Every time you access the Internet, you need to remember that you are not alone and that you are sharing access with millions of others. High speed Internet connections are becoming commonplace and virtually everyone has some type of access to the Internet – whether it is at home, work, or school. Along with this open access sharing comes problems of abuse, mainly in the form of viruses and spyware. In order to ensure that you are protected from these threats, it is essential that you employ some type of anti-virus software as basic Internet security.
There are perhaps millions of computer viruses (some mutations of originals) floating around the Internet, and approximately 300 new viruses appear each month. If your computer does not have anti-virus software in place, you are asking for trouble. In addition to having an anti-virus program installed, it is imperative that it is always current and up to date.
Anti-virus software works by scanning your computer for signatures of common computer viruses. Virus signatures are characteristics that are unique to a particular virus. Signatures can include such things as behavior patterns and file names. The best anti-virus software will detect viruses that have not yet infected your computer as well as get rid of ones that you already have. Types of files that anti-virus programs scan include email, CD-ROM, zip files, exe files, your text and spreadsheet documents, and many others that you not be aware of.
However, even though installing anti-virus software is a definite must, it only provides one level of defense. You can improve the effectiveness of your anti-virus software by using it in conjunction with a good firewall program and by abstaining from behaviors that promote the spread of viruses.
You should always use a high quality, reputable program from a company that you trust. If you have trouble deciding what type of anti-virus software to purchase, just do a little research either in computer magazines or online. Since Internet security is a huge issue, you should not have any problem finding reviews and ratings. Take your time and find a software program that closely matches your needs.
Also, if you have recently purchased a computer, a trial version of some type of anti-virus software may be included. Be sure to take it for a test drive and put it through the paces – it may suit your needs perfectly.
Once you have your anti-virus software installed, make sure that it is always on and scanning for potential threats from viruses. You can set your software to scan your email as well as the software and files you use on a daily basis. It is extremely important that you keep your anti-virus software updated and current. In this way, the software keeps up with all the new virus threats that appear daily. In addition to keeping your anti-virus software current, you should keep all of the software that you use on a regular basis current also.
Installing anti-virus software and keeping it current will help keep you safe from any nasty surprises. Be sure to also back up your important files on a regular basis as extra security. Following these basic Internet security guidelines make it much less probable that your system will be compromised and damaged beyond repair.