ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Multi-layer Computer Security for Free

Updated on August 26, 2012


Most computer users know they need to have some sort of anti-virus software on their computer. However, most people don't realize that what they really need is a multi-layer protection scheme for their computing environment.

If you think of your personal information and data as your expensive jewelry which you keep in a safe at home when you aren't using them, the multi-layer security would something like this:

  • Sensors for your windows and doors; if someone breaks into your house through one of those entry points, the alarm will sound.
  • If a burglar was able to get in somehow, motion sensors inside the house would detect them and sound the alarm.
  • The location of your safe would not be somewhere obvious and as such, a burglar may not find it right away.
  • If the burglar finds the safe, he would have to know its combination in order to get what's inside.

This is the same concept we can apply when protecting your personal data, and thus your computer from the dangers of the Internet.

It only takes one bad thing to get through and your computer and your personal data are toast!

If you want to know how you can establish a multi-layer security fence around your computer, then you are in luck. This article will let you in on a very well kept secret most geeks use to protect their computer at little to no cost!

How They Get In

There are many ways (what the security industry calls attack vectors) malware, virus, trojan, fake anti-virus can infect your machine. It is always through one of the many ways your computer gets data:

  • Infected flash/thumb drive through the USB ports of your computer
  • Email attachments, or bad links
  • Internet browser through an infected site
  • Just being connected to the Internet with other computers that may be infected that are infecting you as well.

Because there are many attack vectors, you need different tools that can help cover those ways in. There is no one solution that can handle them all well. This is why a multi-layered solution is needed.

Computer Protection and Virus Removal Tools

We don't really want to complicate matters any more than it already is.

As such, the solutions presented here discusses four very solid and free tools available for Windows computers. They are:

  • Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool,
  • Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).
  • MalwareBytes, and
  • OpenDNS Home.

These tools, when employed together, will provide you with the best computer virus protection for free, and provide malware, scareware, and trojan protection as well. And if for some reason your computer gets infected, they provide you with the best virus removal software and the best malware removal tools for free!

I've personally used each of the tools listed to help protect and clean my computer of those nasty infections.

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool

The Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (or MS Removal Tool for short) is really a tool you can run to make sure your computer is free of most malicious software known to Microsoft. I run it periodically to clean my computer of malicious software.

Note that Microsoft periodically updates this tool to ensure it knows of the latest malicious software. As such, you may want to periodically check for updates.

Microsoft Security Essentials

For general virus/malware protection I personally use Microsoft Security Essentials or MSE for short. It's free, simple, and it works--who else better to track down Microsoft operating system or related virus or malware than the folks who make Windows.

If your computer has a virus (or viruses, or is it virii?), MSE can detect and remove them. It is so simple to use that it can remove a virus from your computer by default; however, if it cannot remove it, it quarantines it.

Is MSE the best virus removal tool out there? Can it remove trojan virus? It is hard to tell, but I've used it for years and it hasn't let me down yet. It can remove trojan class virus that it knows about; and fortunately for me, I never had to do trojan virus removal for all the times I've had MSE.

MalwareBytes Free

For finding and catching those tough to remove fake antivirus and other ad-based crap, MalwareBytes Free does the job. It compliments MSE and the MS Removal Tool.

There is a paid version; however, the free version does the job. The difference between them is that the paid version will do real-time detection of infections, while the free requires you to do periodic scans before detecting the infection. I use it when I catch those scareware fake antivirus that MSE or Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool fail to detect and remove.

You know you've caught a fake anti-virus when you have something popping up that isn't MSE, and is telling you that your computer is infected with all kinds of virus. Fake antivirus can really screw your computer up. If this happens to you, it is best to shutdown your computer and go into Windows Safe Mode before running MalwareBytes.

If you decide you want to get the paid version of MalwareBytes, it only costs a few bucks at I purchased the lifetime version; pay once and get a lifetime of updates. I personally think MalwareBytes is the best malware removal and detection tool out there.

OpenDNS Home

To keep from ending up at bad or malicious sites, I use OpenDNS Home. This tool doesn't really install on your computer. It is a service.

You need to sign up for it, and you do have to make some minor network configuration changes to your DNS settings. This tool can really help prevent you from ending up on bad sites (e.g. sites that try to steal your identity or your accounts), as well as keep you from ending up at adult sites. This is great if you have kids.

It has built-in phishing and identity theft protection. So this can help you from accidentally clicking on some bogus link in your email that you thought was legit.

Which antivirus solution do you use to protect your computer?

See results


By this time, you should realize that one solution will not protect your computer (and thus your personal data) from the bad things that come from the Internet.

You need a multi-layer computer security approach.

Having Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool, Microsoft Security Essentials, MalwareBytes, and OpenDNS Home can take you in the right direction towards a more safe and secure computer experience.

Learn More About Computer Security has a big book selection on computer security. Below are some that may interest you.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • forlanda profile imageAUTHOR

      Juancho Forlanda 

      5 years ago from US of A

      Snlee, you're welcome. Thanks for stopping by to read.

    • snlee profile image


      5 years ago from Asia Pacific Regions

      Useful security information! Thanks


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)