Product Review: PC Security Shield 2008

Anyone who uses the internet for any use, even one as basic as email, shopping, or conducting a business, needs to utilize an effective and up to date anti virus and spyware monitoring system to protect their personal, business and financial data. Although credit card theft is the number one form of identity theft, computer theft crimes rank in the top five dangers of identity theft.

There are three main ways that identity theft can occur from your internet usage:

-Phishing. You receive an email from one of the more well known online services or your bank, warning you with the message that your bank or other account may have been compromised, then asking you to clink a link and “log-in” If you follow those instructions, you end up providing a third party with your account information and access. I have most often received this type of message from a group alleging to be “PayPal,” however I have also received it from an entity pretending to be a local credit union.

- Spyware: You may not even know that this is on your computer without a spyware detection system. This software is used to record keystrokes to obtain either personal and financial information whenever you shop or bank online. It can also be used to access confidential information on your hard drive.

- Spoofing: A legitimate internet site will be “hi-jacked”, redirecting people to a fake internet site where they are asked to provide confidential information.

It is important when shopping for your anti virus software to make sure that it contains protection against these dangers and includes regular updates. One of the many antivirus systems currently available is PC Security Shield 2008. This system, like many others, offers: anti virus, spyware and adware protection, personal firewall, automatic daily updates, your choices of real time, and/or scheduled scanning, as well as parental controls. You may complete your purchase of the software online or via telephone and then download the anti virus software to your personal computer.

However, what is unique about this service is:

1. You may purchase your service either monthly or yearly; with most services you must purchase one full year.

2. If a virus does occur, Security Shield provides a “patch” within 2-3 hours and a complete repair of the virus within 5 hours. According to PC Professionals Security Shield, using F-Secure technology responds 3-4 times faster in repairing viruses as well as updates customer’s service with the latest antivirus protection “twice” as often as other anti virus software systems. (PC Professionals, Issue Aug. 2006)

3. The software uses a Bayesian filter as well as a “blacklist” of sites that send unsolicited email for use in phishing schemes and stores these emails in a separate folder for your safety.

4. With the PC Security Shield 2008 Parental Control features, parents can not only block web sites that contain specific content, such as pornography, weapons or drugs, but they can also set specific times of day when the internet may not be used. This is especially important for those late nights or directly after school when parents may not be present.

5. No additional or hidden charges for the technical support services assistance, in contrast to other businesses whose anti virus programs charge an additional amount to correct virus or spyware damage either per minute or per event.

Technical support for this system includes an online product guide, instant chat, email and telephone support as well as a Frequently Asked Questions site. However, the telephone support does not have a toll free number. The chat online support responds quickly, however you should have your product codes available. My hold time via telephone support was a little more than 5 minutes, which is longer than I would like to hold, but I have held longer for utilities and cable. Be sure to check the website for system requirements; however, they seem to be the standard for any anti virus software system that you may be considering for purchase.

The cost for this service is currently $39.99/year after a $20.00 mail in rebate. The rebate is offered after 90 days of service and after ending your pre-existing anti virus software support with any one of those listed by PC Security Shield. You may also purchase a monthly service program for $5.99 a month for one computer or $9.99 a month for up to three computers.

My favorite feature with this service is not only than just the ability to control web content, but also the times that my children are permitted to be on the web and that I can change these times according to my schedule. The other favorite feature is that it protects emails from spy ware, phishing, and keylogging types of emails through two different services, the one being up to date research and the other by compiling a log of “bad” sites that may attempt to hi jack your personal information.

To purchase this service, you simply register online, choose either monthly or a yearly subscription, confirm your purchase via email, obtain your key code and download your anti virus software system. Setting your preferences is intuitive; however, the online chat is quite helpful in providing direction.

This may be an anti virus software program most likely of interest to parents, especially with the offers of multiple computer coverage, no additional charges for technical support and the excellent extended parental controls. It protects your PC and personal data from theft, making it worth considering.

Lisa Carey is a contributing author for Identity Theft Secrets: prevention and protection. You can get tips on Identity theft protection, software, and monitoring your credit as well as learn more about the secrets used by identity thieves at the Identity Theft Secrets blog

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