Updating anti virus
What can I do to protect myself from computer viruses and Trojans?
These days, practically everyone's online, downloading and exchanging files, and developers are in such a hurry to get their Web sites up or their files out that checking for a nasty bug is more of a courtesy than a requirement.
Refusing to open unsolicited e-mail of any kind is the only sure-fire way to sidestep all forms of trouble.
Anti-virus software is crucial to preventing virus attacks, but this strategy only works if users update their software.
But when you run the new program you just found, it can do anything from popping up a message to erasing your hard disk, as the rogue PKZIP utility really did.
In either case, you have to actually launch the infected program or the trojan horse for it to infiltrate your system.
Just ask Choice Point when it took a million charge in 2005 after cyber criminals hacked into their systems and stole sensitive data from thousands of customers.
If you're not careful, your computer can end up with a nasty virus that makes your files act oddly, crashes your computer, pops up bizarre messages, or worst of all, destroys your operating system.
A computer virus is the most subtle of computer problems.
It usually loads itself into your computer system when you run a program to which it has attached itself.
From the computer system, it'll then reproduce itself, much like a biological virus would, by attaching copies of itself to other programs on your hard drive.
Unfortunately, 'keeping it current' means updating it weekly, at least but most products today allow one to automate this process, but file downloads can be large and slow.