Anti Virus Software

 

Without adequate protection against computer viruses, any computer that is used to surf the internet is likely to become infected with numerous viruses.

The effects of computer virus infection are not usually immediately apparent and vary dramatically from virus to virus.  Some viruses may be relatively benign - doing little more than affecting performance - others may lead to breaches of security and or loss of data.  In the extreme, computers and hard drives may become unusable without significant and costly specialist help.  If viruses allow unauthorized access to accounts or passwords then there may be more costly effects.

New viruses are being created and detected every day.  Leading virus protection software packages use libraries of virus signatures (perhaps containing tens of thousands of virus signatures) that are updated daily as new viruses are recognized.  It is often the newest viruses that are the most virulent so it is important to keep your virus protection up to date.

There are numerous "free" anti virus software packages available.  Some of these may be effective.  However, downloading "free" software from the internet is probably one of the most common ways of becoming infested with viruses, trojans, worms, and spyware.  At the same time as removing other viruses, some "free anti virus packages" are themselves malignant.

Research packages before downloading.  Are there good or bad reports on the internet (don't rely on the isolated good report - look for corroboration)? How often is the threat library updated?

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