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A Complete Review Of Total Defense Security Software

If you’ve been looking for antivirus software, you’re sure to have come across the name “Total Defense”. It is a name that has been hanging around the top of “most popular” lists of security software. Total Defense offers products designed to keep your devices safe both online and offline. Its 3 products—Unlimited Internet Security, Premium Internet Security, and Anti-Virus—provide all-round protection against a host of security issues. Total Defense provides a number of features that will safeguard your PC, tablet, and mobile against the latest viruses, ransomware, and spyware.

That being said, before you buy any antivirus software, it is important to look into all its aspects. Everything from its price to its drawbacks is important. So, let’s take a look at Total Defense’s 3 products and all the features they have to offer.

 

COMMON FEATURES

Before looking into details regarding individual products, let’s review features common to all of Total Defense’s software. These are aimed at helping you perform safe online transactions, downloads, and browsing. They also provide guarantees against any virus/malware crossing their protection.

 

Superior Threat Detection

Total Defense uses state-of-the-art, innovative technology to perform scans on your devices. Its proactive method combined with the most up-to-date database provides protection against the latest of viruses and attacks. Possible security breaches are dealt with before they even happen.

Dual malware scanning engines work around the clock to actively root out possible system vulnerabilities. Total Defense’s cloud-based technology safeguards your devices against spyware, ransomware and viruses before they get a chance to attack.

In this way, Total Defense’s security software protects your devices from all kinds of online threats, giving you secure access to the internet.

 

Optimized Device Performance

Total Defense’s innovative virus detection system detects and removes threats without compromising the performance of your devices. The system is efficient and powerful and does not slow down your PC.

Once installed, threat detection and removal are done automatically. Also, since there will be no problems with the speed and performance of your devices, you can simply leave the whole business of security to Total Defense’s software. The security system requires only the bare minimum of your attention, so you can enjoy a safe browsing experience without worrying about hacking, phishing, and viruses.

 

Money Back Guarantee

The Total Defense staff are so sure of their products’ abilities that, if a virus finds a way around their protection and infects your device, their technology advisors will remove it for free. This, of course, seems like the reasonable thing to do, especially considering the amount of confidence with which they describe their “multi-layered virus protection technology”.

In case they can’t remove the virus (something they consider to be highly unlikely), they will give your money back. This might not be as helpful as it sounds if you have lost important data in your PC, or if your tablet has crashed. However, not all security software providers can provide this kind of guarantee (especially when it comes to free tech service), so this is a great sign of Total Defense’s reliability. However, it would be a good idea to check the terms and conditions applicable for the money back guarantee.

Premium Internet Security | Total Defense

PREMIUM INTERNET SECURITY

This is the “bestseller” among Total Defense’s 3 security products. Premium Internet Security is available for a period of 1, 2 or 3 years. The difference in their price might be an advantage if you’re on a tight budget.

The product supports Windows, Mac, and Android, allowing you to fortify all your current devices. It also comes with 10GB of Cloud storage and backup.

 

FEATURES

Here is a look at some of the features that you would love.

  1. Protection For Multiple Devices: A single purchase of Premium Internet Security can be used for up to 5 different devices.
  2. Financial Safety : Total defense provides optimum safety for all your online transactions—payments, online shopping, banking—by protecting your information from cyber criminals.
  3. Identity Safety : Premium Internet Security provides protection against identity theft by storing all your personal information in an encrypted vault, thus denying access to any third party.
  4. Dual Malware Scanning Engines And Cloud-Based Technology : This innovative technology actively seeks out and eliminates threats before they have a chance to compromise your device’s safety. This offense-oriented form of protection can thus keep your PC and all its connected devices safe during all your online activities.
  5. Online backup And Restoration : The online backup facility provided by Total Defense automatically stores your data (files, photos and other important information) at an offline location. This way, all your information can be easily restored in the event of data loss.

This is a particularly convenient feature. There are a number of freak accidents that can cause loss of data, from hardware damage to floods. In the event of such unforeseen problems, it is always a good idea to have an offline backup. With Premium Internet Security, you won’t even have to be aware of this important step since it is done automatically.

 

COMPATIBILITY

Premium Internet Security is compatible with a wide range of operating systems and browsers. So installing it shouldn’t cause you any trouble. You would, however, have to make sure that you can meet all the basic hardware and memory requirements.

Basic Requirements:

  • 2GB Ram
  • 1GHz or faster processor
  • Internet Explorer 8 or above
  • 650 MB of available hard disk space 1024 x 600 or higher resolution
  • Internet Access, CD-ROM or DVD drive (if not using electronic download)

 

Supported Operating Systems

  • The software supports everything from Windows XP onward.

 

Supported Browsers

  • It supports all the popular browsers from Internet Explorer to Firefox to Chrome.
  • Smartphone and Tablet
  • Android 3.0 higher
  • Kindle

 

ANTI-VIRUS

This is the cheapest and most basic of Total Defense products. Just like Premium Internet Security, it is available for a period of 1, 2 or 3 years.

The product is designed for Windows desktops and laptops. It provides total protection against all the constantly evolving viruses out there. Total Defense also provides free automatic updates for Anti-Virus.

 

FEATURES

  1. Protection For Multiple Devices : A single purchase of Anti-Virus can be used for up to 3 different devices.
  2. All-Round Safety : Anti-Virus provides your devices with safety from malware, spyware, ransomware, and viruses, even the latest ones.
  3. Optimum Performance of PC : Anti-Virus protects your PC from all malicious software without compromising your computer’s speed or browsing performance.
  4. Free Upgrades : Your Anti-Virus will get upgraded with new features and newer versions of the software as soon as they become available. This avoids the hassle of having to buy and replace older versions of the product, installing it all over again and resetting your preferences.

 

COMPATIBILITY

Total Defense’s Anti-Virus is compatible with all the operating systems and browsers that are supported by its Premium Internet Security. It also needs the same basic requirements for installation and normal functioning.

Unlimited Internet Security | Total Defense

 

UNLIMITED INTERNET SECURITY

As the name suggests, this product provides protection for an unlimited number of devices. And it does so without causing them to slow down. Sounds too good to be true, but that’s what the product providers claim. Even if it doesn’t work as well as they say, there is always that free tech support and money back guarantee to fall back on.

This product too is available for a span of 1, 2, and 3 years, and it is also the most expensive of the 3 products.

 

FEATURES

Smart PC Optimization Technology: this feature detects and eliminates threats to your PC/devices without causing a negative on its speed and performance. The protective procedures will take place automatically in the background without effective your work.

  • Faster Startups: Unlimited Internet Security gives your PC faster startups through automatic scans, fixes, and updates. This allows for faster, smoother browsing as well. The result is that your PC will be kept in optimum condition.
  • Blocks Harmful Content: This product is specially designed to keep your PC safe from phishing software that aims at stealing your identity and compromising your finances. Unlimited Internet Security blocks suspicious email messages, fake social media content, fraudulent websites, etc. to filter out scams that can cause you harm.

Furthermore, data regarding your identity are store in an encrypted vault to eliminate the possibility of theft.

 

  • Automatic Updates : With automatic updates of your applications, Unlimited Internet Security closes possible security holes in your system.
  • Mobile Security : This feature allows you to secure your occasionally misplaced smartphone or tablet. If your mobile or tablet are lost, the mobile security feature can be used to locate and remotely lock them. This ensures that private data on your phone/tablet are safe.
  • Offline Storage : As with Total Defense’s other two products, important data are stored offline to make sure that they can be easily recovered in the event of hardware damage or any such disasters.

 

COMPATIBILITY

Unlimited Internet Security Supports all the operating systems supported by Premium Internet Security and Anti-Virus, plus a few extra specifications. The basic requirements for its installation are slightly different too.

 

Basic Requirements

  • 650 MB of available hard disk space
  • 1024 x 600 or higher resolution
  • Internet Access
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive (if not installing via electronic download)

 

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows 10 (32 & 64-bit), 2 GB RAM, 1 GHz or faster processor, Internet Explorer 8 or above
  • Windows 8.1 (32 & 64-bit), 2 GB RAM, 1 GHz or faster processor, Internet Explorer 8 or above
  • Windows 8 (32 & 64-bit), 2 GB RAM, 1 GHz or faster processor, Internet Explorer 8 or above
  • Windows 7 (Starter / Home Basic & Premium / Business / Ultimate), 32 & 64-bit, 2 GB RAM, 1 GHz or faster processor, Internet Explorer 8 or above
  • Windows Vista (Starter / Home Basic & Premium / Business / Ultimate), 32 & 64-bit with Service Pack 1, 2 GB RAM, 1 GHz or faster processor, Internet Explorer 8 or above
  • Windows XP (Home / Professional), 32-bit with Service Pack 3, 2 GB RAM, 1 GHz or faster processor Internet Explorer 8 or above

 

The rest of the specifications (browsers, smartphones/tablets) are the same as the other two products.

Total Defense Full Lineup

PROS

  • Powerful protection against Viruses, phishing, hacking, ransomeware, spyware, etc.
  • Free tech service (in case the product fails) and money back guarantee.
  • Advanced, innovative threat detection and removal technology.
  • Provides protection for multiple devices.
  • Multiple products available for you specific needs.
  • VB100 Certified

 

CONS

  • Products are expensive.
  • No online device management.
  • Not much rating from independent antivirus testing labs.
  • No trial downloads available.

 

OVERALL REVIEW

Total Defense is a very effective antivirus software, but it may not suit everyone. First of all, there is no scope to try out trial versions to make sure that it is compatible with the software you use. Secondly, it is expensive.

That being said, its protective features are very good (although there are competitors that provide even more features). That combined with the fact that multiple (even unlimited) number of devices can be secured with the same purchase makes it a good investment.

