ICT Teachers' Association of Uganda (ITAU)

How to Protect Your Computer Without An Antivirus

Most of the times you take your computer for repair is due to malfunction in the operating system. It is when the computer slows down or some files cannot open that one realizes that they must be a victim of unwanted software. This software that could be causing havoc in your system is what we commonly know as a VIRUS.

To counter such behavior, the most common solution is installing an antivirus. The market is awash with all kinds of antiviruses each promising total protection against these unwanted visitors in our computers. Choosing the ‘best’ becomes tricky to the un-initiated but equally hard for the experts.

The level of protection promised by a particular antivirus makes you even more confused. Take the example of Kaspersky which offers protection in 4 levels i.e. Free, Essential Protection,  Premium Protection and Total Security.

The mere fact that Kaspersky recommends Total Security clearly tells you that the Free, Essential and Premium levels of protection will still allow some intrusion.

The prices are also another confusing factor. Take for example the price differences in Kaspersky’s protection levels. The simplest paid protection will cost you 39.5 USD (About 150,000 UGX) versus the Total Security which goes for  79.95 USD (About 300,000 UGX).  As if price isn’t confusing enough, what some antiviruses do is setting different prices for different markets. You will find an antivirus clearly labelled “For sale in EMEA countries.” These and more make the choice of antivirus tricky.

In my experience, even with the highest level of protection by these antiviruses, computers still suffer virus attacks and in some cases serious attacks that render you system and files useless. In most cases, we as technicians simply do a clean install of the operating system and wait for the next attack on your PC.

I have come to conclude that any antivirus is only as good as the user. Even with the most expensive antivirus, without updates, you are prone to attacks. Even with the most effective antivirus, when you disable it knowingly or unknowingly, your PC will get infected.

Solution? Deep Freeze
After a decade of offering technical support in schools, organisations and to individuals, the most effective solution I have come across is Deep Freeze. E-zone Internet Café in Nabbingo, Mountains of Hope Children Ministries in Mpigi and Trinity College Nabbingo are just a few of the places where I have used Deep Freeze. And in my experience, I have never been disappointed.

As a Lab Technician at St. peter’s SSS Nsambya, I protected my computer lab with Deep Freeze ensuring an always fresh and new feel on the PCs every day of my 6 years there.

Deep Freeze also has the extra advantage of protecting your system settings eg. Backgrounds, Download locations, Browser settings, Microsoft Office settings and so on.

How it works
Deep Freeze employs a reboot-to-restore approach where your computer is restored to its original state after every restart.

What you do, install a fresh copy of windows and all the software you hope to use. In an Internet café, software like browsers, Timing Software, OCR software, Office software, Picture tools, zipping software and so on are some of the software you must have installed.

After all the settings are done, install Deep Freeze and lock the system partition. Anytime the computer runs into problems, simply restart your PC and all will be restored to the original form. According to their website, Deep Freeze is “captures and secures the pristine system configuration. The new data that enters into the device is redirected to a separate partition. Every time the device is restarted, the redirected data is ignored and the original configuration is referenced. Hence, the system is restored to its original state each time you reboot the operating system. Therefore, irrespective of any system error, all you need to do is restart the device to get rid of all the issues.”

So, next time you think of complete system protection, look beyond that antivirus. You can download Deep Freeze here and give it a try before you buy.

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Stephen Dumba
E-zone School of Computing
+256-772111223 / +256-752111223