Viruses, Worms, Trojans, and attempt to hack or otherwise compromise a system are a part of life for the computer user today. The only solution to never getting a virus or being hacked is to completely cut your system off from all other systems, a solution that is impractical in today’s world of interconnected systems and the Internet. So, we must all take steps to protect our systems.
Fortunately, it is quite easy to protect a computer from attack. All that is needed to secure a system is some good habits, regular updates/patches, up-to-date anti-virus software, and a firewall. Most solutions are inexpensive and some are even free. Maintaining a properly configured secured system can be done on a regular basis and more frequently during times of high virus activity.
Do you have Anti-Virus software on your computer? If you don’t, go to one of the links provided and install it now. If you do, is it up to date? When was the last time you updated it? If you rely on the software to update itself, how often do you check to see if it is updating regularly? Has your subscription ended and updates are no longer available? Did you disable your software because it causes problems when you run it or some other program doesn’t function properly when your anti-virus software is running?
For Anti-Virus software to be effective it must be active, current, and properly configured. The most common cause for a system with anti-virus software installed to become infected is software that has been disabled for some other reason, or it has out of date virus definitions. If you don’t know for a certainty that your anti-virus software is active and current, please check it now.
Anti-Virus Software - Free
avast! 4 Home Edition: http://www.avast.com/i_idt_153.html
AVG Free Edition: http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php
AntiVir Personal Edition: http://www.free-av.com/
Anti-Virus Software - Subscription
All prices are from the manufacturers’ websites in US$ unless otherwise stated. Local prices may differ (often lower).
avast! 4 Pro ($39.95/1 year, $57.94/2 years): http://www.avast.com/i_idt_152.html
AVG Professional ($33.30/year, 30-day Free Trial): http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl7.php
EZAntivirus ($24.95/first year, $12.95/year after that, 30-day Free Trial): http://www.my-etrust.com/products/Antivirus.cfm
McAfee AV ($34.95/year): http://us.mcafee.com/root/package.asp?pkgid=100
Norton AV ($49.95/year, 15-day Free Trial): http://nct.symantecstore.com/fulfill/0001.105
PC-cillin ($49.95/first year, $24.94/year after that, 30-day Free Trial): http://www.trendmicro.com/en/home/us/personal.htm
Check Your System Online
Do you suspect you have a virus? You can check your system online at one of the following links:
Symantec’s Security Check (Norton): http://security.symantec.com/sscv6/default.asp?productid=symhome&langid=ie&venid=sym
McAfee’s FreeScan: http://us.mcafee.com/root/mfs/default.asp
Trend Micro’s HouseCall: http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
BitDefender’s Online Scan: http://www.bitdefender.com/scan/licence.php
Panda ActiveScan: http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/
Do you receive e-mails from well-meaning friends telling you to delete a file with a Teddy Bear icon or a file that is a “hidden server”? Check these hoax sites before passing these hoaxes along to others.
Virus Removal Tools
Downloadable programs designed to remove specific viruses.
avast! Virus Cleaner: http://www.avast.com/i_idt_171.html
Virus Encyclopedias are online databases of virus signatures and characteristics. They allow you to search for a virus, worm, or trojan by name or by files associated with the infection. They are an excellent resource when you are uncertian if you are infected or if you discover a file on your system and want to check whether it indicates an infection
Trend Micro: http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/virusencyclo/
Also check out the list and reviews here: http://www.claymania.com/anti-virus.html