Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Five essential tools for your PC online

This is still the 'daily dose for kids by docgaurav'; and there is only one reason for this particular article to be here.......coz it is my blog!
FIVE Essential Software for PC on the Internet
Today the worth of a PC has been enhanced manifold with the availability of the Internet. However with every silver lining comes a dark cloud, and the easy availability of the Internet has lead to an increase in virus attacks and security breaches. Not a day goes by when we do not hear about hackers disabling major websites, or causing a loss of millions of dollars by unleashing virus attacks.
You maybe wondering where you fit in all this? You are probably a single PC user having an Office / Home PC, keeping your accounts and games on the PC, a little bit of academic research and surfing the net for some fun. Why would a hacker/ virus be bothered with you? Unfortunately nowadays no one is safe, as many net users have found to their dismay. We in India are especially prone as many of the virus attacks may occur through pirated software that abound on an average Indian PC. Opening an email attachment can easily spread a virus to your computer, destroying your precious data. So how do you ensure protection of your PC from the online threat?Here is a list of software that MUST be installed on your PC if you are connected to the Internet.
1. LATEST UPDATE of your WINDOWS Operating System: Easiest and probably the single most effective way of making your computer safe. If you are a ‘genuine’ WINDOWS user then you can order the CD from the Microsoft website, or download the updates from their website. However since this is a large download (upto 256 MB for Windows XP service pack 2), it might be better idea to purchase a computer magazine that would be carrying the latest update (for example the DIGIT magazine Sept 2004 CD & DVD have the latest Windows XP service pack 2). If you do not upgrade the Windows Operating System, even the latest Antivirus may not be able to prevent certain types of security breaches in your computer.
Category: FREE; Website:
2. Antivirus: Most people know about these, however it is extremely important not only to have a good antivirus but also to update it on a frequent basis (daily to once a week). Run the virus scan frequently to check for any hidden virus.
PAID; McAfee (; Norton Antivirus (
FREE; AVG Antivirus (; Avast (; Bitdefender (; H+BEDV antivirus (
3. Spyware removal tools: Spyware are certain programs that get installed on your computer without your knowledge and permission. They slow down the computer, the Internet and also may lead to more junk (spam) mail in you email. They may even track your internet usage (spy on you!) and report this information back to their owner without your knowledge. How do they come to your PC? Most likely as ‘bundled’ software with some FREE programs or with some pirated software. Use spyware removal tool and run and update it frequently (just like the antivirus) to help your PC run smoothly for years!
Category:FREE: Ad-aware (, Spybot Search and Destroy (,
4. Firewall: These are software used to prevent unauthorized people (hackers) from gaining access to your computer. They work by checking the flow of information from Internet to your PC and vica versa (somewhat like a wall around a fort with gates and guards checking every passerby!). You would be surprised at the number of times your computer is “scanned” while you are surfing the internet. Another advantage with a firewall is that they prevent unauthorized programs (like spyware) in your computer from sending information outside without your knowledge. The risk of a virus-like attack is substantially reduced with the addition of a firewall. Interestingly WINDOWS XP Service pack 2 update contains a free firewall
Category: PAID: Mcafee Internet Security Suite (; Norton Internet Security (
FREE: Zonealarm (; Kerio (; Outpost (; Sygate personal firewall (
5. Others: These software may not directly protect your computer online but make your Internet browsing much more fun
a. Downloadable Toolbars: Yahoo and Google have downloadable toolbars that allow you to search the internet from your web browser instantaneously. Apart from the ‘search’ function they also have interesting features like “auto-complete form” (a real time saver) feature of the Google tool bar, and the anti-spyware feature, popup blocker and a host of other features of the Yahoo toolbar.
FREE: Yahoo (; Google (
b. Spam Filters: These are programs that make your life easier by scanning incoming mails (on Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express etc.) on your computer and automatically separate the junk mail from the important ones. A real time saver tool for the regular e mail user
Category:PAID: Cloudmark Spamnet (; Mcafee Spam killer (; Norton Antispam (
FREE: Spam assassin (www.; Spamihilator (

I hope that this article stimulates some of you to take action to protect your PC. To paraphrase ‘even if one PC stays uninfected after taking action on the basis of this article I would feel vindicated’
Dr. Gaurav Gupta

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I purchased some of the best computer software from this site. I higly recommend protecting your computer against harmful internet virus.