 

 

Blog Product Reviews

A Complete Review of Panda Security – 2017

What is Panda Security?

Panda Security is a company which specializes in developing antivirus software. It deals in IT security solutions and technology to prevent and protect against cybercrime.

What is the background of Panda Security?

Panda Security is a private Spanish company headquartered in Bilbao and Madrid, Spain. The company plays in the computer software industry and was founded in 1990 by Mikel Urizarbarrena. Its present CEO is Diego Navarrete .

What products are offered by Panda Security?

Panda Security offers Antivirus, firewall protection, Spam and spyware detection, and Security and management tools.

What technology is used by Panda Security?

TruPrevent was introduced in 2003. It is a set of technologies and tools developed by Panda Security to provide proactive security and protection to computers used for home and corporate purposes. This technology is in contrast to traditional antivirus products providing for reactive protection. TruPrevent Technologies offers the most modern software for defense against the techniques most new malware exhibit. Under TruPrevent, a new security model was launched in 2007, which was called “Collective Intelligence”.Collective Intelligence automatically detects, scans and classifies malware in real time.

Adaptive Defense- Adaptive Defense is a new concept, which is a security model which uses technology based on behavior processes. The Adaptive Defense solution is different from the traditional security model by basing its on blacklists and white lists. This system is very advanced. The technology is based on the principles of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. This helps in monitoring, classifying, and analyzing all running processes. This ensures the fastest and most active detection of advanced threats and strange behaviors to provide response and remediation.

Who can avail Panda Security’s cyber safety products?

 

  • Home users
  • Business owners
  • Tailor-made Antivirus protection for small businesses and freelancers.

What products are offered to home users?

Panda Safe Web- Is a safe browser which provides defense against malware online. It Blocks dangerous and harmful sites you might visit automatically. It even classifies you search results in gradations of security levels. It helps in blocking tracking sites gaining access to your web searches. Panda Safe Web has the following system requirements:

Windows(Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7,Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows 10)

  •  Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher
  •  Firefox 32.0 or higher
  •  Chrome 45 or higher

Panda Cloud Cleaner- Panda Cloud Cleaner is a disinfection tool that performs an advanced deep scan based on the Panda Security’s collective intelligence (cloud scan) technology to remove malware. It can detect viruses that traditional antivirus programs cannot detect. There are four types of Panda Cloud Cleaner:

 

  1.  Panda Cloud Cleaner (For an infected computer that starts)
  2.  Panda Cloud Cleaner Portable(Portable version, no installer for advanced users, for infected computers that start but cannot run executable files)
  3.  Panda Cloud Cleaner USB scan( For infected computers that won’t boot)
  4.  Panda Cloud Cleaner Rescue ISO(For infected computers that won’t boot, advanced users)

 

Panda Antivirus for Mac- Antivirus software for users owning a Mac PC to protect them from malware in real time. It can also be used to scan iPhones, iPads and iPod. It detects and blocks both Mac OS X and Windows. It scans files and emails.and after detection, quarantines infected files. It offers two kinds of scans: a real-time scan that continuously keeps analyzing Mac files whenever you use the device, and another that performs monthly scans on demand.

Panda Mobile Security- Antivirus protection for mobile devices, tablets and smartwatches. It helps in performance optimization of your device. You can track, control and lock your device remotely using Panda Mobile Security. Has a “Remote Selfie” feature which can be used to take photos through your smartwatch with your smartphone or tablet.

Panda Antivirus for Windows- Antivirus programs for PCs with Windows as there OS. Panda Antivirus for Windows is available in four different packages: Basic Protection, Advanced Protection, Complete protection, and Premium Protection.

 

What Panda Security products are available to business users? 

Endpoint Protection- Endpoint Protection offers centralized protection to Windows, Mac and Linux workstations, including laptops, smartphones and other virtualization systems on a corporate network.You can remotely monitor and regulate all devices on the network. It offers Profile-based security to suit the protection needs of different users.It also has Device control to block peripheral devices (USB drives and modems, webcams, DVD/CD, etc.) with whitelists and control actions (access, read, write).

Systems Management- Systems Management helps in managing a company’s IT infrastructure. It ensures the security of service through encrypted connections between the devices and the server of your company. It integrates the control and management of mobile devices in a single tool.Password-based security and remote wiping prevents data loss on stolen devices. You can also find lost or stolen devices and control the apps installed on each device through System management.

Fusion provides protection, management and remote support to all the devices in your network. It includes smartphones and tablets. It has a real-time device inventory to control and monitor CPU and memory usage, disk space, services, etc. on corporate network devices. You can also see performance graphs.Software and hardware change logs.

Gatedefender is Panda security’s perimeter protection program for corporate networks.It filters and prevents entry of malware through Web browsing, mail traffic, Wi-Fi connections,protection of Web servers published on the Internet. It has an intrusion detection system to detect inbound and outbound traffic, and network packets.

 

How does Panda Security cater to special needs for small business management?

Panda Security lists a product called SOHO to cater to customization for small business management. It makes specialized ANTIVIRUS protection for small businesses and freelancers at affordable prices. It designs lightweight antivirus software for both new and old PCs. It does not need technical support for installation and maintenance. SOHO disinfects and helps you recover your PC from threats or malware from the Internet and external sources such as emails, USB drives, memory cards, etc.Real time protection is offered through cloud. Also provides protection to your business’s WiFi through a bi-directional firewall.

 

What is the cost of Panda Security products? 

  • Panda Safe Web- Free download
  • Panda Cloud Cleaner- Free download
  • Panda Cloud Cleaner Portable- Free Download
  • Panda Cloud Cleaner USB Scan- Free download
  • Panda Cloud Cleaner Rescue ISO- Free Download
  • Panda Antivirus for Mac- $72.85/ year
  • Panda Mobile Security- $2.17/year
  • Panda Antivirus for Windows- Basic: $13.33/year, Advanced- $16.42/year, Complete- $22.98/year, Premium- $32.17/year
  • Endpoint Protection- $70.50/year
  • Systems Management- $55.56/year
  • Fusion-$103.38/year
  • Small Business Protection(SOHO)- $10.19/ year for each device

 

What are the features of Panda Security Antivirus protection products?

  • Protection against spyware– Privacy protection by preventing spyware from being installed on your computer and blocking tracking sites.
  • Protection against unknown threats– Panda’s TruPrevent gives real time protection always.
  • Protection against all types of malware– Protection from viruses, hacking tools, jokes, dangerous cookies, etc.
  • Safe browsing– Keeps you safe from malware by blocking their entry while you are on the internet. It provides for a safe and sound virtual environment on your system independently.
  • Multimedia/gaming mode– Keeps your PC protected in the background while you are gaming.
  • USB Vaccine– You can stop executable files on peripheral devices from running automatically.
  • Firewall protection– Prevents intrusive viruses, hackers and other malware from entering through internet.
  • Protection against vulnerabilities– Provides production if there are protection loopholes in any application software.
  • Services– Regular updates on your product, renewal, best technical support

 

How is Panda Security’s customer support?

Panda Security has a reliable customer support. You can access its website for online tech support. Panda Security also provides technicians on request to assist you with your problems regarding your Panda product. Panda Security also has a 24×7 toll free customer service helpline. Panda’s website, www.pandasecurity.com , also has an online forum for technical assistance.

 

How can you buy or avail a free trial of Panda Security’s products?

To buy or avail a free trial of Panda Security’s product, all you have to do is create an account on their website or log in if you already have an account. You can also renew your product through your online account. Your account helps you view and manage the services and products that you purchase. The account helps you manage your protection, updates and services from any device and any place. It lets you check your activation code and your Panda protected devices any time you want. The account has an Anti-Theft module that helps you find devices if they get lost or stolen. Through your account you can activate and deactivate your subscriptions whenever you want.The account puts you in the assistance of Panda’s Technical Support Team for 24×7 online assistance. You also get a chance to earn extra protection features for free if you invite friends to protect themselves with Panda Security products.

 

Pros of Panda Security

  1. Panda Internet Security has the provision of a safe browser.
  2. User interface is appealing and easy to use
  3. Provides protection for WiFi network
  4. Takes up low storage space.
  5. Affordable pricing annually.
  6. Provision of PC recovery tools
  7. Collective intelligence

 

Cons of Panda Security-

 

  1. Panda Internet Security does not offer tools required for social media security
  2. Slow scans and depends on internet connectivity

 

Are Panda Security products worth spending for a dependable malware protection for your PC?

 

Panda Security offers free virus scanner to the top-of-the-line Gold Protection package, along with a lot of desirable features for free. Among basic security packages, Panda’s Antivirus Pro program is one of the best. Moreover. it has a virtual keyboard, two-way firewall and Wi-Fi network scanner. Panda’s antivirus protection is the same for all its Windows antivirus packages.

The protection provides traditional viral-signature matching that compares new data and files to a large database of already known malware in the company’s native scanning engine. “Heuristic” monitoring provides backup to this and helps in catching “zero-day” and shape-shifting malware by analyzing its behavior and code.

Panda Security’s over 30 million customers contribute suspect malware to Panda’s cloud-based Collective Intelligence. In this cloud system the suspected malware data is analysed. This is compulsory and a user cannot opt out of it. Besides this 24×7 scanning going on, one can manually initiate a full scan of their PC or network.

Critical Scan is also available. These scans can be scheduled on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Panda also scans every peripheral device connected to your system. There is a provision to ‘vaccinate’ thumbs drive so that executable files don’t run automatically.

Though Panda’s whole range is Collective Intelligence supported, lightweight with many important and useful features, the shared malware detection engine among them causes a heavy system performance impact. The pricier product varieties of Panda Security may seem an extravagant choice with less value for money against comparative equals.

Further, most Panda Security suites try to change browser and search engine settings. Moreover, In contrast to Panda’s real time antivirus protection, Panda’s ability to detect and remove finance can be really slow. This can be a huge reason for choosing against Panda security products.

