When it comes to internet security, the ultimate question is, can I be 100-percent protected? The answer is NO, however, you can take steps to prevent an infection. First, you need to ensure that you have antivirus software on your computers, and that it is fully up to date. If you really want to be protected, you can invest about $500 to purchase a hardware firewall. Companies like SonicWall have excellent services; many large companies and even small businesses have them installed to protect their networks. I personally use a TZ-180 at home.
What is the difference between a hardware and software firewall? A hardware firewall, especially if it has built in antivirus software, is an actual box that goes between your computer and/or network and the Internet. It stops viruses before they reach your computer. By way of contrast, in order for a software firewall to stop the virus, the virus has to get onto your computer in the first place. That gives the virus a better chance of defeating your security measures, whereas with a hardware firewall it has to fight to even make it to your PC.
Steps to prevent infections while browsing the web:
- Never download a codec to watch a video online. Almost all videos from YouTube, MySpace and Hulu are flash based, and you should have the flash player installed.
- Never open an e-mail from someone you don’t know and download its attachments.
- Never download a program to view a webpage or page content.
- If you are planning on downloading a program, research it to see if it has been flagged as a malicious program.
- If you get a popup from a webpage saying that your computer is infected, never click the OK or cancel button, click the X or better yet use your task manager to end the browser task. This can be done by right clicking on the taskbar (the bar your start button is located on), then click task manager. Click the processes tab. To end the browser task, right click the task, then click end process tree. This will completely exit the browser. For Internet Explorer, it is iexplorer.exe. For Firefox it is Firefox.exe. Opera is Opera.exe. Safari is safari.exe.
- Do not use peer-to-peer file sharing programs such as Limewire, Frostwire, Bearshare or Torrent programs. Not only are these illegal, they also harbor some of the most dangerous viruses and malicious software.
So the real answer to the question "Can I be 100-percent protected?" is yes (if you take this knowledge with you).
To get started on your quest for complete computer security, refer to our expert reviews of excellent personal firewall software packages such as Comodo Internet Security Pro, Online Armor Premium and Kaspersky Internet Security.