There is nothing wrong with taking less than adequate measures to prevent a bigger damage to anything you treasure if you have financial or other constraints, as long as this is done temporarily over a short time. Similar reasoning applies when it comes to computer security threats.
Unfortunately some (if not most) computer users tend to forget this. They search on the internet for free computer security software which they dump into their computers and hope for the best. Most of the free software developers consistently forget to inform the downloaders of the inadequacies of their software – and they are many and significant!
A simple search for free anti-spyware programs on any search engine yields significant results. If we exclude genuine beta-software from these results, almost all of these anti-spyware programs operate on the principle – “Get infected first, then call us”. In other words these programs are reactive. They scan and destroy spyware as it’s found in the user’s computer. The real downside of these programs is that they offer no real-time protection. Are you surprised? Maybe you’ve forgotten that “there’s no such thing a free lunch”!
The big computer security software developers spend millions of dollars every year developing products that can quickly detect and destroy new computer security threats like spyware, adware, viruses, hacking techniques, Trojans, worms keyloggers etc
Do you think the developers of free computer security software inject millions of dollars in order to bring users of their software regular software updates? I think not!
Computer security software is such a critical purchase that I think one should actually buy the software before bringing home a new PC!
The most critical software that you should have in you PC is:
- Firewall – To protect your PC from hackers and internal malware that maybe trying to “phone home”
- Spyware/Adware – To detect the “ETs” that are “phoning home” from your PC, endangering your sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information. These programs also use lots of your critical computer resources. That’s why your computer is slow and crashing lately!
- Anti-virus Software – These can either completely wipe out your critical data or render it or your computer useless. The most dangerous thing is that you may end up (unaware!) being a source of the virus (e.g. through email or infected website pages).
Here are common-sense measures you can take to protect your PC:
- Regularly update your anti-virus definitions by running the update function of your security software.
- Before buying a computer security software or package make sure that it offers regular updates to keep up with new viruses, adware, spyware and other computer security threats.
I want to repeat what I said at the beginning of this article: There is nothing wrong in taking temporary security measures as far as your computer security is concerned (i.e. using free software/downloads). What is wrong is forgetting that the measure was supposed to be over a temporary period in the first place.