The Importance of Anti Virus Software - TDR
Viruses and worms have been around since the dawn of personal computing, and with the immense popularity of the Internet, their means of spreading has made them a bigger problem to users than ever. Fortunately, Anti Virus software is more sophisticated than ever, and by running even the most basic of versions, you can protect your machine from the vast majority of viruses, worms and other sinister applications that plague the Internet.
A Firewall is also advisable if you spend a vast amount of time online, though would be considered less essential than Anti Virus software. A Firewall scans all the network traffic coming in and out of your machine, ensuring that there is no unauthorized access from criminals trying to take advantage of security loopholes.
There are numerous Anti Virus packages on the market, with some aimed at the casual home user right up to those aimed at a corporate environment. If you just browse the Internet and check your E-Mail, then there is no need to spend an excessive amount on Anti Virus protection, and one of the free solutions will be perfectly adequate. Solutions such as Grisofts AVG are hugely popular, and updates are frequent to ensure you will always be protected against the latest viruses and worms.
If you store important documents on your PC, work at home or feel you use the Internet more than average, it may be worth investing in an Internet security package. These will offer you the basic Anti Virus protection, as well as additional features such as E-Mail scanning, automated scanning of archived files, scheduled virus scans and so forth. Although you get the basics with free software, the extra level of control available will please the more demanding user.
Popular choices for the home user are Norton and McAfee, as they both market Internet security packages aimed at the home user. Both are relatively inexpensive and offer a more comprehensive level of security than free versions. However, you should take a look at their competitors, who each have their own features to offer. Other software in the same ballpark price-wise includes The Shield Pro, Panda and Trend PC-cillin. Go to the manufacturers website, look at the feature lists and decide which Anti Virus package suits your needs best. They all offer a high level of protection against viruses and worms, so the only real differentiation between them are additional bells and whistles, which you may or may not need.
Finally, you may wish to look for an all-in-one Internet security package. These offer all the features of Anti Virus, but also additional software such as Firewall, Anti Spam and Privacy controls. It all depends on how you use your machine, as some will be more vulnerable than others, though I cannot stress enough the importance of running at least a free Anti Virus application.