It was not so long ago that you needed to select the best of breed from each category of tool to obtain a good degree of protection for our desktop computing. That is still the case if your want the ultimate protection but today many of the bundled tools provide a satisfactory level over a wide range of risks.

The main players in this area are Norton (Symantec), Mcafee and Kapersky for the windows operating system. For Mac OS X and Linux you will probably need to consider an open source solution but there are a growing number of comercial products becoming available. You may consider that a disadvantage but, on the plus side, OS X and Linux are inherently more secure than Microsoft Windows.

In considering overall security, we are now in a much better position as PCs are not connected directly to the internet with phone or broadband modems. They now are behind ADSL or Cable routers and employ a technique called NAT that prevents direct access to the PC from the internet. For this reason our focus has changed from blocking unwanted access to identifying and preventing infection from malicious emails or web sites.