Too much security, or not enough?

Published on 06 March 2011

In today’s Internet focused world, how much security do you need in order to be “safe”?

I went through a stage of being VERY paranoid about having everything from anti-virus, to anti-spyware, to anti-malware, to anti-freeze, running on my computer. Over the years, I have mellowed slightly, and don’t have as many packages running as I once did, but I still have a few.

On my Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit edition, (in no particular order), I have:

  • The built in Windows 7 Firewall. I used to use the free ZoneAlarm Firewall, but with the release of Windows 7, and it’s improved Firewall capabilities, I decided to retire ZoneAlarm
  • Spyware Blaster – A very light weight package designed to prevent the installation of Spyware and other unwanted software
  • Microsoft Security Essentials – I used to use a combination of AVG Free Edition and SpyBot Search and Destroy to cover the needs of Virus and Spyware Protection, but I have found that this package is up to both tasks. Very simple and easy to use, and updates simply come down as part of Windows Update
  • Malwarebytes – Recently I have seen a number of Malware attacks that I have only been able to automatically remove using this package, and as a result, it has made it onto my list of packages to install on a new build.

In addition to the typical “run-time” applications, I also use the following package to make sure that my machine is performing at an optimum level:

  • CCleaner – A weekly scan with this package helps to keep my pc “clean”
  • Auslogics Disk Defrag – A weekly scan with this package helps of make sure that my drive is running at it’s best

Have I missed anything? Is there anything that my computer is still vulnerable to? The combination of the above packages has been honed over a good number of years of trying to fix other peoples computers, but I am curious to know if there is anything that I have missed.


I was recently pointed at this article, The jargon-free guide to computer and internet security, which goes into far more detail about staying safe online.

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