Computer Security Software for Your PC
Computer security software should be at the top of any new computer owner’s shopping list. Although the protection offered by the built in computer firewalls and privacy settings on all new Windows based computers is reasonably adequate, third party computer security software is strongly recommended as a supplement. Computer security software is available in many forms. What you need depends on how you plan to use your computer.
For anyone who plans to connect to the internet, antivirus software is essential. Antivirus software scans files that are sent or received from the internet to check for known viruses. Two of the most popular providers of antivirus software are Norton and McAfee. Both are large PC security software providers with strong reputations. However, many smaller companies offer antivirus software as well at a lower fee. When choosing a product and provider, make sure that regular updates are available at little or no additional charge. New viruses are released daily, so antivirus software must be updated regularly in order to remain effective. You should scan your entire computer for possible viruses regularly. A virus scan will take a lot of system resources, so it is better to perform the scan when you will not be at the computer. Most programs allow you to schedule a weekly scan for any time of day you choose, and many computer users schedule this for a time when they will be at work or sleeping.
Whether to purchase external computer firewalls is a very personal decision. A firewall provides an additional layer of protection when you are connected to the internet. Programs must gain permission from the firewall software to send and receive information from your computer over the internet. Computer firewalls are customizable, allowing you to grant trusted programs unlimited sending and receiving access while blocking known malicious programs. For unknown programs, the firewall will ask for your approval before permitting data to be exchanged. Many Windows users find that the built in firewall protection is adequate. However, others find the Windows firewall to be bulky and difficult to use. They prefer the additional customization and ease of use provided by some of the third party computer security software companies’ products.
As the skills of internet predators continue to grow, the importance of antispyware software becomes more important. An essential part of any computer security software, these programs work alongside your computer firewalls to make sure that no outside sources can monitor your internet activity and traffic patterns. Aside from being able to identify where you go, some spyware can capture keystrokes and hidden passwords, thus making them available to thieves or anyone who is willing to pay for this privileged information.
More advanced PC security software is also available. Of the advanced programs, disk erase software is the most common in the home and business markets. When you delete a file or program, a trace remains on your hard drive even after emptying your Recycle Bin. An accomplished hacker or computer expert could follow the trace to retrieve the file. Most home users will not need to fully erase their hard drives even if they want to re-format. However, identity theft is now rampant, so it is highly advised to use disk erase software before you throw away a computer.
Most new PC’s come pre-loaded with trial versions of anti-virus software. These trials are usually coupled with computer firewalls so that you can be fully protected. There is no reason why you can immediately set up your PC with computer security software since the software usually comes with a free trial period. If you install it and really don’t like it, you can cancel it and try another one without losing any money.