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.