What is 'Choosing a Web Browser'?

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Google's Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera, and others – they're all trying their best to earn your desktop. Perhaps you've never even given it any thought, and just use whatever browser was on your computer when it was purchased. So how should you choose?

First and foremost, whatever browser you choose should be up-to-date. The newest versions, as mentioned above, are equipped with the latest technology and features to simplify, speed-up, and boost your Internet experience. More importantly, anything old is a security risk. Here are some factors to consider:

Security - The best browsers protect against pop-ups, viruses and phishing. They should also allow you to clear personal information, including your search history. Some even offer a "do not track" option for users to block websites from gathering information.

Features - With a goal of faster and easier Internet, browsers offer features like integrated search engines, tabbed browsing and thumbnail previews. Find out which ones have the benefits most useful to you.

Speed - The speed of your computer and Internet connection are the primary factors when it comes to how fast you get information, but your browser also determines how quickly a page will open and whether it will open correctly. Things to compare include startup times and how the browser processes HTML and JavaScript.

Support - Does the browser you choose offer support through email, FAQs, tutorials or phone? Although many browsers are free, it's helpful to have customer support if a problem does arise.

Compatibility – Your browser must work well with your operating system. For example, Windows Internet Explorer 9 does not work with some older versions of Windows, but Firefox 4 does.

Choosing Virus Protection Software

A virus is a very small computer program capable of embedding itself into files and/or computer programs. There are several types of viruses, some are very simple but yet annoying, while other, more advanced viruses will attempt to crack passwords, spam a network generating thousands of emails, install key loggers, etc. If you are on a network and you open an unsafe attachment, very good chance that you are transmitting the virus throughout the network.

In today's connected world, good virus protection is essential to protect your computer. Just as important as installing anti-virus software, is to keep it current, including purchasing the annual subscriptions. There are several options on the market, but most carry all the same benefits. Although no anti-virus software can protect your computer from all threats, here are some questions to ask when it's time to choose the one that's best for you:
Product compatibility – Is the software compatible with your current operating system?
Real-time scanning – Does it monitor system activity at all times for the presence of viruses, checking each file when it is accessed? This is a very important basic function of a good anti-virus program.

On demand scanning – Does it check every file for a good assessment of your computer at that single point in time? These should be scheduled to run on a regular basis.

Virus removal tools – If malware is found, does the program have the tools to remove it?

Product upgrades and virus definition updates – Are updates continually provided to stay safe from the most current threats?

Telephone and/or Online Support – What kind of support is available if you need it? Is there a charge for help?

Spyware – Does the program have the added advantage of protecting you from spyware?

Extra features – Are there any extra features, like identity theft protection or advance alerts before you click on a potentially harmful file?

Reputation– What do others have to say about the product you are considering? Talk to family or friends and look online for reviews about performance and reliability.

Cost – Does the price fit your budget? Many reputable programs are free, but may contain advertising in lieu of payment. Make sure that the package you choose offers all of the protection and features that you'll need.