Computer Security That Doesn’t Slow Down Your Computer

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vipre for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

TComputer Security That Doesn't Slow Down Your ComputerLast week I installed a better Internet security application than I’d been using on my Windows test system.

As I described at the time, VIPRE Internet Security 2013’s installation process was clear and simple, and my first test of the software’s functionality returned improved results over a competing solution I’d installed prior to testing. I mentioned that I’d be reporting my experience with the computer security program after testing it further. Now that’s I’ve been using VIPRE for a week, here are my findings.

Computer Security That Doesn’t Slow Down My Computer

As I mentioned last week, many anti-virus solutions are notorious for slowing down PCs. This is mainly because much of the computer security software developers feel the need to add what many would say unnecessary features to their software. More features usually results in more resources being used up by the application, in some cases slowing your computer to a crawl. Why do vendors feel the need to continuously add features? Because they want to continue to selling new versions of their software, and they recognize (incorrectly, in some cases) that consumers tend to see the latest versions of an application as somehow improved over prior versions. It’s often necessary to release a new version of software every year or so due to various circumstances.

The introduction of Windows 8, for example, has required many developers to make some major interface changes to their programs so that the software will fit both aesthetically and functionally into the new operating system’s Metro UI. Consumers expect these types of alterations, and most often their pleased when the look and feel of an application matches the look and feel of the OS they’re working with every day. Yet on occasion, developers seem to pay more attention to the overall impression their apps deliver at the cost of functionality.

Computer Security That Doesn't Slow Down Your ComputerIn the case of VIPRE, GFI Software (the developers of the VIPRE line of computer security software) seems to have focused on delivering the best functionality it can to consumers. And in doing this, it turned out a program that is as efficient in appearance as it is in executing its tasks. As I mentioned last week, the software is simple and elegant in appearance. More important, the interface is intuitive — it took me no time at all to dive right in and run a deep scan of my system (which was completed in record time, compared to another app I used).

Over the course of the past week I used my PC more actively than I have in quite some time. I’ve installed a number of new applications, visited some well-known “malicious” websites that have tried to infect my computer through my browser, and VIPRE has caught every instance of a threat to my PC. I’ve played some fairly resource-intensive games on my computer and performed some tasks that I know require some heavy lifting (such as multimedia production). I’m pleased to report that I’ve experienced no noticeable performance hits to my system. Apparently, the programmers at GFI know how to build computer security software that won’t slow down your computer.

VIPRE Includes Enterprise-Level Computer Security Features

TComputer Security That Doesn't Slow Down Your ComputerOne thing I failed to mention in my review last week was a feature I hadn’t known about at the time. VIPRE provides automatic application patching, a feature usually only found in enterprise-level computer security solutions. This is an extremely useful feature to have, since many computer users (even the most cautious and tech-savvy, such as myself) tend to put off installing the latest patches (security fixes) because we’re so wrapped up in other tasks (such as testing out new software).

Though I have my Windows PCs set to automatically download and install the latest patches as soon as they become available, writers of viruses and scripts (programs) take advantage of exploits they find in other popular applications computer users are likely to have installed on their systems. By building in automatic updating of many of the most popular applications VIPRE detects you have installed on your system, GTI Software stands out from the pack of consumer-level anti-virus applications. The program also reminds you to update your software to their latest versions if you haven’t already done so. This proactive approach is comforting, to say the least.

Most consumers have to pay a hefty expense for enterprise-level anti-virus suites in order to take advantage of this feature (and without this feature, many consumers end up paying a hefty expense when their systems become infected because they forgot to update their applications).

Computer Security That Comes at a Fair Price

Computer Security That Doesn't Slow Down Your ComputerAnother thing that I failed to mention last week is the price of the computer security software. One license of VIPRE Internet Security 2013 will set you back $49.99. This is a fair price for everything the program has to offer, but check this out: a license to install the application on up to 10 different PCs costs only $20 more. Now that’s what I call a deal. Many of us have more than one computer system at our disposal, and being able to have all of them protected as thoroughly as this software does for $69.99 is basically unbeatable.

You can even purchase lifetime protection for $299.99, which may sound like a pretty penny if you’re only using two computers, but the cost of losing data due to an infection would cost far more than $300 for most users who rely on their computers. We’re giving away a free 1-year license to VIPRE Internet Security 2013 to a random reader who posts a comment stating why they would use VIPRE as opposed to using nothing at all. So get in on the giveaway and post your comments — you can’t win if you don’t play!

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Top 100 Windows PC Security Tips

There are more threats to the security of your computer than I can begin to count. New types of attacks are released on more than a daily basis… you have to be vigilant. You already know to use strong passwords. You also know to be sure and have a good anti-virus program and firewall installed. However, there are many other easy things you can do to help make sure your PC is safe. This is why I have come up with my Top 100 Windows PC Security Tips eBook.

You are free to set your own price for this Gnome Tome, with a suggested minimum of five dollars. Once you have downloaded the .PDF file, you will learn how to fully protect your computer from hackers, viruses, phishing attempts, trojans, worms and much more. Many of these little gems are likely things you didn’t already know how to do… or even that they existed. Much of the information deals with things already in place on your operating system – you just have to know how to use them.

Educate your family about the basics of malware and how to avoid becoming infected — and know where your kids go online.

The above tip may seem to be a no-brainer. You would be surprised to learn how many people simply do not take the time to educate their children and teenagers… or how many teens neglect to educate their parents. The 100 tips and tricks cover everything you need to know – from education to prevention to recovery.

On the last page, you will find several links to discounted security products that we have recommended in the past. We are grateful to those partners for continuing to offer these special prices to our community.

Education is the key to everything – including protection yourself and your information.

