Computer Protection Myths


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We all have some kind of anti-virus protection on our PC's, or at least we should. But when you weigh your PC down with too much protection you can end up doing more harm than good. The leading security providers will provide you with an anti-virus, firewall, phishing and spam protection. By the time you cut through all that “protection" you are left with a computer that is basically useless. I prefer to have a good anti-virus program and that's about it!

Spam is running rampant, and increasing every day. Everybody gets it and there isn't an end in sight. A spam program that will provide you with a junk folder is fine. Somewhere you can go and verify the email being tagged as spam is really spam. If you don't have a junk folder then who knows what email you should be receiving that you are not. Spam protection is not an exact science. There are dozens of factors that will trigger an email being tagged as spam. If your incoming mail triggers any one of these it won't make it to your inbox.

As far as firewalls go, people over protect without even knowing about it. First off, if you are running Windows XP SP2 or higher, you already have a built in firewall. If you have a router on your network, there is another firewall. And if you have third party firewall, that is usually included in any new PC, you'll be scratching your head as to why you can visit the sites you want to visit. My preference is to use the hardware firewall which is my router. I have disabled the built in XP firewall and don't use any third party programs.

I am still skeptical with phishing protection. To save yourself from any phising scams, don't click on any links provided in emails. Follow that rule and you'll be fine. If you get an email from a company that you do business with, read the email, then close the email, open up your browser and manually put in the web address of that business to check the validity of the email. Another good tip is to run your mouse over the suspected link and in the status bar (lower left hand corner of the window) it will display the web address that link will take you to. So let's say you get a suspect email from eBay that has a link on it. Run your mouse over that link, check the status bar and if that address starts with anything other than http://www.ebay. . . trash it, it is a scam.

I have also witnessed these third party protection programs really slow down a computer. Slow it down to the point where it is unusable. If you are looking for a good anti-virus program, please check out AVG. They do have a free version as well as a paid version. The free version works great! Run your anti-virus program, use your hardware firewall and be diligent with suspect emails. Follow those rules and you'll have a much more enjoyable Internet experience.

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