The web can be full of hazards these days as hackers and malware developers strive to get important information such as credit card information, user IDs and passwords to paid subscription websites, social networking sites, e-mail accounts, and other personal data. Other people simply want to wreck havoc on a multitude of computers connected to the Internet for entertainment purposes. Fortunately, there are a number of computer security programs that you should install immediately so that you can prepare for the threats.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials is Microsoft’s first attempt to combat viruses floating around the net. It is presented to be extremely easy for people to setup and runs in the background without eating up too many resources, making it an ideal solution even for older computers that do not have much RAM. The best thing about this software is that it is free for all licensed Windows XP users and above. Virus definitions update every few days so it should keep your system secure enough especially when combined with the Windows Firewall for blocking attacks and the Windows Defender for combating spyware.

Secunia PSI

Unlike other security applications, Secunia PSI doesn’t tackle or detect any threats that are within the system or on the net. In fact, it doesn’t attempt to make any modifications of the computer itself. Instead, Secunia PSI scans all of the applications that are installed in the system and checks for any vulnerabilities. Some programs where hackers take advantage of vulnerabilities include many of the Adobe software particularly Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash. Other third-party browsers are checked for vulnerabilities as well. If any vulnerabilities are detected, the information regarding the vulnerability is shown. In addition, a link to the latest version of the application that patches this vulnerability is supplied if provided by the developer, making it easy for people to keep their most important programs up to date.

CCleaner

At first glance, CCleaner is more of a system maintenance tool rather than a security tool since it specializes in cleaning out all of the junk files in the computer such as the Internet cache of the different browsers and other temporary files. The security aspect of the program can be seen once you start using it to clean up any private tracks that are left behind so that other users won’t be able to see. This includes recently open files, cookies, Internet browsing histories, and other links. It can also be used by more experienced users to check what programs will run on startup. If any suspicious programs are listed, you can securely remove those entries to disable the malware’s functionality. It also has a registry scanner that can solve problems and improve performance as well.

All of the three programs mentioned above are freeware and should be installed immediately because they do not cause much of an impact in system performance and do not come bundled with any spyware. However, you can improve your security even more by substituting your free antivirus scanner with a commercial product that can do a better job in removing and cleaning malware as well as blocking firewall attacks. Good programs include ESET NOD32 and Smart Security, Kaspersky Internet Security, and other popular commercial tools.

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The web can be full of hazards these days as hackers and malware developers strive to get important information such as credit card information, user IDs and passwords to paid subscription websites, social networking sites, e-mail accounts, and other personal data. Other people simply want to wreck havoc on...