 

 

 

Blog Product Reviews

A Complete Review of Norton Security 2017

norton antivirus 2017

If you’ve ever had to choose an antivirus for your personal computer, then you’ve probably come across the name Norton. Norton Security 2017 (previously known as Norton AntiVirus) is American software company, Symantec’s most popular security software.

 

We have all, at some point in our lives, seen Norton’s notifications (and its signature yellow) popping up in many a computers across homes, browsing centers, and offices. The software provides round-the-clock protection from a host of malicious software that can mess up your computer, ruin your online transactions, and spoil your browsing experience in general.

 

Keeping all this in mind, let’s get into a detailed analysis of all the various aspects of Norton Security and see whether this is the right antivirus software for you.

 

FEATURES

 

Intelligent Threat Protection

The Norton Protection System uses this core concept to provide multiple layers of protection against a variety of threats. The kind of protection that these “layers” provide (by actively working together) are a huge step above most traditional virus detection systems.

 

Norton’s technology keeps track of any security lapse that may exist in your operating system or your browser. This allows it to effectively block and remove threats. All forms of downloads, whether they be files or applications, are automatically scanned for malware. Instant messages, emails, and other form of communication are also checked for good measure.

 

Protection Against Rapid Fire Attacks

Norton uses Symantec’s global security network through its Norton Insight Network, to obtain information about all the latest cyber threats. This allows the software to provide protection against new Rapid Fire attacks which don’t yet have “signatures”. Hence, your computer will be safe from any new threat that it may encounter online.

 

SONAR 4 Technology

This technology aids the detection and blocking of the kind of new threats mentioned above. It uses online intelligence and couples it with proactive monitoring methods, making it highly reliable.

 

Insights Into What It’s Doing

  • Norton Threat Insight: provides information on all the threats it has so far encountered and eliminated, keeping you up-to-date on how your computer is doing. If your PC is slow or sluggish, the log of recent events (such as scans, download, installations, etc.) will give you an idea of what’s causing the problem. The “insight” also provides resource usage graphs that can help you accurately locate resource-heavy processes.
  • Norton Download Insight: notifies you whenever you are about to download a dangerous file.
  • Norton File Insight: tells you whether files you are trying to install are “trusted” and how they would affect your PC.

Frequent Updates

The Norton Pulse Updates provide regular updates for Norton Security’s threat database. This keeps the software up-to-date on all the latest information about possible threats and attacks.

Better PC Performance

Norton Security functions in such a way that it is light on your computer’s resources. For instance, Norton Threat Insight only scans files that are at risk. Thus, with fewer scans, the chances of your PC slowing down are low to none.

 

  • Power Saver Settings: this feature is meant for laptops and it keeps power-hungry applications on stand-by till you can plug it into a power source.
  • Smart Scheduler: when this feature is activated, scans are done only when your PC is idle.
  • Silent Mode: updates, alerts, and scans are put on hold while you are watching videos, playing games and so on. These processes will start once you are finished with your movie or game. It is worth noting that the silent mode is engaged automatically.

 

Additional Features

Norton tries to give you an optimized experience every time you use your computer. Some of the special features that it uses, both for protection and overall PC performance, are given below –

Browser Exploits Protection: prevents spyware from being installed in your computer through vulnerabilities in your browser (Internet Explorer and Firefox). This also prevents system crashes that can be cause by these vulnerabilities.

– IPS (Enhanced Intrusion Protection System): dedicated protection engine that handles multimedia attacks.

– Antibot Protection: prevents hackers from gaining access to your PC.

– Norton™ Recovery Tool: repairs systems that have already been infected and reboots them.

– Startup Manager: disables unwanted programs that launch at startup, thus reducing system resources.

– Identity Safe Password: creates secure passwords that sync all your Windows, iOS, and Android devices.

– File Cleanup: gets rid of temporary files (in Windows 10 and Internet Explorer).

– Optimizes Disk: defragments your PC for optimal performance.

– Power Eraser: aggressive malware that are manually activated are hunted down automatically whenever the PC reboots.

COMPATIBILITY

Operating Systems

Norton Security supports a wide range of Operating Systems. If you use any of the following OS, then Norton will be supported by your PC.

IOS

– iOS® 8 or later

Android

– Android™ 4.0.3 or later (must have Google™ Play App installed)

Android™ 4 or later (for Norton Family Premier Android App)

Mac

Mac OS X (current and previous 2 versions) : Password Management feature not supported, Norton Family and Norton Family Premier features not supported.

Windows

Microsoft Windows XP (all 32-bit versions) – with Service Pack 3 (SP 3) or later

Microsoft Windows Vista (all versions) – with Service Pack 1 (SP 1) or later

Microsoft Windows 7 (all versions) – with Service Pack 1 (SP 1) or later

Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 (all versions) : some protection features are not available in Windows 8 Start screen browsers.

Microsoft Windows 10 (all versions) : Edge browser not supported.

 

Hardware Requirements (varies with the version of the software used)

Norton Security requires the following hardware specifications for its installation and normal functioning.

300MHz for Microsoft Windows XP

1GHZ for Microsoft Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8

256MB of RAM

300 MB of available hard disk space

CD-ROM or DVD drive (if not installing via electronic Download)

 

INSTALLATION AND USER-FRIENDLINESS

 

Setting up Norton is a quick, easy process. The initial scan may take a while (up to 15min sometimes), but consecutive scans happen at a much faster rate. Once set up, all scans take place within seconds. For any queries or doubts, Norton’s costumer service can be reached via email, phone or live chat. The service is available 24/7 and they give prompt responses.

 

The Norton Delux can be used for up to 5 devices and the Norton Premium can be utilized for up to 10 devices.

 

Most of Norton Security’s functions are automated, making it easy to use. It even has the capacity to adjust to user behavior, for example, it will suspend notifications when you are using full-screen mode (watching movies/videos).

 

All updates for Norton security are automated and does not require the user’s attention. Since scans are done in the background, threats will be detected and dealt with without interrupting whatever you are doing.

 

Norton Security StandardNORTON SECURITY STANDARD

The Standard version protects PC, Mac or mobile. Its main features are as follows –

 

Safeguards your identity and online transactions.

Includes 100% money-back guarantee.

Protects better and faster than the competition.

 

Norton Security DeluxeNORTON SECURITY DELUXE

The Deluxe version of Norton Security can be used for up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets. Its main features are as follows –

All your devices’ protection can be managed using an easy-to-use Web portal.

Protects better and faster than the competition.

Safeguards your identity and online transactions.

Includes 100% money-back guarantee.

 

Norton Security PremiumNORTON SECURITY PREMIUM

The Premium can be set up for up to 10 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets. Its main features are as follows –

As your needs change, you can add more secure online PC storage.

Provides premium child-safe family features.

Provides Easy-to-use Web portal.

Protects better and faster than the competition.

Safeguards your identity and online transactions.

Includes 100% money-back guarantee.

 

PROS

 

Easy to use

Real-time protection against viruses, spyware, malware, phishing, software vulnerabilities

Safeguards your identity and online transactions

Automatically backs up your photos, financial files, and other personal information

Minimal performance impact during gaming, movie playback, presentations

– Compatible with PC, Mac, Android, and iOS devices

Secures multiple devices with a single subscription

Fast scan times

25GB of secure cloud storage and automatic backup

37-time PC Magazine Editors’ Choice Award winner

Independent AV-Test lab certified

24/7 customer support (via email, phone, or live chat)

100% money-back threat removal guarantee

 

CONS

 

It is costly (even though there are more expensive antivirus softwares available)

Only delux and premium versions can be used for multiple devices

Needs considerable memory to function (especially with older versions of the software)

Parental control only available with Norton Security Deluxe

Uninstallation does not completely wipe out all traces of the program

Free software with comparable ratings are available

 

IS NORTON SECURITY RIGHT FOR YOU?

 

The first and obvious step to take into account while you consider buying Norton Security is to check its compatibility with your OS. The next step is to make sure you have enough hardware memory available. The latest version of the software would require considerably less memory than older ones.

The software is a great investment with lots of great features but, it’s still a good idea to carefully think about all of its disadvantages (cons, given above) as well. The cons are rather low in number compared to the pros, however, it would still be a good idea to mull them over. This is particularly true when it comes to the uninstall process and the ways that it can affect your PC and other devices.

The next big issue is the price. There are more expensive security softwares out there and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Norton Security 2017 is available for different prices (and at various discounts) depending on whether you choose the Standard version, the Delux version, or the Premium version. However, the issue here is that free security softwares are also available (like Microsoft Security Essentials and AVG Free) and some of these have similar ratings as Norton. The best thing to do in this case is to compare these softwares with Norton (and evaluate your budget) before deciding whether Norton’s features are worth its cost.

 

OVERALL REVIEW

 

Symantec has been in the filed of internet security for quite a while and has a solid track record. Some of their software and innovative technology have been revolutionary. As such, their Norton Antivirus software has always had an impressive reputation in the niche of security softwares.

Norton Security offers a wide range of security features that are effective against most kinds of malicious software. It makes browsing safe and secure, and prevents mishaps while you conduct online interactions and transactions (especially those involving money).

One of the main attractions of the software is that it requires minimum involvement from the user. Most processes happen in the background without affecting any of your PC’s daily functions. All scans are quick and efficient and this prevents the PC from slowing down. Also, the software detects user behavior and prevents interruptions while the user is busy, further adding to the software’s user-friendliness.

In addition to providing security, Norton also contains many features that are aimed simply at optimizing your PC’s day-to-day functions. This can be huge advantage since Norton’s Delux and Premium versions can be used in sync with many devices. This in turn ensures that your laptop, mobile, tablet, etc. are all kept in optimum condition without incurring any extra charges.

