Today we’ve published new versions of our security products VIRUSfighter (desktop and server) and SPYWAREfighter. I’d like to tell you about them, and their evolution to where we are today.

All of these products, in version 3 (SPYWAREfighter) & version 6 (VIRUSfighter)  are from the ground up re-writes.

This approach was taken to help us achieve two key objectives:

  1. We wanted to make the products easier to use and update (and updated more frequently, to offer our users better protection); and
  2. We wanted to make them much faster, taking up less system resources.

We’ve achieved both, but, of course, we want to make them better and better.

Usually, this would involve adding features. However, this goes against the reasons we rewrote them in the first place.

Software design (in general) and security software design (in particular) is as much about what you leave out as what you include. The debate is straightforward:

In customer focused software, what does a feature add to the customer? If nothing, it’s just a feature, then one has to ask the key question: why are we doing this?

The answer can be telling.

Many software companies add things because they are “cool” or because “our competitors do this”, but that often is to miss the point. I’d like to think that the most important thing we can do, with our security software, is to protect a users PC. Everything on top of that is fluff.

Sure, we need to have configuration ability, so users can decide what level of protection they want; but we should always provide the best default protection “out-of-the-box” (an expression that makes less sense in an electronic download world) so that it’s only necessary to visit the configuration pane when a user wants to, not because they need to.

So, our ethos here at SPAMfighter is to offer fast, low-resource requirements and great protection; think install and forget, but with the right mix of additional features, such as configuration, to allow our customers the ability to use their software THEIR way.

So, as we evolve our products, to better meet your needs, our approach is going to be simple: make it faster, make it better. And maybe add a little fluff, just to help those that absolutely need to tweak their software. That’s it.

You won’t, therefore, find mapping software, to follow outbreaks real-time. You won’t find pointless, but cute, skinning abilities, to make our software look like, well, anything you want. We could do all of these things, but they’ll make it slower, and that adds nothing to your needs of just great software that protects you.

We hope we’re getting that balance right, and would welcome your comments to tell us how we are doing. Over to you.

Posted in Software | Tagged , , , |

They say the safest computer is one switched off and left in its box. Possibly with insurance on the box, in case it’s stolen.

The needs of staying in touch and online, however,  mean we have to be more practical in our approach.

Firstly, we can all do our bit to make things safer, because PC security is about what you do as much as the software you have to help you do it. For example: being sensible on who we give our details to, and never, ever sharing our login details with someone else. PC security is all about staying on top of our online (and even offline) activities; it’s not a “do once and forget” solution, it’s continual and at times relentless.

So here’s our suggestion on how to play it safe online and offline with your computer, with this simple list (please excuse the shameless plugs for our software interspersed throughout):

  1. Always have antivirus software, and always keep it up-to-date. This includes running a full scan at least once per week (with on-access scanning taking care of the rest). [Plug one: our antivirus product VIRUSfighter can do this]
  2. If your antivirus software does not include antispyware protection, use this as well. [Shameless plug number 2 for our anti-spyware product SPYWAREfighter]
  3. Configure and use a firewall product.
  4. Be careful where you surf. secure web login . Visiting unknown sites is part of everyday, as you follow links on twitter, facebook, and on your favourite sites. But click with caution. If you’re using a twitter client, make sure it expands those bit.ly links for you, so you can see where you are about to go. Be particularly careful if you are visiting adult or so-called warez sites. Be especially careful if you are downloading “cracked” software. This is often a ruse to get you to click on the installer and you will then be installing malware.
  5. Consider if you NEED to be logged in with administrative rights. Often you don’t.
  6. Be especially careful of clicking on links in emails from people you don’t know (and you’re running anti-spam software, right?) [Shameless plug for our anti-spam product SPAMfighter]
  7. Be careful of inserting USB devices and DVDs of unknown origin into your computer. Also uninstall software you don’t need any more. [Final plug for our speed / healthy PC product SLOWPCfighter to help keep your computer running in top condition]
  8. Use common sense – if the offer to click a link for something sounds too good to be true, it is.
  9. Remember, banks won’t usually send you “Suspicious activity on your account” emails, and then ask you to sign in to your account to “confirm” something. They’d usually call you.
  10. Use hard-to-crack passwords, both on your computer, and on your online accounts.

These are just some of the things you should consider to make your online and offline experience danger free.

Think we’ve missed any, tell us in the comments.

Posted in General, Software | Tagged , , , |