Track Your Employee Holidays With Time Attendance Software

In any company, the employees are the crucial workforce and the strength of the enterprise. It becomes important for the human resources department to track the work record of each and every official. Irrespective of the size of the firm, a company needs to gather resources to streamline its employees’ records. These include all the information like payrolls, date of birth, date of joining, incentives, the area of work and number of leaves they are entitled. A time tracking software builds the core of employee management, focusing on the key issues of work schedule.

A time tracking software helps to solve a range of employee tracking issues and creates a uniform database, which enables the management to fill all the information like daily wages, performance appraisal and pay overtime whenever required.

It even helps to sort out daily functions and specified roles of the employees by the company. Large enterprises usually assign this work to first payroll processing organizations, who take care of the company’s random time-based schedules.

The biggest benefit of these digital systems is that they eliminate the need for manual time cards. All of the time is collected electronically, with the calculations are done for you. This reduces down on the chances of errors made. Another positive is that these systems manage all your time needs – employee attendance, paid time off and scheduling – in one program.

1. Financial gains

A time attendance system provides advanced tracking for job-costing and labor distribution. It also provides enhanced views of the organization’s key performance indicators, including hours and wages, employee counts and scheduled/working status.

2. Saves money

This software helps to have a detailed look at labour costs and how it can be used as a cost-saving tool. Businesses can save up to 5 percent of their payroll costs by automating their time and attendance system.

3. Real-time information

A time tracking software creates real-time information, giving a clear picture of the number of hours for which an employee is logged in.

4. Employee satisfaction

This monitoring process are completely compatible not just for employees, but managers, payroll staff, human resources professionals and owners as well. Inaccurate and slow payroll, manual and error-prone duplicate entry and the inability to track performance, labor costs, job-costing and financials is frustrating for everyone within the company,” he said.

5. Employee access

Time tracking software also allows easy employee access, for employees to see how much paid time off they are left with and enable them to submit time-off requests.

6. Insurance Benefits

Many insurance companies ask for the employees total working hours to calculate insurance benefits.

No matter how efficient and dedicated an employee is, they are prone to commit errors while filing manual entries, work data and job codes. Time attendance software is a unique way to update a time sheet. Gone are the days when people used simple punch time clocks. Today’s time attendance machines are used various formats like fingerprints, facial scans, bar codes and punch cards. It features an enhanced cloud-based time tracking system that runs an integrated network for greater employee welfare and time management system.

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Using the Software Development Service for Flourishing Businesses

In the digital era small and big enterprises have engaged themselves to prosper by catching up with the current trends in its respective domain. Flowing with the current trends the processes and methodologies of businesses also keep on changing. By adhering to software development applications, organizations can gain access to IT practices while saving on internal resource investment and costs. These applications also enable the business to successfully accomplish the complex tasks, promote mobility in the work force and gain a differentiator in the competitive market.

Software can be developed for a variety of purposes, mostly to meet the specific needs of the clients and business or for the personal use. The need for the better controlling of software development process has given rise to the disciplines of software engineering and software services that aims for a systematic approach to increase the overall productivity. Several organizations now prefer to develop an in house department team due to the several factors like costs and time constraints in order to complete the transparency of work progress through regular project reports.
For setting up a software development team, many organizations need to undergo a long and tedious process of searching for the right software developers, analyzing, recruiting, induction, training and hosting of the other services that include the basic infrastructure of hardware and software and a project manager to lead the team and get the optimum benefits. It might often prove to be distracting for the right operation of business processes in an IT organization.

Nowadays businesses have shifted their focus on outsourcing their IT requirements to the third parties, thereby getting more time to implement new strategies to grow their business. It separates the business liabilities from the development tasks and provides them a peace of mind. As competitions have reached heights in these domains the use of custom software development services have become affordable and easily accessible to the nearby enterprises. These services promote timelines as the updates are always on time and due to the updating and upgrading one does not have to uninstall or reinstall the software and remove all the other process that is time consuming.

Most of the software services provide standard solutions by addressing the general problems of any industry, but do not address to meet the unique requirements of the business, whereas custom services not only address the general needs but meets the unique demands as well. These services also focus on building healthy relationships with their clients by providing excellent software solutions with excellent products. Moreover, custom software is highly cost effective since most of the upgrades and updates are free of cost so no one can match their cost effectiveness. Also the updating and upgrading enhances the performance.

