While you may think that security software for your computer is expensive, a number of developers have made some of their versions available over the Internet for free. Hard to believe, but true. Instead of purchasing expensive security software packages that have more fire power than what a typical consumer might ever use, you can find simpler versions that can be downloaded for free from certain sites.

Although there are indeed free security programs, you need to search for ones that contain important features which will truly help protect your computer. If you can’t find one security program that contains all these features, then you should consider downloading multiple individual programs to ensure you are fully protected.

The first security software you need is called a firewall. Most new computers come with a firewall already built in. If not, however, you will need it to prevent unauthorized probes either to or from your computer. By adjusting the settings of your firewall, you instruct the computer what you are allowing in from the Internet and out from your computer to the Internet.

The next component that a free security program should have is an anti-virus program. A good anti-virus program will be able to not only identify and deter all incoming viruses, but should also be capable of detecting, repairing, quarantining, and eliminating infected files you already have on your computer. There are always new viruses being developed – cyber thugs are ingenious – so it is important that your anti-virus definition file is routinely updated either daily or at least weekly. No anti-virus program is worth it – free or otherwise – if it can’t perform these basic tasks because otherwise you will only be protected for a short period of time.

A security program should also include an anti-spyware program in addition to adware and pop up blockers. Spyware and adware are embedded in so many of the programs and web sites you visit that, without an effective program to block and eliminate them, your computer will be bogged down with spam, advertising, and monitoring programs in no time at all. Spyware alone can access and collect personal information on your computer leaving you open to the threat of identity theft and more. You need to have a defense program that locates spyware and adware and cleans them out as quickly as possible so that your computer continues to run smoothly.

Finally, if possible, try to find a free security program that includes an anti-Trojan program to eliminate Trojan viruses. These are special and unique viruses that are hidden within programs such as a game or even a music file. Anti-Trojan programs should be able to scan all the files that you download to verify they are secure and harmless. Again, make sure your security program allows daily or weekly updates, because Trojan viruses are constantly in development.

A couple of options to find free security programs include www(dot)tucows(dot)com and www(dot)download(dot)com. Search their sites for the types of security programs you need (e.g. anti-virus, spyware, adware, etc.), and then look through the lists using a filter of “free” or “freeware.”

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While you may think that security software for your computer is expensive, a number of developers have made some of their versions available over the Internet for free. Hard to believe, but true. Instead of purchasing expensive security software packages that have more fire power than what...