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AVG – Free Edition
While most computer operators are aware of anti-virus software, and certainly have some installed, there are those that continually pay a fair amount of money to maintain their PC security. But did you know there are also free alternatives to these bulky, resource-intensive programs?
For those who are unwilling or unable to pay yearly subscription fees, here is one alternative, Anti-Virus Guard. With AVG’s consistently updated Free Edition, users won’t have to worry about all but the most dangerous viruses. Despite having to pay nothing, you’ll get a suite of useful tools and utilities to better protect your computer. Check out the download page to see what tools come in the free version. Since this is a free version, it does not include all of the utilities of a paid version.
After a quick, five-screen, five-minute installation (and after opting out of their toolbar and SafeSearch), your new anti-virus is ready to go.
Uncheck these boxes unless you really want more toolbars.
At the end of the installation, you can opt into sending AVG anonymous data about the files on your computer. This, along with the data used from other users that opt in, is collected by AVG and used to identify exactly which files are causing trouble for users and which appear to be false positives from unknown programs, further increasing your security while allowing more freedom for the user.
After answering this last question, you’re finally ready for the initial schedule and scan of your computer. This might first involve updating virus definitions (essentially what is/isn’t a virus in AVG’s eyes), but after this short period, you’re ready to go.
Your anti-virus Swiss-army knife
To begin the initial scan, click the button that says ‘Scan now’ on the lower left side of the window. After you click, the scan will initialize and the window will now display information about the scan, including the number of objects (files) scanned, the number of threats found in those files, and the current file being scanned. On the computer I used for this Tech Tip, it took exactly 25 minutes to scan the entire computer.
You can then set a scheduled scan for specific intervals. First, click on the button with the three parallel lines next to ‘Scan now’. In the next window, click ‘Manage Scheduled Scans’. It will direct you to a list that shows you haven’t set up any scheduled scans. Click ‘Scheduled Scan’ and then, at the bottom, click ‘Edit scan schedule’. You can choose to scan every hour, every three days at 8 am, or every 15th day of the month. It all depends on what works best for you!
The second tile in AVG’s window is the Web Browsing feature, also known as the LinkScanner Surf-Shield. This handy tool automatically scans websites you find in online searches to verify that the site you’re trying to visit is not exploitative in any way. This setting is activated by default and works in the background, so there is no need to adjust any settings. However, if you’d like to disable the feature for any reason, you can simply click the Web Browsing tile and click the slider that says ‘enabled’.
The next tile, Identity, protects you from malicious software that could be stealing your personal information. This also works in the background, continually checking for suspicious activity and undoing any changes made to other programs. This utility also works in the background and can be disabled in the same manner as Web Browsing protection.
Emails, the third tile, scans incoming messages (and outgoing messages if you so choose) for spam and emails containing malware. Like the two previous tools, this works in the background to ensure that incoming emails containing spam or malicious software are swiftly dealt with. Like the others, it is enabled by default, and can be disabled by clicking the tile.
And that’s pretty much it! While there are other tools that AVG provides, this basic set is all you need, especially if you couple this protection with reasonable caution while surfing the internet.
Suggested by: Nick, the Library Technician for German branch
Look for the next Tech Tip on Thursday, December 5th.
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