I just spent several hours removing Norton antivirus software. Because of that I decided this would be a good time to update you on what’s the best way to protect my computer. Some years ago, the real threat to computers were viruses. That is no longer the case. Let me repeat that, viruses are not a threat today. The need for virus software is really nonexistent. What is a very real threat are Mal ware intrusions. These are small programs that can infect your computer by way of e-mail, websites, and attachments. These types of problems occur when a unsuspecting user is tricked into doing something that then allows the infection. To protect yourself from these types of infections you must become a much more savvy computer user.
What will not help you are any and all of the major or minor software suites from Norton, McAfee, AVG or any of the others. In fact, the simple act of installing these programs causes far more problems than they help. Each of these programs so entwines itself as to require a separate computer just to run. In addition to the significant performance hit your computer will take, they offer no real protection.
Here is what I recommend in the real world. For e-mail use an online service such as Gmail or Hotmail. They offer far better scanning and protection than what is available to the individual. Today, the most common infections occur from Facebook. If you ever receive a request from one of your friends that requires you load a new webpage or follow any links DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT. Try and stay away from celebrity sites, these are notorious for being infected. I use a free product from Microsoft called Microsoft security essentials. This is a very small program with a tiny footprint. All versions of Windows since XP service pack two include a firewall. This is sufficient. If you have a broadband Internet connection I also recommend connecting a router in between your computer and modem. If you have a modem less than two years old more than likely it is a router also. If you have a wireless connection then you also already have a router.
What people don’t understand, is that the vast majority of infections occur because of the user. No software has been designed to protect from that.