The time has come – with the constant barrage of viruses, spyware, and phishing – to get some serious protection for your computer. Which is the best protection for your system that will protect your computer and data from hackers, viruses, and phishing?
Is your firewall good enough? If you are unsure of the answer, surf to www.pcflank.com. Here you will find a collection of tests for your firewall program. Run all of the tests following the on screen instructions. If your firewall fails these tests, your computer is at risk.
MY FIREWALL FAILED! What can I do? The answer to this is simple, go to www.agnitum.com. The program here is Outpost Firewall Pro 2008. With this firewall you are able to block open ports, stealth those ports and prevent intrusions.
Once you have the software installed, ensure you go back to www.pcflank.com and test your system to ensure full protection. Outpost Firewall Pro is one of only two firewalls that are able to successfully complete all of the tests. Don’t forget, you want to block outgoing unauthorized conversations as well as malicious incoming threats. Failing to block an outgoing threat may be allowing it to transmit vital personal information to a waiting computer outside your area of protection.
In addition, Outpost can be modified to block outgoing information, you simply enter the information you wish blocked and it will prevent programs from transmitting this data from your computer to the waiting arms of a someone wishing to use it for fraudulent use.
I have my firewall system fully in place, now what about virus attacks?
ANTIVIRUS Antivirus protection is obtained from www.grisoft.com. The program here you wish to download is AVG Professional. Installation is through following on screen prompts. Your email is also automatically checked if using Outlook / Outlook Express. Other email programs can be added, refer to the documentation for information you will need to setup alternate email programs for virus scanning.
Between these two programs, ensuring all the proper settings, your computer will be safe from intruders, hackers, and virus/malware programs.
Both of these companies offer free versions of their programs. The free versions work just as well as the pay versions but they limit you more on options. You cannot have the full benefit of customization with the free versions. Search their sites for the free versions, they are not easy to locate, but worth the time if you cannot afford the paid versions. Ensure you comply with the license agreements for the free versions.
Both companies also offer “family” packages for renewal and multi-year renewals. You can register the software for one low fee and install on multiple machines in your home (limit is normally five computers, so ensure you stay within the license limits) without paying individual license prices. Family licenses for 2-year renewal are extremely affordable.
Download the manuals for the software to your computer and ensure you follow the setup steps. For optimal protection, you will need to tweak some settings. The software protects well in default settings, but you can fine-tune settings to give you the most protection for your system.
Of utmost importance is to ensure you allow both programs to perform updates automatically. If you have a broadband connection, I recommend setting it to check daily. If you have slower internet connection speeds, at least weekly should be adequate protection.
One final note, you may have to play with some of the settings and trade some protection for greater use. For example, you may not wish to block all cookies, if you do, some sites you visit may stop opening in your browser. Allow about a week to fine tune the programs if you use your computer frequently to de-bug settings and get it set to what works best for you. If you are unable to reach the internet with your browser, you can easily disable with a right click and verify the firewall is the problem. Then readjust the settings to allow this site through. Do not leave your firewall disabled or in reduced protection mode for extended periods of time as it will leave your system vulnerable.
These two programs work well with each other, no conflicts. Get the best value for your dollar by getting two programs that work well in their respective fields. Outpost will protect your computer from incoming and outgoing issues (with proper settings) and AVG will protect from unwanted malware installation. Happy surfing!