Anti-virus - You cannot just use any anti-virus program. You must use the best at the time, and what is "the best" changes from time to time. You don't have to surf like a teenage boy to get viruses. No anti-virus prevents all viruses, but from year to year your goal is to install the one that is most effective that year. The efficacy of these programs varies wildly, and some are even viruses themselves. Knowing someone who removes viruses all day long like myself or other reputable local computer repair people is the best way to keep current and stay protected. Do not trust Best Buy, Comcast, Century Link etc. They strike huge partnership deals with large companies like Norton and Mcafee. Everyone makes money and you get a bogus program -- for free. Then you have to pay me to clean your computer later.
If anyone recommends Mcafee or Norton/Symantec write those people off as suspicious or confused. I could spend pages telling you all the ways these programs can screw up your computer. Suffice it to say this, these programs are bloated, slow, expensive, and get this, DON'T REMOVE THE VIRUSES!
"But the huge Internet provider Comcast and Century-Link recommends it and gives it to me for free!"
My friend, file these programs under keyword "bogus." Symantec is trying to make a comeback. Even if Norton/Symantec shaped up and decided to quit riding the gravy train of their name recognition and produced a effective, lean product, I would wait for 5 years of positive feedback from the streets before even giving it a try.
AOL is also trying to make a comeback, but they have also ripped people off for too long with their bloated ad-scape. Neither deserves a second chance until they put 5 years of reputability in the record books.
Btw, if you are using AOL for email only and paying for it, you have been paying for a service that has been free for maybe 8 years or more now. THAT is the kind of company AOL is. Call and and ask to cancel their "Greed-Powered Rip Me Off plan." You will not lose your email address. AOL email is free. Really they should be paying you for all the advertising.
For the amount of money people have paid me to fix Norton-caused damage to their operating system they should have had a class-action suit brought against them. In the past 8 years there has been no worse name brand software you could have installed on your computer. Every computer I have ever fixed with Norton installed has been infected with viruses.