Updating Anti-virus Programs

When I sat down to write this article there were more than 53,000 virus threats. The McAfee and Symantec (Norton Antivirus) Virus Information Libraries have detailed information on where viruses come from, how they infect your system, and how to remove them. Today's viruses primarily infect a computer system when a computer user opens an attachment to an e-mail. One general rule of thumb (and yes, I recognize how difficult this may be) is to never open an attachment that you did not specifically request. People who send out attachments should solicit approval before sending them. The main focus of this "Freebie" is to convey the importance of keeping your software updated. These programs are the preventative vaccine against new viruses and without them you are potentially at risk for your computer becoming infected with the newer viruses. The two most popular anti-virus programs are McAfee Viruscan and Symantec's Norton Antivirus. These programs also work well at keeping adware and spyware threats from infecting your computer.

It is critically important that you regularly use the automatic update features within the program to keep your virus definition files current. I compare it to a flu shot. You have to get one regularly in order to stay protected. ANother big component of keeping your anti-virus software robust is to update the program files as changes occur. I'm not talking about going out and buying a new program every year. What I am talking about is just the normal updates to the program that these companies provide free to their licensed users.

Another question I get asked a lot is "How often should I update these files?" My definition files are automatically updated several times a week. I check for program file updates at least once a month (add it to your list of routine maintenence tasks you should be doing regularly). My system is very critical to my business and downtime would cost me money in lost productivity.

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