Complementary leaflet – Home Computer Security
Home Computer Information -. This information does not apply to computers within the NHS Trusts, your
IT department will manage security within the workplace, and therefore the products/information below
should not be applied to computers in the workplace environment.
Many people now have a connection to the Internet from their home computer. With the popularity of
broadband connections in those regions where broadband is available, the importance of ensuring that your
computer is safe from either viruses or other malicious internet activity becomes even more important.
In order to reduce the risk, it’s recommended that Internet users undertake a variety of precautions, that often
include the following elements; Firewall product, Anti-virus product, Anti-Spyware product. All of these
products protect your computer, but they do so in different ways, hence the need for multiple protection (you
only need one product of each type installed). Commercial products such as Norton, Mcafee and Sophos will
provide protection, often as an all-in-one solution, but at a cost, that may be prohibitive for some.
If your computer was purchased with a security suite pre-installed, you need to ensure that these products are
up to date. If your initial subscription to these products has expired, then you may either wish to renew your
subscription, or uninstall these products and replace them with alternatives. Remember that before you make
any changes to your computer, ensure that valuable information is backed up, and that the system is running
correctly. If you believe that your computer already has a virus, please refer to your preferred antivirus
vendor for information.
Commercial Products (often all in one solutions)
Symantec / Norton: www.symantec.com
If you cant afford these products there are a number of free alternatives. Some free alternative products have a
reduced feature set, or require you to periodically click on an update button rather than automatically update
themselves, others seem to possess very similar functionality to the commercial products.
Firewall Products (Free)
Later versions of Windows have a firewall built into the operating system, if you use this then please ensure
you have the latest service packs and updates from Microsoft installed on your system.
Comodo Firewall: http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/
Zone Alarm (free)
AVG Free Edition http://free.grisoft.com/doc/download-free-anti-virus/us/frt/0
Avast! Antivirus http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html
Comodo AntiVirus http://www.antivirus.comodo.com/
Free Anti Spyware
AVG Anti-Spyware Edition, http://free.grisoft.com/doc/20/us/frt/0
Spybot Search and Destroy http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html
With a selection of the above products installed (you only need one of each installed), and your operating
system updated with the latest patches and security releases, you are in a good position to explore the wealth
of information and communities available on the Internet. Some of the above products are also available for
alternative systems such as Linux or Apple.
The enclosed information is for reference only, and does not constitute professional advice.