7 Free Security Software Downloads

7 Free Security Software DownloadsYour PC system faces countless dangers, including spyware attacks, viruses, Trojan horses, home-page hijackers, and hackers trying to find their way into your system. And the Internet is not the only source of trouble. Anyone with access to your PC can invade your privacy by prying into which Websites you visit, and learning more as well.

But fighting back is easy. Here is 7 great pieces of security software - firewalls, spyware busters, antivirus software, rootkit killers, and general Internet security tools - designed to protect you against any dangers that come your way. They are free, they are powerful and they are easy to use. From firewalls to antivirus software to tools for combatting rootkits and spyware, here are some great downloads to protect your system against malicious attacks.

ZoneAlarm
Check Point Software's ZoneAlarm may well be the most popular free firewall on the planet, and the most recent release protects Vista machines finally. Arguably, ZoneAlarm is the product that made everyone conscious of the need for firewall protection. It's extremely easy to use, and its method of configuring outbound protection is particularly useful. Whenever a program tries to make an outbound Internet connection, ZoneAlarm announces it with a pop-up alert. You can then permit or disallow the connection, on a one-time basis or permanently. Configuring your level of protection is a simple matter of moving a few sliders.

Comodo Firewall Pro
ZoneAlarm is extremely popular, but that doesn't automatically make it the best free firewall you can find. One formidable contender is Comodo Firewall Pro, which independent testing site Matousec rated as the top firewall. Matousec found that Comodo offered the highest level of antileak protection, one measure of a firewall's effectiveness. Comodo offers true two-way firewall protection, is highly configurable, and provides a great view of your system and your Internet connection unlike most other firewalls.

Avast
Tired of dealing with bloated, overpriced security suites that bog down your system and cost an arm and a leg, when all you want is antivirus software? Then get Avast, a superb antivirus program that's free for home and personal use. A full-featured antivirus package features outstanding detection abilities, together with high performance. 100% detection of In-the-Wild viruses and excellent detection of Trojan horses. Avast can scan regular and Web-based email for viruses, too, and it protects against instant messaging viruses, peer-to-peer dangers and more.

AVG Anti-Rootkit
One of the most feared types of malware is the rootkit - malicious software that many types of antimalware can't detect. Not uncommonly, bad guys use rootkits to hide Trojan horses, which can then be used to take over your PC without your knowledge. AVG Anti-Rootkit's sole purpose is to find and kill rootkits. Run it and it scans your PC, sniffing rootkits out and removing any it finds.

Spyware Blaster
Some of the nastiest kinds of spyware - autodialers, home page hijackers, and others - install themselves as ActiveX controls. Spyware Blaster protects you against them, blocking the installation of ActiveX-based malware and other types of spyware, and eradicating tracking cookies that might otherwise invade your privacy. The program works with Firefox, Opera or Internet Explorer, and it prevents your browser from being diverted to dangerous sites. One particularly nice touch is the utility's System Snapshot, which takes a snapshot of your PC; if your computer gets infected later on, you can revert to the clean version.

AOL Active Security Monitor
This simple, straightforward application looks at the security of your PC, reports on what it finds, and makes recommendations. It checks to see if you have antivirus software installed and, if so, whether the definitions are up to date. Then it does the same for antispyware, tests whether you have a firewall enabled, and checks for peer-to-peer software that could pose a danger. The monitor doesn't have any protective capabilities itself, but it warns you if you need some. And take its recommendations with a grain of salt: It touts for-pay AOL software such as the AOL Privacy Wall over free software that may be better. Still, if you're looking for some quick security recommendations, it's worth the download.

McAfee SiteAdvisor
On the Web, unlike in the real world, it can be hard to recognize a bad neighborhood when you're wandering around in it. There are no boarded-up windows, no empty storefronts, no hard-looking men lounging on corners or in doorways. In fact, the prettiest and most inviting Web site may harbor all kinds of malware. That's where the McAfee SiteAdvisor comes in. It warns you when a Web site that you're about to visit - or are already visiting - may be dangerous. You install it as an Internet Explorer toolbar or as a Firefox plug-in. Then when you search with Google or some other search engine, it displays color-coded icons next to each search result, indicating whether the site in question is safe (green), questionable (yellow), or clearly unsafe (red). It checks sites for downloads that may be dangerous, and for evidence that they will send you spam if you give them your e-mail address. The toolbar offers similar reports about the sites you're currently visiting.