Computers run so much of our lives these days. They run our payroll, our bank account, our school and business records, our governments and, for many individuals, our entertainment, so anything that disrupts computers has the potential to completely screw up our lives in the short term.

This state of affairs is bad enough, but there are also people out there who get their thrills out of writing and releasing viruses to infect our computers and screw up our lives. I am not talking about criminals, we have always had to put up with them, I mean teenagers and others who compose and release viruses to damage our computers for pleasure.

These days, a lot of families are dispersed because members have travelled to other cities to study or work and sometimes this means going to other countries too. Most of these people rely on computers and the Net to stay in touch. A infection could mean the disruption of these contacts and even the obliteration of family photo albums.

You may conclude that we rely on computers too much and many people would agree with you, especially those who have lost vital information to computer viruses. At worst, you could have your identity stolen and have our financial life totally disrupted, but even losing your computer for a few days while it is repaired ‘in the shop’ is bad enough.

In my case, this would mean loss of earnings, for others it may mean a violation of privacy or even theft. So, what should we do to safeguard ourselves?

Antivirus software is the solution.

Antivirus software used to mean a program to scan files coming into your computer, but these days it means far more. Decent AV software will now include a firewall to protect your computer from being hacked and a malware scanner to stop incoming files from dropping trojans and worms etc onto your hard disk.

These small programs can read the keys that you press and send the information back to their creator. These key presses can be analyzed to disclose your preferences on search engines (in order to spam you) or your log in particulars to your bank (in order to steal from you).

So, you have to install either a good antivirus software suite, which will include all of the above or you could get the components individually. Not so long ago, you would have had to purchase all these things, but now some are built into Windows. Windows now comes with a firewall and antivirus software, which will also scan email.

This is good enough for most users, but if you want to take your computer’s safety to another level, you ought to add a dedicated malware scanner, of which there are loads of decent free ones. If you find that it takes too much time to run two or three individual programs and keep them up to date or if you would like a higher level of security, you might think about purchasing an AV software suite.

There are plenty of good ones like Norton, Nod, Kaspersky and others which cost little more than $30 a year for absolute peace of mind.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with the cheap antivirus software. If you have an interest in such software, please go over to our website now at Computer Antivirus Software

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