The Importance of Protecting Your PC from Viruses and Spam

Today the internet is a mine field of malicious code looking to harm your computer. Hackers want to have access to your PC for both fun and profit. You must be diligent in your ability to detect and then protect your important computer data.

Understanding what hackers are looking for, what doors they use to gain entry into your computer and which programs are available to help you protect your PC against any illegal entry will give you greater peace of mind and protect your valuable data.

There are three types of threats to your computer that you need to be concerned about. The first are viruses. The definition of a computer virus is a piece of code or a program that is that is loaded onto and run on your computer without your knowledge. They can attach themselves to other programs on your computer. Some Virus' can reproduce at a great rate and in turn use up a lot of your computer memory. This eventually can cause your computer to crash. You get Viruses most commonly via email or downloading programs and files. One way is in form of .exe files. If you receive an .exe file you should never open it unless it has been checked and approved as safe by your virus protection program.

Viruses can come into your computer in many other forms. You have to be careful with flash files, movies, mp3 and even .jpeg files. This is a good reason to have virus protection software installed on your computer. Companies like Norton, McAfee (McAfee.com), Trend Micro who makes PC-cilliin (trendmicro.com) and Grisoft (grisoft.com) among others make excellent virus protection products. Grisoft makes AVG Pro which is competent virus protection software. They have a personal edition which is free to use and is very good.

The next piece of software that is needed to protect your PC computer is a firewall. A firewall is used to block illegal access to your computer or network. It will block suspicious data from flowing into your PC and block unapproved programs outside your computer from taking data from your PC.

Think of a firewall as a doorman whose job it is to open a large locked door. When the doorman knows who is knocking at the door either by an announcement or because he recognizes the person he will let them in. With your firewall the firewall is unlocked only on your authorization allowing data to be passed on or received. It learns after awhile who is trusted and who is not.

A firewall comes standard with Microsoft Windows XP (Microsoft.com). But in order for it to protect, you must turn it on. Other solutions are Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall which you can buy by itself or bundled in the Norton Security Suite (symantec.com). McAfee (McAfee.com) also has a good firewall as well as the free version of Zone Labs firewall called Zone Alarm (zonelabs.com).

And, finally you should have good spyware software to protect against hackers or companies from snooping to find information about you through your internet connection. It is commonly used by companies for marketing purposes. Free spyware software that is widely used is Spybot's Search & Destroy (safer-networking.org) or Lavasoft's (lavasoft.com) free version of their Ad-aware spyware application. Spy Sweeper from Webroot (webroot.com) is an excellent choice and does not cost very much. Spy Sweeper has received many top reviews from the computer magazines.

If you install a virus protection software, Firewall and spyware software your computer will be well protected and you will have peace of mind. And, you needn't spend a lot. In each category you can find a free version that is very good and will help keep your computer problem free.

Ken Katz runs a Dating site:Web4Love.com. He has written this article for his viewers to help inform them on easy and mostly free software to help protect their computers.

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