I do this for a living so I see these things day in day out!
Zonealarm used to buy their antivirus protection from another supplier, who shall remain nameless, protection that was pretty ineffective.
You're quite right the PAID for products are much better than their free sister product. For example,AVG Free doesn't have a firewall, identity protection, rootkit detection, system tools, etc.
Security vendors to look at for decent protection: AVG, Kapersky, Sophos.
Don't touch McAfee or Symantec (Norton) unless you want to see your computer being infected. The last few systems coming in for virus removal all had McAfee installed but left with something that could actually detect malwares circulating in the wild.
Malwarebytes Antimalware is also good to download and run from time to time. The free version doesn't have resident protection but is fully effective in it scanning engine and removal tools. It is the product of choice for most people removing malware from systems.
Do not run with an ADMINISTRATOR level account! Your normal day to day account should be a limited user account. This is more effective than all the security products in the world put together! Google "Least User Privledge" to find out more on the principle.
Do NOT turn off UAC if running Vista or Windows 7. BTW UAC isn't considered a security feature by Microsoft but it does give another level to get over before malware should be able to get in.
Ensure you keep everything up to date and that includes Microsoft Office and Windows, Acrobat Reader and Flash Player, iTunes, Real Player are some of the most attacked software at the moment. Ensure you keep them fully patched. You can use Secunia PSI (free for non-commercial use) to test your system for apps that need to be removed or updated.
You may or might ot do these but worth stating here for everyone's benefit: do not download hacks, cracks or serials; do not visit dodgy websites; only download legal content and stop looking at porn :-).
Linux isn't really an option unless you're a techie geek IME.
There are many more things that can be done but those are the biggies that really make a difference. Hope that helps.
Best wishes & regards
John A Thomsonallayit
16 September 2010 at
06:12 PM by