You must have security software. Without a firewall and an antivirus program running in the background at all times, your computer could be working for a criminal instead of for you. Trojans, worms, and other malware (malicious software) can ride roughshod over your PC, stealing your logon names, passwords, and bank account numbers, or even hijack it to attack other computers and networks.
But all security programs use resources, such as memory and CPU cycles. If the software isn't well-designed, it can take a lot of those resources, slowing down your PC by as much as 25 percent.
GFI's VIPRE Internet Security 2012, though, is well designed. With a fresh new interface, and completely redesigned installation process, VIPRE feels like a new product, but with the same strong defenses. While other security suites can slow your PC so much you feel like you're wading through Jell-O, with VIPRE’s nearly seamless integration with Windows, you'll barely notice it’s there.
Don't take GFI's word for it. Simon Williams, writing in the British magazine PC Advisor, set out to test of GFI's claim that VIPRE "doesn't slow a PC down." The magazine's "file transfer test supported this [claim], taking just 40 secs to copy a 1GB file." Competitors took up to 25 percent longer. Regular users think so, too. In a survey conducted by SurveyMonkey, 4,087 VIPRE users out of 6,978 (almost 59 percent) rated the suite's Performance as Outstanding. And 83 percent listed Performance as the feature that initially attracted them to VIPRE.
Of course, even the fastest security suite is useless if it doesn't do a good job protecting your computer. VIPRE Internet Security keeps your PC safe from viruses, adware, spyware, worms, rootkits and whatever new form of cyber-evil gets cooked up next week. The suite can also check your email for dangerous attachments and poisoned links, and protect your privacy from prying eyes within your own home.
Tests by MRG Effitas, an independent security research organization, give VIPRE high marks. The program scored 100-percent in detecting Trojans, financial malware, password stealers, and worms, while beating all of its competitors in overall malware detection.
VIPRE works on a number of levels. Consider, for instance, GFI's advanced anti-rootkit technology. Nothing puts the malicious in malware like a rootkit--an unwanted program that installs itself so deep into your operating system's innards that it's almost impossible to detect. Yet VIPRE can find and disable these hidden beasts by identifying and neutralizing the modules, services, and data streams that they create.
Hackers and security vendors are constantly engaging in a war of leap frog. So it's all the more important to have a security program that stays ahead of the bad guys and protects you against a wide variety of threats. VIPRE has improved its email protections, adding outstanding spam filtering in addition to the checks for malware and phishing scams. This feature supports any POP3 email client, although it's easy to set up if you use Outlook, Outlook Express, or Windows Mail.
Other mail clients are supported as well; simply provide the port settings.
A Solid Firewall
When it comes to protecting you, a good antivirus program is only half the battle. You also need a good firewall, which monitors the traffic coming into your computer from your network and the Internet, looking for suspicious behavior.
But an effective firewall also monitors what goes out. Without that protection, you might never know that malware already on your PC is sending your credit card information to someone who doesn't have your best interests in mind.
VIPRE Internet Security has a firewall that watches over your safety in both directions. And it goes beyond inbound-outbound capabilities to enhance that protection.
For instance, it offers boot-time configuration. Your computer may be vulnerable to attack from the moment you press the Power button until Windows and your security program have a chance to load, a process that can take a few minutes. But VIPRE loads immediately, blocking all network traffic, until all of the necessary startup programs are up and running.
Another firewall feature, Web Filtering, adds additional protection. Web Filtering does just what the name implies: It filters everything headed to your browser, intercepting malicious Web sites, scripts, and ActiveX controls.
This sort of filtering can go too far, but GFI carefully set the firewall's default settings. You're unlikely to run into any problems.
But if you do, VIPRE lets you fine tune the Web Filtering settings with extensive configuration options. You can block third-party pop-up ads, manage scripts, and filter persistent cookies. You can configure it to allow particular programs and particular Web sites. You can even create your own custom filters.
Easy, Yet Versatile
But don't let all those settings scare you. You'll find VIPRE Internet Security easy to install, configure and use. Indeed, according to SurveyMonkey, more than half of the VIPRE users surveyed rated Overall Ease of Use as Outstanding, and a total of more than 90 percent total rated it above Neutral.
Like most security programs, VIPRE runs in the background at all times; you seldom have to bring it up and work with it. But when you do, you'll see a simple window with four big green buttons to help bring you to the part of the program you're looking for. Additional buttons let you easily scan your hard drive or update the database (tasks that happen automatically, anyway).
You'll find the many options in the six-tabbed Settings dialog box easy to understand. And if you're not sure what one of them does, clicking the Help button will bring you a clear and concise explanation.
Just one example: You'll find a great many options for scanning drives. You've got three kinds of scans: Quick, Deep System, and Custom, and despite the name, they're all customizable.
For each of these three scan types, you can choose whether to scan cookies, the Windows Registry, running programs, and the files inside archives (such as .zip files). You can set each type of scan to work at a low priority (takes longer, but has even less effect on performance), and to scan or skip removable USB drives.
Speaking of USB drives, VIPRE scans them by default when you plug them in. You can turn this feature off, as well.
Of course you can schedule scans to run automatically. You can even tell VIPRE to wake up your sleeping computer for a scheduled scan, and to automatically shut down when the scan is finished.
All of these setting are easy to find and engage; VIPRE is designed to be user friendly. But now and then all of us need a little help, so GFI offers you plenty of ways to get it.
You can search for your problem in the extensive knowledgebase or on the VIPRE forums. If you don't find it, you can post it on a forum or submit it as a case to the technical support staff (or both). And if you need that real-time, one-on-one human support, you can turn to either GFI's expert live chat or call a toll-free number.
You Deserve a Little Privacy
Not everyone who might spy on you needs to come at you through the Internet. Sometimes, they're in your own home, and you may not want people with physical access to your computer to see what you're doing on it. That's why VIPRE Internet Security 2012 includes a couple of tools to help you stay private.
You probably already know that when you delete a file, it just goes to the Recycle Bin. And even when you empty the Bin, the contents of the file remain on your hard drive until Windows just happens to write another file onto that exact, physical spot on the disk. Until that happens, your file can be retrieved with simple, free software.
That's good news if you accidentally deleted a file, but bad news if you really want one to go away for good. VIPRE's Secure File Eraser can take care of this. Once you've turned on the option in VIPRE, you can make the file disappear permanently with a right-click in Windows Explorer. Files aren't the only records of what you've been up to. Cookies, browser histories, temporary files, and searches are just a few of the ways that Windows and your browser keep records of what you've been doing on your computer— unless you use VIPRE's History Cleaner from time to time. This feature lets you select what you want removed, and then, with the push of a button, removes it.
VIPRE Internet Security 2012 is fast, powerful, easy to use, and protects you from anyone who might want to spy on you. For one computer, it costs $49.95; for two, $59.95. You can cover the whole family (up to ten computers) for $69.95.
There's no excuse for going unprotected.
This story, "Keep Your Computer Safe—Without Losing Speed—With VIPRE Internet Security 2012" was originally published by BrandPost.