Saturday, September 11, 2010

Diversity? Can it be an improved security measure?

Diversity is a commonly given advice to investors. "Don't put all your eggs in the same basket." "Diversity is key to a investor's profile." "Diversity lowers the risk of investing."

But, can this principle be also applied to computer security? Antivirus software or suites are never perfect.

I know that there are extremely loyal (some people "fanboys") people that always stick to the same antivirus solution as they believe it works. I also hear a lot of stories where somebody has used an antivirus solution (Antivirus A) and changed to a different antivirus solution (Antivirus B) and discovered that they had a trojan. From that point on, the individual swore to themselves never to change from antivirus B ever again.

What I believe that the mere act of changing antiviruses was the important thing. By changing antivirus, the individual was able to detect malicious software present on your computer.

My recommendations
So my recommendation is for the individuals to

If you are using a free antivirus solution, are about to your antivirus/internet security subscription is about to expire, consider another free antivirus solution or a free antivirus trial (which is a good way to decide whether an antivirus solution is for you).
Recommended antiviruses/internet suites off the top of my head:
  • AVG (there is a free for personal use version)
  • Avast! (there is a free and a commercial version)
  • Norton (Symantec) (apparently the programs don't lag your computer much these days)
  • Microsoft Security Essentials (tried it, pretty simple interface, not sure about effectiveness)
  • Eset (really fast antivirus! I've used the 2005 version before)
  • Trend Micro (by the way, it was my first antivirus I ever used! Brilliant program back in the day... maybe it still is)

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