SOURCE: BitDefender


August 10, 2009 09:07 ET

What Every Student -- and Parent -- Should Know When Buying a Laptop for College

School Environments Require Proactive Antivirus Protection, According to BitDefender

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - August 10, 2009) - With back-to-school season right around the corner, many parents and college students are already buying their classroom essentials, including new laptops. Before hitting the books this fall, BitDefender, an award-winning provider of innovative anti-malware security solutions, points out the importance of having a good security solution in place, for old and new laptops alike.

"In a college environment, where students are plugging into a large network and relying on their laptop (or computer) for a lot of different purposes -- searching the internet, downloading files, file sharing, etc. -- a sound security solution is especially important," said Vlad Valceanu, BitDefender's head of antispam research. "All these actions put laptop security at risk."

BitDefender recommends that when choosing a security solution to curb e-threats, students and parents should keep a few things in mind.

Detection Rates -- The most important thing to check when deciding on a security suite is the detection rate. These are covered by various independent testing and analysis companies like whose test results offer a solid range of options to start from.

Laptop Mode -- Second of all, since most students will purchase laptops rather than desktops, they should make sure the security suite has a predefined mode for running on battery power. It should be able to switch automatically to laptop mode when the power cable is unplugged in order to save energy and valuable resources.

Features Range -- Students continuously exchange information with each other. It's either school project related information, games or software which come on USB sticks, CDs or DVDs. These are often malware carriers and security suites should be able to detect and block attempts of infection from these sources. A firewall, spam and phishing filter and privacy control should also be present to give the suite an additional protective layer.

Usability and Obtrusiveness -- After narrowing the list a little, students should make sure they can easily use and configure the suite. They can either check a couple of online reviews or test the trial version of the products where available. They should be able to set what actions are performed by the security suite when infected or suspicious files are detected, easily allow an application to connect to the Internet when no firewall rules are yet created, or be safely redirected from a fake website to avoid phishing attacks. The security suite should have a generous white-list of applications to make life even easier and reduce the need for interaction. The interface should be easy to use and understand for both advanced and novice users.

"These capabilities in an antivirus security solution, coupled with common sense precautions like not opening emails from unknown senders, or clicking on a link that they are unsure of, can protect a computer from attacks," Valceanu added. For more information on how to protect your computer, download our "Ten Commandments for your Computer Sanity."

About BitDefender®

BitDefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Since its inception in 2001, BitDefender has continued to raise the bar and set new standards in proactive threat prevention, emerging as the industry's anti-malware innovator. Every day, BitDefender protects tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe -- giving them the peace of mind of knowing that their digital experiences will be secure. BitDefender solutions are distributed by a global network of value-added distribution and reseller partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. More information about BitDefender and its products are available at the company's security solutions press room. Additionally, BitDefender's provides background and the latest updates on security threats helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.