Amid all the good things the Internet and the Web have brought us, there is also a lot of concern about the dangers lurking on the net, such as identify theft, fraud, scams, destructive viruses etc. There is probably little need to convince you about the seriousness of these threats, as most of us have direct experience with at least some of them.

One thing is certain, you do need adequate protection whether you’re online or offline. The security threats in 2009 can be very sophisticated, and a simple anti-virus program will not give you adequate protection anymore.

What are the main security risks?

The main security risks from which you need to be protected are:

Identify theft and the stealing of confidential information
Unauthorized access to your PC
Accidental exposure to illegal, dangerous and offensive web sites
Junk email (Spam)
What is the minimum amount of protection you need?

A proper security product should protect you against all of the main dangers outlined above. This means that is should have at least the following features and characteristics:

Anti-Virus: Protection against Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses, Spyware, Adware, and any other piece of malicious software
Firewall: Protection against attempts to get access to your PC over the internet (Firewall)
Web Site classification: protection against malicious Web Sites
Parental Control
Real-time Protection: protection by monitoring all incoming and outgoing communication, not just by scheduled scanning of your files
Anti-Spam: Protection against junk mail and spam
How to protect you and your family / recommended solutions

There are a bewildering number of products on the market, and it is not always easy to tell what exactly they are protecting you against, and what threats are excluded. Sometimes even within a product range from a single vendor there can be multiple products with overlapping functionality. Very confusing!

Your best bet is to go for a product from a reputable vendor, that has the words “Internet Security” in the title, as it is most likely to cover most of the key features mentioned earlier. You certainly need more than just an anti-virus program! There are a number of good quality solutions available which will protect you against all of these risks. They’re not free, but won’t cost you an arm and a leg either.

The best solutions are provided by Norton, Kaspersky, PC Tools and ZoneAlarm.

Beware of the so-called free solutions; usually “free” means only free for a limited time, or it means a number of important security features are not active. Not to mention the fact that you should never install a product from a source that you do not know and trust!

More details on safe internet usage and how best to protect yourself can be found on

Happy and safe surfing!

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