Why You Need Anti-virus Software

Anti-virus software is a vital component of modern PC life. Below we debunk some of the myths that people use as excuses for not having any anti-virus software installed.

I only use my PC for work

Even if you only use your computer for writing documents and printing and never go online it is still easy to get a virus. Have you ever transferred work on a floppy disk from a friend or colleague? Ever installed some software from a CD off a magazine or from a friend? If you answer yes to either of these questions then you need antivirus software. Whilst many newer viruses do not have destructive payloads, but are designed to take over your computer so it can be controlled from the Internet, there are still thousands of viruses that will damage both your documents (that you spent hours writing) and windows. They can be transferred inside word documents, software or floppy disks and CDs, and have even been distributed (accidentally) on magazine cover disks.

When your friend or colleague asks to use your computer because hers is playing up, ever wonder why her computer is misbehaving. Perhaps its because of a virus, that is about to be transferred to your computer. If you don't want to loose all of your work, and have to re-install windows and all of your software, you need antivirus software installed.

I only read emails from friends and colleagues

Whilst you make believe that they would never knowingly send you a virus, what if they become infected with a virus themselves. Many viruses use email to distribute themselves, and once they have infected someones PC, will email themselves to everyone in their address book. Getting and email from someone you know with a normal subject is enough to fool almost anyone into opening it and becoming infected themselves.

Due to bugs in some email software, you may not even have to open the email to become infected. Sometimes just selecting the email to delete it, is enough to become infected, as your email software may read or preview the message for you whenever you select it. If you receive an email you were not expecting, and especially if it has an attachment, be careful.

I don't have internet access

Not having internet access neither prevents you from becoming infected with a virus, as we've outlined above, nor does it prevent you from updating your antivirus software regularly. Whilst it is easiest to update your virus protection online, many anti-virus vendors provide updates that can be downloaded onto a floppy disk so you can transfer them to your pc and update your software. Download the updates at work, or library, or get a friend who has internet access to download them for you. Keeping your software up to date is as important and installing the antivirus software in the first place. New viruses are coming out every day. Are you protected?

If you don't have access to an internet connected PC, then some vendors will send you a CD with updated virus definitions every month if you ask.

Related Links
What is a trojan, virus and worm
Antivirus Guide
Updating Your Anti-virus Software
Choosing Anti-virus Software

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