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Family Tech: "You can get the best tech tools, but…" - November 5, 2016

If you are into tech as I am, it is a never ending cornucopia of new apps to try, new gadgets to covet and new capabilities to instill that “We live in the future” feeling.

Alas, like everything though, there is a certain amount of housework to do.  Without the drudgery of protecting our devices and networks from viruses and attacks, the fun soon comes to an end, and what should be a friction-free environment for work and fun gets bogged down and aggravatingly useless.

Anti-virus and their ilk are boring to think about. I’ve even put this column off for months as I found more entertaining things to write about.

If you are running an antivirus on your PC already, give yourself an atta-boy.  Then go check to see if it is indeed still running.

Many of us get a free 90-day subscription to McAfee with our PCs.  Problem is that after 90 days we get nagged to pay for the subscription and, instead of paying, often just turn off the nags.

If you did pay, find the McAfee app on your PC and check to see when it expires. And check too for the last time it updated its signatures and actually ran a scan.

If you did not subscribe and it is not running, there are better choices out there than McAfee.  In fact, on the ratings site AV-Test.org, McAfee is not near the top.  That site tests and lists the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac and Android devices.  Microsoft’s Defender, a free tool built into Windows, is next on the rating list. If nothing else, use Defender.

The No. 2 choice on the list of top antivirus apps is free. Avast does a great job protecting my system. Yes, they want me to upgrade so I get the occasional popup, but it is not too intrusive. I may subscribe now, but I wanted to experience the free level for column purposes.

If you choose to go with their paid level of service, it is $50 a year for one computer or $70 a year for three computers[1] .  There is also a five PC level.


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