Free and Easy Anti-Malware Solutions for Senior Computer Users

image According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40% of of people 65 and older, have a computer at home. Of this total, approximately  25% of these individuals are connected to the Internet.

I’m sure these numbers are now even higher, since these statistics were taken from the census of 2005. In Canada, where I live, recent statistics indicate older adults are the fastest growing group of computer buyers and internet users. Who knew!

It seems obvious that older adults are now realizing that they don’t have to understand computer technology to send email-mail to friends and family, for example, or shop online, play games, make greeting cards, read book and film reviews, look into family genealogy, or find valuable health information on the Internet.

Here’s a great example of how older adults have jumped on the Internet bandwagon, and use it to great advantage.

imageI just ran into some older friends (in their 70s), who had recently gotten home after wintering in Florida – in Canada, we call these people Snowbirds.

Throughout their time away (5 months, or so), they stayed in touch with their children, and grandchildren, virtually on a daily basis, using the free audio/video communication application, Skype. What a great use of technology!

Just like the rest of us though, Senior users are susceptible to cybercrime, and like the rest of us, need to protect their computers against the ever increasing exposure we all face to Trojans, Spyware, Viruses, Phishing Scams, and Identity Theft, while connected to the Internet.

For those that are members of this newly liberated group of Senior computer users, (who are not aggressive surfers), I’ve compiled a list of free anti-malware applications with simplicity of operation in mind – no manuals to digest, no tricky configuration to undertake; just install, and the applications will essentially do the rest.

Recommended Security Solutions:

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2010

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– The default settings are well thought out, and provide excellent protection for less experience users particularly. This application is as close to “plug and play”, as it gets, and will not get in your face as some other Firewalls tend to do .

Microsoft Security Essentials

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- Easy to set up and run, particularly for new users. The interface is positively simple – offering Quick Scan, Full Scan, or Custom Scan. Provides full real time protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

Firefox

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– While Firefox is not technically an anti-malware application per se, with the most effective security add-ons, including NoScript, KeyScrambler, Adblock Plus and BetterPrivacy installed, it effectively acts as one.

WOT

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– Web of Trust, a browser add-on which offers Internet users active preventive protection against Web-based attacks, online scams, identify theft, and unreliable shopping sites.

Winpatrol

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– This program uses a simple yet effective method of fighting all kinds of malicious programs.

ThreatFire

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ThreatFire blocks mal-ware, including zero-day threats, by analyzing program behavior and it does a stellar job. This is one of the security applications that forms part of my own front line defenses.

Keep in mind, malware itself is only part of the problem. The method used to deliver the malware – social engineering – is the most significant problem currently, for an average user. Social engineering, is a sure winner for the bad guys.

Cyber-criminals are increasingly relying on social engineering to create an opportunity designed to drop malicious code, including rootkits, password stealers, Trojan horses, and spam bots on our computers.

Overcoming the instinctive human response to social engineering (and we all have it), to just “click” while surfing the Internet, will prove to be challenging . This instinctive response, will pose one of the biggest risks to your online safety and security.

Well known software developer Comodo Group, has developed a new Internet video series, Really Simple Security, published on a dedicated YouTube channel, that makes it easier than ever for an average user to become much more proactive in their own protection. You’ll find this Internet video series enormously helpful.

Safe surfing!

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8 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Browser add-ons, Comodo, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Firefox, Firefox Add-ons, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Firewalls, Freeware, Internet Safety for Seniors, Microsoft, Older Adult Computer Users, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

8 responses to “Free and Easy Anti-Malware Solutions for Senior Computer Users

  1. Pingback: Free and Easy Anti-Malware Solutions for Senior Computer Users … | Firefox Blog

  2. Liam O' Moulain

    Very cool Bill. I’ll pass this on to my older relations.

    Liam

  3. Bill,
    Great article, and a good service to your older readers. However, I think it’s appropriate for any non-technical computer user group. In fact, I’m going to link to it on my site if that’s okay.
    Best,
    Paul

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Paul,

      Please do, Any step we can take to help keep each other safe on the Internet, is welcome.

      As always, I appreciate your visit.

      Best,

      Bill

  4. Pingback: Free And Easy Anti-Malware Software | Paul's Home Computing Blog

  5. Andy

    The above article describes a good all round set up for newbies and the older folk. Geswall or Sandboxie would be a good add-on to the above list but I guess Sandboxie/Geswall maybe a tad too much for newbies or the older folk to understand how Sandboxie or Geswall works. Another great article Bill, cheers!

    Andy in Cheshire, England.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Andy,

      You’re right of course – “Sandboxie/Geswall maybe a tad too much for newbies or the older folk to understand”.

      Good to hear from you.

      Best,

      Bill