Attributing to the increasing role of outsourcing of software development services, organizations include the best communication tools and standards for updating the clients on the progress of their respective projects, regular track reports and a willingness to accepting the valuable advice needed for refining the process of designing and developing.

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Customer Relationship Management Software

What is CRM Software?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. CRM is a software which streamlines the process in an organisation. Building and maintaining a positive relationships with the customers is of prime importance. It is very important for the business to know and understand what the customer needs to stay ahead in the competition. CRM software lets you manage your leads i.e. your future/prospect customers, and vendors by tracking their activities.

Advantage of implementing CRM software

Task Management: Meeting deadlines is imperative in today’s business world. By inputting data like scheduled appointments and important tasks, it removes the guesswork out from the picture. Numerous stages additionally permit this information to be adjusted with a schedule to keep you educated of up and coming assignments and due dates.

For example, in the event that you have a business call booked with a profitable lead, CRM programming would send you an email ahead of time so you recollect to decide. At whatever point a client has an up and coming birthday, you or a business rep would be told so you expeditiously convey birthday wishes. Subsequently, you can make clients feel more esteemed and manufacture further connections.

Along these lines you can juggle the majority of your assignments while guaranteeing that every client gets the consideration they need and nothing is overlooked.

Sales Management: In the event that you have amassed a group of offers reps, it’s essential to monitor their advance and know exactly how successful they are at sustaining leads and bringing deals to a close. Utilizing this sort of programming will give a firsthand investigate every colleague’s business insights, including data like normal lead contact time, errand finish time and change rate. Along these lines you can compensate the top entertainers and mentor people who require some additional offer assistance.

After some time, your business office ought to work like a very much oiled machine where deals are amplified.

More Selling Opportunities: As data on clients amasses, it’s regular for more chances to present themselves. For instance, monitoring a specific client’s purchasing examples would make it clear what they are most inspired by.

At the point when propelling another item that is comparative, you could reach that client and let them know. Thus, this makes it conceivable to expand deals without having to continually publicize to new clients.

By benefiting from a current client base, you can get more rehash deals while keeping clients cheerful

Social Media Integration: Another element that most stages offer is the capacity to coordinate with web-based social networking systems like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. This can have real focal points since it permits organizations to track all parts of their web-based social networking effort. For instance, entrepreneurs can recognize which systems are bringing about the most movement, what devotees are saying in regards to their image and the general client encounter. As patterns develop, changes can be made so you take full advantage of your endeavors and help your image’s nearness over the Web.

Since we know the advantages of CRM programming, how about we discuss how to locate the perfect item for your business.

Determine Individual Needs: Before looking at any items, it’s imperative to have a reasonable thought of what you are attempting to accomplish.

As indicated by Michael Krigsman, CEO of Asuret: “You have to get a bundle that is custom fitted to your organization’s size. At the most essential level you have straightforward contact administration. At that point you have contact administration with a common database. You can have deals following or opportunity following or client benefit usefulness. Coordinate the abilities of the product with what your business objectives are.”

In the wake of distinguishing particular needs, it ought to be simpler to pick an appropriate programming stage.

Scalability: Other than prompt needs, it’s vital to consider long haul needs and consider future development. That is the reason programming that is sufficiently adaptable is so basic. In a perfect world, a stage will be Cloud-based to suit expanded information stockpiling and more contacts as they are obtained. It will likewise have the choice to advantageously buy overhauls as required.

Something else, getting bolted into a long contract with a merchant with constrained adaptability can be impeding to your endeavours.

Support System: Regardless of the possibility that you’re technically knowledgeable, it’s not generally simple to make sense of the majority of the segments and components of a CRM stage. Subsequently, a far reaching emotionally supportive network with simple access to specialists can spare you from a considerable measure of cerebral pains amid the move and a while later. This may incorporate telephone bolster, online visit and email correspondence to determine issues.

While 9 to 5 support is useful amid the normal hours of the week’s worth of work, it’s best to have every minute of every day bolster if there should arise an occurrence of a crisis at an odd time of day.

Stability: Finally, the seller you pick ought to have a positive notoriety for giving a quality item and expert administration. This ought to diminish the likelihood of jumping boat and discover another CRM programming supplier later on. As a rule, the more they have been doing business, the better.

