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Fall and winter are a great time for malware purveyors. All those pure, innocent, uncorrupted new PCs being unboxed, set up and connected to that font of all that is dangerous, filthy and malevolent: the Internet.

Okay, maybe you don’t believe the information superhighway is quite that tainted, and maybe it isn’t.

But if you hook up your brand-new PC to it without some sort of protection, there’s a reasonable chance that you’ll come to have a different opinion, and quickly.

Because, make no mistake, malware’s alive and well.

The traditional types—viruses, spyware, Trojan horses—are all still out there.

And that’s not even considering the attacks of the phishers, spammers, grifters and online predators.

For advice on how to secure your network and applications, as well as the latest security news, visit Ziff Davis Internet’s Security IT Hub.

Innocent bystanders have moved vast amounts of money, personal information and business intelligence online, and that attracts criminals.

Fortunately, the new PC season is also the time when security software makers come to market with the latest versions of their flagship products, the security suites.

McAfee chides Microsoft over Vista security. Click here to read more.

These apps aim to give you an impregnable defense, protecting you from every threat under the connected sun. Anti-malware—anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware, anti-phishing—if it’s out there, they’re against it.

Add in firewalls, content filtering, parental controls and keylogger detection, and you’ve got a online suit of armor that’s theoretically proof against any and all threats. And the armor has done a reasonably good job, by and large.

However (to stretch the metaphor a bit), just as a full suit of armor can be so bulky you can’t move when wearing it, these suites are often so bloated they slow mighty computers to a crawl.

Read the full story on Security Suite Smackdown, Part I

Check out’s for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer’s Weblog.