If you have a computer you have heard that it needs to be protected with an anti-virus program, but do you really know what you are protecting your computer from? Cloudtweaks.com reports an estimated 32% of computers in the world are infected with malware. Anti-virus programs are designed to protect your computer from potential threats. Let us take a closer look into what computer viruses are and how we can prevent them.
Types of Viruses
Windows is the most widely used operating system; making it the most likely recipient of malware. The internet is buzzing with threats, your PC is the intended target. Malware, a category of computer viruses, is a threat to computers everyone should be aware of. Malware is malicious software; it is hostile, and intrusive.Malware includes:
Virus – Can spread to other files and is capable of copying itself.
Spyware – Gathers information from your computer without your knowledge and sends the information to other entities. Often installed as a component of free programs.
Adware – Software that automatically sends advertisements to you in order to generate revenue for the site it is coming from.
Worms – A program that can copy itself from one machine to another by way of computer networks. Worms can slow down internet traffic.
Trojan horse – Disguised as a program or file that once installed or downloaded infects the computer. Some can then download their own harmful files.
New malware is written and released everyday. They evolve and change frequently, making attacks more difficult to detect. To more effectively protect your computer from malware, be sure to regularly update your anti-virus database. For more information on there check out Microsoft’s Safety & Security Center.
Tips When Selecting an Anti-Virus Program
An anti-virus program is designed to search your computers hard drive for any known or potential threats. Data protection is essential.
New Computers – A brand new computer often comes with trial versions of anti-virus software. Paid anti-virus programs require a yearly subscription fee to download updated information and files.
Upgrade – If you are upgrading to a new anti-virus software, be aware, having two different anti-virus programs installed on one computer may cause system slowness. Uninstall the current anti-virus program first, then install your new one.
Be Cautious – To protect yourself from harmful programs, be cautious when accepting free downloads. Windows is the most widely used operating system; making it the likely recipient of malware. Also, be careful when agreeing to add-ons. Add-ons may change your search engine, or bog down an older computer. During installation, you will have an opportunity to opt out of these changes.
Research – There are many anti-virus options available. Make sure to carefully investigate the source before downloading any anti-virus program. There are scam anti-virus programs available that are actually malware. These fake anti-virus programs can harm your computer or help someone steal your data.
The companies listed on the Microsoft website provide safe consumer security software that is compatible with Windows. Microsoft offers you the option to click the company name to see the product they offer along with the pricing information. There were approximately 27 million strains of malware created in 2013, that means 74,000 new viruses are created everyday. (Cloudtweaks.com) Make sure to keep your computer protected.
Audrey White has worked with U-Haul for 8 years. She is an Operations Analyst for the U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network. Audrey has extensive computer knowledge and previously worked for WebSelfStorage Technical Support and Visa’s Banking Data Management and Accounting. Audrey wears many hats and is a registered respiratory therapist at a local hospital on the weekends. In her spare time she enjoys spending it with her three daughters.