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Anti-Virus Programs

There are many anti-virus programs on the market today. While some are better than others it is generaly accepted that any anti-virus program is better than running none. The reason for this is due to the sheer number of computer viruses out there a computer without any protection is at far greater risk than a computer with some sort of anti-virus program. A majority of viruses are transmitted either via e-mail or through security holes/exploits in the Windows operating system (Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, etc) itself.

E-mail viruses are usually sent as a attachment to the e-mail. These have to either be opened by the user, which infects the computer. Or, when the e-mail that the virus is attached to is opened/read it has a section of malicious code in the e-mail that runs in the background, which opens the attachment and infects the computer.

Many e-mail clients (such as Outlook Express, Outlook, etc) will automatically open a e-mail when it is highlighted to even delete it. This in turn reads the e-mail and if there is the script/malicious code to run the attachment then the computer gets infected with the virus. This type of infection can be taken care of by turning off the "preview pane" option in the e-mail client (the preview pane is the common name for this option, it may be called something different in other e-mail clients).

  • In Outlook Express this can be turned off by clicking on "View" at the top of the Outlook Express window, and selecting "Layout". There will be a option titled "Show Preview Pane" you can uncheck.
  • In regular Outlook you click on "View" at the top of the window, and there will be a "Preview Pane" option there you can turn off.
  • In other e-mail clients you may need to consult the "Help" section of the program to find out what this option is called and how to turn it off.

  • Once this option is off a e-mail that is suspected to be a virus can safely be highlighted and deleted.

    The other method of virus infection is (as mentioned above) through security holes in Windows itself. These are handled by getting updates for you version of windows from the Windows Update site. You can get to the Windows Update site by going to www.windowsupdate.com, or by clicking this link or by using the link on our main menu to the left.

    In the "Anti-Virus Links" page to the left you will find links to several anti-virus programs some are free, some may have a free and a purchased version, or a straight out purchased version only. There is even a online virus scanner you can run directly from your web browser which can occasionally find viruses that installed anti-virus programs can miss.
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