PC Tips and Tricks

Decoding PC Security

Whether you new or a long term user this guide deciphers computer security options.
If you run a Google search for "Free Security Software" you get 140,000,000 returns.


So why pay for security software.
Perhaps you shouldn’t.
Generally in life you get what you pay for. As you read that comment I can almost hear you screaming at me "business models have changed". Yes today’s consumers are increasingly reluctant to open their wallets. Yes the economic downturn may be a reason for wanting free software. For some the free software business model has become so pervasive paying has become an anathema to them. Why Goolge App’s Open Source immediately comes to mind.

If it’s free what’s the trade off?
We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone somewhere has had to grow, manufacture, distribute, cook and provide you with a venue to eat. All cost factors.

Software is no different. Yet where software is concerned you can have a free lunch.

The downside the free version may have reduced functionality and support.

So who pays?
Advertises and those us who choose to purchase the premium version. There is another hook. Software publishers want you to test their wares they hope you will be so impressed you will upgrade and tell others just how good their software is a win-win for everyone.

There is a downside. Some offers may not be what they seem they don’t provide security at all. What you are actually installing is Malware.

What is Malware?
Software designed to transmit every key stroke you input to a remote location. For example if you bank online every key you press is transmitted to remote unidentifiable criminal. You probably never notice. Malware can and does do other things but you’ve got the picture.

So which free applications to choose? Since Microsoft release of Norton Web Lite. HSBC, McAfee. These traditional security companies are attempting to differentiate themselves by offering additional services such as online backup. Some of these add-ons are part of your computers operating system (XP, Vista, and Windows 7) several of these may well be better than your operating systems offering.

However there is downside you’re PC has finite resources running additional services slows your PC. If you own a new PC and you are installing such software you won’t have a problem. Ask yourself do you actually want or need these bells and whistles.

Recommendation
If you intend to store sensitive data or you bank online and your bank doesn’t offer security software buy a branded paid version.

Will free security software do? Yes. However lite software options tend to require you to have a little more knowledge to keep your computer running at its optimum. Your support choices may be reduced. For example new viruses are released 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Identifying writing and distributing patches means employing people 24/7. Inevitably those who pay receive the premium service. For many users given their PC use such limitations are more than acceptable.

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