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Key (cryptography) – Wikipedia

In cryptography, a key is a piece of information (a parameter) that determines the functional output of a cryptographic algorithm. For encryption algorithms, a key specifies the transformation of plaintext into ciphertext, and vice versa for decryption algorithms. Keys also specify transformations in other cryptographic algorithms, such as digital signature schemes and message authentication codes.

In designing security systems, it is wise to assume that the details of the cryptographic algorithm are already available to the attacker. This is known as Kerckhoffs’ principle “only secrecy of the key provides security”, or, reformulated as Shannon’s maxim, “the enemy knows the system”. The history of cryptography provides evidence that it can be difficult to keep the details of a widely used algorithm secret (see security through obscurity). A key is often easier to protect (it’s typically a small piece of information) than an encryption algorithm, and easier to change if compromised. Thus, the security of an encryption system in most cases relies on some key being kept secret.

Trying to keep keys secret is one of the most difficult problems in practical cryptography; see key management. An attacker who obtains the key (by, for example, theft, extortion, dumpster diving, assault, torture, or social engineering) can recover the original message from the encrypted data, and issue signatures.

Keys are generated to be used with a given suite of algorithms, called a cryptosystem. Encryption algorithms which use the same key for both encryption and decryption are known as symmetric key algorithms. A newer class of “public key” cryptographic algorithms was invented in the 1970s. These asymmetric key algorithms use a pair of keys or keypair a public key and a private one. Public keys are used for encryption or signature verification; private ones decrypt and sign. The design is such that finding out the private key is extremely difficult, even if the corresponding public key is known. As that design involves lengthy computations, a keypair is often used to exchange an on-the-fly symmetric key, which will only be used for the current session. RSA and DSA are two popular public-key cryptosystems; DSA keys can only be used for signing and verifying, not for encryption.

Part of the security brought about by cryptography concerns confidence about who signed a given document, or who replies at the other side of a connection. Assuming that keys are not compromised, that question consists of determining the owner of the relevant public key. To be able to tell a key’s owner, public keys are often enriched with attributes such as names, addresses, and similar identifiers. The packed collection of a public key and its attributes can be digitally signed by one or more supporters. In the PKI model, the resulting object is called a certificate and is signed by a certificate authority (CA). In the PGP model, it is still called a “key”, and is signed by various people who personally verified that the attributes match the subject.[1]

In both PKI and PGP models, compromised keys can be revoked. Revocation has the side effect of disrupting the relationship between a key’s attributes and the subject, which may still be valid. In order to have a possibility to recover from such disruption, signers often use different keys for everyday tasks: Signing with an intermediate certificate (for PKI) or a subkey (for PGP) facilitates keeping the principal private key in an offline safe.

Deleting a key on purpose to make the data inaccessible is called crypto-shredding.

For the one-time pad system the key must be at least as long as the message. In encryption systems that use a cipher algorithm, messages can be much longer than the key. The key must, however, be long enough so that an attacker cannot try all possible combinations.

A key length of 80 bits is generally considered the minimum for strong security with symmetric encryption algorithms. 128-bit keys are commonly used and considered very strong. See the key size article for a more complete discussion.

The keys used in public key cryptography have some mathematical structure. For example, public keys used in the RSA system are the product of two prime numbers. Thus public key systems require longer key lengths than symmetric systems for an equivalent level of security. 3072 bits is the suggested key length for systems based on factoring and integer discrete logarithms which aim to have security equivalent to a 128 bit symmetric cipher. Elliptic curve cryptography may allow smaller-size keys for equivalent security, but these algorithms have only been known for a relatively short time and current estimates of the difficulty of searching for their keys may not survive. As of 2004, a message encrypted using a 109-bit key elliptic curve algorithm had been broken by brute force.[2] The current rule of thumb is to use an ECC key twice as long as the symmetric key security level desired. Except for the random one-time pad, the security of these systems has not (as of 2008[update]) been proven mathematically, so a theoretical breakthrough could make everything one has encrypted an open book. This is another reason to err on the side of choosing longer keys.

To prevent a key from being guessed, keys need to be generated truly randomly and contain sufficient entropy. The problem of how to safely generate truly random keys is difficult, and has been addressed in many ways by various cryptographic systems. There is a RFC on generating randomness (RFC 4086, Randomness Requirements for Security). Some operating systems include tools for “collecting” entropy from the timing of unpredictable operations such as disk drive head movements. For the production of small amounts of keying material, ordinary dice provide a good source of high quality randomness.

