Anti-virus software - importance and strategies
Good anti-virus strategies and the use of defensible anti-virus software is integral to protecting your computer these days. Viruses have evolved over time and are now more dangerous than ever. They have grown in sophistication, layered on top of lessons learned and code written by skilled programmers of bad intent over the years.
Virus development and virus protection are leapfrog events. What I mean by this is that a virus is created and deployed. Once discovered, anti-virus software companies such as Symantic, Norton or McAfee build defenses for the new virus and deploy these updates to those customers using their software.
Companies such as Microsoft and Apple are also regularly creating patches and updates to plug vulnerabilities found in their operating systems and are then deploying these to their customer base. As long as there are people and entities out there with mal-intent, this cycle will continue.
You may purchase and install virus protection software one day that defends against a number of existing known external threats, but tomorrow, something new is out there and it might get through until such time as your anti-virus defending software gets updated again to protect you against the new threat - but then you only get protected against the new threat if you are diligent about keeping your anti-virus software on your computer as current as possible. So this is the first strategy you need to employ: Always keep the anti-virus software you have purchased as current as possible. When updates are offered, implement them as soon as you can.
The next thing to understand is that there is no one anti-virus product out there today that can protect you against everything. So this means that to further minimize your system's vulnerability - and you can never be totally secure - you want to keep your computer's operating system as current as possible as well.
When security updates are offered, be aware that these are being offered because new system vulnerabilities have been uncovered and that what you are implementing as an update has been put out there to help protect your system against these new vulnerabilities found.
There are many aspects to protecting your computer these days relating to the use of and operation of anti-virus software. First, when you do updates to your anti-virus software application or applications, it is also not a bad idea to also regularly do a complete scan of your hard drive for viruses after the updates have been installed. By doing this, you may find some viruses that you can eradicate that were let into your computer since your last update.
Next, after you complete your updates and drive scans and your system shows you that it is clean at that point, take a full backup of your system and files as well. You never know if you'll have to revert to this backup point at some time in the future if you subsequently get hacked or a new virus appears on your drive. Doing regular "Clean System" backups of your systems is one of the best defenses you have against damage causing intrusions.
By the way, be sure that the backups that you are doing are stored on an external device/data drive that you only attached to your computer when doing the backup. You do this to prevent viruses travelling to and infecting those external drives as well.
In summary, if you follow these steps you will go a long way to protecting your systems and minimizing damage if an intrusion of any sort happens to gain access to your computer or business network.
By Dan Grijzenhout - December 20, 2016
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