Compare Free Anti-Virus Software & Paid Alternatives
Antivirus software is simply not optional when you venture into the worldwide web. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous sites out there that are after your personal information, and will attempt to install viruses, trojans and worms that will track sensitive information like logins, passwords and banking information, or anything else that might compromise your identity or financial position.
Your PC might come with a preinstalled version of a third-party antivirus software, but remember, this is a trial only. After 30 days, it expires and your computer is vulnerable every time you connect to the internet.
Top Five Things to Consider When Selecting Antivirus Software
- Narrow your available options based upon the operating system in use on your PC. There are both free and paid options available for PC's and Mac's, but whatever you select must be compatible. While free might be tempting, we don't recommend it if you plan on doing heavy surfing, streaming or online gaming, or if you work online. However, options like AVG Free, Avira or Avast Free Antivirus might work if you are only a light internet user.
- Your computer resources are a big consideration. Most antivirus programs run in the background and can take up a chunk of your memory. You'll want to ensure that the program you select will not hog all of your memory and thus leave you unable to operate other functions both on and offline adequately.
- Your antivirus software will work best if you are able to set it to scan regularly, and then forget it. Many of us operate under the rule of good intentions, and the weekly scans necessary to keep your PC safe and clean might fall by the wayside when we get busy. Additionally, you will want to select a program that operates in real time to check files as you go, providing a sort of "always on" firewall. Cyber attacks are no longer the exception, but the rule. If you are a moderate to heavy internet user, you can bet that you will run across more than a few threats every month.
- Piggybacking on item #3, the interface must be user-friendly so that you are confident that any settings you set up are going to give you a robust protection online. Most of us are not tech savvy, and we need the right kinds of prompts and questions to guide us along the way.
- It may seem obvious, but how effectively the antivirus software detects and disables, as well as removes malware or spyware is crucial. You will want to make sure you thoroughly investigate how powerful your various options are, and how well they work within various scenarios.
Features and Reviews Of Free Parental Control Software and Tools
In the world of parental control software, there can be literally thousands of options. And so when searching for the product that will best protect their children, parents can often be at a loss in the face of so many programs.
Before purchasing any type of parental control software, parents should be aware that there are several features which can enhance your child's safety when they're online.
This feature will scan every web page your child visits, and then either censor or block content that is deemed to be inappropriate. Content filtering will also completely block offensive sites automatically, even if the site hasn't been blocked previously.
Although this may make you think of hackers, a key-logging feature can be a good thing to have where parental control software is concerned. Your child's entire activity online can be recorded, including everything that was typed, accounts that were created, complete with usernames and passwords, and even items that your child didn't save on the computer.
This is another feature which can offer much benefit when included with parental control software. This feature allows parents to see what their children have been up to online, simply by logging in from another computer. In being able to do this, you never have to physically access your family's computer to check on their activity again.
Parental Control Software
If you run Windows, then you already have parental control software installed on your computer. Simply create a separate account for the children in the household, and access and manage the controls via the Control Panel. Controls include computer time limits, game control via content and ratings, and activity reports.
Kidzui offers parental control in the form of a web browser designed for children. This crowd-sourced resource contains all kinds of online content that has been approved by parents worldwide. Not only that, but Kidzui cleverly takes up all of the monitor space so that children aren't tempted to explore other areas of your computer.
ZuiTube provides free online games and video for children, without the worry of running into something inappropriate. This site is completely moderated and contain only educational and fun videos that kids of all ages can enjoy.
Visikid allows parents to see how much time their children spend doing different things on the computer. It does this by monitoring your computer's applications as well as the web sites that may have been visited with installed browsers. Activity information is presented in categories, and other features like graphs and custom categories can also be downloaded via the web site.
Of course, there are many more programs that parents can choose from. But whichever program is chosen, it's best to be sure that it will complement, and not replace, the advice and lessons children are already learning from their parents.
As well, it's important to note that no software can protect every child 100% from the many threats which lurk online. Educating your child about what can happen on the internet can ensure they are much more equipped to deal with these potential threats.
If you are trying to understand your internet service options, we can help. We have tools that can help you find out which companies service your address, and we help facilitate the order process with reputable companies online.
One way we cut down your research time is to help you quickly identify internet providers who are available to you in your specific zip code. This way, you don't have to waste your time contacting companies that don't have networks in your neighborhood.
We also provide a handy interactive state map where you can check for internet access in your state, and drill down to your specific city. Finally, make sure you check out our valuable tips for keeping your family safe and your computer virus-free.