AntiVirus Programs and PC Protection

By: T. Samo

Any anti virus program worth its salt should at least be capable of detecting known viruses and protecting against new, unknown viruses. Each time you turn on your PC it is checked for cyber infections by the software and it should be able to be configured to check any programs you download from the internet.

There are many things you should do religiously as steps towards virus detection and ultimately allowing you to completely keep your computer virus free, unfortunately we are mere mortals prone to human error but there are protective steps you can take to offset our moments of weakness and one has slipped past our guard.

In the first instance do the following seven things religiously if you can;

1. Don't open email attachments emails from people you do not know. The reason for this is because some viruses can hijack the address book on an infected PC thus sending out infected email that the owner isn't even aware of.

2. Don't accept any files sent to you via instant messaging

3. Download files only from reliable file archive websites such as Download.com, and Tucows.

4. Don't execute programs you find in Usenet newsgroups or posted to web message boards or blogs

5. Don't click links sent to you from strangers via instant messaging or in a chat room

6. Share disks and files only with users you know and trust

7. Use antivirus software and keep it up to date with the most recent virus definitions

These precautions should provide a decent level of insurance against the threat of computer viruses (trojans and worms to name but a few) but the bottom line is whatever we do at some point or other our PCs do get infected from time to time - so knowing what to do in such circumstances is vital.

You have to know that first of all you need an anti virus program and secondly you need to know where to go to get it.
The list below is not an exhaustive one but at least any one of them is a place to start giving you the fundamental knowledge to which you can add on to, allowing you to be able to make a more personalized search matching your needs and budget for your PC security;

. AVG Anti-Virus (www.grisoft.com)
. Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal (www.kaspersky.com)
. McAfee ViruScan (www.mcafee.com)
. Norton AntiVirus (www.symantec.com)
. PC-cillin (www.trenmicro.com)
. Windows Live OneCare (www.windowsonecare.com)

Going back to the all important issue of budget, any of the above sites will provide a service that does a good job but their prices do vary considerably. For example, Windows Live Onecare costs $49.95 and comes with a years subscription and can be used on three different PCs making it ideal for any home with more than one PC at its disposal, Norton AntiVirus costs $39.99 and comes with a year's subscription but AVG Anti-Virus also does a good job but is available free.

The most important point to take away from all this information is that whatever anti-virus software you have, it is useless if it does not do automatic updates for you at least weekly - an outdated antivirus program won't be capable of recognizing and therefore protecting against the very latest computer viruses.

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