Norton Security provides advanced protection and some very useful features at a fairly reasonable price. Since only one purchase is required for multiple devices, it is a very good investment if you have multiple PCs, Andriod/IOS phones, tablets, and so on.

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A Complete Review Of Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017

is one of the top names that will pop up if you start searching around for security software. Affordable and reliable, it is one of the most popular antivirus software of today.

 

If you are considering buying a new antivirus product, then you’ve either bought a new PC, tablet or mobile, or you need to replace/upgrade your existing software. Either way, there are a number of things that you need to look at to keep your devices safe from malicious software, phishing, and hacking. Everything from the price to the drawbacks of a security software are important.

 

That being said, Kaspersky Anti-Virus is an excellent product with many convenient features. It provides file, software, and website scans, protects your PC against ransomware, and performs vulnerability searches. Its best feature is that it automatically updates and upgrades to the latest version, for free.

 

So, let’s look at a detailed overview of Kaspersky to see if this is the right antivirus software for you.

 

FEATURES

 

Here is a look at al the things you would love about the new Kaspersky anti virus.

 

4 Types Of Scans

Kaspersky Anti-Virus offers 4 different kinds of scans to detect malicious objects in your computer.

 

Full Scan : These scans are performed by default and they deal with system memory, objects loaded on startup, system backup, email databases, hard drives, removable storage media, and network drives.

After Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017 is first installed, it is advisable to update the antivirus database and run a full scan.

 

– Quick Scan : These scans are meant for startup objects, system memory, and hard drive boot sectors.

 

– Selective Scan : As the name suggests, selective scan can be used to scan any object of your choice.

 

External Device Scan : This is an especially useful option that scans all objects that are connected to your computer. This prevents malware and viruses in external devices from compromising your PC.

 

Self-Defense Mechanism

The Self-Defense mechanism offered by Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017 protects your PC from threats posed by third party interference. The mechanism safeguards your files and application settings against such issues.

However, the Self-Defense mechanism has a few drawbacks. First of all, you will most likely need to disable this feature in order to delete tracing logs (which will help free up your hard drive space). Secondly, once the mechanism is disabled, there will be partial restrictions to Kaspersky Anti-Virus functionality. This in turn lowers the level of overall system protection.

 

Renewal Activation Code

The software license for Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017 lasts less than a year. So, once your key expires, the license has to be renewed and the product re-activated. This can be done easily by obtaining a renewal activation code.

 

You can continue using your Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017 by activating your renewal activation code on the computer with your previous license data. You also have a time period of 6 months (from the date of expiration of the previous license) in which to activate the code.

 

Installation On Top Of Older Versions

Even if you already use an older version of Kaspersky Anti-Virus (2009 to 2016) on your PC, you can easily install the 2017 version on top of it without causing any complications. This allows you to retain all your preferences along with information regarding your previous license. This feature helps avoid the hassle of having to remove the previous versions of the software from your computer.

 

kaspersky internet security

 

Kaspersky Anti-Virus Free Trial

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is available for a free trial that lasts 30 days. It can be easily downloaded from Kaspersky’s official website.

 

The free trial is a very effective way of deciding weather the software will be suitable for you. It’ll help you test the compatibility of the software with your OS and hardware, without spending money on it. Furthermore, it will help you root out any clashes it may have with software you already have in your PC.

 

Once the free trial expires, a full license can be bought at Kaspersky’s online store.

 

The free trial of Kaspersky Anti-Virus offers the following benefits:

 

Protection against viruses, cyber threats, malware, and spyware.

Enhanced PC performances.

Simplified security through easy online control.

 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

As with all security software, Kaspersky Anti-Virus requires certain memory, hardware, and software specifications for it to function normally.

 

Basic Requirements –

 

920 MB of free disk space

CD/DVD drive (when installing from a CD)

Internet connection (for activation and updates)

Computer mouse

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 or later

Microsoft Windows Installer 3.0 or later

Microsoft .Net Framework 4 or later

 

Netbook Requirements –

Intel Atom 1.6 GHz and faster

Intel GMA950 video card (or better) with at least 64 MB of memory (or compatible equivalent)

Screen resolution of at least 1024×576

 

COMPATIBILITY

 

Only the following browsers and Operating systems are compatible with Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017. Therefore, if you do not use these, you’ll have to upgrade to them before you can start using Kaspersky. However, the Anti-Virus does support most of the popular OS and internet browsers, so compatibility shouldn’t be a big problem.

 

Compatible Browsers

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 or later

Microsoft Edge 20.x – 25.x or later

Mozilla Firefox 40.x – 52.x

Google Chrome 44.x – 52.x

Mozilla Firefox ESR 38.5 – 45.2

 

Compatible Operating Systems

 

You have it working on every operating system from Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition to more. You just need aruond 512 MB available RAM, which frankly, your machine would have unless you own one from the early 1990’s. However, to run the software at an optimum level you would need around 2 GB available RAM.

 

INCOMPATIBLE SOFTWARE

 

When Kaspersky Anti-Virus is being installed, it will scan for incompatible software and notify you. These will need to be removed for the smooth operation of the software. A long list of manually removable and automatically removed incompatible software can be found in the Kaspersky website.

 

If your PC has an incompatible third party software, it may experience Operating system errors. The presence of an incompatible software with Kaspersky Anti-Virus can, in some cases, even cause a critical failure.

 

PROS

 

Good scores from independent antivirus testing labs.

An year’s purchase of Kaspersky Anti-Virus can cover up to 3 personal computers.

Purchase, download, and installation can be done in easy steps.

There is a gaming mode that temporarily suspends background scanning, preventing interuptions and keeping your PC from slowing down.

The System Watcher feature protects your PC from encrypting ransomware.

Kaspersky can block website banner ads and filter spam-laden emails.

Those who have a Kaspersky account holders can manually install “Safe Kids” (a premium product) from the My Kaspersky website.

 

 

CONS

 

Kaspersky Anti-Virus can’t be installed on a FAT32 file system in Windows XP.

To access My Kaspersky portal, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or later will have to be used.

The Kaspersky Protection extension is not supported in Microsoft Edge or Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 and 11 (not in the new Windows user interface style).

Secure Keyboard Input is not supported in Microsoft Edge.

Presence of incompatible software may cause errors and system failures.

 

USER REVIEWS

 

Most users have found Kaspersky Anti-Virus to be quite a useful software. It’s easy to install, easy to renew, and provides all the basic protection your PC would need for web surfing, performing online transactions, and downloads. In addition to internet safety, Kaspersky also includes features that improve the overall performance of your computer.

 

However, a number of customers have complained about issues they’ve had with incompatible softwares. Some customers have had difficulty using multiple browsers in their PC. For example, a customer has claimed that after installing Kaspersky (from CD) they could access Firefox but could not connect to Yahoo. The problem was solved once Kaspersky Anti-Virus was uninstalled. While problems like these could occur once in a while, tech support can always be contacted to sort out such inconveniences. The trouble is that they would probably charge you for it.

 

One of the most serious problems that customers have faced is incompatibility with their OS. If you refer back to the “Compatible Operating Systems” and the “CONS”, you will see that Kaspersky is not compatible with certain products even if you’re using an OS that it supports. Like Microsoft Edge or Microsoft Internet Explorer 10, for instance. This has caused inconveniences for customers who were not aware of these problems (and hadn’t done enough research before buying the product). This is true for the Free Trial as well.

 

There have been cases in which, after installing Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017 (30-day trials version), customers’ Windows 10 crashed and refused to boot. In one such case, the customer had to uninstall Kaspersky and even reinstall their OS. Even then, the OS faced problems and did not function normally.

 

Customers have also stated that their PCs slowed down when they used their single purchase for multiple devices (Kaspersky can be used for up to 3 devices).

 

Other than these inconveniences caused by compatibility errors, once properly installed and synced, Kaspersky provides protection against most viruses, malware, ransomeware, and so on. The scanning facilities available are also good and haven’t received many complaints. The same goes for control over internet traffic.

 

OVERALL REVIEW

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017 has its fare share of advantages and disadvantages. However, it is an efficient product with high ratings from reliable sources. It also provides a fair number of useful features that make it worth its price (and the price isn’t too high either).

Kaspersky is an efficient software that includes file, software, and website scans, anti-phishing protection, safety against ransomware, control over internet traffic, vulnerability searches, and free automatic updates and upgrades to the latest version. However, before installing it, you will need to ensure that your hardware and Operating System are compatible with it. Furthermore, you will need to remove all incompatible software from your PC as well. Their presence could cause a wide range of troubles, from your computer slowing down to a complete system crash. But, the good news is that, while you install Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2017, the software will seek out incompatible software and ask you to uninstall them. This will save you the hassle of having to check their list of incompatible softwares against the ones you use.

Once the issue of incompatibility is overcome, Kaspersky is quite a good investment. It provides all the basic protection you need and also helps keep your computer in optimum health. The option of pairing the same software with 2 more devices is also a winning point. There is also the added advantage of updating the software to it latest version.

In short, once you are sure that Kaspersky is suitable for your PC and the softwares you use, it is a practical security option. Plus, the free trial can be used to root out any unforeseen problem before you buy the actual product.

 

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Registry Cleaners: What Are They and How to Use Them?

Registry Cleaners 101:

Registry Cleaners are third party software that help is clean the Windows Registry of useless files and registry entries in order to create more free space and optimize a computer’s performance. Every time you install a program, a registry entry is made in the Windows Registry and certain Registry files are created.

Over time, as you continue to use the program, the number of these files and entries increases and takes up more space on the drive that is running your Operating System.

People use a Registry Cleaner to deal with such issues and keep their computer clean. It is unclear to many people what their benefits are but Vendors of Registry cleaners claim they are useful to repair registry errors that are otherwise difficult to fix with any other software.

