Becoming computer savvy about security does not mean hanging out at MIT. All it takes is assessing a computer’s needs and matching those with a good solution. What can be surprising is that making a computer secure might not even cost anything more than time.

Knowing the operating system of the computer is the very first step. Windows, for instance, is in a transition. Many people are still using Windows 7, others are using 360, and shortly, there will be the new Microsoft platform. Apple’s Macintosh has its own operating system and there are multiple variations of Linux being produced in the open source world. All these operating systems also come in a 32 bit or a 64-bit version, and it is essential to make this note this as well. Otherwise, it is impossible to know which version of a security suite is needed.

Data security is getting global tractionAntivirus software is often bundled with a firewall and other programs to provide an all in one solution for the end user. This is software dedicated to the duty of monitoring a computer against the possibility of a virus being installed. Viruses have a few different forms, but they gained their name because they are designed to copy themselves and be passed along to another computer. Once inside a computer system, a virus may potentially steal or destroy data, make a laptop inoperable, or undermine system performance.

Most computers today are bundled with an antivirus suite, and the user needs only to activate it. This packaged solution is most often given on a trial basis requiring a fee when the trial period expires. However, home users should know that many antivirus providers offer free versions for non-commercial use. AVG, Avast, and Avira all make free solutions for Windows. iAntiVirus is a company dedicated to the needs of Mac users, and it too provides a free non-commercial version. Avast also offers packages Linux users, but make sure to check with the Linux distributor for which package is needed before install.

Computer virus technology has not remained stagnant. In their evolution, new terms have been coined to describe their activity. By necessity, software to meet this challenge has been created to deal with this evolution.

In essence, this category describes software that hijacks a browser and makes it impossible to use the internet the way the user wishes. Clicking on a link may result in landing on a web page that has nothing to do with user intent.