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Netbook Security Apps: How Are They Different?

Posted on May 10, 2011
Netbooks are an attractive alternative for mobile users who regularly access the Internet. Unfortunately, netbook computers present unique challenges in providing protection against unwanted malicious cyber-attacks. Netbook security apps will keep the netbook Internet browsing experience secure.
Tags: Netbook Security Protection

Netbook computers have found a useful niche in the market space between notebook computers and advanced data phones. While providing exceptional ease of use and portability, netbook computers present challenges in providing adequate protection from unwanted intrusions or cyber-attacks.

At their core, netbooks are smaller versions of their notebook and laptop cousins. A netbook display often has lower resolution, limited memory and reduced processing capacity. Many netbooks run a version of Windows XP, which is an operating system that has a history of significant security breaches.

Netbook Security

Due to its scaled back profile, netbooks lack the robust platform to address security problems in traditional ways. For example, most models include a 1.6Ghz CPU and 512k RAM which is adequate for only the most basic applications. Additionally, many netbooks are equipped with a solid state flash drive rather than the typical internal hard disk drive. This limits the space available for complex security packages.

Since most netbook computers are primarily used for Internet browsing, they are particularly susceptible to malicious security threats. Adding to the potential for system compromise is the reality that manufacturers usually do not include OEM 3rd party security protection with the product. This leaves the responsibility for netbook security entirely with the user where it is often neglected completely or addressed through inefficient applications.

Netbook Security Solutions

As a minimal solution, a netbook owner should make certain that the Windows XP firewall and anti-virus protection is activated and updated regularly. Although this is not a comprehensive strategy, Internet browsing without basic protection is an invitation for system hacking, identity theft and OS malfunction.

Netbook security apps are available through third party vendors in a variety of configurations. It is important to select products that have a minimal impact on memory and processing power so that the functionality of the netbook is not compromised.

Most major security application developers now offer versions of their anti-virus and firewall programs designed specifically for netbooks and their unique challenges. For instance, Norton offers netbook editions of all of its major security applications, including Norton 360 which also features excellent backup and restore capabilities with online storage—a must for netbooks with no external drive.

The emergence of cloud computing solutions also offers an attractive security alternative for netbook users. gOS Cloud offers a Linux based interface that provides a functional OS that is well suited for netbook applications. In the latest version, a high-speed and fully featured web browser is included. Since the browser and operating system are integrated and function within the domain of the internet, security issues are addressed in real time directly through the operating system itself.

Final Thoughts

As with any computer, a netbook browser should be configured so that it provides maximum protection from cyber-attacks. Firefox offers a suite of apps called Adblock plus that controls adverts, tracking cookies and banners. Google Chrome includes memory management apps for netbooks and a number of security related apps.

It is also important to always take suitable precautions when visiting or downloading material from unfamiliar websites. Above all, don't forget to install and use reliable antivirus and firewall software. The mobile nature of netbooks makes them even more susceptible to potential viruses and intrusion attacks. Without protection from these security threats, both your data and your sensitive personal information are at risk.

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