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More and more today we hear about all of the viruses, worms and Trojans infecting computers. No one is safe. We all must have some level of protection. And even with all of the protection on the market, you still could be infected.

First, we need protection from viruses and worms that may be attached to our email or may affect our computer when surfing the Web. There is no excuse for not having antivirus and security software on a computer today. Here are a few of the popular antivirus programs available for download:

AVG was founded in 1991 with the express purpose of protecting people around the world using the latest in cutting edge security technologies. AVG gained success quickly and is now recognized as one of the biggest players in the security software market. AVG currently holds corporate offices in Europe, the US and the UK.
Avira, a company with over 100 million customers and more than 450 employees, is a worldwide leading supplier of self-developed security solutions for professional and private use. With more than 25 years of experience, the company is a pioneer in its field.
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world's largest dedicated security company. Since our founding in 1987, we have had just one mission: to help our customers stay safe. We achieve this by creating proactive security solutions for securing your digital world.
Use Microsoft Security Essentials to guard against viruses, spyware, and other evil software. It provides real-time protection for your home or small business PCs. Microsoft Security Essentials is free* and we designed it to be simple to install and easy to use. It runs quietly and efficiently in the background so you don't have to worry about interruptions or making updates.
Panda Software Panda Security is the world’s leading provider of cloud-based security solutions, with products available in more than 23 languages and millions of users located in 195 countries around the world. Panda Security was the first IT security company to harness the power of cloud computing with its Collective Intelligence technology.
Symantec was founded in 1982 by visionary computer scientists. The company has evolved to become one of the world’s largest software companies with more than 18,500 employees in more than 50 countries. We provide security, storage and systems management solutions to help our customers – from consumers and small businesses to the largest global organizations – secure and manage their information-driven world against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently than any other company.

A-Z Listing of Threats & Risks

Since its inception in 1988, Trend Micro has pioneered innovative technologies and services that protect users against threats on new and emerging platforms and devices. Trend Micro continues this history of innovation with the recent addition of new server and application protection for dynamic datacenters to better protect physical, virtual and cloud servers from malicious activity.

McAfee, Panda, Symantec and Trend Micro offer a free online virus scan that may find viruses that other anti-virus programs may not find,
and visa versa.

Run Online Scans

Panda Software

Spyware is also pervasive on the Web. These are small programs that can be added to your computer when visiting certain websites. These sites may also store cookies on your computer and add entries to your System Registry.

 You might consider installing and using both Spybot and Ad-aware. One will find spyware that the other doesn't, and visa-versa.

Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove spyware of different kinds from your computer. Spyware is a relatively new kind of threat that common anti-virus applications do not yet cover. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn't intentionally install, if your browser crashes, or if you browser start page has changed without your knowing, you most probably have spyware. But even if you don't see anything, you may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging that is silently tracking your surfing behavior to create a marketing profile of you that will be sold to advertisement companies. Spybot-S&D is free, so there's no harm in trying to see if something snooped into your computer, too.

Ad-Aware Free is the award winning, free, multi-component detection and removal utility that consistently leads the industry in safety, user satisfaction, support and reliability. With its ability to comprehensively scan your memory, registry, hard, removable and optical drives for known data-mining, aggressive advertising, and tracking components, Ad-aware will provide the user with the confidence to surf the Internet knowing that their privacy will remain intact.

We also need a firewall which can be in a router or software installed on our computer, or both. McAfee and Symantec publish a personal firewall software package. ZoneLabs also sells software firewalls and includes a free version.

A free download from ZoneLabs is ZoneAlarm which includes five interlocking security services that deliver easy-to-use, comprehensive protection. Unlike any other security utility, ZoneAlarm incorporates a firewall, Application Control, an Internet Lock, dynamically assigned Security Levels and Zones. Combined, these elements yield the strongest security possible. ZoneAlarm is free and can be downloaded from their website.

Malware, short for malicious software, consists of programming (code, scripts, active content, and other software) that is designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, or gain unauthorized access to system resources, or that otherwise exhibits abusive behavior. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.

Software is considered to be malware based on the perceived intent of the creator rather than any particular features. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, dishonest adware, scareware, crimeware, most rootkits, and other malicious and unwanted software or program.

Malwarebytes products have a proven record of protecting computers by completely removing all forms of malware, including viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and rootkits. When it comes to the safety of your computer, Malwarebytes provides the ultimate in protection from the cutting edge of technology!

Identity Protection
Learn to Protect Your Identity Today.
Identity theft is skyrocketing in the United States; the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) reported that there were as many as 9 million American identity thefts each year, and this figure includes 400,000 children. Unfortunately, identity crime is still growing, and many identity theft cases aren't even realized for over 4 years, after the damage has been done.

How Do Identity Theft Protection Services Protect You?
Identity thieves are getting smarter. However, with constant monitoring of your credit and a proactive watch for suspicious activity, you can protect yourself from identity theft damages that can cost thousands of dollars and years to repair. Identity theft services work to monitor your credit and scan the Internet black markets for sales of your credit card information and other private documents. Different online theft protection services offer different levels of monitoring, so be sure to check what each service has to offer.

What most identity theft companies do:
1. Fraud Alerts
2. Credit Card List, Offer List, and Junk Mail List Removal
3. Credit Reports and Monitoring
4. Database Monitoring
5. Guarantee in Restoring your Identity if Stolen
6. Identity Theft Insurance
7. Credit Card Monitoring
8. Lost Wallet Protection
9. Medical Identity Theft

What do identity protection services protect you from?
Identity thieves often try to open new accounts and take out loans under your name. This can severely hurt your credit, and this may result in loan rejections, and loss of employment. ID theft protection services help to prevent:

1. Unauthorized New Bank Accounts Opened Under Your Name
2. New Applications for Credit
3. Address Changes
4. Public Record Changes
5. Negative Marks On Your Credit

Avoiding Identity Theft
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 10 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. A third of identity theft victims are under the age of 30 and a large percentage of those are college students. A recent study revealed that parents of college students are also at a greater risk of identity theft since students may be using (but not protecting) credit cards taken out jointly by parents and students.

Use this information from the FTC to arm yourself against identity theft, learn to recognize signs of suspicious activity, and recover if your identity is stolen. All materials provided courtesy of the FTC.

Deter, Detect, Defend (PDF) - a brochure with easy-to-read tips

Talking about Identity Theft (PDF) - a how-to guide with tips for consumers

Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft (PDF) - steps to take if you are a victim

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Copyright (c) 1997-2021 Retired Association for the Uniformed Services, Inc.
Revised: January 13, 2017