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Virus Computer|Viruses- In Part 1 of this 4 Part series, we asserted that your Anti-virus software was probably worthless because it was improperly configured and not UPGRADED and UPDATED. In Part 2 we established that viruses put computer(s) at risk and that the risk of not having or properly configuring Anti-Virus software was unacceptable.

Today, in Part 3 we will list and explain the six certain actions necessary to provide you with optimum Anti-virus protection. Even better, I will detail not six, but seven actions. After all, my readers deserve a little something extra (smile).

As I stated in Part 2, in general, TWEAK ALL CONSULTANTS recommends the Grisoft Anti-Virus for Windows and Virex for the Macintosh. However, I will detail the seven steps that generally will apply to your particular brand of anti-virus software.

Some of these configuration actions are not intuitive and their detailed nature makes a step-by-step explanation beyond the scope of this article. Please contact me for assistance if required. Your software’s HELP feature has detailed information on its configuration.

They seven actions are as follows:

1. Make sure that your anti-virus software has been configured for automatic or live updates. Otherwise you will be scanning for viruses against an anti-virus database (called definitions a DAT file) that is out of date. The Virus Bad Guys (VBG’s) write and release new viruses everyday.

2. Make sure that your version of anti-virus software is no more than 2 years old. For example, if you are using Norton Anti-Virus 2002, it is time to buy the 2005 version. New viruses are more difficult to kill with the older software even if its anti-virus database has been updated.

3. Check the Status Window to determine if your subscription for anti-virus updates has expired. If it has, immediately follow the steps to renew your subscription. If your anti-virus database (again called a definitions or DAT file) has expired then your software is worthless.

4. Determine when the last FULL anti-virus scan of your hard drive was made. If it is more than a week old, perform a full scan today. A good time is after you have left for the day or when you go to sleep.

5. Setup automatic, scheduled scans of your hard drive(s). TWEAK ALL CONSULTANTS usually schedules client systems for late in evening or early in the morning. The computer must be powered on for the automatic scan to occur at the scheduled time.

6. Create an Anti-virus Emergency Boot or Rescue (start up) floppy disk. Some programs will prompt you for this disk only IF the virus requires disinfection without involvement of the infected computer memory, operating system (Windows or Macintosh) and certain other files on the hard drive.

a. You will need one or more blank 1.44 megabyte floppy disks. After the Emergency/Rescue Disk is created, label it, test it and put in an easily remembered location.

b. The Emergency/Rescue Disk may also be required if a boot (hard drive start up) sector virus has made it impossible to start your computer.

7. Do not ignore any messages from your anti-virus program. These messages are usually in the guise of pop up windows. If it reports that a virus is found, take the time to studiously read and understand what action, if any, you need to take.

This is not a one time exercise. Make these checks a minimum of monthly.

Well, you now have the seven actions necessary to turn worthless Anti-virus software into an optimum Anti-virus tool.

Part 4 of this 4 Part series will conclude with additional recommended steps generally outside your Anti-virus software to make you even less likely to suffer loss or damage via viruses to your data or hardware.

See you tomorrow when I will list and explain my additional recommendations in Part 4 Virus Computer|Viruses of this 4 part series.

If you have a virus concern and can’t wait for Part 4, please contact me (see below). Otherwise go now to Part 4, Virus Computer|Viruses.

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