There’s a new virus in town, but don’t panic! You’ve heard the alarming news over and over: a killer computer virus is spreading across the Internet, destroying personal computers, corporate and government databases, small household pets and old brick buildings. The world is ending! Or is it?
Before you run screaming to the wilderness like a twenty-first century Jeremiah Johnson, STOP! Perhaps more likely, before you start cluttering up your hard drive by downloading new applications that guarantee the safety of you, your personal computer, all your ancestors and their personal computers, take a moment to think about the safeguards you already have in place.
If you own a personal computer these days, you probably already have some form of virus protection that either came with the computer when you bought it, or that you’ve purchased and installed since then. If this application is any one of the leading virus protection packages–such as McAfee, Norton, AVG, or Webroot, etc.–you almost certainly have nothing to worry about when the latest virus rumors begin to circulate and others around you begin to panic.
The professionals who make antivirus software know a lot about computer viruses; it’s their job to stay ahead of the game, and you can trust them to do it. Chances are, by the time you hear about a newest life- shaking, world-ending virus, they’ve not only figured out a way to protect against it, but they’ve already downloaded the protection you need to your personal computer.
If, however, you don’t have an application on your computer that scans for viruses and spyware, and you regularly use the Internet, then you’re definitely living dangerously in this day and age of hackers and computer pranksters. Computer viruses and spyware are real things, and you might want to think about investing in some antivirus software, especially if you highly value your computer or the content on it. Software review sites will list the leading antivirus software packages, and rate their strengths and weaknesses to help you find something that will work best for you.
Just remember: once you have antivirus software installed on your personal computer, you can stop sweating when you hear about the imminent destruction of computer life as we know it from that next deadly virus. Viruses and spyware are an unfortunate part of our contemporary lives, but very smart people are working very hard to justify the money they charge you for their service. The bottom line is you don’t have to panic: you can trust them to do their jobs.
“Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses” by Andy Walker
“Computer Viruses and Malware” by John Aycock