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Protecting Computer Systems With Antivirus Software

Computers all over the world are susceptible to increased virus threats these days. Preventing viruses from attacking computers has nearly become an obsession for anti virus software developers. Even large corporations like Microsoft have been exposed to virus attacks.

Before the advent of internet, the spread of computer viruses was largely limited to manual transmission through floppy disks. Hence it was much easier to detect and eliminate viruses before they could do any large scale damage to a computer system. All that was required was a scan of the floppy disk by antivirus software before copying the files from it to the computer. The spread of the virus to other computers was thus slow.

The rising popularity of internet has changed the situation completely. The virus can now spread very fast from one system to another through internet as the medium. The virus could spread through various means: emails and their attachments, instant messages, peer to peer to sharing of files, software downloads etc. They can spread automatically without any manual intervention and can enter the system in multiple ways, exposing the vulnerability of the system. With the convergence of technologies like computers and communication through mobile devices, the threat of computer viruses is raising by the day.

Protecting the computer from viruses

The antivirus software technology has kept pace with the various types of virus threats and has become inseparable part of a computer system today. The antivirus software products can thwart attempts by viruses to enter a computer system through emails, internet browsers, file servers and other desktops in a network. They also have a centralized system of deploying the software as well configuring it to a particular system and updating of the software.

The following lists some of the steps a computer user must take for protection against virus threats.

1. The first step in protecting your computer system against viruses is to evaluate the current antivirus software that is being used to find out if it is adequate and covers all possible forms of threats. A computer network with desktops and servers with connection to the internet requires anti virus software with many features like firewall, antivirus, content filtering and spyware detection. All the components of the system like desktops, server, gateway etc. need to be protected from external threats.

2. The antivirus software needs to be regularly updated against new virus threats emerging everyday. The reputation of the company that developed the antivirus software is important in this respect. The software should have real time scanning feature that automatically starts scanning the files in the computer as well as any incoming messages, software etc. when the system is booted up.

3. All new programs should be compulsorily scanned irrespective of their place of origin.

4. Attachments to emails or instant messages in any form from unknown sources should not be opened without ascertaining that they are free from virus.

5. Taking regular backups of important files in the system will ensure quick recovery of the system in case of a virus attack.

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