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Virus- Part 2 of 4- The Risk

Virus Computer|Viruses- Part 2- In Part 1 of this 4 part series, I asserted that your Anti-virus software was probably worthless. It is worthless unless you perform six certain actions with the software. Before I list those actions, can you afford to do nothing?

First, I will briefly describe the risk. TWEAK ALL CONSULTANTS detects a Virus or a Trojan on about 15 to 20% of client systems scanned. That is, up to 1 in 5 systems. Further, YOU ARE AT RISK whether or not you are connected to the Internet.

A virus can attack your system if you accept any removable media from clients, friends or colleagues like USB keys/flash drives, DVD/CD recordables or rewriteables, floppy disks, Zip or Jaz disks, share portable or networked hard drives or buy software from any retail source.

What's that you say, I am at risk if I buy off the retail shelf? In rare cases, a disaffected employee has been known to introduce a virus in shrink-wrapped software.

Use your Anti-virus software to scan any removable media before copying files or installing any programs contained thereon (first make sure you follow the steps listed in Parts 3 and 4 of this series).

A Virus or Trojan can destroy all your data, make your computer unbootable (it won’t start up) and destroy or steal specific files (for example, AOL or Outlook or Outlook Express Address Books, passwords, Word or WordPerfect documents, Excel files, QuickBooks or Quicken financial files, picture files, program start up (executable) files, Windows or Mac system files and others).

A virus can also make all your personal, private and proprietary information accessible to persons unknown among other bad outcomes. This is serious stuff.

For several years the computer magazines made Norton Anti-virus their Top Pick. Lately however other products have challenged its dominace. Recently anti-virus products by Trend Micro and Grisoft AVG have received good reviews.

In general, as Working Computer Consultants, TWEAK ALL CONSULTANTS has recently started to lean to the Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus program. The AVG Anti-virus program made a name for itself as a FREE program. We still like it and recommend it.

The paid program is $29.95 for a one year subscription and only $38.95 for two years of anti-virus updates.

No one anti-virus program can kill ALL the viruses out there in the wild. When virus activity is suspected we will use four or more anti-virus programs to kill the viruses.

However for the average user stick with one good anti-virus program like Grisoft AVG. Do not run more than one anti-virus program in memory at a time. They will conflict and all sorts of error messages may result.

We recommend Virex for the Macintosh.

The Virus Bad Guys (VBG) write and release over 1000 new viruses every month. Therefore, the Anti-virus software that you bought off the shelf today is already worthless. Your new software may have been written up to six months ago.

Buying and then downloading the retail version of Anti-virus software over the Internet carries the same risks. Although it may be “fresher”, such software is still not up to date.

By now it should be apparent that the risk to your information and hardware does not justify a “head in the sand” approach. Doing nothing is not an option.

As I stated in the beginning of this article, your new software requires six certain actions to provide you with the best protection against viruses written by the VBG’s. See you tomorrow when I will list and explain them in Part 3 of this 4 part series about virus|computer viruses.

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