Pick the Right Virus Protection Program

A computer virus can ruin your day or worse. To avoid the hassles that come from getting infected, adding anti-virus software to your computer is a must. Read on to learn about some of the features most commonly available from anti-virus programs.
Keeping up with the Joneses
In this case, the people you need to keep up with aren't the Joneses of the world, but are the nasty people who spend their days creating new ways to outwit virus-protection software. Fortunately, the brightest minds in the anti-virus software industry are constantly coming up with new ways to detect and thwart the latest virus threats. Here's how to do your part:
  • Automatic updates. Keeping the anti-virus software on your computer up to date can easily slip your mind when you have lots of other things competing for your attention. To be sure your computer has the most recent anti-virus software, select an anti-virus package that can schedule automatic updates. Of course, that scheduling won't do you any good if you don't use it, so be sure to turn the feature on.
  • Virus scans. While you're at it, schedule regular virus scans as well. Note that if you schedule them for the middle of the night (a popular way to go), the computer needs to be turned on before the scan can run. This can be especially important to remember for laptops, which people tend to turn off immediately when they're done using them, unlike desktop computers, which many people leave powered on all the time.
Types of virus scanning
The most familiar type of virus scanning is the on-demand scan-you tell the antivirus software to check all of the files on your computer (or it does so in response to a pre-set schedule). While that's an important aspect of anti-virus protection, it's only part of the picture. For more complete protection, you'll need to consider these other options:
Pick the Right Virus Protection Program
  • Real-time scanning. On-demand scanning is helpful only after you've already become infected with a virus. To help prevent viruses from infecting your computer in the first place, anti-virus software must be able to monitor all the data that enters your computer from the Internet before it's allowed in, to be sure it doesn't contain any viruses.
  • Email scanning. One of the most common ways for viruses to enter computers is through email messages (especially in attachments). That makes it very important for anti-virus software to be able to check all email messages as they come in to be sure that they're virus-free. Many anti-virus programs will also provide this protection if you use Web-based e-mail such as Gmail* or Yahoo! Mail*. For more on keeping email safe, read our article "Keep Your Email Address Safe and Avoid Spam".
  • Instant messaging protection. Just as it's important to check for viruses in incoming e-mail, it's also necessary to check incoming instant messages, if you use instant-messaging software like Yahoo! Messenger* or Windows Messenger*.
  • On-access scanning. As an added layer of protection, anti-virus software should scan files as you open them to make sure they're virus free. That helps you to be sure that a file you copied from a CD, for example, isn't infected.
Other helpful features
Most anti-virus programs include features that are not specifically virus related. These extra services can help round out the protection the product provides for you:
  • Spyware protection. Depending on the specific type, spyware can sometimes be just as much a security threat as viruses. Many anti-virus products provide both spyware scanning and real-time spyware blocking.
  • Parental controls. Many anti-virus packages include an optional feature to prevent children from accessing Internet sites that contain inappropriate content. These features typically allow parents (using a password) to specify what types of content are blocked and which are allowed.
  • Private information guard. Some anti-virus applications provide an option for you to identify specific information, such as credit card numbers and passwords, that it will block from being accessed by people or computers without your express permission. This can be a useful extra layer of protection against spyware or hackers trying to get your personal information.
For an even more complete set of security measures, consider a security suite that includes anti-virus software, a firewall, and other protections. Ask a salesperson anywhere software is sold for more information.
Source : http://www.intel.com



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