Going on the internet is a experience of awe and wonder with its own highs and addiction. Acute blogger's, chatters, Social networker's and IT professionals alike will shamelessly proclaim open addiction to it. From the average joe and jane to that very famous other that you admire, ogle, fantasise or idolise be it that favourite star, that boy/girl in school or the office colleague would have used it. With personal netbooks, laptops to office desktops and workstations internet is every were and along with it the threat of malaware, viruses, porn, adverts and the unseen hacker at large,
Yes, its seems scary, with most personal details and financial transactions being done with the internet. Relax, as today's Operating systems are secure and there are good free utilities that can be used to secure your netbook, laptop, desktop or workstation for free.
Windows 7 has a built-in firewall that is pretty good and can be used with these two utilities to make your computing more safe.
Parental Control / Web Filtering: Blue Coat K9 Web Protection is an excellent software utility for personal use and is very light weight and not in the face kind of software which is very accurate and hassle free. Its only 3 clicks and you will need a license which is free for personal use.
Antivirus: One of the best free and light on resources software is the ClamAV for windows software. IT seamlessly integrate with windows explorer and Outlook. These choices can be selected while install or later. It's interface and user GUI is very easy to use and you will not even notice it as it has a very less level of intervention necessary. Virus signature update if free and so is the software. No license required.
Malaware: Microsoft Security Essentials itself is a very good piece of software and does the job wonderfully, being low on resources it's response time, i.e. when removing malaware is a tad slower but the good side is it can remove existing one's and is absolutely free from Microsoft. It is in real time protection and integrates into the system without any fuss or issue.
Along with these if the UAC (User Access Control) is left ON your hard working computing silicon lump will be a happy bunny or stud based on what your gender is :).
OpenDNS: This is an added level of protection from bad sites and is similar to web filtering / parental control but adds a extra protection level by resolving website names to legit websites so that some web page does not hijack your browser to a phishing or malaware site and that your system along with you remain happy and have fun over the internet with out the worry of unprotected browsing.
- Bellamkonda Sudhakar