Practice Safe Computing.
You need to have security programs (Antivirus and Anti-Spyware) for your computer if you access the Internet.
Security suites are notorious for hogging system resources and requiring frequent updates.
The most popular programs tout many extra features, leading to what is referred to as â€œbloatâ€.
These programs will protect you, but in doing so, they will also slow your computer down. Sometimes drastically. They also cost $$.
On their websites, Trend Micro lists 13 major features and subsystems in its security suite, McAfee lists 14, and Symantec lists 33!
Do you need all these features? Probably not. Many of these features duplicate abilities built into Internet Explorer, Firefox and most other popular browsers. They all offer link-checkers, pop-up-blockers, parental controls, and more. Windows (especially Win7) has a very good firewall.
If you are running a business with multiple computers, you may want the support offered with these security suite programs. However, most users can get along with the free versions offered by many Antivirus vendors.
My favorite for many years has been AVG Free. I still like it, but it has fallen prey to feature bloat, too.
Microsoft recognizes the problem and has a free program called Security Essentials. Along with Windows built-in firewall and up to date browsers, you get all the protection and none of the bloat.
Microsoft Security Essentials is what I recommend for most Windows users. It works with XP, Vista, and Win7.
Mac users now have a built in Anti-malware program. They donâ€™t advertise it, because they donâ€™t like to admit that Macs can get infected.
Bottom line: Be smart and stay up to date.