You would never park your car at night in a city with all the doors and windows open and your wallet on the seat, would you? Well, this is essentially what you’re doing when you connect to the Internet without antivirus or malware and intrusion protection.

It can be overwhelming, with so many products available, to know the best way to protect your systems.

There are lots of good products out there but my advice is to use a paid service from a well known supplier.

Threats on the Internet evolve by the hour so it’s also important to use something that is regularly updated and developed. Quite often, larger vendors also offer you online storage for offsite backup which is a bonus. To protect yourself, always check the small print before signing up. Always shop around because even the big brands can have bargains on purchasing a new release over just upgrading online. It might take a few more minutes of your time but you can also save money. Some examples of good anti-virus software products are:

  1. Bit Defender total security [home use] or Gravity Zone [corporate use]
  1. Sophos Home [home use] or Endpoint protection [corporate use]
  1. Norton Security [home use] or Symantec endpoint-protection [corporate use]

If someone contacts you and tells you that you have a virus either by email or a pop-up from a website, this will probably be fake.

In the same way your bank will tell you, never ring a number in an email or click a link solicited. Always go to a source you know is legitimate. If you are unsure, Google is always your friend. One of the main points of the Internet, good or bad, is that you are not alone and there will be other people who have fallen for scams or have reviewed products and want to warn you.

Keep it clean…

Regularly using cleaner software such as Ccleaner from or manually using your browser to remove cookies also helps to reduce your attack profile by removing the sources of information that hackers and malware writers target.

The larger anti-virus or threat protection security bundle suppliers will usually have features like this included.

It is also a good idea to have a layered approach to your security and, if in doubt, take advice from local trusted IT suppliers.

About the author: Robert Dent is engineering manager at Microtest