10 Important Points to Consider to Launch Your First Ecommerce Website

A number of studies have shown that a large percentage of modern users prefer mobile commerce apps to ecommerce websites. Hence, your ecommerce website must deliver optimal user experience to beat competition and mobile commerce. You have to consider several factors to make the web store keep visitors engaged and seduce them to buy the products/services. In addition focusing the look, feel, features, and functionality of the website, you also need to explore ways to optimize its user experience. To optimize the user experience delivered by the website, you need to enhance its accessibility, usability, security, credibility and search engine visibility.

10 Points to Consider while Launching Your First Ecommerce Website

1) User

While planning and developing your first ecommerce website, you must focus extensively on the users and their choices. You must remember that a web store does not allow customers to touch, feel or smell the products physically. Hence, you must keep the users engaged by making their shopping experience fast and hassle-free. You can always keep the visitors engaged by offering products at discounted prices, providing free shipping, and keeping the shopping and checkout process simple.

2) Design

You also need to focus on the design and user interface of the ecommerce website to impress and engage visitors effectively. Unlike established brands, you need to explore ways to gain the trust and confidence of visitors. Hence, you have to include a number of elements in the website design – a recognizable logo, shopping deals, product options, product review and testimonials, and call to action. At the same time, you need to ensure that the look and feel of the ecommerce website is both intuitive enough to keep the purchase process simple and straightforward.

3) Mobile Optimization

As mentioned earlier, a large percentage of modern users prefer mcommerce apps to ecommerce websites. Likewise, most people nowadays access ecommerce websites on their smartphones, tablets or phablets. Hence, you need to ensure that the ecommerce website delivers optimal user experience on both computers and mobile devices. You can always opt for responsive web design to make the web store look good on each device with a single code base. The mobile optimization will further enhance the website’s visibility on major search engine results pages (SERPs).

4) Social Elements

You need to include many social elements in the ecommerce website to impress the users. The users must have option to share the products purchased from your web store with their friends through popular social networks. Also, the social elements will help users to promote your new ecommerce website and enhance its popularity. You can even use the social elements as an efficient tool to gather information about customers and track their behaviour.

5) Search Box

No ecommerce site can display all its products on a single page. But you can always impress visitors by displaying branded goods to the visitors initially. Also, you must allow customers to check your products based on specific criterions or categories. The website must allow visitors to search and find the relevant products without any delay or hassle. Hence, you need to ensure that your ecommerce site includes a robust search box. The search box will enable users to find a specific product and buy it directly, without browsing through an array of products.

6) Shopping Cart

Your choice of shopping cart will have a direct impact on the user experience delivered by the ecommerce portal. You have option to choose from an array of open source and commercial shopping carts written in different programming languages. But you must opt for a shopping cart software that enables users to check their previous and current purchases quickly and conveniently. Also, the shopping cart must allow users to add or remove items without any hassle. At the same time, you also need to enhance the accessibility and visibility of the shopping cart by using the commonly used simple basket icon.

7) Payment Options

The choice of online payment option varies from one customer to another. Some customers prefer making payment through their debit/credit cards or internet banking facility, while others opt for popular online payment options like PayPal and digital wallets. Hence, you need to ensure that each customer can make payment for the products purchased by him with any payment option. At the same time, you also need to keep the online payment and financial transactions of customers secure by using a reliable payment gateway and the latest encryption techniques.

8) Trust Marks

You must remember that a large percentage of people are sceptical about new ecommerce websites. Hence, you must explore ways to enhance the ecommerce website’s credibility and win the trust of customers. In addition to including robust security features in the web store, you also need to display the accreditation certificates and trust marks of reputed brands. The trust marks and accreditation certificates will enhance the credibility of your newly launched web store. The trust marks will further assure customers that their personal data will remain private and online transactions will remain 100% secure.

9) Option to Answer Pre-Sale and Post-Sale Questions

While buying products from a new ecommerce website, users often ask a variety of question before and after the purchase. Hence, you must answer the pre-sale and post-sale questions of customers immediately increase your sales and revenue. Like other websites, you can answer the pre-sale and post-sale questions of customers through either online chat or phone call. But the customer must be able to see the options available to clear his doubts and answer his questions. You need to ensure that the phone number or online chat option is clearly visible to each customer. Also, you must deploy skilled customer care executive to answer the pre-sale questions of website visitors appropriately and convert them into customers.

