Threat Levelers
10/1/2006
Confused by computer security software? Here's what you need to know about virus antidotes.
You've heard the dire warnings: If you don't seal up your computer tighter than Fort Knox, some nasty virus will attack your hard drive, vaporizing all your scanned documents and downloaded records (or worse — your prized photo of prissy cousin Priscilla taking a nose dive into the macaroni vat last Thanksgiving).

But you're a genealogist, not a computer geek. An 18th-century Polish parish register you can make sense of; when it comes to security software packaging, you don't have a prayer. What's the difference between a plain-vanilla anti-virus program and an Internet security suite? And what the heck is a firewall?

Before you disconnect your modem and swear off all high-risk computer activity (such as actually turning it on), keep reading: Our anti-virus advice will help you slice through the cyberbabble and select the security tools you truly need.