Internet Security Software
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
In a nutshell, because brevity is bliss...
- Good: Install and turn on anti-virus and firewall software as soon as you get your computer.
- Better: Purchase and install an Internet Security Software suite before you ever connect your PC to the Internet.
- Best: Engage (hire) an Internet security professional to install and configure an Internet Security Software suite on your PC.
The Good. You all know of the importance of anti-virus (AV) and firewall (FW) software in protecting your computer as you venture into the Wild Woolly World of the Internet. You can get these programs individually for about $30 or even for free. In fact, some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer these programs as part of their service. You need only download and install them onto your system to begin protecting yourself from hackers. What's more, if you own a fairly new computer, Microsoft's Windows XP operating system comes with both a firewall and anti-virus program, which are activated the first time you ever turn on your PC and remain so until you turn them off or replace them with other programs. A few years ago, security software companies began bundling their Internet security programs to include AV, FW, and SPAM filtering as a comprehensive approach to PC protection. Several companies offer these Internet Security Software (ISS) suites, including Symantec (Norton), McAfee, and Zone Labs (ZoneAlarm). These bundled solutions typically cost around $50, as of this writing, with annual subscription renewals about 20-40% less than buying it new. So what makes them better than the free stuff? What's the catch?
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