What is the Windows Registry?

Before knowing what Registry Cleaners are, it’s best to know what The Windows Registry is. The Windows Registry has been a part of windows that not many computer users really understand. It is a hierarchical database that saves and maintains settings and information on almost everything on a Windows Computer.

Everything, be it application settings, user passwords, device driver information, windows settings and pretty much anything else are stored in the Windows Registry.

Normally, application settings used to get saved in the form of configuration files that used raw text based formats. There used to be a separate file for every application that was installed. The Windows Registry was introduced as a solution to this issue. It served as a single platform to store all this data without creating physical files, thus saving up on space and clutter.

Aside from that, storing all this data in the form of a consolidated database means that accessing values in the registry is a much quicker experience than editing a text file based configuration, which means the registry can be used for more than just storage of settings files. Access to the registry is also instantaneous as most or all of it is loaded as soon as a system is booted.

What is a Registry Cleaner?

If you’ve worked around computers for a fair bit, you’ve probably come across the terms “registry” and “registry cleaner”. Registry is that database in a Microsoft Operating System which comprises of all the settings, configuration and other operational data concerning various components such as software, hardware, user settings etc. being used on the computer.

A Registry Cleaner (which many people do not know what exactly it is despite having used it several times) is a third party software built especially for Microsoft Windows’ Operating Systems. The main task of a registry cleaner is to get rid of all the junk registry files from the registry to keep a computer running smoothly.

How do issues tend to occur with respect to the registry?

It can happen every time you make certain changes in your computer system. For instance, let’s say you’ve installed a new game or edited a user profile or changed the schedule when your computer is supposed to carry out a scheduled check up of various system components. It could lead to loss of some data.

Issues in Registry which require Registry Cleaner to solve them are of various types. Some of the examples are rogue or useless or obsolete registry files existing on your computer, registry files with malicious values or problematic values (which may render your applications or computer dysfunctional).

Types of Registry Issues Which Require a Registry Cleaner

These issues can come up in various ways. For instance, after months of using your computer, you will realize that you installed and uninstalled various programs and hardware. As explained above, such installation and uninstallation will leave behind many registry files and settings which your computer no longer needs to store. A massive build up of such files can make your computer take a dip regarding its performance.

These issues also come up when you sometimes alter with the registry files and cause a crash of sorts. A fine example of this is when some of you might have tried applying cheat codes to games by editing their registry files. So in trying to turn yourself into a god in call of duty, you might eventually end up crashing the game and rendering it non-playable altogether. Now imagine a similar situation taking place except the affected program is your computer or an essential part of it.

Thirdly, these issues come up when you might accidentally install a malicious software which might have malicious registry values or files packed with it and executed on your computer.

In all these scenarios, it is essential to have a registry cleaner. A registry cleaner after performing a scan will tell you precisely how many of the files need to be removed from your computer to maintain an effective working atmosphere on it. At present Microsoft, itself does not have a registry cleaner, and hence you have to resort to other high performing registry cleaners.

Do Registry Cleaners Really “Fix All Our Computer’s Problems?”

The internet is full of advertisements and media that promotes Registry Cleaning Products that claim to give your computer a complete overhaul by cleaning up your registry. In fact, in some of the older versions of Microsoft, there was this utility called RegClean which some users must be aware of, forming the perception even more that Registry Cleaning is helpful. However, the real question remains, do registry cleaners actually do everything they advertise they’re capable of?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is – no, they do not. As a matter of fact, most of these products are not worth running. While the better ones won’t infect your PC with malware and bloatware, they still do not provide any major performance benefits and are quite useless. The Windows Registry contains hundreds of thousands of keys and deleting 50 or even 100 of them will not really improve your computer’s performance in any way. Ed Bott,

Windows Expert claims “I’d go a step further: Don’t run registry cleaner programs, period. I won’t go so far as to call them snake oil, but what possible performance benefits can you get from “cleaning up” unneeded registry entries and eliminating a few stray DLL files?”

So they’re completely Useless?

However, it should be worth noting that there are a small number of cases where cleaning a registry entry does help. For instance, if you’re trying to uninstall a program and it isn’t getting uninstalled properly, a registry cleaner can do that task for you. Just ensure that you’re using a reliable one.

However, this kind of a situation can easily be avoided if you just keep yourself aware of what you’re installing on your computer.

In some rare cases, there are also users who want to clear a program from the computer right down to its very registry entries. Sometimes, an uninstall doesn’t really deal with this and there are also users who simply delete the program’s installed folder without really using the uninstall tool, in which case the program isn’t really getting uninstalled. Just deleted.

This can cause more issues because your registry has information stored on an installed program which isn’t on the computer and restoring the files via a 3rd party doesn’t always work. In such a scenario, use a registry cleaner. They’ll clear all the program’s settings and log files.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Registry Cleaners.

❖ Advantages
➢ Quicker, more convenient process of cleaning the registry. The sheer size and number of registry entries in the Windows Registry means that manually deleting registry folders one by one is a rather inconvenient and in some cases, risky task. Registry Cleaners are useful in such cases but don’t expect a whole lot of performance gains.
➢ Correct, repair or resolve Invalid Registry Keys. While Registry Cleaners are not very good at this, they do fix a few errors in some registry keys.

❖ Disadvantages
➢ There are a lot of Registry Cleaners that can cause Registry Damage to the computer as they are incapable of distinguishing the severity of errors and many of them that are capable simply categorize an error as “critical” and wipe out the entry entirely. These programs are made for deleting and erasing and not for repair so the “repair” option in a registry cleaner isn’t really repairing anything.

On the contrary, it is just erasing it which can lead to a damaged registry. Good luck booting your computer then. Any damage to an important registry entry can lead to you having to format the computer and install the operating system afresh.

➢ Malware and Bloatware. Most of these registry cleaners come loaded with malware and bloatware. They’ll hijack your browser, expose your computer’s files to viruses and display advertisements that you wouldn’t otherwise be seeing. You might want to be wary of the fact that a lot of these registry cleaners are an extremely commercial exercise designed to get money out of your downloads and then there are even users who pay for full versions of such registry cleaners.

➢ Scareware. This is a term used for advertisements that claim to have scanned your PC and found threats. This is a false claim and some gullible users can fall for it. Most of these registry cleaners use such advertisements and this can be a dangerous thing to fall for if that registry cleaner is linked with lots of malware.

➢ No real performance benefits. Back during the Windows 9x Operating Systems, it could be said that a large resgistry could be slowing down a computer. However, as of Windows NT based Operating Systems (Including Windows XP and Vista), this is not the case.

➢ As computers got more modern, the impact of a loaded registry became more insignificant. As a matter of fact, nowadays, with most computers coming loaded with Quad Core Processors, at least 4 GB RAM and 1 TB Hard drives, the load on the windows registry is more or less irrelevant.

➢ Registry Cleaners, despite what they claim are incapable of dealing with undeletable registry keys. Sometimes, when a Registry Key becomes undeletable and you want to remove it, you think a Registry Cleaner can do it but in reality, it cannot. It is extremely difficult to get rid of an undeletable corrupt registry file and you’re going to need some skill and reliable programs to get rid of it.

Should You Get a Registry Cleaner?

At the end of the day, on paper Registry Cleaners can be considered third party software that modify, edit or clean Registry Entries at bulk without you requiring to individually open the Registry and clean/fix it one by one. However, in reality, Registry Cleaners are basically good only for basic skimming of a Windows Registry without really providing any major performance benefits.

Experts have repeatedly claimed that these registry cleaners are mostly not useful and on the contrary can expose your computer to the risks involved with Malware, Adware and Bloatware. Do not fall for their advertisements on Browsers and definitely do not fall for scareware tactics. You’re free to use one at your own risk and some good ones like CCleaner can even help you improve performance a slight bit but all of that can be done without a Registry Cleaner in general.

There are more ways of speeding up a computer than cleaning your registry and there are more reasons for a slow computer than just a clogged up registry, especially on a modern computer.

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Is your Computer Running Slow? Here’s Why

Perhaps the most annoying thing to use in the modern world is a slow computer. What with computer specifications improving by the day, you’d expect slow computers to be a rarity in this generation. You’d be surprised to know, however, that they’re not.

On the contrary, they’re far more common than you think. Even your Windows 10 computer with a quad core processor can run slow and it is a really frustrating experience when that happens. There are several reasons computers slow down. You’ll find that over time, your computer’s performance is deteriorating, especially if you’re using a Windows.

With time, desktops and laptops become slow and the performance becomes sluggish. Windows itself stores many unnecessary registries and junk files and other software add their own items. Additionally, you have the problem of malware or spyware generated from the internet which further damages the performance of Windows.

If the problems are left unattended, it can lead to system failures or the sudden blue screens interrupting your work. It is not always possible to format your disk and reload Windows. You need a comprehensive solution to take care of everything and make your computer faster.

A Complete Solution to Slow and Sluggish Performance

Our program is equipped with professional features to boost the performance of your computer as far as 300%. It takes care of the trivial task of removing junk files, registry items and anything that hampers your PC functions. Moreover, its professional options handle the following issues:

Slow Internet

Internet speed is hampered by malware or spyware and all those useless toolbar’s and plugins installed on the sly. Our tool will deep scan your computer for such items along with cookies and junk files. It will remove the problematic items and troubleshoot all aspects slowing down internet. The result is faster and smoother browsing with great download speeds.

Long Boot Up Time

Many computers take a lot of time to boot up as it is used for a long time. Many programs and services get added to the startup list without your knowledge. Our professional solution removes startup items which are unnecessary and also detects harmful items. This leads to quicker boot ups of up to 200%, within seconds of pressing the power button!

A Professional System Optimizer which Actually Works

Many developers claim to speed up your computer with their programs but fail miserably. The reason is that their programs are not engineered to address the issues which cause slow performance. But our solution scans, detects and identifies those issues and then troubleshoot them.

