Internet Security Software Review - 4 Quick Tips PDF Print E-mail

Buying security software to protect your computer from threats on the internet can be quite a daunting task for the average home user. Luckily there are some decent internet security software review sites available but you need to be careful.

There are a number of software review sites on the internet but sometimes it is difficult to determine the ones you can trust. Affiliates use internet security software review sites to push products with high commission and questionable capability. This is not to say that all affiliates sites are untrustworthy. There are indeed some excellent affiliates sites.

Here are 5 tips to bear in mind when using a review site to help you determine the best product for you.

1. How did you get to the site - if you clicked on an advert or "sponsored result" then someone paying money for you click. This means they need to make a profit from the review so be wary of aggressive recommendations or sites with little content. Natural search results are more likely to give a better review especially if they appear on the first page. If the site appears on the first page of a search result then Google considers this site an "authority." This is not a perfect rule as search engine results can be manipulated too.

2. Recognize the site or author name - a review on the PC World Magazine website is likely to be trustworthy. However, do not ignore recommendation of other authors from people you know or from popular computer forums.

3. Look for recommendation consistency - never rely on one review to make you decision. Always read a couple of reviews and compare the recommendations. The best products should appear near or at the top on a number of reveiw sites.

4. Review content - the quality and depth of the review is a really important factor. Screen shots are good here as well so you can see the product's interface. A good, in-depth review will mention both strengths and weaknesses and you should get a good feel for the product's capabilities.

Many people get freaked out when you mention the phrase "computer internet security". They immediately jump to the conclusion that it can only be done by someone well-versed in computer knowledge or you have to spend big money on computer Internet security software. This fear is totally unfounded and in fact there are many simple, common sense things that anyone, with even a small understanding of computers, can do to help maintain their computer Internet security.

1. Use well crafted passwords. Never use your own name, birthday, street address or other personal information as a password. Anyone who knows you or has access even to general information about you can easily figure these out. There are even tools used by professional computer hackers that will crack dictionary-generated passwords. The best password usually consists of at least eight characters, a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols all randomly selected. Although these kinds of passwords are difficult for you to remember, they are far more difficult for the hacker to crack as well. One way for you to remember these unique passwords is to create an acronym using each of the numbers, letters and symbols used. This is the same idea as using the word "HOMES" to memorize each of the Great Lakes- Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. There are also software programs available that will randomly generate passwords for you. The key thing is you must find a way to remember them whether doing it manually yourself or having a program do it automatically.

2. Change your password regularly. It seems a shame to create an awesome password only to have to change it. Unfortunately forgetting this simple step is what gets many computer users into trouble. They use the same password year after year and sooner or later someone is going to gain access to it, either by accident or on purpose. Especially if the user has needed to provide the password to others to allow access to their computer for a specific program or account.

3. Be a smart email user. E-mailing continues to be one of the most used methods by people involved in Internet crimes to gain access to a computer through spyware and other forms of malware, or just for spreading viruses throughout the online community. Never open e-mail attachments or click links within e-mails from unknown senders as they could either install dangerous programs onto your computer or send you to inappropriate websites. Never knowingly provide information to e-mails from someone you do not know, in fact it better not even to reply or forward them. Just tap the delete button.

4. Install a good, reputable computer internet security software program on your computer and make sure that you keep it current by downloading any updates to the data protection files. Always check to see that your software program has this updating feature. In addition to the Internet security software, also ensure that your computer firewall, that is part of the operating system for your computer, is turned on. This prevents unauthorized access to your computer from outsiders.

5. Instant Messenger is a cool way of having instant chat, however files received via Instant Messenger may by-pass your computer security scanning feature, so it is best never to open any files received this way.

6. Beware of pop-ups. Many online marketers and businesses use what are called "pop-ups" which are little windows containing advertisements that appear when you are visiting a webpage. Often hackers will post links on these pop-ups that if clicked start the process of infecting your computer with a malicious program of some sort, be it spyware, adware, or some type of virus. To be safe, never click on any links that appear in these advertising windows. Most computer operating systems now contain settings to block these kinds of annoying advertisements.

7. Beware of "Free" stuff. This should be a "no brainer" however many people still do this- downloading files, programs, application and online tools from unknown websites. There is a fantastic collection of great FREE products available online as shareware and trial offers, however it is up to you to ensure the place you are getting these products from is a reputable source. If in doubt, often a quick search using a search engine such as Google, will reveal if the site is being reported as a scam site or not, based on the experiences of others. If you are still worried, then it is best not to download from the website in question and look for another source.

8. Do a regular house-cleaning of your computer. Remove any programs, tools or applications that you no longer use as these not only will slow down your computer, but in some cases may provide a gateway for malware to enter your computer from an outside source.

Having a poorly protected computer is simply an accident waiting to happen. Not only do you run the risk of having personal and confidential information stolen and used to steal your money or even your identity, but it also provides a weapon for a hacker to use to gain access to other people's computers as well, if they gain control of your e-mail address book.

Following the common sense tips above will certainly enhance your ability to protect your computer, yourself, and your family from being victims of cyber-crimes. Still at the end of the day, you will need to consider the purchase of a good internet security software program as mentioned, if you do not have this already, to get the level of protection needed to thwart the more serious online threats.

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