(Mostly) Free Security Software- A Primer
THE PROBLEM WITH JAVA: Do You Really Need It?
Sun's Java program (from Oracle) is currently one of the most vulnerable 3rd party programs that expose you to malware exploits. It typically comes pre-installed on new PCs. Because it exposes users to so many threats, many experts and the Department of Homeland Security advise that you disable or uninstall it altogether. Apple Computers have banned it from their MAC OS X Operating System.
Some websites, programs and games require Java - most folks however will not need it. I uninstalled it a few years back (via Control Panel>Add or Remove Programs, where it is typically listed as JRE, or Java Runtime Environment) and have not missed it. I strongly suggest users evaluate their need for Java, and uninstall it if they don't. If you find you do need it, it is important that it be kept religiously updated.
More info on this here and here.
Any security program worth its salt will have one or more "user-to-user" Support Forums which you can join for free, to get friendly answers to problems that can't be answered in the Dell Forums. Registration and a valid email address are usually required. The following lists links to such forums, for the free security programs I have recommended (supported operating systems):
- Alwil's avast! Free Anti-virus (XP/Vista/Win 7):
- Microsoft Security Essentials (XP/Vista/7):
- Panda Cloud AV Free (XP/Vista/Win 7):
- Windows Defender (XP/Vista/7):
ON-DEMAND ANTI-MALWARE SCANNERS:
- Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (XP, Vista, and 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)).
- SuperAntiSpyware Free (XP/Vista/7):
PROGRAMS with PASSIVE PROTECTION:
- Javacool's SpywareBlaster (XP/Vista/7)
WinPatrol -(All Windows versions)