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 +
Ad-Aware Free provides core virus and spyware protection, featuring real-time protection, advanced Genotype detection technology, rootkit protection, automatic updates, and much more.

Ad-Aware Personal Security
With its real-time web-filtering technology safeguards your PC against phishing attacks and online scams, allowing you to stay protected on social networks and giving you the confidence they need to shop and bank online.

Ad-Aware Pro Security
Ad-Aware Pro provides advanced virus and spyware protection, featuring added security and deeper layers of protection - giving you the power to protect your online security and privacy so that you can use the Internet how, when, and where you want.

Ad-Aware Total Security
Ad-Aware Total Security provides full anti-malware (including anti-virus and anti-spyware) with multiples layers of additional protection for complete security and PC health, including a firewall, anti-phishing, identity theft protection, anti-spam, parental controls, and more - giving you and your family the power to confidently work and play online with total peace of mind.

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.