, that’s a lot).

For the Time Poor and Money Rich

We have some simple alternatives for you… we call them paid suites. You will need to provide your own browser, though. But that’s just another

Norton Internet Security 2010

Trend Micro Internet Security 2010

Image

http://www.securitysofts.com/images/
softpic/Norton-Internet-Security-2010.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n58/
quanzi_1507/security/TIS2010.png

What it does

Contains antivirus, antispyware, firewall, anti-phishing, and almost everything bar the kitchen sink. Installs fast. May come with free Norton Utilities.

Lets you browse the interwebz. Has the allegedly fastest Javascript engine. Best Windows 7 compatibility of any non-IE Browser (whoops, dunno how that got in there)

Contains antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing, antispam, and some filter thingy should you actually be a responsible parent.

Where you can get it

http://www.symantec.com/norton/internet-security

http://www.trendmicro.com.au/au/products
/personal/pccillin-internet-security/index.html

What you need to run it

Windows XP, Vista or 7

Windows XP, Vista or 7

Cost

Usually around $90 for three PCs

Usually around $99 for three PCs

I have a Mac, therefore I don’t need security software. Ha!

Shut up and get a real computer, like a Lenovo or a Dell. Oh, wait, you can’t, you’re too poor because you had to buy that wanky iPhone and preorder the stupid iPad and iPod and MacBook Pro and Mac Mini and for some reason you needed a Mac Pro, because you really do need two four core processors for refreshing the Apple Website every three seconds for mentions of new products\porn\whatever.

Perhaps you can’t afford this either, but you can surely apply for your eighteenth credit card for it, right?

Norton Internet Security for Mac.

Image

http://img.brothersoft.com/screenshots/softimage
/n/norton_internet_security_for_mac-233855-1240391344.jpeg

What it does

Protects your precious Mac from nasties. And don’t pretend they don’t exist, because they do.

Where you can get it

http://www.symantec.com/norton/
macintosh/internet-security

What you need to run it

Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher

Cost

From $80

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