For most computer security purposes and for most users, “key” is not synonymous with “password” (or “passphrase”), although a password can in fact be used as a key. The primary practical difference between keys and passwords is that the latter are intended to be generated, read, remembered, and reproduced by a human user (although nowadays the user may delegate those tasks to password management software). A key, by contrast, is intended for use by the software that is implementing the cryptographic algorithm, and so human readability etc. is not required. In fact, most users will, in most cases, be unaware of even the existence of the keys being used on their behalf by the security components of their everyday software applications.

If a password is used as an encryption key, then in a well-designed crypto system it would not be used as such on its own. This is because passwords tend to be human-readable and,hence, may not be particularly strong. To compensate, a good crypto system will use the password-acting-as-key not to perform the primary encryption task itself, but rather to act as an input to a key derivation function (KDF). That KDF uses the password as a starting point from which it will then generate the actual secure encryption key itself. Various methods such as adding a salt and key stretching may be used in the generation.

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Quantum Computing Explained | What is Quantum Computing?

In this series, Life’s Little Mysteries explains complex subjects in exactly 200 words.

Ordinarycomputersmanipulate “bits” of information, which, like light switches, can be in one of two states (represented by 1 or 0). Quantum computers manipulate “qubits”: units of information stored in subatomic particles, which, by thebizarre laws of quantum mechanics, may be in states |1> or |0>,orany “superposition” (linear combination) of the two. As long as the qubit is left unmeasured, it embodies both states at once; measuring it “collapses” it from the superposition to one of its terms. Now, suppose a quantumcomputerhas two qubits. If they were bits, they could be inonly oneof four possible states (00,01,10,11). A pair of qubits also has four states (|00>,|01>,|01>,|11>), but it can also exist in any combination of all four. As you increase the number of qubits in the system, you exponentially increase the amount of information they can collectively store. Thus, one can theoretically work with myriad information simultaneously byperforming mathematical operations on a system of unmeasured qubits (instead of probing one bit at a time), potentially reducing computing times for complex problems from years to seconds. The difficult task is to efficiently retrieve information stored in qubits and physicists aren’t there yet.

Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover. Follow Life’s Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries, then join us onFacebook.

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Best Internet Security 2017 – Total Security Software for …

Best (Premium) Internet Security Software

It’s a cruel world out there, with no shortage of malware, ransomware and phishing attacks to swoop in and steal your data, money and personal information. So whats the best way to protect your devices and preserve your peace of mind?

The answer is to build the tallest and thickest wall around your digital life with a premium antivirus suite. Based on our extensive testing, weve determined that your best option is Kaspersky Total Security. It offers not only excellent malware detection, but also has webcam protection and a sandboxed browser for safe online banking and shopping.

Premium antivirus products cost upward of $100 per year, but they offer many extra features that low-cost or free antivirus programs don’t have. Their product licenses often cover multiple installations on several platforms including Mac, Android, iOS and, sometimes, Windows Phone although other platforms’ software may be more limited. The most cost-effective premium packages offer all-you-can-scan plans, with unlimited device installations across multiple platforms.

All eight products below include parental controls and password managers, and give users online accounts to remotely manage antivirus software on all of their devices. Most of these programs also offer two-way firewalls, system optimizers, file shredders, file encryption and specialized web browsers hardened against infection or hijacking.

A few have anti-theft features to help you track down a lost or stolen laptop, and/or dedicated protection for webcams and specialized defenses against ransomware encryption. Some also include non-security-related features, such as backup software or online storage.

We’ve done extensive evaluations on eight of the latest flagship antivirus suites from Bitdefender, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Norton, Panda Security and Trend Micro. We installed the latest version of each suite on an Asus X555LA laptop running fully patched 64-bit Windows 10 on an Intel Core i3 processor. The laptop had 6GB of RAM and 36GB of files on a 500GB hard drive.

To assess each suite’s ability to protect against malware, we used the most recent sets of antivirus-software evaluations conducted on Windows 7 and Windows 10 by Germany’s AV-TEST lab. The lab routinely subjects programs from about 20 of the world’s leading antivirus makers to onslaughts of both widespread malware and less common, but more dangerous, zero-day malware. We also used results of tests by Austrian lab AV-Comparatives, which every month exposes top antivirus products to current online malware.

