Keep your PC safe with one of the best security app – AVG Internet Security

AVG Internet SecurityComputing is complicated these days. With viruses, worms, phishing and all other kinds of malware out there, keeping your PC clean and your private data private, isn’t easy. That’s why I really like AVG Internet security. It’s a PC antimalware and security app for Windows.

AVG Internet Security provides 100% virus detection. Its scanning engine has received numerous awards for its detection of previously unknown viruses. Its unique combination of detection methods provides full protection against viruses, worms and Trojans.

AVG Internet Security has cutting-edge anti-spyware technology. It uses the latest, state-of-the-art detection technology, so spyware, adware, DLL-Trojans, key loggers, and much more don’t live long on your PC. Malware hidden in data streams, archives, or the Windows registry are also detected. Its powerful Resident Shield provides maximum protection by scanning every file opened, executed, or saved. It also prevents the opening or executing of infected files. For your protection, files can be included or excluded from being scanned based on individual file extensions; and can handle exceptions for potentially unwanted programs such as adware.

AVG Internet Security

AVG provides full email protection and checks every e-mail sent or received. It can protect your computer from any and all e-mail-borne threats; and includes spam and phishing protection and filtering. AVG supports all leading e-mail clients, including MS Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, The Bat!, Eudora, and all other SMTP/POP3-based e-mail clients, such as Outlook Express; and supports encrypted connections using SSL.

AVG Internet Security is one of the best internet suites available on the internet today. If you’ve got a home network, you have complete control over all network access. Its built in firewall monitors all communication to and from your computer, blocking external attacks and preventing Trojans from stealing confidential data. Its configuration wizard automatically creates access rules for all popular software and can switch profiles automatically, based upon the current connection type (LAN to Wi-Fi and back), ensuring seamless changeover for notebooks. If you don’t have an internet security suite, this is a great choice.

Download AVG Internet Security

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Scan and manage all of your hard copy documents with Nuance Paper Port

Anyone with a lot of paper documentation or photos needs a scanner. If you have a scanner, then you no doubt have taken a look at the software that came with it and have found it wanting.  Scanners today are very affordable.  The biggest problem with scanners isn’t the hardware; it’s the software that goes with it. This is why I like Nuance PaperPort Pro. It’s a complete document and photograph scanning solution for Windows.

Most everyone that’s scanned a document has bumped into the strong likelihood that it didn’t come out exactly the way you wanted, requiring you to re-scan it. More than likely, the scan needed some kind of enhancement that your scanner simply doesn’t provide. PaperPort Professional gives you SET (Scanner Enhancement Technology) Tools to correct your scans.

PaperPort also provides a complete end-to-end document solution for scanning, converting, organizing, assembling and sharing your documents. PaperPort Professional goes further than other solutions by organizing all of your scanned documents and photos as large, clear thumbnail images on its desktop. This allows you to quickly find the files you’re looking for based not only on their name but also by their type and appearance.

PaperPort Professional is an awesome application.  Unfortunately, it’s expensive.  I also had a great deal of trouble locating a demo version to try before you buy.  The software can do a great deal, and its features will be a huge value-add for those with a lot of paper they want to scan and shred.  Unfortunately, its price point makes it impractical to simply purchase without a demo version.

read full review | buy Nuance Paper Port

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Zemana AntiMalware

You’ll hear me say it over and over again – you simply can’t run a computer now-a-days without some kind of antivirus or security software running in the background.  You’re just asking for problems if you think you don’t need one…and if you get a virus, bug or worm, THEN what do you do??  This is why I’m thankful for applications like Zemana Anti-Malware. It’s a specialized malware scanner for Windows and it’s the kind that most people need.

Virus scanners are great a preventing infections, but on the off chance you do get one while you’ve got security software installed, then you have serious issues.  The bug is likely smarter than the software you have. It’s likely buried itself deeply within your operating system, and isn’t leaving without a fight. In many cases, the best thing you can do is to copy your data off (to an external drive, to the Cloud, etc.) and then blow your computer and rebuild it. It’s the safest and easiest way to insure you get rid of the infection.  It’s also hugely disruptive and a pain to do.

Zemana Anti-Malware is a second-tier malware scanner designed to rescue your computer from viruses, Trojans, rootkits, etc. that have infected your system despite all the security measures you have in place.  The best thing is that Zemana Anti-Malware can peacefully coexist with other security software on your computer. In the past, having multiple security programs installed on your PC often resulted in slow-downs, crashes, and, surprisingly, less security than running just the single security app.

read full review | download Zemana AntiMalware

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If it Ain’t Dirty, Don’t Clean it

Amid all the Holiday Hullaballoo, malware attacks can be nasty. However, beware where the warnings are coming from.

You must have a malware scanner on your computer – Mac, Windows or Linux – don’t compute without one. Period. You also need to heed the warning dialogs they display. If you’ve got a bug, or if it catches one before it infects you, do what it tells you in order to get rid of it. However, do yourself a favor, mind where the dialog boxes are coming from.