10) Search Engine Visibility

You can easily divert regular search engine traffic to the ecommerce website by complying with the guidelines recommended by popular search engines like Google and Bing. For instance, Google ranks websites based on metrics like mobile friendliness and load time. Also, it recommends entrepreneurs to build web stores with responsive web design. While planning the ecommerce website, you must keep in mind the guidelines and recommendations of major online search engines. The search engine optimized design will help you to get regular website visitors without launching expensive digital marketing campaigns in future.

You further need to assess all important aspects – user interface, functionality, performance, usability, security, and user experience – during the ecommerce website development phase itself to make it popular within a shorter amount of time. You can even consider investing in analytics tools to understand the behaviour and preferences of website visitors based on real-time information collected from various sources. However, it is also important to update your ecommerce website consistently to meet the emerging technologies, industry trends and customer preferences.

Artificial Intelligence Doesn’t Need Consciousness Or Mindfulness To Be Creative

Most folks still believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will never surpass human creativity, but those views are fairly species-centric and full of poor thinking. Sorry to offend you but we have AI today already that can do original painting, music, and are on the cusp of coming up with entirely new concepts – using much the same technique as humans – borrowing a little bit from many categories and synthesizing that information to come up unique insight. Let’s talk, I’d like to take this conversation to a higher level if you will permit me, if not click out and go read about some celebrity’s Tweet of the Day.

Okay so, we all know that when we come up with new ideas, it’s usually because we bring something from one domain or industry and apply it somewhere else, presenting a ‘new way’ to solve a problem. Through trial-and-error we get better at this, until eventually we realize that we can better nearly any system or way of doing things and make our efforts more efficient. Those who fail at this too much, tend to go back and do everything by the ‘approved method’ until eventually we are imprisoned by the entrenched authority to the point that we stop asking questions or challenging experts. Maybe this is why younger people, especially children are more creative than older humans.

This process of taking information, methods, and/or observations from one endeavor to the next isn’t a difficult idea to comprehend, and it is in fact a method in and of itself. Therefore, it is teachable, or should I say ‘programmable’ into software using rules:

(1) Scan all information combine solutions from any or all categories, industries, sciences and come up with possible alternative solutions.
(2) Evaluate all possible alternative options or solutions.
(3) Choose the top 3 potential best options for efficiency, cost, weight, time, or other parameters.
(4) Pick the best option and implement.

Although that sounds rather technical, and less creative than a human mind might come up with solutions or original concepts, essentially, that equals creativity, or at least the very near appearance of creativity when viewing and considering the final output.

Let me give you an example of how we could use the AI super computer “Watson” by IBM to do this, using the “Jeopardy” strategy – step-by-step:

(A) First, have the Super Computer put together every possible English word in every possible combination.
(B) Second, ask Watson what each combination means.
(C) Third, have Watson give us a % of correctness it believes each definition is.
(D) Forth, throw away anything less than 50% estimated correctness.
(E) Fifth, crowdsource ‘all of the answers’ to be read by humans for potential ‘original concepts’.

In doing this we will have come up with the 100s of 1000s of new ideas for humankind. Totally creative resultants, using AI, and we will have done it, almost immediately. Imagine that level of AI ability, imagine the innovative disruption, and understand no Think Tank or group of humans could ever compete with that, but with human review of the resultants, that is to say AI Super Computer + Human Review – we can. Don’t Hesitate, Be Great.

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Using AngularJS to Create Awesome Web Applications

Angular JS Makes Web Applications Work More Efficiently
AngularJS is good news for developers because it creates a more efficiently development workflow through logical and flexible methods. For example, it makes a developer divide up their application model view controller (MVC) into components, and then AngularJS manages the interaction of those components, removing the need to write code to make the components interact together. It also has a number of systems to make life easier when writing web applications, including data binding (so that when information changes on the system it is reflected in all of the application); it has built in support for AJAX queries.

AngularJS Extends the Functionality of a Web Page
AngularJS makes web pages into highly functional and adaptable web pages. These means that user experience can be greatly enhanced by the use of AngularJS and its scope for practical implementation in uses such as enterprise solutions is vast. Multiple users can log into a web page and access functions such as ordering, purchasing, e-commerce solutions, requesting information and also providing information.

Integration with Server Technology
All the application interaction happens within the web browser, making it ideal for use for interaction with server technologies. It also makes applications independent of the platform that they are used on. Creating AngularJS apps means that they can be utilised across any number of browsers including Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Opera. They can also be accessed independent of the operating system or type of hardware used to run the software. This means that web applications written in AngularJS can be run on an iPad or a Google Android tablet, or on a Linux, Windows or OS X system. This makes access highly effective and also frees all the users to be in any given geographic location.

