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As you may recall, I'm of two minds when it comes to computer security. On the one hand, I typicallybecause I practice safe computing. But that's me. On the other hand, I have friends and relatives who've been through some pretty major malware-related nightmares, including ransomware.
That's why, for most people, I definitely recommend some kind of security software -- especially if you can get a commercial-grade utility for free or cheap.
Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Newegg has Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2016 3-PC for $34.99 when you apply coupon code EMCEJGE32 at checkout. Then, redeem a $35 mail-in rebate (PDF), which effectively brings your price down to $0. In the end, your only cost will be $2.99 for shipping.
Yeah, I know, you don't like rebates. That's cool, there are plenty of always-free anti-virus utilities that may give you adequate protection. And you may well want to consider one of them, because as with most paid security utilities these days, this one comes with a one-year license. Next year at this time, you'll be on the hook for full price (unless you find another deal).
That said, consider the benefits of going this route: More robust protection than you're likely to get from a free product and, perhaps even more important, a variety of tech-support options including phone and live-chat. When you use freebie anti-virus, you're typically limited to online knowledgebase-based support. In other words, you have to do it yourself.
CNET hasn't reviewed the 2016 edition of Kaspersky Anti-Virus, though it scored top marks in 2014. Over at PCMag, the software earned an Editors' Choice pick, in part thanks to its excellent phishing protection -- and phishing is one of the major gateways to ransomware.
Ideally, this deal would provide you with three license keys you could redeem immediately. Instead, you have to wait for a key-card to arrive in the mail. Oh, and a rebate check. If you can live with that, it's hard to argue with a final price of $3.
Bonus deal: I love little items that solve big problems. The Ninja Loop, for example, and those crazy stylus-and-stand pens -- both super-handy products priced under $10. Here's another one: Amazon has the Aukey HD-C5 magnetic smartphone car-mount for $6.99 when you apply coupon code RVZ8GZLB at checkout. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers. The little mount clips into a dashboard air-vent, then holds your phone securely in place via a small metal plate (which can adhere to your phone or go in between your phone and case).
Bonus deal 2: Game time! Regular readers know how much I love the Lego game series, and right now the Google Play Store has half a dozen of them on sale for 99 cents each. (Regular price: $4.99 each.)
Just hit up the store and search for any of the following: LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes, LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham, LEGO The Lord of the Rings, LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril and The LEGO Movie Video Game.
Seriously, parents, these are games you can feel good about your kids playing. They're fun, funny, gore-free and mostly focused on puzzle-solving...what's not to like?