Security software requirements vary according to your circumstances. For instance, users who keep professional information on their PCs will definitely need much better protection than those who use them just for personal email and surfing.
Like layered security, there are 3 levels of priority for the software you will require. This will make it pretty easy to determine what protection is really needed, rather than what's provided on a new computer, what friends use or what the software sales people tell us to use!
Here's an explanation of the computer protection guide to these priorities...
This is the first level of computer protection which everyone MUST install to prevent the most basic of threats. Without it, our PCs and personal information will inevitably be damaged by one or more of the threats described in the Computer Internet Security Risks
This level of computer security protection covers off less dangerous risks than the critical level. Even so, these risks can still compromise your system and prevention software adds further depth to your security.
This is additional computer protection that deals with specialized personal requirements and is optional. It will appeal to those with a strong desire to guard privacy from any kind of external snooping.
The critical steps you MUST take are to...
There are independent authorities that test and compare AV software, such as AV Comparatives. These tests show there are AV programs which are much more effective at detection and removal of malware than their competitors. Take a read of my article, The Best Antivirus Program From Independent Tests
Currently the best antivirus is,
and try the AV-Comparatives' equal No. 1 best virus protection software Product of the Year,
Both of these software vendors also include their antivirus in a Security Suite, which will address all of your critical level requirements in a nice bundle of software. Read on for more details.
Look for a firewall that has control over outgoing traffic to prevent malware, such as Trojans and spyware, from "phoning home". For instance, if you have Windows XP, then the firewall only controls incoming traffic.
My advice is to go for an Internet Security Suite, which combines firewall, antivirus, antispyware, parental controls, antispam and phishing etc; covering off all your critical requirements.
You may want to take a look at the two best suites, determined by independent testers AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives...
Both Security Suites offer a free trial, so try one or both and see how powerful, but easy-to-use they are.
Both Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 and Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 have antispyware built in and I suggest choosing one of these and augmenting with the free, top class, Malwarebytes® To Protect, Detect & Remove Malware From Your PC.
Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer have frequent security flaws and are attractive targets for crackers, viruses, worms and spyware... so, it is particularly essential to patch with the latest updates that Microsoft issues.
If you haven't got an automatic update facility, go to Microsoft's Windows update page.
HOWEVER... here's a brilliant FREE program I use, which monitors your software and TELLS YOU what software has new updates available -- and with one click downloads them for you! Download your FREE Secunia Personal Software Inspector
Now go to the next sections of YOUR COMPUTER PROTECTION GUIDE...