In the lap of the gods

zeusWhen it comes to internet security or computer viruses, many of us just keep our fingers crossed and assume that it’s in the lap of the gods. But there is alot you can do to protect your technology and save yourself the headache that would result if your computer were infected by a virus such as GameOver Zeus or CryptoLocker.

As I mentioned previously in the Phishing blog, there are all sorts of people who may try to infect your computer with a virus, so it’s important to install some software to prevent this. There are lots of different options for anti-virus software, some paid for, some free. Most of them are pretty good and work in much the same way, but I just want to recommend one that we’ve used on a number of computers, that’s easy to use and it’s free.

avast logoYou may not have heard of Avast, but they have been making software for over 25 years and claim to have protected over 200 million devices worldwide. Their anti-virus software is free to use (although you can pay to upgrade to have more features) and you can install it on either a Mac or a PC. Here’s how:

Click on this link  (or just type ‘Avast’ into Google) and you’ll get a page like this:

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 16.39.35Choose whether you want to download the version for Mac or PC and click on the relevant blue button.

Choose to download the free version and follow the instructions on the screen to install it on your computer.

As soon as it has downloaded it does a full scan and you’ll hopefully get a message like this:Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 17.10.49

The Avast interface (that’s the part that allows you to communicate with the software) is simple to find your way around, and most of the activity happens automatically. Avast will even tell you if one of your other computer programs needs to be updated, and lets you do it quickly and easily. To make sure you continue to have access to this free software, you need to register your details – just an email address and password – using the ‘Registration’ button under ‘Maintenance’ on the left hand side.

photo 1 If you you want some anti-virus protection for your mobile devices, a good solution is Lookout Security. Again, there are lots of options, but we like Lookout because it can be used for iOS (Apple) and Android devices, it’s free and you don’t need to change any of your settings for it to perform a regular scan of the apps on your device. Unlike many other mobile anti-virus software that send you little pop-up messages almost constantly, Lookout only sends you notification of what it’s doing while you are installing a new app, or once a week when your device is scanned. It can also help you find your phone if you are unlucky enough to lose it – be sure to switch on ‘enable signal flare’ in your settings to activate this.  Lookout can be found in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.




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