Authored by Mike Bacon in Computer Software
Published on 12-30-2009
When you use a computer and are connected to the Internet, your computer is vulnerable to attack from many different sources. When most computer users think of security issues, they envision a hacker creating a virus and infecting their systems. This is a valid concern, as every day the hackers who create computer viruses seem to get cleverer. However, viruses are not the only way your computer can be attacked.
Many people frequently download music or various programs from the net. What they do no often realize is that they might also be downloading additional software that they did not bargain for. When you download and install a program from the Internet, you should be careful when you install it to read each page of the installation program carefully. When the program is installing one might see an extra program being offered to install free. On the surface, this is harmless. These programs may not cause your computer any damage. This is known as bloatware. Most installation programs give you an option to uncheck a box that is offering to install the extra program. If you don’t want the extra software, you must uncheck the box. So again caution is advised.
Here are some free security programs you can download to help keep your system running optimally.
This is one of the most well known of the free security programs available. With it, you get a firewall that is easy to configure. You can set the preferences to detect outbound Internet connections, and allow or deny that connection. When there is an attempt at intrusion, you get a pop up box alerting you to the situation. The free version of the program is essentially a firewall. You get much more with the paid version, which can be downloaded here along with the free version: Zone Alarm
Avast! is a streamlined antivirus program. Sometimes, all you want is the ability to defeat viruses that may end up on your computer. In addition, a relatively small program doesn’t overburden your resources. You can obtain it at: Avast! Anti-Virus
McAfee Site Adviser
Use this free program from the folks who make MacAfee Anitvirus, and if you click on a web site that might load your computer with spam or bloatware, you’ll be warned. When you search on Google, it will also give you a warning of what sites to avoid like the plague. It comes available as a plug in for Firefox, and Internet Explorer. You can get it here: MacAfee Site Advisor
Surfing the Internet often leaves you with traces of where you have been. Temporary Internet Files, cookies, a history file of every site you visit and so forth. The Internet is not the only source of junk files on your computer. Programs you install often leave temporary files in hard to find locations on your hard drive. When you uninstall a program, registry entries are often left behind. The more junk entries in your registry, the longer your system will take to load. CCleaner will effectively help you hunt down and eliminate these traces, and leftover files. Download this free and easy to use program at: CCleaner