Internet Security At Home

With the popularity of e-Mail, on-line shopping, on-line games, banking, and investing, Internet security has become increasingly important.  Most people are already familiar with antivirus software but Internet security goes the next step… and then some.

Other components of internet security include a firewall application, intrusion detection, parental controls, privacy controls, ad blocking, and e-Mail spam filtering to name several.

A firewall application monitors traffic between the computer and Internet.  Firewalls are designed to make it more difficult for a hacker to gain access to your pc.

Parental controls allow a user to block access for other users, e.g. your children, to selective website and newsgroup categories that are deemed inappropriate.

Privacy control is important as it can ensure that sensitive information and credit card numbers are not sent over the Internet in a non-encrypted form.

Ad blocking leads to a more enjoyable Internet experience as those annoying pop-up ads are blocked from displaying on your screen as you browse websites. 

Spam filtering is the blocking of unsolicited emails.  See the article on page 1 for more about dealing with junk email.

There are two popular Internet security suites available for home use: Norton Internet Security 2003 and McAfee Internet Security 2003.  Norton won PC Magazine’s® Editors’ Choice award.  It contains antivirus software, a firewall application, parental controls, ad blocking, and spam filtering.  Some of the reasons that it won the award were its solid functionality, application specific recommendations, straight -forward setup, and    ease-of-use.  It also comes with a LiveUpdate feature to download updates to the product, which is very important as the antivirus and firewall applications use signature files that always need updating.

McAfee offers similar functionality including a cookie filter and a browser-history shredder.  The functionality of the McAfee product is comprehensive but is said to require more effort to properly configure.                    

                                                                     

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