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Free and out-dated virus protection.

08/05/11

Free and out-dated virus protection.

Permalink 12:31:40 pm by Eugene Gardner, Categories: Security, Anti-Virus, General, Articles

I have just processed a series of computers which were infected despite the owners thinking they had sufficient protection. This is good business for me, but quite needless as for less than a quarter of the cost of virus removal you can buy almost complete protection.

There are three categories of thought:

  • Those who think that one of the free products is adequate. However good the virus protection is they normally do not claim to offer any protection against
    Spyware, Hackers, Intrusions, Data/ID Theft, Trojans, Worms, Rootkits, Keyloggers, Screen Grabbers, Adware, Spam, Phishing.
    These products are generally designed as inducements to buy the more complete product. Would you use a condom with holes even if it were free ?
  • Those who think an out dated product is sufficient. Such products are effective only against threats that existed when the subscription current. As variants of viruses are released every day, currency is soon lost.
  • Those that think viruses do not affect Apple Macs, Linux computers, PDAs, tablet PCs, 64bit OSes or mobile phones. While the proportion of detected viruses to total computers are fewer, they do exist.

To avoid infection and the consequent cost of removal and probable file corruption I suggest the following steps are taken:

  • Ensure that Windows and MS Office are kept updated with security patches as soon as they are published.
  • Maintain a full, updated and paid for copy of a reputable Internet security suite (not simply anti-virus)
  • Run a firewall to prevent unwanted visitors to your computer gaining access.
  • Do not use an administratively privileged account for day-to-day activities.
  • Password protect Windows accounts and encrypt sensitive files. Passwords must be robust and private.
  • Do not open e-mails from unknown sources in HTML compatible readers.
  • When visiting potentially pornographic websites run in a sandboxed or virtual environment.
  • Scan all removable disks, downloaded files and e-mail attachments for viruses before opening them.
  • Run housekeeping procedures regularly, described at http://www.1computercare.co.uk/housekeeping.htm

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