A virus can seriously cripple your PC and so it's important to make sure you choose the right virus scanner program to protect your data. Although many virus programs set out to perform the same protection, all are not developed equally. Some programs might partly or completely miss the presence of a virus program on a computer. In some cases, people may unwittingly download and install a virus that is posing as an antivirus program. Still there are a few steps you can take to make sure you choose the best virus scanner.
Choose a virus scanner that does a pre-scan of the hard drive before installation. Some viruses can prevent security programs from being installed on the PC in the first place. To get around this clever tactic, developers of antivirus programs install a lighter version of the full virus scan before the program is fully integrated into the PC. The program might reside in a temporary file on the hard drive or run from the installation disk, safely out of reach of a virus that is installed on the computer. After the pre-scan is complete, the full version can then install with assurances that this process will go smoothly and uninterrupted.
Choose a virus scanner that automatically updates with newer definitions when they are released from the vendor. The people who create viruses are constantly evolving the program to evade detection by antivirus software. The vendors must publish daily updates for the virus scanner to keep up with these changes.
Make sure the virus scanner includes a firewall. A firewall prevents the virus itself from communicating with hacker who developed the program. Sometimes hackers send new instructions to the virus files on the computer as well as monitor your activities on a PC. The integrated firewall blocks that communication.
Choose a virus scanner that checks for spyware. These files are similar to viruses, but spyware doesn't do as much damage to a PC. Instead spyware tries to steal your personal identity.
Choose a virus scanner that checks for adware. Although many adware programs are meant to bombard your computer screen with advertisements, it is still harmful to many users who hate being constantly interrupted.
The Microsoft Security Essentials program is free and includes a virus scanner.
Sources and Citations
- "How can I help protect my computer from viruses?" Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/How-can-I-help-protect-my-computer-from-viruses>.
- " How can I tell if my computer has a virus?." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/how-can-i-tell-if-my-computer-has-a-virus>.
- " How do I remove a computer virus?." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/how-do-I-remove-a-computer-virus>.
- " Tips for protecting your computer from viruses." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Tips-for-protecting-your-computer-from-viruses>.
- " Understanding security and safer computing." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Understanding-security-and-safer-computing>.
- " Viruses: frequently asked questions." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Viruses-frequently-asked-questions>.
- " Facebook Now Running Virus Scans on Users PCs." ReadWriteWeb.Web Apps, Web Technology Trends, Social Networking and Social Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_now_running_virus_scans_on_user_pcs.php>.
- "A second look at online virus-scan services | Workers Edge.CNET News." Technology News.CNET News. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://news.cnet.com/8301-13880_3-10350523-68.html>.
- " Technology News, Analysis, Comments and Product Reviews for IT Professionals | ZDNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/microsoft-vs-mcafee-how-free-antivirus-outperformed-paid/2614>.
- " Taking control of computer security." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/taking-control-of-computer-security>.
- "Remove viruses from an infected PC, and keep them from coming back | Workers Edge.CNET News." Technology News.CNET News. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://news.cnet.com/8301-13880_3-10323259-68.html>.
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