Items which require removal are attended instantly while the program also optimizes the computer’s processes for faster performance. A registry cleaner might just be what you need to clean up the mess.

Complete Security

Privacy is very important in the online world as many hackers are out there to invade it. Our tool keeps a strict vigil on any adware, malware or spyware that may slip in. They are instantly removed and your computer is kept safe from threats. You can even stop Windows from gathering personal information by using our solution.

The Top Reasons for a Slow Computer

However, it should be relieving to know that this is not uncommon and can, for the most part be easily dealt with. At times, it will be a hardware issue and that is when you need to start worrying but most of the time, a few software can help you speed it up and bring it back to pace. Here are the several reasons Computers run slow:

1. A Hard Drive That’s Running Out of Space

You might want to pay attention to your hard drive space, especially on the partition your Operating System and programs are installed on. Windows tends to create LOTS and LOTS of temporary data, dump and log files on these drives. Every time you browse the internet, then it takes up more space on your primary partition as well.

Aside from that, the more programs you install, the more registry files on your drive. If your main partition is 90% full, you’re going to start seeing a major drop in your computer’s speed of operation. There are a few ways to deal with this.

2. You don’t really need the temporary files

Clear all your temporary files before shutting your computer down at least once a week. A windows computer will create a lot of temporary files every time you run a program or application on your computer. Over time, these temporary files keep getting stockpiled up on your primary Hard Drive partition, occupying more space and slowing your computer down.

These files can be cleared. Right click on the Windows tray icon that launches the start menu. Select the “Run” option and type in %temp% in the dialogue box. This will open the folder that contains your temporary files. Delete as many of them as you can (Not all of these will be deletable). Just select all and delete and you will get a prompt when a file cannot be deleted.

3. Keep clearing Browser Cache

Every time you browse the internet, every image from every web page gets stored on your computer as part of the browser cache. It also stores cookies and login attempt information. Once every week, you can open your browser history and clear the cache and it will not only improve your computer performance but your browser performance as well.

4. Keep a tab on your downloads

By default, most browsers are set up to download files into a folder on your main partition. Keep clearing these downloads by either moving them to a secondary partition with free space or an external storage device.

5. Maintain an external hard drive for large files

This comes in handy as your computer remains relieved of large files that take time to process and occupy unnecessary space (Like Movies, Software Installations, Etc.) and you can maintain a collection of these files on a portable drive that is accessible to you on the go whenever and wherever you need them.

6. Maintain a clean desktop

Most of us have the habit of cluttering our desktop with random files that we’re too lazy to sort neatly. The more cluttered a desktop is, the harder it will be to find files you need access to urgently and the slower it will make your computer as all files on your desktop are stored on the primary partition.

7. Clean Up Useless Programs or Files.

You need to ensure that unwanted programs are not installed on the computer.This can be anything from a software that is outdated or alternated or a video game that you have completed or stopped playing and aren’t interested in anymore. You’d be surprised how often people overlook this simple little step here.

They often tend to clutter up their programs. Like for example if you’ve stopped using Google Chrome and Switched to Firefox or Opera, best to uninstall Google Chrome and save up on the space it occupies. Similarly, a lot of people tend to keep movies, TV Shows and videos collected on their computer that they’re already done watching. Deleting these or moving them to an external drive is always helpful on your computer.

8. Keep Startup Programs at a Minimal.

Most of the times, we install a large number of programs that add loading time to our startup process. Stuff like Torrent software, Software Updater, etc. take up startup program slots. These can be disabled rather easily. Open Up the task manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select the more options button. You will then see a startup tab. Disable the ones you do not intend to use on startup and that will speed up your booting times quite a bit.

9. Buy an SSD (Solid-State-Drive).

A solid-state-drive is like a Hard Drive with lower storage capacities but with MUCH faster file transfer rates. These drives can be installed in your computer along with a regular hard drive. In a modern computer, you can use this drive to install and run your Operating System and important programs on while using the regular hard drive as raw storage. This will make your computer a blisteringly fast machine without the burdens of main partition storage. The programs installed on the SSD will also run significantly faster than your average computer program.

10. Keep Browser Tabs at a minimum.

If you browse the internet with too many tabs open, this can choke up your computer’s RAM as the more tabs open in your browser, the more RAM it takes up. RAM is one of the primary tools of maintaining your computer performance and it needs to run efficiently in order to keep your computer running smoothly. Only keep the tabs you intend to use constantly open. The other ones can be closed as soon as you’re done with them.

11. Ensure Your Drivers are Updated.

Most hardware constantly get updated drivers. Once every two months, at the very least. Ensure your drivers are up to date so that all your computer’s hardware is running smoothly and with the latest updates. You can right click on My Computer, go to Properties and click on the Device Manager tab. Here, it gives you the option to check if the drivers for your individual devices are up to date. Most of these driver updates offer improved performance.

12. Disable OS Animations.

Sometimes, if your computer is not very highly specked, OS animations can slow things down quite a bit as they consume quite a bit of resources. Best way to fix this would be to open Control Panel, Display Settings and then optimize the settings according to your computer’s needs. This will speed things up quite a bit.

13. Perform a Virus Scan

You can never rule out a virus attack on your computer if it is performing oddly. Start up your antivirus and perform a full, deep scan of your computer. If it comes up with results, your antivirus program should be good enough to deal with the virus threat but a virus is never a small one. If problems continue to persist, you’d best consult your technician and ask him to get the job done.

14 Clean Up Your CPU.

This Is more a physical activity than a software related one. Open up your CPU cabinet and clear all the dust in it. Use a blower and a brush and gently scrape off all the dust from the parts, clear them out and you’ll find that after this process, your computer is running really well. This is usually because the accumulated dust clogs up your cabinet, heating it in the process and slowing your computer down.

15. Use a Registry Cleaner.

Registry cleaners are software that automatically perform clean up activities for you, ensuring that the important files remain, cleaning up only the unnecessary ones from your registry. These tools are handy for not only freeing up space but also to remove unnecessary files that are no longer being used. They’re also useful in better organizing your computer.

So, it’s pretty clear that your computer is slowing down due to several reason. It can be a full hard drive or it can be the dust accumulated inside your cabinet. It can be that you’ve kept too many tabs open while browsing or it can be that your computer has too many startup programs. It can also be a virus or an unnecessarily large program taking up space and processing power. Follow all the measures listed above and you should see results in your computer’s performance.

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Browser Hijackers – All You Need to Know

Have you ever opened your browser with the intentions of scrolling through your Facebook feed or checking out some videos on YouTube only to discover that your homepage is something entirely different from your new tab page and it seems to lead to all sorts of misclicks? Well, if you have, you’ve been a victim to a cyber malpractice known as “browser hijacking”.

It is more common than you think and believe it or not, effects more computers than you think. Sometimes, you may not even realize that you have to deal with a malware – simply because you may not realize that your browser settings have been compromised.

Browser Hijacking is one of the most common form of malicious software. It gets access to your browser’s settings and modifies them without your consent and knowledge. There are several methods of doing this and the perpetrator is often motivated by monetary gain. It is extremely easy to install a browser hijacking software into someone’s computer for a hacker. They usually infiltrate your computer by sending spam mail or in some cases, include them as part of installation processes of other softwares that a user is trying to install.

It is not always harmful for your computer but sometimes, browser hijackers come with spyware that records keystrokes and mouse clicks to gain access to details like bank account passwords, or even your personal information. As a user, you must be wary of the damage a cybercriminal can inflict on your computer and your personal data through a browser hijack and steer clear of such measures in general. There are times when all they do is change your homepage or browser opening page in order to direct traffic towards their website and earn money out of it, but this isn’t always the case.

For example, the browser hijacker, CoolWebSearch changes your default search engine to theirs and a hacker using this hijacker can alter search results to direct your clicks to websites and information they want you to see. They can also track your searches and information and sell them to other websites for marketing and monetary gain.

How do you know that you have been infected with a browser hijacker?

While it might be difficult at times to understand whether your machine has been comprmised, you need to look out for any abnormal behaviour to know whether you have been a victim. Here is a look at some of the things that you need to look out for.

– You might see that your searches are getting redirected to different websites even without you making any such list or query.- Your homepage or search engine isn’t the same as before and you are directed to a new page each time you open the browser.
– Webpages load slower than usual. It might be that your connection speed is slow so you would want to check on that as well.
– You see multiple toolbars on your web browser at the top or the side – which you did not install. In fact, most of these toolbars may be malware that you do not need.

– You get multiple pop-up alerts for advertisements no mater which web page you open up. Do note that some pages offer pop ups inherently and it would open through any browser so you need to know if it was happening before as well – perhaps login to a site you do always.

Browser Hijacker

Notable Examples
There are several examples of Browser Hijackers and there are chances you’ve come across a lot of them multiple times. Here are a few notable ones:

Ask Toolbar. The Ask Toolbar is usually bundled with important softwares like Oracle’s Java and users having to remember to disable it in the installation process. If they miss out on it, the toolbar gets installed, replacing your browser’s homepage and default search engine with the Ask Search Engine page. It has been widely regarded as malware by users and is an extremely annoying Browser Hijacker that Oracle has been criticized for including as a bundle.

