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Microsoft to Fix 34 Vulnerabilities in Windows, Office and IE

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Today Microsoft published their advance notification for the June security bulletin release, scheduled for release next Tuesday, June 8. This month's release includes ten bulletins addressing 34 vulnerabilities.

  • Six of the bulletins affect Windows; of those, two carry a Critical severity rating and four are rated Important.
  • Two bulletins, both with a severity rating of Important, affect Microsoft Office.
  • One bulletin, again with a severity rating of Important, affects both Windows and Office.
  • One bulletin, with a severity rating of Critical, affects Internet Explorer.


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Which Antivirus should I buy?

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There are several well known Antivirus programs out there and they each have their strengths and weaknesses. In this article we will discusse how we evailated them and give you our recommendation if you are looking to buy an antivirus program. The three that we will talk about are Norton, MacFee and the somewhat lesser known AVG.

When thinking about an good antivirus program there are a few things to keep in mind.

1) System Resource Usage: You don't want the antivirus program using so many of your computers resources that it grinds the system to a halt and you cannot get anything else done. There is nothing more annoying that being in the middle of work, or a really good online game only to have your system performance go down the tubes due to a scan starting.

2) Ease of use: This includes the ability to easily schedule scans, stop scans once they are started and have them not restart minutes later, a good user interface, ease and rapid virus definition updates.

3) Ability to try out for free and reasonable cost: Try before you buy, you really want to test it out to see if it is good and what you want yo live with. A free long term use of a free version of the software is important for this.

4) Effectiveness and level of protection of the software: Of course you want the software to protect you and keep your system safe.

With those criteria established let's take a look at each of the packages.

Norton

Let’s face it, Norton Antivirus has been a huge player in the antivirus market, pioneering the software from the get-go. And with popularity comes extra critics. Norton has suffered with several complaints in years previous about software bloat and overzealous resource usage. Norton is a good program but sometimes even people familiar with the product have a difficult time setting it up and getting it functioning like they want.

System Resource Usage: Poor

Ease of use: Average

Ability to try out for free and reasonable cost: Average

Effectiveness and level of protection of the software: Good

 

McAFee

McAfee is one of the biggest names in security software, and their desktop antivirus, VirusScan Plus is pretty good. They’re not the fastest, nor the most effective and are at the bottom of our list with respect to the three we are comparing here. There are several annoying features such as generating a pop-up for every single e-mail outside wormstopper limits. No log of viruses repaired or deleted. The software setup and configuration can be difficult and at times frustrating. It will give you decent protection but if you are not familiar with the product you can spend a lot of time managing the program.

System Resource Usage: Poor

Ease of use: Poor/Average

Ability to try out for free and reasonable cost: Average

Effectiveness and level of protection of the software: Good

 

AVG

AVG Internet Security - Tough on threats.

AVGis at the top of our list of antivirus programs. It is a bit lesser know but is starting to become very popular (Google used it for it's antivirus scans). PCModer has been using this software for years and have found it to be excellent. The user interface is simple, the protection is good, it does not hog the system when it runs and you can easily stop scans if you need to and they do not constantly annoy you by restarting or refusing to stop. There is also AVG Free which has most of the pay features and you can use it for as long as you like to try it out. This is very nice as not only are you protected but you also can really see if you like the software at your own pace.

System Resource Usage: Good

Ease of use: Good

Ability to try out for free and reasonable cost: Good

Effectiveness and level of protection of the software: Good

PCModer recommends you at least try AVG. It is the antivirus protection that we recommend. It has proven to be easy to use, reliable, stable and offers great protection.

 

What is a Firewall?

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Anti-spyware/ Anti-virus

What is a firewall? You can think of a firewall like the front door to your house. You give a  key to only those you want in the house to protect what is inside. Being on the internet without a firewall is asking for trouble and you WILL get some kind of hack on your computer if you do not protect it. There are many firewalls you can pay for but there are also many good ones that offer excellent protection and are free. You pay for extra features but still get very good protection for free. The best one is ZoneAlarm. There is a link to it below. ZoneAlarm has been around for many years and we use it regularly. It has an easy to use interface and lets you know when something strange is going on with your system.
If you are using MS Windows they also give you a free firewall. If you have no other use it. It also will protect you but it may also block programs you want to use the internet. Sometimes with the MS firewall a program will not function properly and it may take you a while before you figure out it was the firewall preventing your software from running. The firewall blocking is not as obvious as ZoneAlarm for example. ZoneAlarm will show a popup every time it needs to block something and you can tell it to just allow access once or forever. It is very intuitive and our choice.

Here is a list of free firewalls.

ZoneAlarm
Comodo
Ashampoo

Here is Zone Alarms Full featured firewall (pay)

ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall 2010 - $29.95 (Save $30)

 

Antivirus Protection at the right price!

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Antispyware

For the most part in the recent past Virus programs were small programs that were written by kids in college, or high school to prove to themselves and others how smart they were. Thus the name "Script Kiddies" was coined. These could be harmful in that they could cause you to loose data or slow your computer but for the most part that is about it. The Internet has matured to the point now where you could suffer real financial harm should the wrong virus get on to your computer. No longer is it just an annoyance with your computer running slow or hard drive crashing now they can get into your bank account or steal your personal information such as your Social Security number. I will not go into to many examples of how these work but let me give you one that is easy to understand.

There are virus programs out there that will record all of your keystrokes and then send them to the bad guys.....so if you ever type anything into your keyboard like passwords, log into bank accounts, personal info....ANYTHING...they will have that info and can then log in as you. This is only one example of a what a virus can do. I hope this example shows you how critical it is to protect yourself.

Not that long ago the need to have your computer protected with anti-virus software was not great. The odds were you would be safe and it was not that easy to get them...this is no longer true. I would actually say odds are you have had one in the past or have one right now, just based on the fact that you are on the internet. So how do you protect yourself? Its not that hard. I assume you are running a firewall so with that you need to run Anti-Virus software. There are many out there you can pay for such as Norton, McAfee, etc. and they are good but our goal here is to help you save some money and still be protected. You can get great protection for free by using AVG software. We have been using it for years and prefer it over the other pay programs. I have actually uninstalled other commercial anti-virus programs and installed Free AVG in their place many times and had great results. The key is to RUN the software.

If you just install it and never run the software you will not be protected. I recommend you run it every day. When you are not on the system is best so it will not interfere with your other work. AVG is nice this way as you can schedule when you want it to run. And that is the time it will run. The other commercial programs will try to run as soon as you boot your computer if you missed a scan and this causes it to run VERY slowly. Here is a link to AVG:

AVG - One of the best free Anti-Virus programs



It will not annoy you with pop up ads, or install tracking cookies or any other things that many so called free programs do. KnowledgeOrb recommends this software as our top pick for free anti-virus protection. There are many other commercial programs you can buy, but honestly this is every bit as good and it's free. Here are a few more free programs you can try if you like:

 

  • AVAST 4 Home Edition
  • AntiVir Personal Edition Classic


  • Here is the message...if you don't have some kind of protection get it TODAY! There is no excuse great protection is free!

     

     
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