Security for your PC & costs


Legendary member
14,329 1,496
I would like to start a discussion on PC security.
In the past I have found to my cost that indeed some sort of security is needed to combat the nasty malware on the net.
I used to use Avast and was pleased with it until they started upping the costs considerably.
So I changed to AVG. This used to be a free programme but gradually fell behind in effectiveness and then recently they were taken over. They are behaving like typical capitalist companies now and offer new add-ons and upgrades. For instance they have recently improved ( by the look of it ) their for money programme. OK I say to myself they have something that I need but after only a few months I am invited to buy :-
AVG internet security for an extra £49.99
AVG Ultimate for an extra £69.99.

There are many out there that are more knowledgeable than I, so which security programme do you advise, keeping in mind costs and effectiveness.


Legendary member
8,043 1,180
I uninstalled Mcafee recently and my computer guy says don't bother with it, Norton little better. I currently have Windows Defender only.

He is wanting to sell me BullGuard - anyone care to comment if I need it and how good it is?


Experienced member
1,317 277
Last time i used antivirus was 2000ish, waste of money, computer resources and time.

Use chrome for safest web browsing, use Gmail or equivalent (for integrated anti virus) and common sense by not installing anything with an unverifiable source... Oh and use (slightly) different passwords for every account and turn on 2-step verification in Gmail/equivalent to stop phishing attacks.

Not the answer you were wanting to hear, but antivirus software peddlers prey on ph34r and ignorance imo.


Legendary member
14,329 1,496
Thanks guys for the above replies. I did try going it without any security and came badly unstuck.
Below are Norton's charges. Much more reasonable than AVG or Avast.


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Experienced member
1,148 327
I've rarely used the "paid for" stuff – it's main advantage seems to be real-time protection though you can get that for free with Windows Defender (there's a whole brigade that will argue that it's no good of course). Windows 10 firewall is perfectly good and no need to pay for one.

One of the best programs for getting rid of already installed bad stuff is Malwarebytes – the non-real-time version is completely free and with its associated subprograms is very effective. The real-time version is not too expensive if you feel you need it.

In my experience a lot of malware gets onto the PC (1) with downloads from sites offering legitimate "try and buy" or free software. The way round this is to download from the original vendors site. The other way to get malware onto your PC is to (2) click on something that you're not completely sure is safe. Avoiding both 1 & 2 will go a long way to keeping you safe – I very rarely, if ever, get a problem.

It's always worth looking to see what security services your Internet provider provides. There may be some free or low-cost options.

Whatever security programs you employ will have vulnerabilities and these will vary from time to time. There are plenty of serious reviews on the net and if you can maintain the will to live while ploughing through them, you will probably come to the conclusion that they're all a bit of a muchness. If I were cynical (and I often am) I would regard the paid-for sellers as a bit like vendors selling trading solutions. It's in their interest to worry you into buying the latest updated fancy interfaced version. Many years ago I used to use AVG free – it was simple, effective and just worked. But they kept "improving" it to the stage where it became over-complicated and began slowing down the running of the PC. So I dumped it. It helps if you are savvy with the workings of your PC – try looking at Windows task manager to get some idea, if you're not already familiar.

Another useful piece of software is a decent uninstaller. A lot of software even when uninstalled leaves stuff behind and sometimes it's not just junk. Best free uninstaller I've come across is Revo UnInstaller which will first of all run the "to be got rid of" program's own uninstall routine and then do its own deep search of all remaining stuff. An excellent free program which will surprise you with what it finds after you think software has been uninstalled.

Another source of dodgy software and download links is your email. Just make sure that everything not from trusted senders goes into your junk folder where its links and ability to do you harm will be disabled. This is dead easy with most email client programs.

Do also make sure that your router is correctly set up – this can be a first line of defence.

If it comes to the worst and you suspect you have something nasty infecting your computer then take action to disconnect it from the Internet – pull out the Internet cable or as is more likely, disable the Wi-Fi connection. Then run your antivirus sweep. If the AV software needs updating, download it from an alternative safe source.

If it comes to the worst and your computer is completely trashed by a virus and appears to be irrecoverable then you will have to rely upon your backups. (You do regularly backup your data don't you? :LOL::LOL::LOL:) In addition to that you also need your reinstall disc or a backup image of the operating system. Many commercial PCs have a special hidden partition on the hard drive which enables you to restore factory state to the main hard drive area. (Works well until the hard drive itself fails, in which case you are fairly well stuffed if you haven't got any kind of backup - though you can sometimes download the image from the manufacturers website).

As a trader it's always sensible to have an alternative means of access to your account (phone/tablet/laptop et cetera) should your main PC fail.

My last suggestion if you are non-PC savvy or don't have the time or inclination to become so: get your PC from the local tech-computer shop (not PC World!) who will, if they're worth their salt, custom build a PC for you. They will then know of its innards and be able to do any restoration work for you. Although I build my own PCs just for the fun of it, it doesn't actually save very much money compared to going to my local PC guys. They even have a service whereby they will remote into your computer from the workshop and fix any software problems without you having to take the kit in/them visiting you. I think they charge £6 monthly and I don't think that's bad value compared to brokerage fees – especially if you're not a computer geek.

Hope that's of some use. (Just reread your original question so apologies if this has rambled on a bit more than you asked) Just be careful what you click on!

PS – just read the excellent suggestions from f2calv at #3
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Veteren member
4,670 1,029
No point in paying for anti virus or the all in one products. Here's my holistic approach to PC security:

Stop using windows and use a Mac - whilst malware and viruses are on the increase for Macs, windows is still the OS of choice for the crims. You can always run windows in a virtual machine using parallels if you need to run windows only apps.
You still need an AV Scanner though, Sophos or Avast for the Mac seem to work well, are both free and just untick everything except scanning.
As suggested, Google Chrome brings some piece of mind and just happens to be the best browser anyway (no need to sign in to a Chrome account to use it).
Use a VPN, some cost as little as $20/ year.
Make sure your wireless connection is secure and the router is correctly setup with firewall settings.
Don't click on dodgy email attachments.
Don't click on dodgy website links.
Use a free throwaway email address when signing up to services that you suspect may sell on details to 3rd party spammers.
Use a password manager to handle all password changes so you only have to remember one or two of them (again $20 a year for a decent one).
Ensure your login is password protected and that you change it on a reasonably frequent basis, never allow anyone else to know your login ( provide a guest account if necessary).
Use whole disk encryption if you feel it's necessary.
Use email encryption if you feel it's necessary.
Encrypt email attachments if you feel it's necessary.
Only provide minimal personal information on social media.
Destroy all unneeded paperwork containing personal details.
Don't allow apps to send you notifications, access your camera or microphone, use location services or have access to anything else that is not needed.
Use separate email when using devices such as internet connected TV services or Netflix or such like to avoid aggregation of personal details.

These are some of the common ones, the list is endless though and it's only getting worse with the internet of things, just think of compromised car systems, fridges, washing machines, all linked to mobile devices and in turn linked to your PC, email address, social media, personal details, bank accounts etc.

Remember treat anyone that holds your personal details as potentially compromised ( think yahoo and others not releasing details of compromise until years later) having a complex password for every account brings piece of mind that none of your other accounts will also be compromised.
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5 0
I don't think Gmail is secure via phone. I had an experience of mass hacking of several of my gmail addresses from my phone. But gmail is more secure on laptop and tablet. As for the antivirus program, I use AVG Zen on Windows 10 for free.
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