If you have multiple computers running Microsoft Windows to keep secure and virus-free at home or at church, you know how much of a pain it can be. Churches can get in a tough spot, because some of the “free” programs like AVG anti-virus are not free for non-profits and churches. The cost of keeping multiple computers current on virus subscriptions can be high with both Norton and McAfee. Both have good products, but they can also slow your computer down significantly. I wanted to let you know about a new free option that seems to work well.
Microsoft has released the free Security Essentials program to provide both spyware and virus protection. It is a small program that doesn’t take a lot of your system resources. It is not fancy, but it seems to work well. And did I mention it’s free 🙂
Microsoft Security Essentials is a lightweight security app that people might turn to for a number of key reasons. It’s easy on the system resources, it’s easy to figure out how to use, and it comes pre-configured. It only works on legally licensed Microsoft computers, which is understandable but potentially leaves a large segment of the unprotected population still unprotected. You can’t opt out of contributing to SpyNet, which isn’t understandable at all. Overall, it’s recommended for those who want something to set and ignore, but users who want more robust configuration choices or don’t want to contribute to the cloud should look elsewhere.
As with any virus program, you still have to be careful installing programs. Don’t trust pop-ups on your screen while you’re browsing the internet. Most are links to malware programs that will only cause problems. If you are on a mac, you don’t have to worry about all of this at the present. But there will come a day when more viruses and spyware writers will start attacking Apple as well, so don’t get careless. It is also a good idea to run some type of filtering on your internet access as an added layer of protection. I’ve written before about the free OpenDNS service here on the blog, and I continue to use it at home and at church with great results.