Through the concept of tiered or layered security, anyone who is willing to put aside a few minutes to learn, can achieve the best internet security against viruses, spyware, malware, and every other threat on the internet. Nothing is infallible but 'best' here simply means better than any other type of security setup (skeptics keep reading, it will make sense by the end of the article!). You will not need a supercomputer to do this; any computer that can run a normal antivirus and firewall program can just as easily handle a tiered defense. Nor do you need to spend a lot of money, you even could even use all free programs (though in general, the added features of paid versions are well worth the cost). This article is written for anyone who is interested in better computer security for themselves, their friends, or their family. Advanced knowledge is not required, all it takes is an understanding of the general concept, a little basic knowledge about computer security programs, and a few pointers. This article will get you on the right track.
The first point about internet security is that you should not be using only one program as your exclusive means of protection. The concept of tiered computer security is that you have an array of defenses both in width and depth so that, first, you can stop every angle of attack and second, even if one layer is compromised or fails, the second... or third... or fourth layer will catch it. Moreover, the types of programs you have is more important than the exact programs you choose to purchase or use, this is key. Tiered security does not rely on any single specific program and, done properly, will achieve a much more reliable and thorough defense than any one program could ever provide, no matter how powerful it may be. With the right combination of compatible programs, your computer will be protected from virtually every type of threat or angle of attack on the internet.
Make no mistake, it is extremely important to have powerful and reputable security utilities but it is even more important to have the right types of programs. A tiered security setup consists of multiple programs covering different angles, but all working towards the same goal, your computer security. The reason this type of setup is incontestably better than any one program is simply because you can already use any program, including your favorite security suite, as the centerpiece of your tiered defense setup. That 'all-in-one' suite may be the centerpiece but in a tiered defense, it is still just one piece in your multilayered computer security. Quite simply, that is why the best internet security configurations will necessarily be tiered.
However, this is easier said than done and there can be some nuance to setting up a powerful tiered defense. The most significant danger is that some types of security services will conflict with others on your system. If you have conflicting services from different programs, not only will your system become unstable or unreliable, it will also potentially open up holes in your security when the incompatible services block each other from functioning. Therefore, to actually achieve the best internet security through tiered defense, it is vital that you know exactly what types of programs you need, which types of programs can be running simultaneously and where redundancy will and will not add to your strength.
In order to effectively tier your computer security, your programs need to minimally cover the following: Real Time Protection, Passive Defense/ Browser Immunity, Scans and Cleanup, and Firewall. Each of these categories could take a full article in their own right but the most basic guideline is you should always have one real-time antivirus protection service and one firewall. In general, more than one of each will conflict (there are some notable exceptions but we cannot not cover them here). For the remaining two categories, multiple redundant programs are recommended for safety because these programs will not be running except when specifically in use.
When searching for what programs to use, always remember to choose only reputable programs with proven track records and whenever possible, download them from the official sites. If you need some help, there are a few great guides that can help you choose the right programs and avoid potential pitfalls. The exact programs you choose should be based on your computer's power, the money you can spend (you could potentially use all free programs), and of course your personal preferences. However, once you cover all the angles, you will have the best internet security and the peace of mind that comes with this knowledge.
Fellow Netizens, good luck and stay safe!