Babylon Toolbar. The Babylon Toolbar gets installed as a part of several program and software installations, including CNet’s Download.com. It changes the default search engine to isearch.babylon.com which also happens to be a form of adware. The search engine displays several advertisements, sponsored links and a large number of paid search results. The program collects information on your search terms from your search queries.
Conduit. Conduit is a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) / Browser Hijacker that steals personal/confidential information and transfers it to a third party. The toolbar was identified as a Potentially Unwanted Program by leading malware research center, Malwarebytes. It usually comes bundled with free downloads and it is very hard to notice that it is being installed along with the download. Toolbars like this modify several parameters of your browser settings in order to collect personal information as well as alter search results and settings. This is one of the more dangerous Browser Hijackers out there and you would do well to steer clear of it.
CoolWebSearch. CoolWebSearch was one of the first browser hijackers. It is not particularly harmful for your privacy but it still does track your personal information as well as change your default search engine to the rogue CoolWebSearch search engine. This search engine delivers search results with several sponsored links and advertisements. It is also quite hard to antivirus softwares to uninstall or get rid of this search engine.

How To Prevent Browser Hijacking?

There are several measures you can implement in order to keep your computer safe from Browser Hijacking techniques. Here are the most useful ones:

1. Pay Attention to The Installation Process of Softwares.Ensure that you are paying attention to the installation process and not just blindly skipping steps to speed up the installation. This is the fastest way to getting an unwanted browser hijacker on your computer. Most of these browser hijackers come bundled as part of free downloadable softwares as “offers” during the installation process and you can avoid installing these by simply paying attention and unchecking these offers.
2. Read the User Agreements.It is understandable that the User Agreements for a lot of softwares are extremely long and take time to read but it is important for you to read so that you understand the terms at which you are installing softwares. Usually, these user agreements contain details and conditions, the acceptance of which leads to you giving the software access to your personal data and permission to modify your files. This is another common way in which Browser Modifiers get access to your computer.
3. Try to avoid downloading from Free Sites.As much as you can, try avoiding free download websites. These websites are almost always filled with codes that lead to misclicks and malware like Browser Hijackers and the “free” download almost always contains a bundled software installer that includes the installation for the Browser Hijacker.
4. Keep Your Browser Up-To-Date. Ensuring that your browser is up to date is one of the best ways of keeping it safe. It does not guarantee avoiding browser hijackers and such but it does definitely help in keeping your browsing secure. Browser developers usually roll out regular updates from time to time with updated security features that help in avoiding them from getting infected by
5. Use a Good Anti-Virus Software. Anti-Virus softwares come with anti malware toolkits and security programs that immediately detect and warn you of malware or spyware like Browser Hijackers. Ensure you have a good one and you’re good to go.

What to do when your browser gets hijacked?

It’s not the end of the world if your browser’s been hijacked. Unlike fatal viruses or malwares, browser hijackers do not block your access to the computer’s security and setting files. There are several methods with which you can get rid of browser hijackers. Here are some of the best ways to do it.

1. Uninstall and Reinstall Your Browser from an Offline Source.Perform a clean, complete reinstall of your browsers. First clear all its cache and cookies and then uninstall the entire thing through the Add or Remove Programs section. Delete any remaining files in the computer and then borrow the offline installation for the browser from a friend and install it again. Make sure you update it to the latest version after installing it.
2. Perform a full Virus Scan and Fix.Open your antivirus and perform a full scan and fix process. This may be a time consuming process but a lot of good antiviruses nowadays are capable of dealing with Browser Hijackers reliably.
3. Delete all extra or suspicious plugins installed on your browser.Many a time, through accidental clicks on websites that contain freeware, your browser tends to install plugins. These Browser hijacking programs can also infiltrate your computer through these plugins so a good place to start checking for browser hijackers would be to check out your browser’s plugins and extensions.

Why is it something that you need to worry about?

All in all, Browser Hijackers are the most common types of malware and in many cases, the most annoying ones to encounter. They can infiltrate your computer without you realizing when and how it happen and they’re a threat to your personal privacy as these programs have the capability to track your personal records when installed. Ensure you take preventive measures to avoid these malwares and if you’re infected, be sure to be quick to deal with them.

All in all, Browser Hijackers are the most common types of malware and in many cases, the most annoying ones to encounter. They can infiltrate your computer without you realizing when and how it happen and they’re a threat to your personal privacy as these programs have the capability to track your personal records when installed. Ensure you take preventive measures to avoid these malwares and if you’re infected, be sure to be quick to deal with them.

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The WannaCry Ransomware; What is it and How Does it Affect Us?

As of the last week, the WannaCry Ransomware has taken the world by storm in the form of a massive cyber attack that has hit over 200,000 Windows operated computers in over 150 countries in less than three days.

The attacks began on the 12th of May, 2017 when it started spreading across Europe, having hit Spanish telecommunications giant, Telefonica, Britain’s National Health Service organizations and a lot of personal computers in Russia and Ukraine. The malware eventually spread to Asia and further on to America and is now regarded as a major cyber threat to organizations around the world.

WannaCry reportedly makes use of a “vulnerability” in microsoft’s security system and was mentioned as part of a leaked stash of confidential NSA documents which an unknown group of hackers have taken advantage of. An accidental misclick can infect your computer and block access to your files.

The malware apparently demands a ransom in order to regain access to the blocked files, according to a screenshot that has surfaced on the internet. However, there is no guarantee that complying with the ransom demand will unblock the files.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block a computer until a ransom amount is paid for them in the form of a digital currency transaction. Most Ransomwares infect computers through phishing attacks when an unreliable website is being browsed on the internet. The latest WannaCry malware attack is the biggest instance of Ransomware attacks in history and has been declared a global cybercrime threat in a lot of major countries.

Other notable instances of Ransomware attacks in the past are Reveton (2012), CryptoLocker (2013) and FusoB (2015). Most of these ransomware attacks are the work of Hacker Groups looking to exploit weaknesses in cyber security systems and make money out of it.

What is the WannaCry Ransomware and how does it spread?

The WannaCry Ransomware is a type of ransomware that was leaked to the public by the Equation Group, reportedly a part of the United States National Security Agency (NSA). A hacker group called The Shadow Brokers was deemed responsible for the leak and an unknown hacker group began using the malware for their own benefits, spreading it across computers in Europe.

The malware blocks important files on the computer by encrypting them, taking advantage of a vulnerability in a Microsoft Operating System’s security codes and gaining control over its files. It then demands a ransom fee in order to unblock the computer in the form of a digital currency called bitcoin.

So far, there hasn’t been any reported instance of the ransom being paid so nobody knows if files are actually unblocked after payment. It is reportedly more likely to infiltrate computers running Microsoft’s older operating systems like Windows XP and Vista but it can also affect modern operating systems through phishing attacks and accidental misclicks while browsing unreliable websites on the internet, leading to the ransomware getting downloaded onto the computer.

They are also known to spread through Microsoft Word or PDF documents downloaded through emails, which are generally infected during the process of their uploading.

Who is responsible for the attack?

As of today, the hacker group responsible for this huge attack are as yet, unknown but this is apparently their second attempt at cyber-extortion. An earlier version of WannaCry had surfaced, back in February, demanding for 0.1 Bitcoin ($177) as payment to unlock files. In this instance, the WannaCry malware is reportedly demanding $300 worth of bitcoin currency from computers in large multinational organizations.

●Are the Shadow Brokers Connected?
Initial reports pointed out that the Hacker Group, Shadow Brokers could be connected to the attack that has sent several countries on red alert since its discovery. However, it has been debunked as the Shadow Hunters were the group responsible for the NSA leak but experts claim this to be the work of an opportunist developer who got access to the leak and took control of the malware.
Have there been any attempts to stop this attack?

Microsoft reportedly rolled out updates for all versions of its operating systems including outdated ones like Windows XP and Vista, for which it had officially ended support a while ago in a bid to counter this malware.

However, by the time the ransomware began to spread and Microsoft could launch this update to control the situation, it had already affected a significant number of computers in the world, causing a frustrating situation for Microsoft as well as several large organizations whose computers had been affected who were too slow to download and install the update.

On the 15th of May, 2017, a young hacker and a web researcher who runs a blog called MalwareTech accidentally stumbled across a supposed “kill switch” for the malware, which slowed down its progress temporarily. However, a few hours later, improvised versions of the malware without the kill switch began to circulate and spread so now, cybercrime cells around the world are operating on high alert, trying to find a solution to stop the attack.

What are defence authorities doing to fight this attack?

The sheer scale of the ransomware attack means several cyber crime cells across the world have been actively making attempts to trace the source and stop the attack for good. The mode of payment it uses to demand ransom, Bitcoin is hard to trace but not impossible and similar such ransomware attacks have quickly been stopped in the past but not without leaving a trail of anarchy in their wake.

Why were NHS (National Health Service) hospitals attacked first?

At least 42 NHS Hospitals across Great Britain and Scotland have been affected by the attack and have had to turn away emergency services due to the malware. This is not primarily because they are being specifically targeted but because most of the computers in these hospitals run outdated Microsoft Windows XP operating systems which are particularly susceptible to the infection.

NHS Hospitals in Wales and Northern Ireland are reportedly unaffected by the attack but the affected hospitals are suffering major problems because of the attack and people seeking health care in these hospitals are expressing their frustration with the issue.

How many other Organizations have been affected by this attack?

Several major organizations around the world have been affected by the attack. Primarily, aside from the NHS, Spain’s leading telecom company, Telefónica, Romanian Carmaker, Dacia, The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Nissan Motor Manufacturing Company UK and French Carmaker, Renault are among the biggest affected organizations. Here are few organizations hit by the ransomware.
●Automobile Dacia (Romanian Car Maker)
●Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (Major Argentina Bank)
●Chinese Public Security Bureau (Chinese Government Body)
●Cambrian College (Educational Institution in Canada)
●CJ CGV (Multiplex Cinema in South Korea)
●Deutsch Bahn (German Railway Company)
●Dharmais Hospital (Indonesian Hospital)
●Faculty Hospital, Nitra (University Hospital in Slovakia)
●FedEx (American Multinational Shipping Company)
●Q-Park (Parking Garage Service, Belgium)
●Renault (French Carmaker)
●Russian Railways (Russian Railway Service)
●Sandvik (Swedish Engineering Company)
●São Paulo Court of Justice (Brazilian Court of Law)
●Saudi Telecom Company (UAE Telecom Giant)
●Sun Yat-sen University (Chinese Education Institution)
●Telefónica (Spanish Telecom Giant)
●Telenor Hungary (Hungarian Telecom Company)
●Timrå kommun (Local Swedish Municipality)
●University of Milano-Bicocca (Italian University)
●Vivo (Portuguese Telecom Company)

What are the Preventive Measures You can take during such an attack?