Case in point, last year, my wife got hit by a nasty piece of malware that totally hijacked her computer, down to the BIOS level, making it useful as nothing more than a door stop. I couldn’t even replace the hard drive. The infection had corrupted the laptop’s BIOS. In the end, I had to replace the PC; and the lesson from this is CLEAR – when you’re surfing the internet and you see a dialog box popup informing you that you may already be infected, or are infected with malware, make sure that the dialog box is coming from your malware scanner.

Unlike Soft32, some download sites have software that are infected with malware. Some sites permit popups and pop-unders that advertise malware scanners that aren’t malware scanners at all. They’re really nothing more than applications that steal your personal information, and hijack your PC unless you either pay to get rid of them, or pay a subscription fee. The popups or pop-unders I’m referencing look like legitimate system utility or malware scanner dialog boxes.

Don’t trust them; or any of the information they contain.

Be sure you know which malware scanner you use. Insure that THAT program’s name is listed in the title bar of the dialog box you’re reading. My wife thought she was protecting herself and her computer. In the end, she lost not only her PC, but some pictures and videos we’ll never get back.

I was recently talking to a family member who had a similar issue happen to them. They knew enough to call me and ask me about what they were seeing before they clicked the OK button on the dialog box. It’s a good thing they did. We were able to bypass the dialog box and save their PC and data.

In the end, you need to be mindful of the following:

  • The name of your malware scanner
  • That program’s name will appear in the title bar of any dialog box that displays on your computer.
  • Malware warning dialogs that come from your web browser can usually be considered as suspected, malware.
  • When in doubt, click the “X” button that closes the dialog.
  • Do NOT dismiss the dialog by using the OK or Cancel buttons on it.

Keep yourself safe. Become familiar with your malware scanner, allow it to update itself; and MOST of all, schedule regular scans, regardless of the time of day that they want to run. Better to suffer through a bit of performance lag than to lose all your data AND your PC.

If you want to download free antivirus and anti-spyware security software for Windows, pick one below…

Avast | AVG Antivirus | Microsoft Security Essentials

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Anti-Malware Programs Should be Free

Based on what’s available, you should never HAVE to pay for your anti-malware app.

I’ve been a freelance technology journalist for over 15 years. I’ve written for CMPnet, AOL/CompuServe, UBM TechWeb and for a number of print publications, including a local Chicago paper that is part of the SunTimes family. I’ve looked at a boat load of malware scanners over the years; and its clear, you have to have (and USE) one on your computer. You just do… Unfortunately, there’s really no way around it.

However, just because you have to have and use one, doesn’t mean that you have to pay for it. And you certainly don’t have to pay yearly subscription fees after your initial purchase. There are a number of scanners out there that are really very good, and are free.

Any and all of these are GREAT scanners, and more importantly, they’re all free, and don’t come with any kind of strings attached, such as subscription fees for updated AV definitions. I’ve used all of these at one point or another for both Windows and Mac, and highly recommend all of these. Most scan for viruses, worms, Trojans and the like, and may even help with phishing scams.

If you don’t feel comfortable with a free solution, or prefer the additional or advanced features of a pay or subscription based product, that’s fine. In the end, you just need to find one that seems to work the best for you…and then USE it. Let it run, regardless of WHEN it wants to run its scans. Let its definitions update. The utility can’t protect you if you don’t let it scan your PC and/or let its definitions update itself. Most modern PC’s have multi-core processors. Any performance hit you take is going to be minimal, and should be tolerable. Besides, any performance hit you take is well worth the benefit you receive.

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Microsoft Security Essentials for the win

I’ll say this about every security app that is reviewed here on Soft32.com – if you don’t have one, get one.  Surfing the internet isn’t like the CompuServe days of old back in the 1980’s. Dial-up and access numbers aside, the internet is a complicated place with viruses, worms, Trojans, phishing etc. Navigating it while keeping your personal information private and your data secure isn’t always easy.  This is why I really like Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s a anti-virus scanner for Windows, and high on my “must have” list.

Microsoft Security Essentials is built for individuals and small businesses, but it’s based on the same technology that Microsoft uses to protect giant businesses (security products like Microsoft Forefront, the Malicious Software Removal Tool, and Windows Defender). We have a whole team watching for new threats and coming up with ways to squash them.

Microsoft Security Essentials is part of the Windows Live Essentials suite of Windows add-ons from Microsoft.  It runs quietly in the background; and uses a red/yellow/green color coding system to denote system safety. You’ll only be alerted when there are specific actions to take. When you’re away or busy, Microsoft Security Essentials can take the default action on your behalf and you can open the program later to review and undo those actions if you wish.

This is perhaps one of the best anti-virus scanners available on the internet today. Period. Its real time scanning engine and automatic updating make this a strong player to begin with. The fact that its free, and that MS is actively continuing to improve and update it and its malware definitions is awesome.

read full review | download Microsoft Security Essentials

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