Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Security Software - The Basics

Another quite interesting article from Lavasoft’s (authors of Ad-Aware) web site explains why you need several layers of security software. I liked their way of explaining this and quote from this web page. Here is the link in text format:

In a few locations I have changed the sequence of sentences or paragraphs to denote levels of importance and I have added some formatting and applied emphasis to enhance readability. The text itself has in no way been modified.
Today's threats are varied, sophisticated, and continue to adapt in order to get past your defenses. And that means that going online without essential protection in place on your computer is no longer an option.

The best ways to stay secure online are to prepare your PC with the right tools and to use caution and common sense whenever you use the Internet. An up-to-date firewall is another security must-have. Updated spyware and virus protection with real-time monitoring are important tools in keeping spyware and malware from infecting your computer. These three elements provide fundamental security to your PC, and are essential to protect your information and your privacy.

What exactly are these tools and why are they necessary?

A firewall works as a barrier between your PC and cyber space. When you are connected to the Internet, you are constantly sending and receiving information in small units called packets. The firewall filters these packets to see if they meet certain criteria set by a series of rules, and thereafter blocks or allows the data.

A firewall provides critical protection to keep your PC safe from unauthorized access, yet it cannot remove malware from a system that has already been infected; therefore it should be used in conjunction with anti-spyware and anti-virus software.

Anti-virus software.
A virus is code that recursively replicates a possibly evolved copy of itself. Viruses use computers to spread from one to another. They [viruses] often perform a function that can erase files and processes from your computer.

Anti-virus software can protect your computer from a range of cyber threats like viruses, worms, rootkits, and phishing attacks. The software keeps you protected by scanning files to look for known viruses, and by using what is known as heuristics to identify suspicious behavior which may indicate a threat.

Anti-spyware software.

Spyware attaches itself to individual computers to perform functions like monitoring Internet navigation and stealing information. Spyware can track your personal data and then send it to cyber criminals.

Anti-spyware software can protect your computer by providing real-time protection against malware, spyware, and adware installations, as well as by detecting and removing such programs that are already installed on your computer.
I hope you find this quote from Lavasoft interesting.

To the description of the Firewall I want to add that the most important feature of a Firewall is the ability to protect the computer from actively being "hacked" into. My experience proves over and over again that the firewall in Windows XP by now does this very well and dependably.

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog.

Thank you in advance.

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