If you are running one of Microsoft’s modern operating systems like 8.1 or 10, install the latest microsoft updates and avoid downloading anything from the internet, especially documents from emails that are from affected organizations and avoid visiting unreliable websites like Torrent sites, Music downloading websites and free streaming websites. A lot of these websites lead to single click redirects that could potentially download the malware.

If you are running an older version of windows, immediately back up all your files, format your computer and install the latest Operating System with the latest updates. Ensure that your files are backed up so that you do not risk losing them in case of an attack. In case you are running a computer that has already been affected by the ransomware, immediately stop trying to boot the computer and report it to the authorities.

Do not, under any circumstances try to pay the ransom as that does not guarantee that your computer will get unblocked. Such an incident is usually short lived and dealt with as soon as possible, especially when it reaches such a scale.

What are the experts saying?

Several experts have criticized security agencies and organizations like the NSA because of their habit of stockpiling important data like this in order to use it offensively in case the need arises. The source of the leak was the NSA and it has come under heavy scrutiny from Cybercrime Experts in the past two days because of the rapid, epidemical take over of the WannaCry malware.

Director of digital and cyberspace policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, USA expressed that “the patching and updating systems are broken, basically, in the private sector and in government agencies”

In addition, Segal said that governments’ apparent inability to secure vulnerabilities “opens a lot of questions about backdoors and access to encryption that the government argues it needs from the private sector for security”

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, stated as part of a damage control measure that the attack was not specifically against NHS outlets across the UK but an international attack.

Indian authorities have announced red alert in the country and most of India’s Automatic Telling Machines (ATMs), which run on Microsoft XP operating system have been shut down in order to prevent transaction hijackings and malfunctions.

James Scott from the Institute of Critical Infrastructure Technology stated that Health Care staff have no Cybercrime training and are known to “click on phishing links all the time,” as evidenced by the large number of healthcare institutions that have been affected by the attack.

Conclusion

What started off as a malware attack four days ago in Europe and Russia has now spread globally and is affecting more and more organizations at a rapid rate. It is making an impact on a lot of country’s major organizations and authorities are actively seeking measures to bring the situation under control. Till then, users are advised to use the internet with a cautious approach and avoid unreliable websites and internet downloads until the situation can be brought under control.

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Should you shut down your computer at night?

As long as humanity has existed we’ve pondered various conundrums…the chicken or the egg? … Regular or decaf? … Why are we here? … Should I turn my computer off at night or leave it on? Well, we’re not going to attempt the first three, there are plenty of new age blogs all over the internet that can help you out with those. But we will talk about the computer on vs. off at night debate.  Let’s have a look at both sides so you can decide what’s best for you.

But my computer will wear out faster!

…Say people on both sides of the issue. Some folks argue that shutting your computer down and starting it back up frequently has a negative impact on components, making them wear out more quickly. On the other hand, those on the other side of the fence argue that leaving your computer on all the time will also contribute to premature component wear.

So who’s right? Off or on?

The answer is…(drumroll)…it depends.

Yes I know, that’s possibly the most anti-climactic answer in the history of answers. But read on and find out why.

How often do you use your computer?

Whether to shut your computer off or keep it on largely depends on how often you use it. If you use it several times during the day, or in the morning and then again at night, leave it on. If you use your computer for only a few hours once a day, or less often, turn it off when you’re done.

You definitely don’t want to be shutting it down and restarting it several times a day. Leaving the computer on all the time is less stressful than turning it on and off several times a day, but it’s a constant stress.  Every single time a computer powers on there is a small surge of power as everything awakes, and if it’s done multiple times during the day, then things will wear out faster.

Some components have a limited life cycle, so they do benefit from shutting your computer off now and then. For example, an LCD panel is built to last for about 15,000 hours, so letting it time out will extend its life. The hard drive and battery also have limited life cycles, and will benefit from occasional shut downs.

The best reasons to leave it on – or turn it off

The original concept that frequent shut downs and start-ups have a negative impact on your computer is a bit dated, because the components that were thought to incur extra stress are not used in more modern systems. But there are still several good reasons to leave your computer on. They are:

  • You want to be able to remotely access your PC because you’re using it as a server
  • You don’t want to wait for it to start up
  • There are updates, virus scans, or other things you’d like to run while you’re away

And now let’s hear from the “turn it off” camp:

  • Leaving it on wastes electricity and can slightly increase your power bill
  • You don’t want to have to deal with notifications or fan noise
  • Computer performance benefits from the occasional reboot

Sleep or Hibernate?

Putting your computer in sleep mode is the meet-in-the-middle solution. Sleep mode puts your computer in to a low power state without turning it completely off. You can save a lot of power without putting added stress on your system.

In Hibernation mode your computer stops using power, then resumes where it was prior to being put in that mode. It’s the less desirable of the two because it produces wear and tear similar to shutting it down and restarting it.

Other ways to help your computer’s lifespan

There are other things you can do to extend the life of your computer as well. For one, always use a surge protector. For the best lifespan get a universal power supply (UPS), which is in essence a battery backed up surge protector. Surge protectors help to even out the power to your system, preventing power spikes that can lower the lifespan of your computer’s components.

You can also help your computer last longer by keeping it clean. Inside and out. On the inside periodically check your software, and uninstall old software you don’t use, and clean up old files and processes as well. On the outside, open that baby up to clean out old dust and debris so your computer can breathe properly.

So which is it?

To reiterate – if you use your computer frequently, it’s best to leave it on, at least all day. If you use it in the morning and the evening, then leave it on overnight as well.

If you use your computer less often, such as for only a short time during the day, or less, then turn it off when you’re done.

 

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Do I need more than one antivirus program?

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how quickly and thoroughly malware or a computer virus can take over your computer and wreak havoc.  And those despicable people who create them are getting savvier and more inventive every day. You need strong protection to make sure your device isn’t attacked. There are many good antivirus programs out there, but you may be wondering if you can (and should) have more than one on your computer.

The answer is no. One antivirus program is good, but you may still have vulnerabilities in your system. You need more than one good guy on your side fighting to keep the bad guys at bay.

Why do I need more than one?

The malware landscape has changed tremendously in the past decade, and the old way of eliminating it is no longer enough. What has changed? Glad you asked.

  1. It’s easier than ever to become infected – It used to be that you could simply avoid picking up a virus by avoiding clicking on suspicious links or staying away from bad sites. This isn’t the case anymore. They have come up with new attacks and new weapons; malvertising for instance. In such an attack a legitimate site unknowingly gets malicious content from an infected site, and that content seeks ways to install itself on your computer. They are sometimes referred to as “drive-by downloads”. You can get infected by simply visiting the wrong site at the wrong time. Scary.
  2. Malware is everywhere – Software products such as Java and Flash, and many others, were created during a time when computer security wasn’t such a huge concern. Threats like exploits are proliferating online. Exploits is software, data, or commands that ‘exploit’ a weakness in a computer system or program to carry out some type of malicious intent. Some examples of exploits are denial of service attacks, Trojan horses, worms, or viruses. What is really frightening about exploit based software is that the average time between the initial infection and detection is almost a year.
  3. Response times to new threats from traditional antivirus programs are too slow – According to research from Panda Research, traditional antivirus programs only stop between 30 and 50 percent of new zero-hour malware when it first appears. Some take up to eight hours to reach the 90 percent level, with the majority needing a full 24 hours. Then it takes them seven days to get into the high 90% level. This is an eternity to go without adequate protection.

A couple examples – Let’s say someone in China or a hacker makes a never before seen, totally custom virus. It’s then sent to one system in an obscure place rather than blanketing the internet with it and allowing McAfee to stumble upon it quickly. Do you think that McAfee will find it and then send out a signature file for the rest of the world to protect itself? Unlikely.

It’s also known that many heavy hitters in Antivirus software will white list (i.e. ignore) some malware for law enforcement or other intelligence agencies (FYI this includes private companies). So you might have a keylogger, Remote Access Tool, or other malware on your machine that your antivirus program is allowing. Feel dirty yet?

Do I run them all at once to really disinfect my computer?

You don’t want to get a bunch of antivirus programs and then run them all at the same time. Antivirus programs don’t work well together, and running two at the same time may lead to one identifying the other as a virus. In some extreme cases it might even cause file corruption. Besides, running to apps at once will eat up your system resources.

It’s best to take a layered approach when it comes to antivirus protection. Think of it as locking your doors, and also having an alarm. Both systems work to keep you protected, but they work in different ways.

When you use the layered approach you spread out your antivirus resources in order to more effectively combat malware. Each program has its own strengths and does its own things.

First, you need a good traditional antivirus program. This will make an initial sweep of your computer and remove all known threats. After performing a traditional system scan and fixing any issues it finds, then use a good complementary software like Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes is designed to work with traditional antivirus programs. It is a lightweight (and free) product that works well to block threats that your antivirus program misses.

Then add a third layer like CCleaner. CCleaner will also take a complementary approach and work well with the other two programs, as long as you run them in sequence rather than all at once. When used together these programs will help keep your computer malware free and safe from attack. But do remember the basic rules of avoiding these issues in the first place. They are:

Don’t install anything you didn’t specifically request

Keep your antivirus software up to date

If you’re not using a piece of software anymore, uninstall it

It’s a crazy world out there, make sure you’re protected!