Thursday, December 22, 2011

Protecting your PC from Viruses, Spyware and Malware

Every computer user is aware of the dangers posed by viruses, spyware and malware. These insidious programs steal personal information, destroy our data and just make our lives difficult.

That said, we can, for the most part, protect ourselves from viruses by making sure we have software installed that will block and remove them.

These software packages include firewalls, antivirus software, antispyware software and antimalware software. Much of this software can be had for free or at a very low cost, so expense is not an excuse to leave your computer vulnerable. You'll pay a lot more to have your computer fixed after you've been infected.

There are some caveats, though, when it comes to protecting your computer.

First, you never want to have more than one antivirus program installed on your computer. Multiple antivirus program installation actually leave your computer vulnerable because they can interfere with each other, thus preventing them from doing their job. Whatever antivirus program you decide to use, make sure it's the only one installed on your computer.

Second, you must keep your subscription up-to-date. If you don't, your software will no longer receive updates from your antivirus company which will leave you vulnerable to any new viruses (and spyware).

Third, you don't need to install antispyware software if your antivirus program provides spyware protection. While it won't cause the same problem as having multiple antivirus programs installed, having unnecessary software running on your computer will affect performance. You probably already have several programs running on your computer all the time, you don't need to add another one that isn't providing a benefit.

It's also important to know that most antivirus software will not protect you from all types of malware. Malware is malicious software that includes viruses, spyware, adware, scareware and more. Typically, adware and scareware and some other types of malware are not stopped by your antivirus. To ensure protection against these types of programs, you'll want to install software that specializes in malware protection.

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