How to Implement AngularJS in Your Web Application
You will first need to set up your development environment to build AngularJS applications, by installing AngularJS using Git and also NodeJS. It is best to utilise a web server to make AngularJS requests, so you will need to configure your server accordingly. For more information on how to do this, look at tutorials on how to configure the JSON package to operate using https requests on remote servers. You will need to use Karma and Protractor to test that end to end requests are working, and then you will be able to know that your web application will be configured to behave correctly.

Beginning Your AngularJS Web Application
All AngularJS programs are started from seed projects, and bootstrapped, this ensures that the basic framework is enacted in order to create the app to work properly in the browser environment. Setting up the seed project is the first procedure after configuring the web development server and the development environment. From there you can utilise a number of different templates that will help you to speed up your development process and have your application running up and quickly.

The Best-Rated Antivirus Programs of 2012

Computers have become such an indispensable and valuable part of our everyday experiences that we cannot seem to live without them. From logging into our social media accounts to conducting our business transactions, computers make such tasks possible. With this rapid pace of growth, however, comes the ever-increasing threat that malicious software such as viruses poses to unwary computer users. They have reached levels of sophistication unheard of before, so much that more efforts are spent to counter them. Fortunately for us, there are software manufacturers who are always working on giving us antivirus programs of better quality and service, and have consistently ranked on the top of the best antivirus reviews. Presented below is a short list of the top-ranked antivirus software available today.

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The Vipre Antivirus is a relative newcomer in the antivirus category and it has not garnered the general following that is being enjoyed by the other more established antivirus programs. Nevertheless, it has proven to be as capable of eliminating virus infections. It handles itself well as it goes through the three general tasks of antivirus protection, namely, deterrence, discovery, and removal. It will not cause your computer to bog down. However, it may take you some effort to install it in your computer but once you have completed the process, just reboot your PC and you’re good to go.

The BitDefender Antivirus Pro, meanwhile, features remote network administration and interception of pre-determined user information. It is easy to use and offers you beginner, medium-level, and professional-grade utilities in its antivirus arsenal. It runs discreetly as you work with your computer and it leaves PC processes untouched. These features have enabled BitDefender to be included in the best antivirus reviews for last year.

The McAfee Antivirus is well-known as one of the first antivirus programs to be offered commercially. Throughout the years, the company that makes it has strived to offer the best that can be found in antivirus software. It is so fast that when it detects viruses, it works to intercept them to within a millionth part of a second. It is 8 times quicker than its previous incarnation and it gives you more security from dangerous Internet sites than other comparable antivirus software. Despite it being a little sluggish compared to other competing antivirus programs, it is still included in the best antivirus reviews of 2012.

Like its competitor the McAfee Antivirus, the Norton Antivirus 2012 is the product of another trailblazing antivirus manufacturing company. It is noted for offering a comparatively broader area of antivirus security and attributes. This high grade of protection is augmented by continuous updating and any kind of spurious activity is checked by its SONIC 3 behavioral safeguard.

The Avast Pro Antivirus is another highly-recommended antivirus product that has gained renown due to the effective security that it offers against viruses and other types of malware. You will find it suitable in handling most kinds of malware such as viruses, spyware, and Trojan horses.

The Kaspersky Antivirus is considered to be one of the best antivirus products sold today. It works actively to shield your PC from commonplace malware as well as those that are recently developed and discovered, malware that comparable antivirus software would find difficult to identify. Its 2012 version offers a desktop utility that is easy and quick for you to use; it also can check Internet sites and emailed messages for any hint of malicious information.

Finally, the ESET NOD Antivirus 4 is a dependable antivirus product that can guard your PC from most threats. It gives you real time protection as you surf the Internet and makes sure that your PC runs at optimum levels.

So the next time that you need to buy or download an antivirus program, consider these well-regarded products. Having them listed in the best antivirus reviews for 2012 will mean that you will not go wrong with your choice of any of them.

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How to Choose An Antivirus Program

It is quite possible you are inundated on a daily basis with spam mail and unwanted pop-ups which advertise the latest in spy-ware and antivirus protection. As un-amusing and counterintuitive as it may be, competition and the effective differences between competing antivirus application developers is so tight, that even the manufactures of antivirus programs are willing to exploit your computers weaknesses to advertise their solutions.

