For the past four years or so, Comcast has offered free PC Internet security software if you are a Comcast customer it really is a great deal and highly advisable to take advantage of the free software for all your computers. Protect your email and Web browsing from infecting your computer today. Article update: 10/31/2011
The all-new McAfee® Security Suite gives you a whole series of tools to help keep you, your family and your home computers safe, protected and virus-free. It’s an all-in-one, comprehensive, easy-to-install solution-and a $120 value, included FREE with your Comcast High-Speed Internet subscription. No strings attached.
Constant Guard™ Protection Suite from XFINITY Internet is your PC’s all-in-one security dashboard. After the easy installation, the application will help protect your passwords, secure your credit card information, and set-up one-click access to your online accounts. This $360 value is free with your XFINITY Internet subscription, so download it today and stay safe with Constant Guard™.
What Constant Guard™ Protection Suite does:
- Helps protect your passwords & remembers them for you
- Safeguards your credit cards when used online
- Conceals what you type online to protect your personal information
- Includes top-rated Norton™ Security Suite
- Provides one-click secure login to your bank, shopping and any online account
- Includes Secure Backup & Share, and now IDENTITY GUARD®.
Install Internet Security Software For Your PC
The importance of installing Internet security software on your PC can not be overstated. In my case, our family has six computers that are used by various family members. The Comcast Internet Security Suite by McAfee is a great value. With the proliferation of viruses, worms, malware, and intrusive cookies, a computer will become corrupted in no time flat when surfing the Web even if you don’t download anything online. Just simply hooking up your computer to the Internet and navigating to a few hazardous websites that you might not be aware of, will attack and download software in the background which will corrupt your computer and the worst part about it is you won’t even know your computer has become infected until it’s too late.
Internet Security Issues
Intrusive software that are security hazards such as PC key loggers can automatically track your key strokes when you type in your user names and passwords into online banking websites or even when you log in to your online email is just an online mouse click away. Many times this software gets loaded on your computer when you click on a window that pops up, and the popup makes it look like you have a virus on your computer. By simply clicking on the scan button of this pop up window, you are actually installing another malware program in the background. Don’t fall for this scam. It occurs so easily, even when users are aware that this can happen; it is easy to click the close button by thinking that the “X” close box closes the window with nothing else to worry about. However, don’t assume the close X button on a pop up window is the actual close button for that window. I suggest right clicking on the tab at the bottom of the Windows screen, and select the button that says “Close” on the pop up that you actually wish to close. Also it is wise to have a pop up blocker for your browser. I particularly like Firefox and even the new Google Chrome browser for the excellent popup blocking features.
Spyware, Malware, Adware, and Computer Virus Definitions
- Spyware is computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user’s interaction with the computer, without the user’s informed consent.
- Malware, is a blended word from the words malicious and software, which is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s informed consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.
- Adware or advertising-supported software is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used. Some types of adware are also spyware and can be classified as privacy-invasive software.
- A Computer Virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. The term “virus” is also commonly used, albeit erroneously, to refer to many different types of malware and adware programs.
I am really impressed with the marketing strategy from Comcast to their customers. With Comcast keeping their customers’ PC computers running free of viruses, with a free Internet security software tool, enables their customers to operate at a higher level of Internet protection than most of their competitors. Most ISPs simply provide you online Web access, with an attitude of “you’re on your own now,” which simply leaves way too much room for PC problems down the line. Computers are the tool to navigate the Web. If your computer is giving you grief, you are not going to have a very good user experience online. Likewise, if your computer runs trouble free, your life online will be like a breath of fresh air.
What if I am not a Comcast customer? Google Pack comes to the rescue.
Google provides a couple of free basic programs as part of their Google Pack for detecting and removing viruses and spyware.
Google Pack includes a special edition of Norton Security Scan to help you evaluate your computer’s vulnerability to security risks. Norton™ Security Scan is a free, easy-to-use tool that scans your PC for viruses, spyware, and other threats. » Download Google Pack.
Key Features of Norton Security Scan
* Scans for threats residing on your PC
* Detects and removes viruses, worms, and Trojan horses
* Warns you of spyware and unwanted adware
* Schedules regular scans
* Automatically receives updates**
Take the next step and prevent infections before they happen. Protect your system 24 X 7 with our award-winning Norton Internet Security™ 2009, designed to automatically block hackers, viruses, spyware and prevent online identity theft.
The other software tool from Google is Spyware Doctor Starter Edition which detects PC threats and removes spyware, adware, trojans and keyloggers. Spware Doctor Starter Edition includes Smart Updates and scheduling to protect your PC.
Both Norton Internet Security and Spyware Doctor can be downloaded directly from the Google Pack software installer page.
There are other free antivirus software programs available online. I have not tried very many of the free software programs that are available, so I can’t give you my recommendations. I would however suggest reading closely the reviews of what others have to say about the various free programs available for download. Be careful from where you download too. I believe a good place to get started is at CNET download.com for Antivirus Software. Note that the sponsored matches are displayed first. Two software programs that I have used in the past for detecting adware, spyware, and malware are Spybot – Search & Destroy©® and Ad-Aware by Lavasoft.
A general rule that should always be followed when installing antivirus software, is always use some form of threat protection software, but don’t use more than one type in automatic detection mode. The reason is the software programs will be fighting each other in the Windows Operating Systems and will be identifying the other software as a virus, spyware, adware, or malware program.
The best antivirus software programs will constantly update their database of spyware signatures and virus definitions and provide automatic PC updates for your local signature database. This is an extremely important point to be aware of because the virus threats are constantly morphing from computer terrorists all over the world, that are looking for ways of creating online havoc for everyone. You need both real time PC protection and automated deep scan protection. If you have an old copy of a PC anti-virus software, that has not had your local computer database updated to current virus signature threats, you are driving a computer on borrowed time, with no brakes, headed down a steep grade, just waiting for the head-on computer crash. Given the severity of the online PC virus threats (through both emails and web surfing), along with spyware, adware, and malware programs lurking on websites, your computer could very well end up with the blue screen of death. At the very least, your computer will become corrupted, slowed down to a crawl, performance will continue to suffer when trying to do anything, system resources will be tied up with running background programs that you are not aware of, memory usage will skyrocket, your hard drive will constantly be ca-chunking away, and you will think you need a brand new computer. I would venture to say that the majority of people that think they need a new computer are probably facing years worth of unsafe computer practices. Even if you buy a new computer and do not set up “best computer practices”, you are very likely to start the downward spiral all over again, because you invariably will want to copy your corrupted files, pictures, and programs over to the new computer. And, you will once again get on the PC merry-go-round, where you will certainly end up visiting the same websites, surfing new Internet sites where the online threats reside, and downloading and installing new virus infected software programs which will ultimately affect your PC’s health.
From a consumer standpoint trust me when I say, take the small amount of time now to get your online computer house in order. If you don’t take computer protection preventative measures now, you will surely be taking extensive time measures and creating PC headaches for yourself in the future just by surfing the web unprotected.
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