Our OpenOffice performance test measures system performance by timing how long a spreadsheet program takes to match 20,000 names and addresses. We ran the test multiple times during each of four scenarios: before a program was installed, after installation but while not scanning, during a full scan and during a quick scan.

We also considered the number and usefulness of each programs additional security and privacy features, as well as their setups, interfaces and ease of use.

[Editor’s Note: Best Buy has removed Kaspersky Lab products from its shelves, citing concerns regarding Kaspersky’s alleged (but as yet undocumented) ties to the Russian government. However, until we see evidence that Kaspersky software is a threat to consumers, we will continue to recommend it. Here is further clarification of our position.]

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Norton Internet Security – Download

Norton Security is a reliable security suite for your PC, with a powerful engine, firewall, an Identity Safe feature, and usability of the highest level. This release does not revolutionize the product, but it does optimize several features.

Norton Security provides comprehensive, real-time protection against viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and rootkits, acting as a filter for email, instant messaging programs and internet browsing.

Norton is also able to analyze your Facebook wall, which is increasingly becoming a tool for spreading malware.

Thanks to SONAR technology, the proactive defense module can identify more precisely any unknown threats. Norton Security can also block websites and malicious downloads, and includes options to configure Silent Mode.

The virus also integrates Norton Power Eraser, an advanced tool to use when the engine fails, with its classic scan which can delete malware that has allegedly attacked the system.

Norton Security includes an evolution of the Insight module, which analyzes files and running processes, classifies those which are reliable, and excludes them from being scanned, thus optimizing the resources available to your system.

Unlike Norton Antivirus, Internet Security offers a few more features, starting with a two-way firewall that can filter incoming and outgoing connections. The firewall has a fair degree of configurability and is organized in such a way as to be usable even by less experienced users. It also has parental controls (via Norton Family) to protect your children online.

Norton Security also pays particular attention to others dangers on the network, and that’s why it offers a module, Identity Safe, to protect your personal information, passwords, and credit card details against any online scams.

In addition, the suite includes a startup manager, which is useful for speeding up startup on your computer.

Usability is one of the strengths of Norton Security. The start screen shows an overview of the security status of the system, as well as quick access to the main features of the program, inlcuding Scanning, Live Update, and Advanced Settings.

Norton Security has a scanning engine that’s reliable, powerful, and has moderate consumption of content resources.

It offers many advanced features for experienced users, but at the same time, is capable of being used by more novice users thanks to its excellent basic configuration.

Norton Security is first-level suite for keeping your PC safe.

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Get the Best Internet Security Software of 2016!

Internet security is a very broad term that is addressed differently in different antivirus products. In general, it means security against threats when you are using the internet. Many features fall under the “internet security” category and some security companies even provide an entirely separate product for anything web-related. This is because possible threats can come from many places when you are using the internet, from social media and websites to browser add-ons and your personal email. Each of these places needs to be protected using different technology and will usually have its own feature in internet security suites. In order to find the best internet security 2017 has to offer, you will need to first understand why security is important.

These days, most of the work or activity you do on your PC involves the internet. This includes browsing websites, logging into your bank account, reading your emails, post on Twitter, and more. So much of what you do involves the internet and as a result that’s where most threats come from. A security suite with internet security not only scans files already on your computer for threats, but also tells you which websites contain malware before you visit them, which files you shouldn’t download, and what emails contain phishing scams.

Most antivirus products have at least some sort of internet security feature, but many of them don’t provide comprehensive protection on all fronts. It is important to understand what kind of protection you need, what features are important to you, and what products provide these features before purchasing a subscription.

Important features you should look for when searching for the best internet security software:

You may also want to check out additional internet security features like social media protection or parental controls. This will inform you of dangerous links on your feed, and protect your children from unsafe websites and even prevent internet access altogether during certain hours.

Before making a final decision, you need to understand what features are important to you and what kind of activity you do online. How will you choose the best internet security software suite for your needs? Some antivirus products don’t provide internet security features and some provide all-inclusive packages for online and offline protection on all fronts. While these all-inclusive products are usually more expensive, it is well worth the investment if your PC accesses the internet on a regular basis. The best internet security software will have all of the aforementioned features, and be the best fit for your personal or business needs.

