Internet Security Software
Simply put, the Internet is not a very friendly place for your computer. Whether you click an attack site's link from search results or click on and open a malicious email attachment or load an attack site from an instant message, threats abound online. Read the practical guide below to protect your computer from Internet-borne threats like trojans, viruses, and spyware. Ereviewguide tests and writes honest reviews of the best and most reputable security software companies online. Browse through our below list of various security solutions.
November 24, 2010
Mcafee Internet Security is an internet security software for Windows created by publisher Mcafee Inc.
Internet Security Software Q & A
Internet Security Questions and Answers
- Which features should absolutely be present in internet security or antivirus software
The Internet has become a very dangerous place. From email spam with dangerous attachments, to innocent-looking websites that install malicious software, to tracking cookies that might be exploited at a later time, there are many threats out there that you should be on the lookout for. At a bare minimum, any security software you install must have the following features: antivirus, antimalware, and auto-update mechanism.
- What are viruses and malware and why are they bad for my computer?
Antivirus modules protect your computer from software code that uses your system to create and spread copies of itself. These viruses can corrupt the data on your hard drive making your computer unusable. Malware detection and cleaning components protects your computer against spyware and trojans. Spyware are pieces of software that, with or without your permission, are installed on your computer and either send your personal or usage information to another computer. Trojans are software that allow attackers to turn your computer into a proxy server so they can use your internet connection to send spam or attack other computers or engage in other illegal activities.
- How do security software auto-updates protect my computer?
Auto-update operations allow your security software to remain updated against the latest virus and malware threats without conscious efforts on your part to download and overwrite existing installations of your security software.
- What should I do if I have been a victim of a Fake Antivirus?
The majority of these fake antivirus program starts with a user experiencing a pop-up warning somewhere on their desktop stating they have been infected and telling them to download and purchase a specific antivirus or internet security software. When a user buys the aforementioned application they 1) give the author of the "antivirus" the credit card info 2) In fact never downloads a security software but just another virus. Start by blocking your credit card as soon as possible because your info is either sold to a third party scammer or used by the original author. Next visit a security authority and download a credible software which then can be used to wipe out the threats from your computer. If for some reason you cant visit any security company websites, the fake antivirus you downloaded is the one blocking you, try visit any computer or antivirus forum online and ask for help. This is a multibillion industry and one of the biggest scams online and needs to be stopped. If you believe you've already been infected, please visit this page with tools for fake antivirus removal and information resource on the topic.
Internet Security Software
Why Do You Need Internet Security Software?
Regardless of whatever you do online, your computer will always be the target of attackers. Why would they want to attack your computer? Primarily, money and control. Attackers wish to either turn your computer into a zombie that sends out gobs of spam or to use your computer to attack a website or to spread computer viruses, spyware and other infections. Entry ways for infection vary widely. While we won't aim to list all the possible ways Internet-borne threats can infect and harm your computer, here is a quick list of possible infection methods:
- Email-based threats:
Sent via an email attachment. Infection occurs when you click on the attachment to load a web page or open a data file. The web page or data file either downloads a file that autoinstalls malicious software or the data file calls a malicious file that autoinstalls.
- Forum or messageboard-based threats:
You click on a link on a message board and you load a web page that downloads and autoinstalls malicious software.
- Search result-based threats:
You do a search on Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines. When you click on a search result, the page you load automatically downloads a malicious program and autoinstalls it.
- USB-based threats:
A co-worker or roommate uses your computers and uses a USB memory stick to transport files. One of the files is infected, and auto downloads and automatically installs malicious software on your computer.
- P2P-based threats:
You download illegal copies of games or software off torrent sites or other illegal file sharing sites. You install the file and it installs malicious applications without your knowledge.
- Image-based trojans:
You load a picture in an otherwise safe site and instead of a regular image file, a trojan file is downloaded into your browser. Later, the trojan is activated remotely, and it autodownloads and automatically installs malicious software.
These are just a FEW of the ways your computer can be infiltrated and infected by malicious software from the Internet. Not all threats are obvious. Most take the form of trojan downloaders which appear to be innocent files but are triggered to download and install more outright malicious. With every passing month, these trojans and program loaders get more and more sophisticated as they seek to evade detection by all but the most sensitive anti-malware software. The Internet is a battle ground for the arms race raging between those who code and/or spread viruses, spyware, trojan, phishing/identity theft attacks, and other threats and those who wish to stop them. Don't get caught in the crossfire. Here are a few simple considerations to keep in mind when looking for Internet Security software suites to protect your computer.
