Anti-Virus Software

Stop bugs in their tracks

If you've ever had a computer virus, you know firsthand what evil little beasts they can be. Unlike their real world counterparts, computer viruses are not naturally occurring organisms. that's the good news, really. This means that other people can figure out ways to combat them. that's where anti-virus software comes in.
Avoiding Viruses 101

Getting anti-virus software is the best first line of defense against viruses. However this is not failsafe, nor is it the only thing you can do to avoid viruses. Some simple strategies to avoid viruses are as follows:

  • Never open an e-mail attachment that you are not sure of, and especially beware of the file extension. Familiar file extensions like .doc, .pdf or .xls are always fine. Check unfamiliar file extensions against this extensive list of valid extensions .
  • Many viruses carry the extension .exe, an executable file. If someone sends you a .exe file that you do not trust, do not open it.
  • If the file has an extension you think is bad, delete it immediately.
  • Keep abreast of the latest news on viruses. Many new viruses remain newsworthy, so the names will be broadcast. You can watch out for them and delete them.
How anti-virus software works

Anti-virus software does a number of things to protect your system from viruses.

  • First, it will attempt to delete the file so that it is never saved to your hard drive.
  • If the file gets through this first block, the software may try to repair the files that are damaged by the virus. If the file is yours and it can be repaired, you may never know about this.
  • As a third resort, it may quarantine the file. This will stop the virus spreading. If you have quarantined viruses, you may have incurred some damage, but at least it has been minimized.
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