How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

You just have to have a PC to be a target. Such statements so overwhelming sometimes have the opposite effect: disinterest. And it is that often precede a speech arguing about why you should spend your money in a high-security suite price. The point is, however, the message itself is true. If not done looking phishing of personal data, they are those who are trying to cheat to get the data from your credit card, or how to turn your machine into a zombie in a botnet. If you are connected to the network, you really are a target potencial.Pero that does not mean you need to pay for a suite of high-quality security. Although McAfee and Symantec offer simple and uncomplicated solutions, you can improvise own security suite that provides protection comparable to that of the options you pay for any of the cost. Once you've slapped these applications on your PC and read about how to avoid the pitfalls of security most tortuous of the Web, you will have a good amount of protection against most of the worst boogeymen Web.

How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

AVG Free topped the charts in our latest roundup free antivirus and this magnificent suite of software has only improved since then. Fast and efficient, AVG does a great job of blocking malicious downloads before they happen, and is even better in eradicating malware that already has crept into your machine.

Notice I said "malware", not "virus". Despite the nickname antivirus, AVG protects against a wide range of nasty infections, and comes with useful extras like a secure file shredder, and a Do Not Track feature to ad networks shake your tail off. Check it out-but be warned that AVG strives to get you to sign up for their premium offering during installation.

For even lower friction free antivirus protection, you can rely on built-in Microsoft Windows Defender, but their detection rates has lagged behind the competition is in independent tests.

Having a backup tool antimalware

How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

No antivirus product is perfect. If a particularly stubborn insect sneaks past AVG, call the free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware cavalry. This demand exploration program focuses on threats "zero day" rather than common criminals, so they will not want to use it as your only protection, but gives you a powerful secondary option when your PC starts behaving suspiciously.

PC Firewall

How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

The other member of the duo critical dynamic security, a firewall blocks hackers to penetrate your system indirectly. You have a couple of options here: the low safety profile Windows Firewall by default, or the most demanding (even more dynamic) ZoneAlarm Free Firewall.

Windows Firewall should be sufficient for most people. It sits quietly in the background until a connection attempt is detected suspicious, and is as low maintenance, low maintenance cost can be, but you can only detect incoming penetration attempts.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall monitors incoming and outgoing traffic for suspicious behavior. Foreign outgoing connections could be signs of an infection, so surveillance in that direction can be valuable. Training ZoneAlarm takes a little manual labor, however, and the program has a bad habit of installing a toolbar and change your home page and search providers in your browser unless you're careful during installation . Apart from that, however, it works as advertised and is easy to use.

Strengthen your browser
How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free
With the two pillars of PC security in place, it's time to turn to the most granular things. The Internet is full of infected or downright malicious websites. The big three browsers do a good job of alerting you when a site is known to traffic of malware, but are not as good at identifying phishing scams (eg). Free Web trusted and McAfee SiteAdvisor browser plug-ins crowdsourcing information to let you know when a site can be dangerous, with easy to read green, yellow icons, and red to indicate the threat level of the page.

If you are deeply concerned about web threats, consider installing Google Chrome, which beat anyone interested in the safety of the battery of tests PCWorld browser, thanks to built-in sandbox putting on quarantine each file to keep potential to spread malware. You can also check our tips Chrome lock down even more, as well as Firefox and Internet Explorer our safety tips, if Google does not float your boat.

Keep your software updated
How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

Secunia Personal Software Inspector, a program that keeps all your software updated explicitly security software installed, is not, but is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle of security for any security system patched. Old, outdated software often riddled with vulnerabilities that cunning thieves can use to access your PC. Secunia PSI ensures that know all the weaknesses of your system have been reinforced by the latest solutions for software developers. Seriously: Get this now.

Password manager
How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

The KeePass interface seems complicated, but it's dead easy once you've used. Given the frequency with reputable websites succumb to hackers, strong password management is a must. Reuse of passwords are just asking for disaster! And although you can create secure and memorable passwords using mnemonic tricks, everyday users will probably be easier to rely on a password manager to have the headaches of online security.

I Prefer KeePass, a password manager of client that works across a wide range of devices and packs a random password generator. Some of my cohorts love LastPass and Dashlane. All are great-pick one and use it.

If you're using social media, use protection
How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

Some of the more devious intrusions occur through social networks, and most security suites now include social media safeguards of some sort. Bitdefender Safego a free Facebook application, scans your News Feed for malicious links and phishing attempts; if you find something unpleasant, even it helps you warn your friends.

PCWorld output guide lock down their social network accounts for additional advice as well as supplements to protect yourself in other services.

Parental controls
How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

Most security suites include some software to protect children, too, but Microsoft itself has been offering top-notch parental controls since the days of Vista. Windows 8 bake function (to reach it, select Control Panel> User Accounts and Family Safety> Child Protection), but you will need to download the software package Windows Essentials if your computer runs Windows 7 or Vista. Once her children were established, the website of Microsoft Family Safety is the go-to resource for configuration management.

Track your stolen laptop
How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free
What if your laptop stolen? The (mostly) free and open source prey can increase your chances of recovering and thwarting the thief.

Once installed, the dam is hidden in the background, taking up system resources and remain hidden. But when software by far, the use of the site of the dam is activated, starts sending frequent updates detailing where her notebook, including screen shots of what is being used for and even snapshots from webcam PC to help identify the murderer sticky fingers. If you want to intervene more directly, you can remotely lock your computer.

Prey is available for Windows, OS X, iOS, Ubuntu Linux, Android and other Linux distributions. And if you're concerned about prying eyes looking at your files, you can easily encrypt the hard drive using TrueCrypt.

How to make your PC more secure, once and for all, and free

Some other tools can help keep your PC buttoned nice and tight. The magnificent Sandboxie runs the software virtually, thereby isolating it from the rest of your system a useful mechanism for security programs that could be malicious. Qualys BrowserCheck says its plug-ins are up to date, something like Secunia PSI for your browser. CCleaner mimics the self-tuning tools security suites in top quality and keeps your PC running lean and mean. And Belarc Advisor scans your system to provide a high level (though techie-oriented) view of potential security holes in your PC.

As you can see, protecting your PC with free tools is definitely possible. That does not mean that security software quality is useless, however. Free programs do not offer perfect coverage on-the-council of their peers to-pay, and free software normally does not offer customer support forums beyond manned users. In addition, the security software tends to achieve high quality slightly better detection rates that free anti-malware programs.

If you want to avoid the shortcomings of the free offers, check out PCWorld raid nine big names antivirus suites. We partner with researchers from the independent AV-Test in Germany to test empirically solutions because security principals premium hard data does not lie.
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