Does it have Basic components?
Spyware programs aren't viruses but annoying programs that often don't ask for your permission when installing themselves on to your system. Spyware range from the relatively benign to malicious software that turn your computer into a spam-blasting machine. Spyware can destroy important data or even disable your computer's communications/networking software. Spyware can cost you your internet connection. Antispyware software detects and clean these programs.
Not only don't viruses ask for your permission to install themselves, they also use your system to make copies of themselves and distribute the copies. Viruses pose a massive threat to your data because they often destroy data files and corrupt programs. Viruses can be specially costly if its a hassle to find and install a copy of an old program or if they destroy valuable data which you haven't backed up. Antivirus software detects and cleans these dangerous annoyances.
Firewall software polices your internet connection. Only you and approved users can get access in and out of the firewall. Firewall software walls off or prevents incoming attacks
How comprehensive is its threats database? Does it have comprehensive databases across all components or just a few?
Internet-based threats mutate rapidly. Databases must contain profiles of the latest threats for your Internet Security Software to adequately do its job. Failure to include the latest threats is a question of life or death. Not only must its threat database be up to date for one particular component—for example, its antivirus component must have the latest database and profiles of the most recent viruses, its antispyware components must similarly be updated against the latest spyware threats. All components must have a robust threat profile database or the suite will not protect you from Internet-borne threats, since there's no telling which type of threat will hit your computer.
Does the threat database for each component update frequently?
Regardless of how many threats your Internet Security Software software has in its components' databases, if it doesn't update frequently, the Suite is worthless. Make sure you pick a Suite that updates at least daily. Also, try to select a suite that contains an autoupdate feature instead of manual updates. The more frequent and automatic the updates, the better the protection.
How big is the installed base of users for the Internet Security Suite software?
When it comes to software, the bigger its installed base the better. Why? A large installed base means there's a higher likelihood that most bugs in the software would have been discovered and fixed. A large base means a larger database of tech support issues and community-based solutions and feedback. A large base also means that any issues regarding installation, OS compliance, and hardware compliance have a higher likelihood of having been detected and resolved. A large base also gives the customer support team behind the software a “baptism by fire”. Tech support would be battle hardened and would have common tech FAQs and other information available for easy access online. On the other hand, if the Suite you are considering has a very small base, it might still have major unrevealed bugs. Its customer support staff might be ill-trained or ill-equipped to deal with your particular issues.
Besides the Basic Components, are there other Security items or features?
Internet-borne threats don't just take the form of viruses, trojans, and spyware. Spam is also another threat. We all know how annoying spam gets, but it also has a more sinister side. Not only can it be used to deliver virus or spyware or trojan payloads, it might be used for profiling and identity theft. Added components like Spam Filter or Spam guard may go a long way in containing the threats spam poses. Another extra security feature that you should look for are AntiPhishing features. Phishing threats involve fake bank or financial or personal info pages which steal your login information. AntiPhishing applications detect common phishing pages and blocks access to them.
How easy is the software to use?
Let's face it, the most powerful Internet Security Suite software is worthless if you're unable to easily navigate, customize, and update/upgrade it. Ease of use counts for a lot. Shy away from “geeks only” types of software interfaces since any missed step on your part will result in a lot of painful headaches down the road when you have to reformat your computer or worse.
Does the Internet Security Software have a diverse and reliable support service?
Look for an Internet Security Software that offers a wide range of support options. Not all technical issues require live assistance. If your particular technical support question has been asked a thousand times, wouldn't you want technical support to post it online on a support forum or knowledge base instead of waiting for your call? Make sure the Suite that you are considering has a large knowledge base that is available online or has a support forum where answers are actually given. Make sure they offer free options in addition to paid voice support.
The Bottom Line
Surfing the Internet can be a very dangerous proposition. Make sure to pick the right Internet Security Software that matches your particular needs and situations by asking the key questions posed above. Only after serious deliberation will you be able to identify and secure the software that fits your particular needs There is no “one size fits all” solution.