Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware

Firstly, What Is A Virus ?

A computer virus is a software program that is designed to do damage to your PC by deleting files or even hijacking your PC to launch attacks on other computer systems. It becomes active when you unknowingly activate  an infected software program, which you might have downloaded because it is provided FREE on the internet.

Your PC is experiencing an attack when your screen freeze for no reason or you see strange messages or graphic being displayed on the desktop or some of your software functions abnormally. On a worse case, you will start getting missing file error messages or your friends call up to scold you for sending them an infected email message with suspicious file attached. The extreme case is that you now cannot start up the Windows after you have shutdown earlier.

If you have installed any new programs or application software recently and now you are experiencing the symptoms describe above, then most probably your computer is infected with virus.

Virus can be obtained via the following  activities :

1. Opening an infected file which is attached to an email message
2. Launching an infected program file downloaded from the Internet
3. Sharing a floppy disk or CD  that contains an infected file
4. Sharing a computer file over a network that contains an infected file

The most common of all is the email virus. Many viruses today can “conned” you into believing that the Sender is someone you knew and trust, perhaps from a friend or a colleague. Always remember ! No email attachment is safe unless you are expecting it from someone you already have made arrangement with.

Cleaning Your System with Anti-virus Software

An Anti-virus software is designed to detect known viruses as well protecting against new or unknown viruses. Each time you boot up your PC, the software is running on the background to detect any intruders from the web. It also enable you to scanned your existing files on your Hard Disk drive so that it can detect the infected files.

In order for the Anti-virus software to be as effective as possible, you must ensure that your program is updated daily with the software company. The updated file ( usually known as Definition files ) will includes the most recently updated Virus information so that you are protected whenever you surf the net or retrieve an email message with attachment.

What is sad for most users is that they will always assumed that since the Anti-virus program can Auto-Update the Definition files, they need not look into that aspect of the functionality. Many a time, they failed to realize that the Definition file has already stopped updating because it was affected by some spyware or Trojans that interfered with that function.

Over a period of time, the PC will be infected by many of these “new” viruses and the system gets so bad that the Anti-virus program becomes un-usable.

The most popular Anti-virus programs are :

McAfee VirusScan (www.mcafee.com)
Norton AntiVirus (www.symantec.com)
Panda Security ( www.pandasecurity.com)
AVG Anti-virus ( www.grisoft.com)

It is not advisable for you to install more than one Anti-virus software on to your computer system.

What Is A Spyware ?

Spyware are software or cookies that performs certain behaviors on your computer such as advertising, modifying some configuration file on your system, or collecting information from your computer system, all these activities without the approval of the user ( You ).

How do you know whether your computer has spyware or other unwanted software ?

1. You see pop-up advertisements even when you’re not on the Web

2. Your Web Browser home page was changed to some other URL ( address ) that you do not know or have never visit before.

3. An additional toolbar was added to your Web Browser and despite repeated attempts, cannot get rid off.

4. Your computer takes a longer time to complete a task.

5. Your PC crashes unknowingly; Restarted by itself or Your program does not seems to work properly when activated.

The safest way to avoid getting Spyware is to avoid downloading Shareware or any application software that is provided FREE to the public. Unless you are very sure of the reliability of the website providing it, do not be tempted to try the software just because the “Sales page” makes the software looks too good to be missed.

Some commonly used Anti-Spyware programs are :

Adware 2008                 — (www.lavasoft.com/products/ad_aware_free.php )
SuperAntiSpyware        — (www.superantispyware.com/ )

As Anti-Virus program are getting more and more sophisticated, they are including Anti-Spyware function as part of their program so that user now get a 2-in-1 package.

Software that has both features are :

Norton Anti-Virus  —  ( www.norton.com )
AVG Anti-Virus    —   (www.avg.com )

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