Over the past few months, Stephen (the person who runs the AgeWell Computer Lab in Lincoln, NE) and I have had numerous discussions about the big increase we’ve both seen in online threats (viruses, malware, scams, etc.), and how it’s becoming increasingly hard to keep your computer and personal information safe, even if you take all the normal precautions.
And it’s very frustrating! We hate seeing our students struggle as their computers get infected and the end up having to pay a geek to clean it off.
Well, in our talks we didn’t come up with any completely fool-proof solution, but we did agree on some important points that I want to pass along to you, including which Anti-Virus program we are now going to recommend to our students.
Our New Favorite Internet Security Program
This past fall, Symantec, decided to move away from the consumer world and focus more on corporate security. In doing so, they “ended the life” of Norton 360, their main internet safety product. (CLICK HERE to read my article about Norton 360).
As Norton 360 was the product Stephen and I recommended, it was time for a change.
Our new, favorite Anti-Virus program is Kaspersky Internet Security 2015. This program was again recently rated at the top of the “best Anti-Virus” list, along with another program called BitDefender. But we like Kaspersky because it’s a straight-forward, non-nonsense program that does a great job of catching both viruses and malware.
CLICK HERE to see the program on the DiscoverSkills Recommended Page.
Our updated advice on Free Anti-Virus programs versus Pay-For
Although we still like some of the free Anti-Virus programs (AVG and Avast), we are now telling students that we prefer they spend the money and get a pay-for program like Kaspersky.
No, we don’t have any stock in the company, we just both feel that companies put more effort into keeping the pay-for versions up-to-date, and in these days of increased threats, keeping up to date is more important than ever.
Plus, a program like Kaspersky Internet Security can be purchased for as little as $37 on Amazon (it’s even a 3-PC version), and if you watch for sales, even less. Stephen and I both think the cost is worth it.
What else do we recommend for safety?
Besides now recommending Kaspersky and that we prefer you go with a pay-for safety solution, we’re still passing long the same safety tips we’ve preached for the last ten years.
- Install a good Anti-Virus or Internet Security program
- Make sure your Firewall is up and running
- Make sure your Windows Updates are happening
- Make sure you are also updating Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java (if you have them).
- Make sure you create strong passwords for your online accounts
- Only enter private information on web pages that are secure
- Never click a link in an email that seems to be from a financial institution
- Never click on a “fix your computer” banner or pop-up ad as you are browsing the Internet
- Never talk to anyone who calls you claiming your computer needs fixing.
- Only download from reputable web sites
- Always make backups of your important files
But in addition to these, we’re also again suggesting VIGILANCE, which includes (and yes some of these are repeats from above)….
- NOT clicking on pop-up windows that appear as you’re browsing the Internet.
- NOT opening email attachments that come from people you don’t know.
- NOT talking to “tech support” people that cold-call you saying your computer has problems.
- NOT downloading programs from sites you don’t know
More Resources on Internet Safety
If you’d like more information about staying safe, I have a list of other articles I’ve written on the subject.
As always, I would love to hear your comments about the subject. You can leave them below!!!