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What is an Altcoin? – ccn.com

Get Trading Recommendations and Read Analysis on Hacked.com for just $39 per month.Litecoin is the biggest Altcoin

Even if they do not accurately understand how it works, most people are at least somewhat familiar with Bitcoin. However, once they begin to get involved with cryptocurrency, they may be surprised to learn that there are actually hundreds of types of cryptocurrencies known as altcoins. Altcoins are anintriguingfacet of the cryptocurrency landscape, but they are not foreveryone. Altcoin newcomers often have many questions, and this guide will provide a brief overview of altcoins to help beginners decide whether or not to invest in them as part of their cryptocurrency portfolio.

[divider]CCN[/divider]

The word altcoin is an abbreviation of Bitcoin alternative, and thus describes every single cryptocurrency except for Bitcoin. Altcoins are referred to as Bitcoin alternatives because, at least to some extent, most altcoins hope to either replace or improve upon at least one Bitcoin component.

There are hundreds of altcoins (CoinMarketCap listed 478 at the time this guide was written), and more appear each day. Mostaltcoins are little more than Bitcoin clones, changing only minor characteristics such as its transactions speed, distribution method, or hashing algorithm. Most of these coins do not survive for very long. One exception is Litecoin, which was one of the first altcoins.In addition to using a different hashing algorithm than Bitcoin, Litecoin has a much higher number of currency units. For this reason, Litecoin has branded itself as silver to Bitcoins gold.

However, some altcoins innovate by experimenting with useful features Bitcoin does not offer. For example, Darkcoin hopes to provide a platform for completely anonymous transactions, BitShares describes itself as a fair version of Wall Street, and Ripple serves as a protocol users can employ to make inter-currency payments with ease. Some altcoin ecosystems, such as CounterParty and Mastercoin, even utilize the Bitcoin blockchain to secure their platform.

Many Bitcoin enthusiasts argue that altcoins are completely unnecessary and will not succeed because they cannot rival the infrastructure Bitcoin boasts. However, altcoins serve an important role. Decentralization is one of Bitcoins most prominent goals, and altcoins further decentralize the cryptocurrency community. Moreover, altcoins allow developers to experiment with unique features. While it is true that Bitcoin can copy these features if the developers or community desires, fully-functioning altcoins are much better cryptocurrency laboratories than Bitcoins testnet. Finally, Altcoins give Bitcoin healthy competition. Altcoins give cryptocurrency users alternative options and forces Bitcoins developers to remain active and continue innovating. If users do not feel that Bitcoin satisfies their digital desires, they can adopt an altcoin. If enough users left Bitcoin for a particular altcoin, the Bitcoin developers would have to adopt the features the community desired or risk losing its place as the preeminent cryptocurrency.

Created in April 2011, Namecoin was the first altcoin. Although it also functions as a currency, Namecoins primary purpose is to decentralize domain-name registration, which makes internet censorship much more difficult. As its place among the top ten cryptocurrency market caps suggests, Namecoin has remained one of the most successful altcoins throughout its short lifespan.

Due to how recent cryptocurrency was invented and how rapidly the landscape changes, all cryptocurrency investments carry a great deal of risk. Even Bitcoinby far the most stable cryptocurrencyexhibits price volatility on a regular basis.

By comparison, however, altcoins are exponentially more volatile. Because they have such low market caps (the total value of all coins combined), altcoin markets are highly prone to price manipulation. Wealthy traderscolloquially called whalesoften inject large amounts of capital into low-priced coins to build hype and cause the price to skyrocket. Once the price has risen considerably, the whales sell their coins on exchanges at a massive profit, hurting many gullible investors in the process. This method is known as a pump and dump. Not only does this hurt greedy traders who did not take the time to do their homework, but it often proves to be the breath of an altcoins brief lifespan.

To avoid losing all your money in a pump and dump, focus on long-term investments in coins you believe have immense potential and exhibit overall health. Generally, healthy altcoins possess strong communities, exhibit high liquidity, and have developers who proactively improve the coins source code (though not necessary, many users also prefer developers who reveal their true identities).CoinGeckos comprehensive coin metric analysis algorithm statistically analyzes these three important factors and ranks coins according to overall strength.

If you do choose to invest in altcoins, it is important to remember somebasic tenets of investing. Avoid the hype that coin communities propagate. Investors have an agenda, so you should not take their word at face value. Only invest in coins you have researched. It is unwiseto invest in something you do not understand. Making an ill-informed investment is the first step to losing your hard-earned money. Take the time to research the coins you are considering for long-term investments, and research day-trading before you attempt to become a high-volume, short-term trader. Most importantly, never invest more than you can afford to lose. Far too many people have lost their life savings by centralizing them in volatile investments.

