Don Trauger – Kennett
Many people simply use the anti-virus program that came with their computer then forget about it. When the subscription runs out
both Windows and the anti-virus program will warn you that your program is out of date. Hopefully, you won’t renew the subscription
but will look to other sources for protection.
“Why not renew it?” you may ask.
Here are my feelings on the subject. Some assume if you don’t pay for an anti-virus program subscription how good can it be. I can
assure you that assumption is incorrect. Some of the best programs are free. Unfortunately some users have found free programs but
these programs often have other faults such as slow scanning, annoying pop-up windows that display ads to upgrade to a paid version,
or in the worst case, slowing the computer to a virtual crawl.
Two years ago Comcast introduced Norton Internet Security. I tested it and found it to be decent but not great. Recently Comcast has
added more features to Norton Internet Security under Xfinity branding such as Constant Guard, which includes Secure Backup & Share,
Identity Guard, and an Xfinity toolbar. I’m sure this effort is well intentioned, but it appears to me to come at a great sacrifice
to your computer’s ability to function at a reasonable speed. In addition I have found Verizon’s security software, supplied to DSL
customers, slows the computer and it’s not free.
McAfee and Norton are the two most popular anti-virus programs that come with new computers. My advice is not to subscribe to either
of these and instead download Avast Free Anti-Virus and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. These two free programs, in combination, will provide
more than adequate protection. If you wish, both are upgradeable to provide even more protection. Avast Internet Security adds shopping,
banking, anti-spam, and phishing security. Malwarebytes provides real time blocking in the paid version. Real time blocking blocks threats
before they can enter your computer. The cost for Avast Internet Security is $29.99 for 1 year but it also covers 3 PC’s. At this writing,
this is the best price available when you install the free version first then upgrade to the Internet Security version. Malwarebytes paid
version has a one time fee of $24.95.
These 2 programs can be downloaded from www.download.com. Insert the names in the Search field and download the version of your choice.
Since there is other advertising on this site’s Web page to distract you, be careful to only download the programs that you want. Save
them to your Desktop screen to make it easier to find and install. Next step is to uninstall your present security program. For XP users,
go to the Control Panel and click Add/Remove Programs. Highlight the security program you want to remove and click Change/Remove or
just Remove. If you are uninstalling Norton, remove any references to Live Update and Symantec if you see those names. For Vista and Windows 7 users, the procedure is almost the same
except Add/Remove Programs is named Programs and Features.
In summary, I recommend both free programs. Personally, I run both with the exception that I have upgraded Malwarebytes to the paid version.
My reasoning for this is that Malwarebytes with its real time blocking can supplement Avast’s real time blocking. By having 2 capable
programs blocking Internet threats, if one misses a threat, the other should catch it. Also, be sure to register Avast so you get 1 year of
free updates. The free updates will continue as long as you re-register on a yearly basis. Malwarebytes does not require that you register.
Here’s one last tip. Don’t let well-meaning family members change programs or settings on your computer without you personally having
requested them to do so.
To get answers to your questions about computers, please come to the PC Club meeting. The computer club
meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in Hershey’s Mill Community Center.