The sheer size and efficiency of the internet as well its billion-plus users makes new computer viruses more dangerous and virulent than ever. Viruses can literally spread around the globe in only minutes, effecting thousands of unprotected and unprepared users and businesses virtually instantly and simultaneously. The need for antivirus protection is of paramount concern for virtually all PC users.

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First Things First: What IS a Computer Virus?

To be considered a true computer Virus, a program needs the ability to replicate itself and trigger its activity at specified events. A computer virus is just one of three types of programs known as “maliceware”. “Maliceware” are applications designed to damage, delete or steal your information, hijack your computer and even damage or destroy your computers hardware. The three types of “maliceware” you need to concern yourself with are Viruses, Trojans and Worms. Most antivirus programs are designed to detect and defend your PC from all three threats.

What Does an Antivirus Program Do?

Antivirus programs take two common approaches to recognize threats to your computer.

1. Signature Detection: Via Signature Detection an antivirus application scans your computer, drives and storage devices for files that contain a code it recognizes as a virus variant.

2. Activity: An antivirus application will monitor the activity on your computer for suspicious behaviors i.e. modification of system files or folders and unauthorized connections to the internet to name two.

Signature detection generally requires the manufacturer of an antivirus application to obtain a copy of a specific virus and then reverse-engineer it to obtain markers relevant to its programming. These markers are then loaded into your antivirus software via updates. Signature detection is a sound methodology for detecting and protecting against computer viruses, however it can be rendered useless when faced with a virus for which is has no definition.

Antivirus applications that scan for potential computer virus activity can be more useful at detecting the latest threats than those reliant on signature detection. It is important to note that because many applications perform the same activities as a virus – writing and changing system files for example – a user can quickly become inundated with numerous and unnecessary warnings by antivirus applications that utilize this method for detection.

Most of today’s “solid” antivirus programs utilize a combination of both signature detection and virus activity to protect your computer against threats.

How to Choose the Antivirus Program that is Right for You.

If you try surfing the web for insight into what is the best antivirus program or manufacturer, you will quickly find yourself neck deep in a sea of advertisements which profess themselves to be legitimate and impartial evaluators of the available programs. The truth is, of the major manufacturers, no one solution can provide for all of your potential needs. They all have instances where they are not as effective as the competition at detecting or eliminating a specific infection or threat. There are many good Antivirus applications and manufacturers all vying for your business, be it for personal or business use, and choosing the correct application or manufacturer for your computer security can generally come down to a few simple questions.

How at Risk are You?

Asking yourself this question is perhaps the first and most important step toward choosing what degree of protection you need, and how much money you are willing to spend, on Antivirus protection. Risk generally equates to your computers exposure to outside applications, files or connections. If you were to operate a computer that would never come into contact with any program or file not manufactured by a secure source, then you have virtually no need for an Antivirus application. Simply put, if you never plan to connect your computer to the internet, download files with it or upload “at risk” files from outside data sources, you should have no need for Antivirus software.

If you are a casual user who perhaps connects to the internet on occasion through a temporary or dial up connection and only download or upload files and programs from reasonably secure sources, your need for an antivirus program is clear, however, your risk may be minimal. In this situation the types and range of protective applications can be kept to a minimum; a basic antivirus program designed to regularly scan your hard drive for infections should offer you the protection that you need. There are many good antivirus programs that will fit this need available as shareware – a free download – throughout the internet.

Now, if you are like what I would consider to be the majority of today’s computer users, you are a high risk user and need a wide variety of the most up to date antivirus programs available. If you have a broadband internet connection which keeps your computer connected to the internet 24/7. If you regularly upload and download files and applications from random and un-trusted sources, you need to invest in very thorough security for your computer. High risk users should invest in an antivirus program that offers real time scanning of all incoming and outgoing connections or files, a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to your PC via an open broadband connection, a pop-up blocker that prevents your computers web browser from being hijacked and adware scanners that detect pop-up, spy-ware, tracking and redirection software.

Are you Purchasing for Business or Home?

Antivirus software manufactured for business and home can be two very different applications both in cost and effectiveness. Home versions generally cost less and come with fewer options than business based antivirus programs. Generally the home user does not need the added functionality built into business versions and as such, I would not recommend that a home user invest in an antivirus solution designed for business.

