Definitions Ad-ware / Spy-ware Anti-Virus
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Viri, virus's (whatever spelling or pronunciation you choose) - everyone has been
or will be affected by one sooner or later.

"How?" you ask. "I am protected. I have my AntiVirus Product installed."

That may well be the case, but my question is, "Are you using your product properly,
or to its full potential?"

Click the "Online Solutions" link to see what's hiding in YOUR computer.

Your Anti Virus Protection is perhaps the single most important component in your
defense strategy on the Internet, and perhaps the most overlooked.

The reason I say this is that the overwhelming majority of "Hackers" still use
Trojan Viri to take control of your machine, to spy on you, or just to annoy you.

Now, firstly, lets cover the basics of what a virus is. My definition of a virus is:
A small program, application or segment of code that executes (runs) on your machine
with out your knowledge or consent and is designed to reduce or remove security, data,
or destroy hardware.

A virus can either be just annoying, or can cause downtime due to incorrect operation
of your computer or damage to either data or hardware.

Some viri will simply display web pages, documents, or open your CD-Rom tray,
while others will send out your possibly confidential documents to any one in your
address book. Take for example the recent Homepage virus.

Another example is the Magistr virus that seems to be making the rounds recently.
This virus will infect programs and some versions could destroy your Hard Drive
FATS (index) or Flash (wipe) your BIOS (Basic Input Output System).

Without your BIOS, your Processor doesn't know how to "talk" to your Hard Drive or
Ram, and you are effectively left a brand new multi-thousand-dollar paperweight
until you replace your motherboard.)

Sound scary? It shouldn't if you have your AntiVirus Product correctly installed,
and running. You also NEED to update your product's virus definitions on a
regular basis, and I recommend AT LEAST once a week.

So how does it all work?

Well, think of your AntiVirus Program and a policeman.

Now, we all know that the police have a list of known offenders, and should one
be discovered the arrest is made.

This list of offenders is exactly like your virus definitions, a book of thumbprints
if you will. Now each file has a thumb print as well, determined by several factors
such as size, type and CRC.

So, when you install your brand new "policeman", with his list of thumbprints, you
are protected from all past and present viri. Some programs do have a limited ability
to detect new viri. however, I recommend that you do not rely on this feature.

Now, if you do not update your list of thumbprints, or don't let your policeman patrol
the neighbourhood, you are wasting your time even having him there, and you will fall
victim to another virus.

I have seen this all to often, people who do not update, or in some cases who fail
to use their anti virus product to its full potential.

They always end up with a virus.
So, to sum up, your Anti Virus Product is the single most important part of your
defense online, and you need to be fully aware of how it works, and what needs to be
done to ensure that your protection remains at the highest possible level.

Think of it this way, if every one was to have an up-to-date program, and definition
list, it would become extremely difficult for viri to spread, and you could have been
responsible for saving money and hassle for yourself, someone else, or for your company.

If you're not sure about how to update your anti-virus program, open it up.

You'll probably find its little icon down by your clock to the bottom right of your
screen (double-click). Look under the various menus for live update functions.
If you have no joy, try the Help menu. Anti-virus software writers usually provide
help files with step-by-step instructions that are written for novices.
They will help you understand how to set your program to update itself (by connecting
to the company's website and downloading information about the very latest viruses).

Definitions Ad-ware / Spy-ware Anti-Virus
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