Many personal computers are not protected as well as they should be. In fact, many anti-virus programs and firewalls are not running properly, configured properly or simply are not installed at all.
A few recommendations for greater Internet security:
Anti-virus software is essential to the safety of your computer and data. Viruses attack computers in many different inconceivable ways. In 2004, an average of 25 new viruses were introduced each day! Many anti-virus programs are available today with Symantec's Norton and Network Associates McAfee being the most common names. If you don't want to pay for anti-virus software, there is free anti-virus software that would suit you much better than no protection at all. Do yourself (and everyone on the web) a favor, and keep your anti-virus software running properly and up to date! Check out the Links page for more information.
Note: If you are not using anti-virus software because it continues to cause other problems in your computer, you may very well have spyware/adware/malware running in your computer! These types of problems are not detected with anti-virus software. See spyware below for more details.
Firewalls for Home/Small Business:
While firewalls are not a necessity like anti-virus software is, they are still highly recommended to the protection of your computer and its data. I would highly recommend both a software and hardware firewall to all using a broadband connection.
Microsoft Windows XP SP2 now includes features for a basic software firewall protection. This firewall included with Microsoft XP was not intended to replace other software (or hardware) firewalls, but to offer everyone a very minimum level of protection.
Many firewall programs are available today and be purchased individually as well as bundled with an anti-virus software suite. Check out the Links page for more information.
If you access the Internet via a Broadband connection (DSL/Cable), do yourself a favor and have a properly installed and configured router (w/firewall) installed with your system(s). A router is a stand alone device connected between the DSL/Cable modem and your computer(s). A router also allows multiple users to share a single Internet connection in the home or small business. Of course there are many features to consider (i.e. wired or wireless, etc...) when choosing a router as one size does not fit all. For more information on routers and basic networking, we recommend this link: http://www.linksys.com/edu/. Also check out the Links page for more information.
Spyware / Adware / Malware:
Check out the Links page for more information and removal software.
All opinions and recommendations are made based solely on our personal experience and reviews. These lists are by no means a complete list of all solutions, vendors and programs available. This information is provided as a public service to our customers - we do not endorse any companies for any other purpose other than to continue to develop products used to protect users computers and their data.
We also recommend that people continue to support the people that provide free software for our benefit. Often these programs are written by a single person on their own time to fight these computer injustices. For example, If you used a free spyware program like Ad-Aware or Spybot S&D to remove spyware from your system, we recommend that you contribute a few dollars to those people through their websites. It is a small price to pay compared to having a professional repair your machine. Bouchette Electronics would also be happy to forward any small donations to the proper companies if you wish.
©2005 Bouchette Electronics, Inc.
Clintonville, WI 54929 715.823.7770