Good antivirus software designed for business is focused on security, both from external and internal threats, as well as ease of maintenance. Most corporate versions of antivirus applications allow for a central point of control over entire networks. Protection can be divided between internet or application servers and individual PCs. New software updates are generally “pushed” from a central application server through the entire network, allowing for simplicity and assure-ity of a network’s protection. Most times, corporate versions of antivirus applications do not allow individual users within a network to make changes to their protection settings; this is of key importance when considering overall network security and stability.

As a business purchasing a corporate class antivirus suite, it is important that your protection extends to each individual user that will access your network. Exchange/mail and internet server protection is a must, as well as protection for mission-critical file and application servers. It is a good rule of thumb for IT managers within corporate environments to assume that all their users will do everything within their power to infect corporate equipment with viruses and threats. Though this most certainly is not true, assuming that users know how to protect themselves or their corporate computer environment from infection is in most cases professional suicide for the IT manger in charge.

Antivirus software for business is generally loaded with more options than software built for home, and as such is often times much more expensive on a whole. Usually business antivirus programs come as a server based application. Clients, or additional licenses, are purchased for each computer or user that connects to the antivirus server.

With Regard to the Antivirus Program Itself:

Determining the true quality and effectiveness of an antivirus program can sometimes come down to how often the manufacturer releases updates to the program. New viruses are introduced to the web on most certainly a daily, if not hourly basis. The best antivirus manufacturers release updates on a daily basis and often offer updates to their programs on a real-time, as needed basis. The ability for an antivirus software manufacturer to release constant, and relevant, updates to their programs should be of great concern to the user. Not having the latest updates can almost be as dangerous as having no protection at all.

Other Important Factors to Consider:

1. The programs compatibility with your current set up and operating system? – If you are still using Windows 98 and you are purchasing an antivirus software manufactured in 2006, chances are it is not compatible with your computer.

2. How much in the way of system resources does the program use? – Just like all applications and operating systems, antivirus applications will use your computers processing power, memory and storage space to function. Keeping this use to a minimum will help to keep your computer operating at peak performance.

3. What kind of protection does the software offer? – Does the program offer protection against multiple threats such as Worms and Trojans? Will the program scan incoming and outgoing text messages and e-mails?

4. Cost – How much will the protection cost you over the life of your usage? – Most antivirus programs require that you subscribe to their service and then purchase updates on a yearly basis. The costs of these updates can vary widely between manufacturers and should be considered when making your final decision.

Answering these questions truthfully though an honest assessment of your PC usage will help to guarantee that you invest the proper amount of money and time into ensuring your PC and data are safe and secure.

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How to Performance Test Antivirus Suite Software Before You Buy

The computer market is full of antivirus software suites, stating that theirs is the best and promising you excellent detection results and safe surfing on the web. The only problem with some of this information is that it tends to be bias.

Either the reviews are written by an affiliate who receives a commission for each sale or the antivirus company itself provides its own promotional information to convince you to buy.

This article will provide you with the steps required to performance test any antivirus software suites that you may be interested in purchasing to run on your PC. The test results will provide you with real-time information about how the antivirus packages run on your PC, allowing you to make the right purchasing decision first time round.

 

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Preparation

Before you take the plunge and start testing your antivirus suites, you should give your PC a performance service with one of the many free utilities available online.

Advanced System Care is a good clean-up/tweak utility that will give your PC a deep clean with a simple one-click interface. Before running any clean-up program, make sure you have a current data backup. Once you have used Advanced System Care, you may leave it installed if it does not impact too much on your PC’s resources or just uninstall it.

As a side note, you can possibly help your computers performance as well by editing your system’s start-up file by using the ‘msconfig’ utility to disable any unnecessary auto start apps when your PC starts up. If you are not familiar with this process and are unsure as to what to disable then just use the Advanced System Care program.

Online Research

Although you can gather some useful information from the reviewer or the vendor’s website, it is always wise to check the online forums or read independent reviews about the product you are researching, which do not have a bias, prior to your purchase.

One recommended website that offers an unbiased review is av-comparatives.org and provides test results for many antivirus products.

The two test results of interest are the detection and removal results, as you will be doing your own performance testing to see how the antivirus suites affect your particular PC within its own hardware/software environment. The detection and removal results are displayed by clicking on the ‘comparatives’ tab on the main page of av-comparatives website.

Not Created Equal

The main reason for performance testing antivirus products is that not all antivirus packages are created equal when it comes to providing PC and web browsing protection, memory usage, background scanning speeds, virus detection and removal, etc.

