Security Software Basics

Today's threats are varied, sophisticated, and continue to adapt in order to get past your defenses. And that means that going online without essential protection in place on your computer is no longer an option.

The best ways to stay secure online are to prepare your PC with the right tools, and to use caution and common sense whenever you use the Internet. Updated spyware and virus protection with real-time monitoring are important tools in keeping spyware and malware from infecting your computer. An up-to-date firewall is another security must-have. These three elements provide fundamental security to your PC, and are essential to protect your information and your privacy.

What exactly are these tools and why are they necessary?

Anti-spyware software. Spyware attaches itself to individual computers to perform functions like monitoring Internet navigation and stealing information. Spyware can track your personal data and then send it to cyber criminals. Anti-spyware software can protect your computer by providing real-time protection against malware, spyware, and adware installations, as well as by detecting and removing such programs that are already installed on your computer.

Anti-virus software. A virus is code that recursively replicates a possibly evolved copy of itself. Viruses use computers to spread from one to another. They often perform a function that can erase files and processes from your computer. Anti-virus software can protect your computer from a range of cyber threats like viruses, worms, rootkits, and phishing attacks. The software keeps you protected by scanning files to look for known viruses, and by using what is known as heuristics to identify suspicious behavior which may indicate a threat.

Firewall. A firewall works as a barrier between your PC and cyber space. When you are connected to the Internet, you are constantly sending and receiving information in small units called packets. The firewall filters these packets to see if they meet certain criteria set by a series of rules, and thereafter blocks or allows the data. A firewall provides critical protection to keep your PC safe from unauthorized access, yet it cannot remove malware from a system that has already been infected; therefore it should be used in conjunction with anti-spyware and anti-virus software.

At Lavasoft, it is our mission to provide the solutions needed to protect against today's varied threat landscape. To help you fight the malware battle, the Lavasoft product lineup includes the following stand-alone and combined tools:

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +
Combining our legendary anti-spyware with a powerful antivirus, Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ enhances them with real-time protection, download protection and continuously updated filters against malicious URLs, providing top-of-the-line anti-malware protection for the casual computer user.

Ad-Aware Personal Security
Ad-Aware Personal Security provides a complete set of anti-phishing features and real-time web-filtering technology that safeguards your PC against phishing attacks and online scams, giving you the confidence you need to shop and bank online.

Ad-Aware Pro Security
Complete line-of-defense against the most extreme forms of malware and cyber threats, Ad-Aware Pro Security provides the most advanced anti-spyware and antivirus detection and threat blocking algorithms, complemented with a powerful two-way firewall, web filters against phishing attacks and real-time email protection.

Ad-Aware Total Security
Our most comprehensive line of defense, Ad-Aware Total Security provides multiple layers of protection for complete PC security, including antivirus and anti-spyware, firewall, anti-phishing, email protection, parental control and more, as well as a complete set of data security features like file encryption and digital shredder.

For more information on additional tools to maintain your PC's health and security, see our articles: Tuning Up Your Computer and Keep Your Information Under Your Control.