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Anti-Virus & Spyware

First there was the computer, then there was the virus. Viruses can be traced back to 1982 when Elk Cloner was noted as the first virus to have spread in the wild. The virus was written for the Apple II Operating System (OS), by Richard Skrenta, then 15 years old.

We have come a long way since then, in both virus advancements and the technology to defend our computers from new viruses. Today there are many types of attacks that could take place against our personal computers. Macro viruses, Trojan horses, mal-ware and spy-ware are just a few of the ways our computers can become infected with malicious code. New viruses are discovered nearly every day. Check out this threat report by Symantec.

So what can you do to help protect your computer? Easy, buy and INSTALL some sort of anti-virus software. I say some sort because something is better than nothing at all, and installing the software is the only way you are going to protect your computer. I can’t tell you the number of people I have helped rid their computers of viruses that had anti-virus software sitting next to their computer. Having the box next to your computer isn’t going to help protect your computer from viruses getting in. There are many anti-virus products out there. Arguably the two most common are Norton AntiVirus by Symantec and VirusScan Plus by McAfee. I know people who swear by Norton AntiVirus and people who swear by VirusScan, both are good products but I am one to recommend Norton AntiVirus, let me tell you why. I had always felt Norton AntiVirus was a good robust application that did its job very well. But what really sold me and convinced me was one day when I was out on site at a client’s house. To make a long story short, the client felt they had a virus on their computer, by the way the computer was behaving, but didn’t know how the virus was on the computer as she had anti-virus software, and yes it was installed on the computer. So I show up and agree that it looks like the work of a virus. So I pop in my Norton AntiVirus CD and scan the computer from the CD. After the scan is complete Norton reports three viruses where found and the infected files have been cleaned. The anti-virus software on my clients computer was McAfee’s VirusScan. From this day on, I have always recommended Norton AntiVirus. Besides this experience, beginning with their 2006 version, Norton AntiVirus has been able to also look for, find and remove other malicious code like spy-ware and ad-ware. This support has only become stronger in their 2007 version.


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