Get the Funk Out!

Seems everyone is talking about AV programs, Firewalls, Spyware and how to keep all that crap out of your system. Personally I think it’s pretty easy and use 3 relatively cheap apps to do it.

First, all the anti-virus and firewall protection is handled by Norton Internet Security 2011. I know Norton has had some issues in the past but their latest versions have worked really well. NIS 2011 flags suspicious files immediately, prevents suspicious sites from loading and I think does a great job of keeping crap files and bad websites at bay. And trust me I’ve ventured over onto the wrong side of the tracks many a time. If you shop around you can get NIS 2011 for around $40 with a 3 computer license. I mentioned previously I got it directly from Norton for $28. That is a hell of a deal and one of the cheapest prices I’ve seen.

Second, there is SuperAntiSpyware. Horrible name but an excellent piece of software. Updates are very frequent and SAS keeps all manner of evil at bay. It removes tracking cookies, detects spyware downloads and stops tampering with your browser. This is a must have second line of defense to make sure something doesn’t sneak through. Also, you can get this app for around $15 for a lifetime license. Again, that is a tremendous value and the protection it provides is excellent.

Third, I use a tool to erase all the Internet cookies and cache every time I close down my browser. Some people raise their eyebrows at me, but these are people who’ve probably never let a scanner check their machine. After a single day of usage there will be dozens of tracking cookies stockpiling a wealth of information about the sites you visit and what you like to look at. I have no need for this crap and delete these every day. And if I don’t NIS or SuperAntiSpyware will flag and delete them for me. I use Internet Privacy Pro to delete the cookies and cache from every major browser. It understands Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari and Opera. You can also use a program like WinOptimzer 8, CCleaner or one of several others for the same task. These apps also clean out the temp files and plenty of other junk that’s lying around too. It also means you have a clean browser when you start so you’ll see updates for site the next time you visit. I know this is supposed to happen normally, but I’ve seen it fail plenty of times too.

All totaled it’s about $60 in software to keep all manner of funk at bay. I’ve had these apps in place for well over a year and haven’t had a single problem. That doesn’t mean my machine hasn’t been attacked. Quite the opposite. I see warnings on a regular basis of files being deleted, cookies being trashed and web sites that aren’t safe to enter. Now if you completely ignore the warning signs then you get what you deserve. But so far my machines have been unscathed. If you’re looking to secure a machine I would go with this list.

Also, if your machine is already in a bad way these tools will rip the problem out. They’ll jump right in and start restoring order. NIS takes about 2 minutes to install and SAS takes even less. Once they’re in place your machine will be battle ready once again.

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