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Issue #311: July 7, 2013

Q: Several months ago you mentioned in your column some free Internet security.  I tried AVG Internet Security that is ending today and they want me to buy new service.  Can you give me the names of those free services?

– Sylvia K.
Niceville, Florida

A: Most of what I have recommended in the column would not really be considered Internet Security so much as it would be Antivirus/Antimalware.  There are two key differences.  Antimalware programs run on your machine, and are concerned with activity on the local machine, such as changes to your files (particularly critical system files), and new stuff coming in on external media or via your Internet connection.  These items are scanned, looking for “signatures” of known viruses.  Internet Security, on the other hand, watches your web browsing activity, and will warn you about bogus or fraudulent websites, and give you a measure of protection against common vectors for malware infestation, such as phishing e-mails.  The second major difference is that most Internet Security programs are not free.  Many companies will offer the Antivirus software for free, sometimes with a free trial of their Internet Security, but almost always, they want you to eventually pay for that service.

You could, therefore, continue using AVG’s free antivirus software even after your Internet Security expires.  Other free Antivirus programs I’ve mentioned include Avast! (, and Microsoft Security Essentials (


Q: Your archives are changed from when first I used them. Search for the topic leads me nowhere. I’m trying to refresh on where to go to select for malware riddence.  What am I missing in this new setup?

– Bernie K.
Navarre, Florida

A: The archives at (not .com) have not changed very much since it went online last year, Bernie.  There is a box in near the top of the main page where you can enter search terms, and the site will return a list of every column that contains that word.  I hope you’re not searching for the term “malware riddence” because I can promise that will not return any results (“riddance” is spelled wrong).  Remember when performing computer searches that “less means more” – the fewer words you use in your search, the more results you will get.  One thing I did add in the months after the site premiered is a custom Google search, which is a Google web search box that is linked to my Google-Ads account.  When users perform a search via that box, I might get paid if they visit certain web sites via a link that originated from a search done from my website.  Doing keyword searches on column archives in the custom Google search box won’t provide many results either.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Windows 8.1: For those of you Windows 8 haters out there (and I know there are a lot of you – I haven’t seen venom like this toward a Microsoft product since Vista was introduced) your days of misery may be at an end.  A preview version of Windows 8.1 is now available for download at  A story at CBS News says it “might well be the Windows that Windows 8 should have been.”  While this update will allow you to experience all the new features that Win 8.1 has to offer (and there appear to be a lot of them) remember that this is a beta release.  Among other things, that means when you eventually install the final version of Windows 8.1, you’ll need to reinstall all your other software.  You can avoid that by just waiting for 8.1 to be officially released.

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