How to Install an Internet Security Suite

You probably need an Internet Security Suite. Both Windows and Mac users need it.  I don’t know of a good Internet Security Suites for Linux.  But, if you’re running Linux, you are probably already fairly computer savvy. An Internet Security Suite usually has a number of components to protect you against different dangers from hackers:

  1. A software firewall.  This blocks most of the unsolicited inbound hacking traffic from reaching your computer.   Sometimes, it can also block outbound traffic.
  2. An antivirus program.  If you are running any program that asks for content from the Internet (email, browsing, downloads, watching movies, etc.), the content coming into your computer may have malware inside it.  Most antivirus programs will check the incoming content from the Internet, and scan for malware.  If it finds malware, it will block it from running or quarantine it.  All antivirus programs that I know of can also scan your entire hard disk, looking for malware that is already installed, and try to quarantine and/or remove any malware it finds.
  3. An anti-spam filter.  I hate spam.  You probably do too.  The only way to reduce your spam is to install some kind of an anti-spam filter.  If you are only doing webmail, this probably doesn’t affect you.  Gmail has an anti-spam filter that you don’t ever see
  4. A privacy filter.  You can configure this with your credit card numbers, and if the privacy filter sees your credit card number being sent out from your computer, it can stop it (sometimes).
  5. Parental Control software: This prevents your kids from browsing to inappropriate sites.
  6. A backup program: If your computer gets totally hosed, sometimes, your only alternative is to restore from a backup.  To restore from a backup, you have to have a backup in the first place…
  7. Performance tuning: This is a nice-to-have, but not essential.

Remember: computer security is like a cat-and-mouse game, or a game of one-upmanship.  The good guys try to keep malware from getting onto your computer, the bad guys try to get around that protection, the good guys make their protection better, the bad guys try to get around the newer protection, etc.Don’t get the impression that you can install an Internet Security Suite, and then you are protected, and can do anything you want to on your computer.  You still need to practice other computer security measures too.

Here’s how to get an Internet Security Suite:

  1. See if your ISP will provide security software for free.  (Comcast does.)
  2. Otherwise, buy an Internet Security Suite.  Here are some recommendations:
  3. Run a full system scan.  Allow the security suite to fix any issues it discovers.
  4. If you want an added layer of protection, there  is another security scanner I run called Malwarebytes Antimalware.
  5. Microsoft has a free security suite called Microsoft Security Essentials.

Hopefully, you are doing this as a precautionary measure, and your computer isn’t infected. But what should you do if your computer is infected?  Try the steps above.  If your computer still doesn’t work, here are some options:

  • Engage the Geek Squad (you might get lucky),
  • Rebuild your computer (beware, this is a ton of work), or
  • Buy a new computer, and transfer your old files to your new computer (if your computer is truly infected beyond repair, this is probably your best option).
  • Optional: once you moved everything you care about to your new computer, you can rebuild your old one.  It will be easier now, because you don’t have to worry about saving personal files.  Then you will have two computers, and you can keep one disconnected from the Internet, and put your top-secret files on that computer.

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