Many ask me why I decided to adopt the nick-name TheMoneyGeek. The answer is because I’m such a money nerd and techno geek. Where money and technology intersect, I’m really in my element. Unfortunately, so are creative hackers. They will take any opportunity to separate you from both your computer data as well as your money. So how do you protect yourself? And with Microsoft Defender software available on most new Windows computers, do you really need antivirus software on your home computers?
The short answer is “yes”. The Internet is increasingly awash with creative malware that can severely damage your computer, destroy your files, and embed themselves quietly in your operating system, sending information that can be used by identity thieves, or allowing hackers to turn your computer into a spam machine or “slave”.
Antivirus software companies monitor the Web in real time. They are constantly identifying new strains of malware and providing updates to their software that will look for the “symptoms” of every known virus, isolate it and allow you to remove it before it has a chance to damage your files, send compromising information or invite your friends and neighbors to purchase online porn.
Top10AntiVirusSoftware.com has just released its 2015 list of the most effective programs for preventing worms, trojan horses, viruses or malware from installing themselves on your computer. The top-rated industry leader was McAfee Software, which can be purchased for $24.99 a year. Other top-rated programs include Kaspersky ($29.99), BullGuard ($23.96), BitDefender ($19.95), Norton Antivirus ($59.99), AVG ($31.99) and ESET ($19.99). (You can buy any of the programs at a discount at http://www.top10antivirussoftware.com).
If you prefer free anti-malware programs, Consumer Reports likes Avast!, Avira and AVG antivirus. For paid security suites, Consumer Reports ranks ESET Smart Security, G Data Internet Security, F-Secure Internet Security, Kapersky Internet Security and Bit Defender the best (in that order). But before you pay for and download any security suites, check with your internet provider-they may furnish all subscribers with free software.
Understand that like all things in the software world, the best program in 2015 may not be the top-rated the following year. And most importantly, recognize that you need to constantly respond to the free upgrades for your software, because some of the most creative programmers in the world are constantly plotting against you and your security. Paid anti-malware and security suites require an annual maintenance fee, though many allow you to install the program on up to five computers in your household.
If you would like to discuss protecting your money and computers, please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website at http://www.ydfs.com. We are a fee-only fiduciary financial planning firm that always puts your interests first. If you are not a client yet, an initial consultation is complimentary and there is never any pressure or hidden sales pitch.