The Mouse Trap
–by Janis Weber
PUBLICATION DATE: Nov 09, 2020
Check out my archived articles on The Sylvania Advantage Website (SylvaniaAdvantage.com) titled Computer 101.
Remember when your home computer was just for gaming, checking social media, and watching cat videos? It wasn’t that long ago. But now the computer and its connection to the internet are vital to your work, your children’s schooling, and keeping in touch with friends you can’t visit. It would be a shame if something happened to that vital communications mode. And that’s why you absolutely must make sure all your computers have the protection of a powerful effective antivirus utility, one that’s active and up to date.
We call it antivirus, but in truth, it’s unlikely you’ll get hit with an actual computer virus. Malware these days is about making money, and there’s no easy way to cash in on spreading a virus. Ransomware and data-stealing Trojans are much more common, as are bots that let the bot-herder rent out your computer for nefarious purposes. Modern antivirus utilities handle Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransomware and more.
The antivirus utility works in the background to keep out any faint possibility of infestation by malware, but its abilities don’t extend beyond the bounds of your computer. When you connect to the wild and wooly internet, you risk the possibility that your data could be compromised in transit. Sticking to HTTPS websites when possible can help, but for full protection of your data in transit, you should install a Virtual Private Network or VPN. This component is important enough that we’re starting to see it as a bonus feature in some antivirus tools.
Which antivirus should you choose? You have a wealth of options. Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus routinely get perfect or near-perfect scores from the independent antivirus testing labs. A single subscription for McAfee Antivirus Plus lets you install protection on all your Windows, Android, Mac OS, and iOS devices. And its unique behavior-based detection technology means Webroot Secure Anywhere Antivirus is the tiniest antivirus around. There are many more to choose from but these four ranks the best. You can always use Windows Defender for free. I have no problems with it. I must admit it has less protection in Chrome and Firefox since it is a Microsoft product, thus it is most effective in Edge.
Norton has more bells and whistles although it is really expensive on all levels. All other titles are about the same price. Some come with more licenses for your multiple machines including your cell phone. I suggest taking a few moments to check the prices and what they come with like VPN. There is no one perfect answer. Sorry.
Sylvania Senior Center Classes
New classes with be held as soon as the center reopens. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information. Included will be Windows 10 Computers Basics, Facebook, Microsoft Word, Google Docs and iPhone/iPad. If you have a topic and know some folks who are interested, call the Senior Center and ask for Susan Jennelle at 419-885-3913. Limited seating fills fast so call ASAP to reserve a spot. We are considering an Excel Club. Interested? Call the SSC.
I make house calls (I enter with a mask)
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades and general software or hardware issues. I can be your resident “Geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570. Do not forget to sign up for my free newsletter at OhComputerTraining.com. Subscribers will get a copy of this article plus added hints, tips, and trusted/valuable web-links.
BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER’S DATA TODAY – Critical action!
Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to JwPCtutor@Gmail.com
or call her for assistance at 419-318-9112.
Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text or email away.