As with Bitcoin, there are a variety of ways to obtain altcoins. The most basic way to obtain altcoins is to accept them as payment for goods or services. If you are interested in doing this, place an ad showcasing your skill-set ona cryptocurrency job board.

You can also trade for altcoins on cryptocurrency exchanges. Most exchange use Bitcoin as an intermediary (although a few include fiat pairs), so if you do not already own bitcoins you will need to buy some before you can trade for altcoins. Some of the most-trafficked exchanges include BTER,Bittrex, MintPal,Cryptsy, and BTC38 (Chinese-only).

Many altcoin communities also sponsor giveaways to increase exposure of their coin and enticenew users to join their communities. This is a great way to acquire coins if you are low on fundsor do not have marketable skills.

Featured images from Shutterstock.

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Trading Bitcoin for an Altcoin Won’t Shield You From the IRS …

Any American bitcoin investors who were hoping to avoid paying taxes for their profits this year by trading them for altcoins are in for an unpleasant surprise. New regulations have been tailored specifically to make sure U.S. taxpayers cant use this method to avoid giving the IRS their cut.

Also Read: South Africa Wants to Track and Tax Bitcoin Trading

Until today a crafty tax attorney or accountant could have tried claiming that trading bitcoin for another cryptocurrency is not a taxable event, but U.S. authorities are now moving in fast to plug this loophole. The latest tax bill contains clarifications which make this a non-valid tax-minimizing strategy going forward.

The issue arises from the IRS categorizing bitcoin as property, which can be argued makes crypto to crypto tradeslike kind exchanges underSection 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. The new tax bill defines like kind exchanges to pertain only to real estate deals. To make things as clear as possible, this means that if you trade bitcoin for tether (USDT) for example, that is a taxable event.

Some people think, Im taking my bitcoin, which the IRS has deemed to be property, swapping it for another property and doing it for investment reasons, so it sounds like it could be a 1031 exchange, Evan Fox, tax manager at New York accounting firm Berdon, told CNBC. I think its a stretch.

According to the current tax framework, Americans need to self report their bitcoin trading profits and calculate their dues according to their tax brackets. Selling after holding the asset for less than a year qualifies as a short term investment and is taxed between 10% to 39.6%. Selling bitcoin after holding for over a year is qualified as a long-term investment and taxed up to 20%. Conveniently, if you traded over $20,000 with Coinbase the IRS already has your records.

If you put money into the cryptocurrency space, and you decide to buy (an altcoin), and you one day monetize it and show up with a $2 million house, the IRS is not stupid, Fox said. Money doesnt just appear out of nowhere.

The IRS can also decide to audit someones tax going up to three years back and is known to use the services of Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis specialist, to hunt down bitcoin users for evading taxes.

If a few years from now the IRS is able to decode what happened, and you made a significant amount of money in 2017 and didnt report it, youll face interest and penalties that have been accruing, Fox explained. It might be a risk some people want to take, but there are some bad consequences if you get caught.

Could tax authorities crack down on altcoin exchanges to make sure investors arent hiding bitcoin gains? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Want to create your own secure cold storage bitcoin paper wallet? Check our tools section.

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Buy or Sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, Altcoin Multi Crypto Currency …

Zecoex, as with some other exchanges, started with the promoters getting besotted with bitcoins and wanting to buy some. But we had no idea what bitcoin was and how it worked. We could never place reliance on any other exchange with so many horror stories, so we decided to buy our first bitcoin and start building our own technical expertise on blockchain, and transactions.

We read and read and read, and came to the conclusion that our dear world wide web confused us more, read more… and clarified so little. Our inquisite minds then went on to download various cores, and explore transactions on the core. We hired some developers and ask them to play around with our bitcoin (yes, one split into as many fractions as permissible in satoshis after paying the network fees). All of us read together under the lamp with some article from the net in our hand. And then we started experimenting.

It did work for us. We not only understood how the blockchain worked and behaved, how to transact with wallets and open source codes, how to transact directly with the cores, how to arrive at fool proof methods of keeping our coins secure and transacting with them.

This entire expertise is at your disposal.

We will shortly launch our own hardware wallets, and start a development thread. We are hoping to catch hold of some clients to pay us mega bucks for building some custom solution for them on blockchain. But till the time we get there, feel free to interact with our engineers who are eager to pass on this knowledge, and help you resolve your technical queries, whether they are complex, or straight forward.

