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focus on how to get free anti-virus software.
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Mike Agerbo: Well, I think everyone knows now it’s important to have security on your desktop or laptop computer as everything from antivirus, anti-Spyware from internet firewalls. Well I think a word that I’d like to associate with security in this case is free.
Lindsay Smith: Free is always good.
Mike Agerbo: Who doesn’t like free? You know a lot of us are probably familiar with you know Norton Symantec, you know the antivirus and also Microsoft’s pretty big now with their OneCare. McAfee also makes some great software too. But what if you’re on a budget or maybe you got a bunch of computers and just can’t afford to fully equip everyone with the paid software. Well, there are some free alternatives out there. We’re going to have a look at them and understand what some of them are good for and what some of them aren’t good for.
Lindsay Smith: For those of you who aren’t familiar with Spyware. It’s a software that you download from the internet probably without your knowledge and definitely without your consent and the purpose of it is people basically bad people out there in cyber space have this software that downloads onto your computer to watch your behaviors. Some of it is used for marketing and some of it’s to actually alter the files on your computer and steal your information. So obviously these are things that we definitely don’t want on our computer. So let’s look at some of those free things that we have today. Ad-Aware, let’s start with that one.
Mike Agerbo: Yeah, that’s one of my favorites. It has been around for a number of years now and this thing really roots out any Ad-Aware or Spyware that’s on your system and the best part is the basic version is completely free. And once you’ve installed that you basically hit the scan button and you can do a couple of different types of scan. Click one for the impatient folks out there.
Lindsay Smith: That’s me.
Mike Agerbo: Yeah or the full blown Marware just kind of grinds through the hard drive there and goes through everything and it’s probably the best one to start off with and you would be surprised at how much junk is in your hard drive. It’s kind of scary and all the different types of cookies as well and cookies are these little kinds of mini programs that actually track your behavior on the web. One of them are good. You go to websites and they use that so they can remember you so that you have a better web surfing experience but there’s some net track or stuff that you’d probably don’t want track.
Anyway once it scans through there they’ll ask you if you want to get rid of it, quarantine it or let it go. You got to be careful there sometimes because some of the stuff is not always bad and you don’t want to start messing your system up. So the free version does all that, if you do get the paid one, the nice feature the paid one has is that it does real time monitoring. So you don’t have to go in and launch the program and hit scan every time. It will actually monitor your system 24/7. So Spybot is another good one.
Lindsay Smith: Spybot – Search and Destroy, other than having a really cool name, it’s very much like the Ad-Aware but it has a few different extra features. One of them is that it actually goes into your registry so you know when you’re looking or when you’re installing new programs on your computer and it asks you to shut it down. And when you shutdown your computer it install it, sometimes Spyware will get in there and launch malicious programs. So the Spybot will actually prevent it that level. It also has a backup registry and what that means is it will save your entire registry before it installs the program. So if you do end up installing anything you can always have the safe backup.
Couple of tips for you if you are wondering if your computer has a Spyware on it or Ad-Aware on it, well some of the ways that you can tell is if you’re getting a pop-up ads and you haven’t ask for them or going to a website where you can tell it that’s coming from if it’s just popping up on your desktop. Sometimes your homepage changes and you’re like well I didn’t changed it or I have no idea what happened there. Chances are you probably have some malicious software on there and then as well unknown toolbars. Sometimes this will just pop up.
Mike Agerbo: I get those all the time and it drives me nuts.
Lindsay Smith: Not good, not good.
Mike Agerbo: So those are two programs again more so going after Spyware and Ad-Aware which is you know stuff that you don’t want in your system but you could have antivirus as well. Viruses are pretty malicious in most cases. They’ll get in to your system and you know a lot of organized crime is behind viruses now. And what they’re trying to do is install things like key lockers and stuff like you were saying earlier. Try and figure out your key strokes, put your passwords on if you are online banking. A good one that we use in the office here is AVG free and this is an antivirus program that you install and will actually monitor your system to make sure that no malicious viruses are getting into the system.
Again you can upgrade to a paid version which has more features things like internet Firewalls and a number of things like that as well but again if you want the basic antivirus protection and you don’t have a lot of cash, free is a good way to go. So if you know if I haven’t look at Ad-Aware and Spybot great for Spyware and ad-ware and if you want that antivirus protection on the cheap, read free have a look at AVG as well.