Minimum Requirements

Antivirus suites should have at least the following modules:

* Antivirus
* Antirootkit
* Anti-Phising
* Antispyware
* Antimalware
* Antitrojan
* Antiworm
* Antispam
* Safe Browsing
* Firewall
* Real time monitoring
* Scheduled scanning
* Automatic definition updating

Create a Short List

You will need to create a short list of the antivirus packages available that fit the above criteria for downloading, based on your online research.

Online Antivirus Scan

If you do not have any antivirus software currently installed on your PC and you have been surfing the web, then I strongly suggest you scan your system with an online antivirus scanner before you download and install any trial antivirus suites.

To do this, just type in the Google search box “free online antivirus scanner” (without the quotes) and chose a well-known scanner such as Trend, AVG, Kaspersky, Comodo, McAfee or Eset then just follow the onscreen instructions to install the necessary software for the online scanner to run. Once the scan has completed and removed any infections, if any, then you are ready to download, install and start testing your trial antivirus suites.

Installed Antivirus Software

If you currently have any antivirus software already installed on your system then this must first be uninstalled completely and your system restarted before installing any trial antivirus packages.

Recommended Uninstaller Program

A good uninstaller program that is free is Revo Uninstaller. It does an excellent job of cleaning the registry of any leftover entries from your old antivirus program that its own uninstaller leaves behind.

To locate the uninstaller program just type into Google “free Revo Uninstaller” (without the quotes), then download and install it.

After you have downloaded and installed Revo Uninstaller, use it to uninstall your current antivirus program. Check pages 6-9 of the help guide by clicking on the help tab on the Revo Uninstaller menu bar to take you through the uninstall procedure.

If for some reason, when you go to install an antivirus trial and it will not install due to some leftover files from the previous antivirus program then download the previous installed antivirus programs removal utility from the vendor’s web site and run it.

N.B. Restart your computer after you have uninstalled the antivirus program.

System Resource Usage

The first and most important consideration when testing any antivirus suites is to note the amount of memory and computer resources it uses when running in the background and/or performing a scheduled scan, as this will be one of the deciding factors in your purchase.

Therefore, before installing any trial software you will need to check and note down how much memory and CPU resource is currently being used on your system, so you can compare it to the memory and CPU usage of your trial antivirus suites.

How to Check System Resource Usage

To check current memory and CPU usage on a Windows 7/Vista computer, right-click on the task bar (the task bar is the grey/blue bar at the bottom of your screen) then left-click on ‘start task manager’

To check current memory and CPU usage on a Windows XP/2000 computer, right- click on task bar (the task bar is the grey area at the bottom of your screen) then left-click on ‘start task manager’

Click on the “performance” tab within “windows task manager”. This screen shows memory and CPU usage of your computer.

Once you have noted the memory and CPU usage without the trial software installed on your system you can now go ahead and install the trial antivirus package.

After it has been installed and you have restarted your system you need to repeat the above memory and CPU check to note how much memory and CPU resource is being used by the trial antivirus software.

You then need to run a full antivirus scan of your system and repeat the memory and CPU check while the antivirus scan is running. Again, note the memory and CPU usage.

While the scan is still running, open and close a few programs and see how your computer performs. Type some text into notepad and note the response time. Your system will be slower than usual because of the file scanning but it still should be usable with an acceptable delay.

Once the file scan has completed, repeat the process of opening and closing some programs and using notepad to enter text. These quick tests should operate normally and without delay.

If there is a noticeable delay (much more than usual), then the trial antivirus program is using too much of your computers resources. This may be remedied by installing additional memory but for the meantime, we need to continue with our testing before we make any decision to purchase additional memory.

Once you have completed your testing of the first antivirus trial suite, uninstall it as per the instructions above with the Revo Uninstaller program and repeat the testing process for the other antivirus trial suite software you have downloaded.

Results

With your testing completed, you can now make an informed decision as to which of the antivirus suites best suits your PC. If you have a preferred antivirus package but it is impacting too much on your computers performance, then you have two choices, install additional ram (that is if the ram can be upgraded) or settle for another antivirus suite that does not impact on your PC’s performance.

If your PC performed badly with all of the antivirus trial software, the memory cannot be upgraded and you ran the Advanced System Care before testing the trial software then your system may require a re-installation of the operating system. Be aware that re-installing the operating system may not resolve the problem if the PC’s hardware is too old. This leaves you with the option of replacing your computer or finding an antivirus package that will not adversely affect your PC.

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