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Antivirus Protection

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The Web has become an increasingly dangerous place to work, play and wile away the hours. What started as a simple research tool soon became a major source of recreation, which itself has become a major hub of business around the globe. Along the way, some unwelcome visitors have made their presence known.

It didn't take long after the advent of the Internet for the first viruses to begin making the rounds. With few exceptions, these were primitive lines of code whose sole purpose was simply to reproduce and take up space. Since that time, viruses have grown far more aggressive, resourceful--and deadly.

The Digital Pathogen Biosphere
By now, most computer users have at least a passing familiarity with the danger of computer viruses. Ask them what the difference is between a worm and a Trojan Horse, however, and you are likely to be met with blank stares. It is precisely this level of ignorance that the hackers count on when they take over thousands of machines every day.

In simple terms, worms are programs that tunnel from computer to computer by taking advantage of file transfer applications, including email. Once they arrive on a host machine, most worms install software designed to monitor or impair the hard drive. Often such behavior leads to stolen data--the crucial first step in identity theft.

Other Dangers
A Trojan Horse, on the other hand, is a program that hides under the guise of an application you install on purpose. Once unleashed, the program can levy similar threats--including infecting of your hard drive with spyware. In its most virulent form, often called malware, spyware can do swift and irreparable damage to your personal security, privacy and finances.

The good news is that outstanding software now exists for most computer users to fight back. Although you can find simple scanning software all over the Web, many such solutions merely treat the symptoms without addressing the cause. Full-featured, comprehensive software suites are generally recommended if you want to solve the problem for good.

Strong Approaches
These days much of the buzz in antivirus software centers on two features that have become popular of late. One is quarantining spyware rather than deleting it--a finesse move designed to stave off further attacks while keeping you safe. The other is a subscription model of virus protection that requires an annual fee in exchange for constant updates to address every new threat as it arises.

If you are looking to keep your data safe from prying eyes, you simply cannot do better than one of these top-rated antivirus programs. If you know anyone who has suffered a devastating loss at the whim of hackers, you know that a nominal fee is a small price to pay for peace of mind. A little looking online should reveal the software packages that get top marks from experts in the field.

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