You'll never regret investing in a good anti-virus utility for your system. It's like insurance—even if you never accidentally download an infected file, you'll be extremely glad you have the program when it protects you.
Surprisingly, the artist knew his computer had been crashing a lot lately, but still couldn't be bothered to get an anti-virus utility for himself—he's probably still passing out infected files to his clients.
Unfortunately choosing a anti virus programme is not as simple as it should be. Some programs, even well know brands can actually slow your computer down so much as to stop its effecient functioning.
Always make sure you only have one AV Program installed on your pc at one time as having two or more working simulataneously can really effect a pc's performance not to mention affect the efficacy of its AV Program.
The most popular anti-virus programs - whether they're free or not will scan your hard drive for infected files. They look for markers, usually internal strings of code, for known viruses, and sometimes also check a file's name against a database of known trojan horses. The commercial programs also often let you update their database of known viruses and trojan horses, either for free or for a nominal fee. But since this won't catch the newest of the new viruses, the programs can also check to see if a program, or your system, is modifying itself.
But though this is a good indicator of a virus, it can also mean you've added a utility to your system, or you're using a self-modifying program, like a database, and the many false-positives you get can be annoying. If they've identified a virus in a file, the programs can also strip the virus out of the file, but I don't recommend doing so. If you're a conscientious computer user, you back up your computer regularly—that is, every time you use it.
It's best to replace an infected file with an uninfected copy. Though an anti-virus program will successfully remove a virus (or tell you if it can't), it could damage the original file, or worse yet, leave a "virus ghost" that sets off the anti-virus utility's alarm, even though it's harmless.
The very best programs can also scan a floppy disk when you insert it into your floppy disk drive, and check a downloaded file the moment it's complete on your drive—or alternately, quickly check a file when you launch it—so you're protected before a virus can even make it to your system.
Trends in malware are always changing as exploiters try to keep ahead of the anti malware products designed to stop them. Make no mistake cyber security is an increasing buzz word and your online privacy and security is at risk and cannot be taken lightly. This is why it's very important to keep whatever virus protection you use, up to date.
The Internet is a fabulous resource. You can download hard-to-find files and programs at any hour, day or night, onto your computer system. You don't have to isolate yourself to protect yourself, but you should have some insurance against the nasty, invisible viruses and trojan horses that can bring your computer to its knees.
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