Virus Protection

Written by Serena Berger
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Virus protection is essential in today's computing environment. This was not as big a concern a few years ago when almost everyone was still using dial-up connections to access the Internet. At that point in time, you would be sufficiently protected by doing nothing more than downloading files only from senders whom you knew.

With broadband connections becoming more popular now, home computers are always connected to the Internet, meaning that they are always vulnerable to attacks from malicious users. Firewall software and spyware tools can assist you in making sure no one has unauthorized access to your computer. It is essential, however, that you keep your antivirus software up to date so that it has the latest definitions and can keep your computer safe from files that you may download with new viruses attached.

You might think that it is protection enough if you only download files from senders whom you know, but you cannot control the level of virus protection on their computers. Many viruses exist that access address books and then send themselves to every contact that is listed therein. Unless you do not connect your computer to the Internet, antivirus software is necessary to keep your computer safe from attacks, both intended and unintended.

Options for Obtaining Virus Protection

Many internet service providers include antivirus software with subscriptions. You can also download any of a number of free antivirus programs. The most comprehensive antivirus tools are sold commercially and include free updates for a specified length of time. If you attend a college or university, commercially licensed antivirus software may be available for download. In this case, you should check with the computing staff to see if such an option is available. Often employers who know that you will be access your work network from home will make virus protection available to you both at work and at home, a great benefit you should see if you have.

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