Protecting Your Privacy and Security

Cisco Systems uses this program. The Drug Enforcement Administration (USA) uses this program. The Exchange Bank uses this program. McCain Foods Limited uses this program. What program is it? It is Invisible Secrets, and the client list is impressive. Privacy and security are important to these companies and institutions – it is essential to computer protection. This is a preventative measure that individual computer users have to recognize because there is so much information on just one hard drive.

Not only is identity theft rampant, but there are things on the your home computer, work machine, or laptop that are simply private. You not only want protection from outside hackers, you want to safeguard against nosy friends, colleagues and family members.

Invisible Secrets 4 not only encrypts your data and files for safe keeping or for secure transfer across the Internet, it also hides them in places that on the surface appear totally innocent — such as picture or sound files or Web pages. These types of files are a perfect disguise for sensitive information. Using our file encryption software nobody — not even your wife, boss, or a hacker — would realize that your important papers or letters are stored in your last holiday pictures, or that you use your personal Web page to exchange messages or secret documents. With Invisible Secrets 4 file encryption software, you may encrypt and hide files directly from Windows Explorer and then automatically transfer them by email or via the Internet.

We have Invisible Secrets 4 available to our readers at a 40% discount.

Invisible Secrets works on Windows NT / 2000 / XP and Vista. This offer ends June 18th, 2009.

Here’s a question: Why isn’t this program standard on every laptop? With business laptops, government laptops, and personal laptops going missing every day, this security program should be on every portable machine, as well as desktop. This would be an enormous security step in the right direction for dealing with sensitive information that is breached and it would completely bypass the subsequent nightmare of paying for identity theft protection. It’s simple and it’s effective.

If you need large multiples of this program, please let us know. We will try to negotiate a good price for those companies that may need many copies for laptops holding those confidential files. For the individual user, think of the files, emails, pictures, passwords, and other bits of information that you don’t want people to access. That is exactly why we went after this privacy/security program for our readers… and our thanks to the Invisible Secrets people for this generous offer.

Is Microsoft Windows Security a Myth?

Geek!This is Sushruta’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Any Linux geek would tell you Linux thrashes Windows in more ways than one. But does it? And why? What makes a system better than another? At this stage, are they even different at all?

If there were no Windows vs. Linux battles, the geek life would have been notably duller. Technology forums would inevitably get boring, and life would generally never be the same. The most contentious issue, of course, is security — Windows is notorious for not having much in that department. However, Vista is loaded with a bunch of new security measures, and claims to be able to thwart malicious software better.

What makes an operating system more secure? The way it’s built, of course. And that is the question we’re asking. But first, some myth-busting.

The biggest security breaches occur when malware is allowed to run with on your system with elevated privileges — which means that it has access to critical programs and data that only your system’s kernel should have. Once it’s reached that level, your PC becomes its humble servant, and can be brought down at the slightest whim. Who gives this malware its privileges? Well, you do.

With Windows XP, the person who installs the operating system becomes the Administrator, so if you’re the only one using your PC, you’ve got the privileges to wreak all sorts of havoc, should you choose to. Consequently, any application you install and run is also accorded the same royal treatment, no questions asked. Now add to that the fact that Windows’ system services run under a user account called SYSTEM (you can check this out in the Task Manager)—the most powerful account on your system, with access to everything critical—and that the first processes that malicious programs hijack are system services. You’ll be drawing pretty accurate conclusions by now…

Vista, thankfully, changes this. The user who installs Vista is still part of the Administrators group, but even this administrator runs with regular, limited privileges. When administrative tasks—including installing new programs—need performing, User Account Control (UAC) kicks in, telling you that you need to give the task a go-ahead before it, well, goes ahead. If you read the UAC prompt and don’t know the program it’s warning you about, you can prevent it from running. But what if you’ve blindly allowed the task to continue ?

Services in Linux run as separate users, with access only to files that they own; more often than not, they don’t even have the rights to use the terminal, so they can’t run commands or start other services. This is where the multi-user approach comes handy again—since users are isolated from each other, services can’t access the data used by other services. The Apache server, for instance, runs as a user called www-data, which only has access to the Web pages it serves. If a hacker exploits an Apache vulnerability to get into the www-data user account, he can’t really do much to the other services, because www-data doesn’t own those files. He can, however, mess with Web pages, so while this isn’t a doomsday scenario, it’s certainly not ideal.

What is the scope of the damage it can do? Again, with both Linux and Vista, damage caused by malware is restricted to the service it exploits, and the files that the service can access. What happens when the malware goes about its dirty deed? With Vista, if a critical service—like the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service—is compromised, all manners of chaos may ensue. Every application under Windows needs to use RPC, so you’re sunk without it. With Linux, services aren’t as tightly integrated with the OS, so while your Linux PC can be crippled—some applications won’t run, you may not have network access and so on—the kernel is still safe, which means that with a little root wizardry, it can be brought back to life again.

Bottom line: for daily desktop use, both systems are equally secure — but if things do go wrong, they go more wrong with Windows.

Firewall and Computer Security


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – The round table discusses the free Comodo Firewall, and other Security programs for your Windows machine.

Four of my friends joined me for this discussion: Kat, SC_Thor, Wirelesspacket, and last but certainly not least… Datalore.

Kat started this discussion off, based on a comment she received to her blog post with her recommendations for Windows Protection Software. Someone wrote in, claiming that the free Comodo firewall is not as good as what people think. As I pointed out, Comodo IS a very good firewall. It is easy on system resources, and it just plain works.

Regardless of your product choice, always make sure to use a firewall. Keep yourself protected, no matter how good you think you are. A combination of a hardware AND software firewall is best. Always have an Anti-Virus program running, and possibly even an Anti-Spyware one, as well. Layers of protection like this will help keep your computer safe from all the nasties that are out there.

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