It’s that time of year when I like to get organised. Again! The summer holidays are over, the kids are back to school, and plans for Christmas are just around the corner (sorry was it too early to mention the ‘C’ word?!).

It’s easy for some things to take a back seat or indeed get forgotten about entirely, but Internet Security definitely shouldn’t be one of them.

So, Number 1 on the organisation hit list: Ensure your PC/Mac/Laptop is fully secured against malicious attacks, viruses and spyware from the Internet. If your computer is not secure, it may become infected. If that happens, it can cause operational problems, and potentially render it completely unusable.

There are a few different options around, and if you’ve just bought your computer you’ve probably got something pre-installed so don’t need to worry about it for now, but to help those of you who are searching for new Internet Security or are not sure which product to go for, below I’ve picked out the main ones. Some are free and some are paid for products. It’s up to you which one to go for, but you may be surprised to find out that depending on your needs, it’s not necessary to go for the paid products.

Paid for Internet Security Solutions:

Norton Internet Security
Kaspersky Internet Security
MacAfee Internet Security
BitDefender AntiVirus

Free Internet Security Solutions:

Microsoft Security Essentials
Avast Internet Security
Avira Internet Security
Comodo Internet Security

From what I’ve understood when researching this article, the main differences between free and paid services are the features and technical support. The additional features you typically get with the paid products is identity theft protection (does what it says on the tin, stops people from stealing your personal details online i.e. bank accounts, email accounts etc), firewalls (these are a secondary defence against identity theft), parental controls (again fairly self-explanatory), and system performance tools (these are additional settings to make the most out of your system’s performance when using Internet Security software) – with the free products you have to put up with whatever their default standard settings are.

But in contrast the free products offer good speed (generally a quicker scan time, and the software doesn’t affect your computer upload and download speed as much), and overall both the free and paid products have very similar detection capabilities (when detecting potential malicious attacks) which after all is what you’re really wanting from your Internet Security.

So if you’re happy not to have the customer support, then perhaps trying one of the free products isn’t such a bad idea. But whichever solution you decide to go with, make sure it’s installed and up to date.

As a final reminder to ensure your computer is fully secured, once you do have the Internet Security software in place, make sure you run regular virus scans and backups. Many of these will run automatically when your system starts up, but there’s no harm running those scans yourself periodically as well.

If you’ve got any comments with regards paid versus free Internet Security please share them with us all below. Thanks!