Understanding Your Free AVG Virus Protection Download
Once you've scheduled your scan and done your initial scan, you're basically ready to just let your free AVG virus protection sit in the system tray and quietly protect you. Before you move on though, it's probably a good idea to explore the components available in your Free AVG package.
Anti-Virus - This is just the standard antivirus and probably the reason you chose the download. You can double click the icon to pull up a little more information. Double clicking this icon will bring up the virus signature database that you're working from. Make sure that this stays updated. The automatic updates should take care of it, but it's something that you will need to watch out for. Updating virus signatures is crucial to staying safe.
Anti-Spyware - AVG Free virus protection also offers spyware protection. This is also important to help keep your computer safe from popups and annoying infections. You can also see the database that it is using, although it should be the same as the antivirus signature database.
LinkScanner - This is a really neat tool from AVG. Just like it says, it scans links for you. It works with both Internet Explorer and Firefox. LinkScanner reviews links brought up by search engines and puts green checkmarks next to websites that it confirms as safe. It isn't an absolute guarantee since scammers and hackers obviously aren't caught immediately, but it is a good guide. LinkScanner also checks links that you travel to for known malicious codes and maintains a blacklist of known attack sites. If it detects an unsafe site, it will stop you and make you confirm that you wish to visit it.
E-Mail Scanner - This is pretty simple. If you use a compatible client for reading your emails, then you can have the scanner scan new emails for viruses and have it automatically remove them before they attack your computer. You can also have it scan your outgoing messages and include a message saying that the message was scanned for viruses before being sent. Some security conscious friends might appreciate that.
Identity Protection - This isn't activated in AVG Free. It promises to protect your identity online, but I doubt that it's worth an extra $20 when you can follow some other free tips on avoiding phishing and identity theft scams.
Resident Shield - This is a really great component of the AVG Free edition virus scanner. It has a proactive defense in place that blocks malicious programs from gaining access to your computer. It might not catch anything, no program is perfect, but it is very useful for stopping exploits and other nasty bits of spyware from sneaking onto your system. You should definitely let it run in the background.
Update Manager - Like I said above, keeping your virus sigs updated is crucial to staying safe online. Rig up the update manager to check for updates at least once a day. I have a separate guide for when to schedule AVG updates at an optimal time. That said, as long as you're doing it once a day, you should stay very safe.