Anti-Virus Explained: Does your computer have a cold?
As a mom, I have come to accept the fact that my kids will get a cold almost 3 times a year. Believe it or not, my kids like to play with other kids. My kids like to go to parks, and even indoor playgyms (a petri dish for bacteria). Even though these activities increase the chances of getting a cold, I can’t keep my kids away from the cold .. or can I?
So, what if there was a vaccine for the common cold? The cold has been mapped to 99 variations of the RhinoVirus. What if I could vaccinate my kids against every type of cold? What if they could also automatically be vaccinated by mutaded or different forms of the cold? That would be AMAZING!!!
This cure of the common cold is my analogy for Anti-virus software. Everytime you perform any kind of transfer of data on your computer (i.e. the playdate that your computer has on the web you are increasing the risk of getting some kind of computer virus. Transfering files (thumb drive, CD, download), browsing web pages, and even chat conversations can be a vehicle for transfering a virus. Should we all just marroon our computers and take everything offline? … No, that’s just silly.
All you need is a anti-virus software solution!!
Here are some key ideas to consider while deciding on a anti-virus product:
- Service fees - You need to think about your anti-virus solution as a serivce fee as opossed to purchasing software. You are paying for the automated updates to your anti-virus signatures. As I mentioned before in a earlier post, many people think that by installing an anti-virus product, they are good to go. This is not true. New viruses are created every day. BBC reported that Symantec claimed that the virus count had exceeded one million. Two thirds of the viruses were created during 2007. In December 2009, the wildlist, (a website which tracks viruses identified in the wild) identified 52 new viruses. YOU NEED a DAILY VIRUS SIGNATURE UPDATE, not just the software.
- You still need to SURF SAFELY! Just like we told our kids, “Don’t talk to strangers, don’t take candy from strangers, and especially, DON’T GET IN A VAN WITH A STRANGER!” Likewise, I tell YOU, “Don’t download software from ‘stranger’ websites, Don’t click on the pop-up ad that says ‘YOU ARE A WINNER!” (I know it feels good, but if you click on it you will be a LOSER!!) and especially, don’t click on a link in a e-mail message and enter your bank user name and password on some random site because they are going through a ‘system upgrade’ (this is known as a phishing attack). No amount of anti-virus software can protect if you don’t surf safely.
- Look for a Security Solution: Most Anti-Virus software act as Internet Security products and should include: Spyware, malware, rootkit. Make sure that there is an automated virus update. Check out this anti-virus review site.
- Protect ALL if your computers. The MAC OS is not as vulnerable to viruses as PCs. However, you can still be infected by transfering files and data online or from other people. Also, if you are running a Windows OS on a MAC, you will need anti-virus software. Your kids computer, if left umprotected, could spread a virus to your home network, or to other computers in the home. (just like the cold, viruses can spread among family members or family computers quickly). Look for a multi-pack that allows installation on multiple computers.
My pick: McAfee Internet Security: $35 for 3 computer uses: Product Link (I think this pricing is part of a sale, so get it soon!)