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Internet Security Administrator: Job Description and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a Internet security administrator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

Internet security administrators are the security professionals who specialize in protecting businesses from cyber attacks on their computer systems from hackers and viruses. They will typically have a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer science though their background in computer security is equally important. With businesses becoming more and more reliant on computer technology, the need for internet security administrators are on the rise with an expected growth rate of 18 percent for the next decade.

Internet security administrators are responsible for protecting computer systems against attack. Due to an increasing number of cyber attacks on computer systems, this industry has grown, and Internet security administrators are in higher demand. Although most security administrators hold bachelor’s degrees, in this field, a combination of professional experience, knowledge of internet and network systems, and industry certifications often outweigh formal education credentials.

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Internet security administrators are also known as computer security specialists, network security analysts or Internet security specialists. The security administrator handles all aspects of information security. They teach others about computer security, check for security violations, install protection software and take action against cyber attacks. In some cases, an Internet security administrator may provide evidence of a cyber attack to prosecute individuals for breaching security.

Security administrators are known for their communication skills, as well as their ability to detect and analyze problems. Once a problem is detected, Internet security administrators are expected to quickly and accurately find a solution.

Most Internet security administrators work full-time. They are sometimes asked to work on-call in case of an emergency. Since data security threats continue to be of concern, employment opportunities for information security analysts are expected to grow a faster-than-average 18% from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS further states that most of these professionals made between $51,280 and $143,770 per year in 2015.

Usually Internet security administrator positions require a bachelor’s degree, but not necessarily in a related field. Common majors found in the field may include information technology, computer science and information systems. Although a bachelor’s degree is beneficial, some employers may not require one. Many employers may find work experience and certification sufficient for many entry-level positions.

Certification is viewed as an industry standard. Internet security administrators are expected to stay up-to-date with current technology, so continuing education is also important. Individuals can find certification and continuing education courses on a variety of topics including:

Internet security administrators are security professionals who specialize in providing companies guidance on their internal security procedures and detect any weaknesses in their computer network that make them vulnerable to cyber attacks. While there are degrees offered in information technology and information systems, interested individuals who can also pursue certifications that keep them up-to-date with current technology. This is a growing industry where those employed can earn a possible salary anywhere between $51,280 to $143,770 a year.

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Top 10 Cheap Antivirus and Internet Security Protection for …

written by: Donna Buenaventuraedited by: Aaron R.updated: 11/30/2010

An ideal antivirus and Internet security package should not only offer good protection against malware but should also meet your budget. Homes and offices often have more than one computers, so it’s a good idea to find the best cheap antivirus and Internet security programs available.

Never buy antivirus or Internet security programs that are too expensive, because there’s plenty of cheap antivirus and Internet security software to consider. Free security software is unbeatable, but some home or office users prefer using commercial Internet security solutions. That is because paid security software includes almost complete protection and maintenance tools.

Internet security suites do not only offer protection against viruses, Trojans, worms, adware, spyware, rootkit, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and other malware, but also provide two-way firewall protection, anti-spam, e-mail scanners and identity protection. Some security vendors also offers free online backup.

I’ve compared the prices of several antivirus and Internet security program of 2010 and 2011 below. Take a look at the list of cheap antivirus and Internet security to see your options.

Below are the top 5 inexpensive security software packages for 3 PCs that you should consider evaluating before purchasing. Read the reviews by Bright Hub writers to learn more about the product features.

The top 5 cheap Internet security software for a single computer are provided by the following vendors:

Note that all of the above Internet security program provide good protection and have received certifications from several antivirus testing laboratories.

There’s also cheap antivirus programs to check out, if you prefer using standalone virus protection for Windows without limitations on functionality:

NOD32, Avira AntiVir, BitDefender, Norton Antivirus and Kaspersky often received a high or advanced rating in malware testing reports. Avast is a powerful antivirus and its’ boot-time scan is a plus when cleaning malware. Note only that Kaspersky antivirus is known to use a lot of memory during a scan. Norton Antivirus seldom provides false detection which is why it’s one of the favorites for home users.

Remember to check the product information at the vendors’ website for the latest information. Also, don’t forget that the price should not matter, if you want to secure important data and valuable information from hackers and malware.

Image credits: US Dollar symbol http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dollar_symbol_gold.svg By Rugby471 (Own work)[see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons. Screenshots taken by the author.

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