Gary Ewan Park - Too much security, or not enough?

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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