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COMPUTER VIRUS

Definition:

Noun:

A computer program that is designed to replicate itself by copying itself into the other programs stored in a computer. It may be benign or have a negative effect, such as causing a program to operate incorrectly or corrupting a computer's memory.

A software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer; "a true virus cannot spread to another computer without human assistance".

Source: WordNet 2.0, 2003 Princeton University    ( http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Computer_virus)

Protection:

In the beginning .... there was no need for protection as there were no major virus threats. Over time protection became necessary as viruses were released over the Internet and through floppy disks. In 1990 Symantec launched Norton Antivirus and thus began protection from viruses on your personal computer. I was a big fan of Norton for many years. When they started out it was pretty easy to get live tech support, talk to a real person and get some excellent help and tips. The biggest problem that I had with Norton was a bad installation and then trying to uninstall it and reinstall it. Over time it became harder to get a "live" person to talk to, reinstalls usually demanded editing the registry and sometimes I would have to wipe a hard drive and do a complete reinstall of everything to get it to work. I was really getting frustrated with Norton because of these problems.

You will see other articles about MacAfee, Zone Alarm and other Antivirus and protection software, some which I haven't tried and some which I am sure are good and do the job. All that I can state is my personal experience with these programs and recommend those that I feel are the best customer related and best for your computer. As I have stated before these are MY opinions only.

McAfee gives me the shudders when I hear that it is installed or someone wants to install it. On virtually every computer that it was installed on I improved the performance of the computer by uninstalling it. I do not feel that it is customer orientated and I do not like the interface. I personally do not recommend it.

Zone Alarm - same opinion, I don't like it and do not recommend it.

Some 6 months ago I read an article that Microsoft used Trend Micro on their Hotmail servers. I also noticed that Dell was using it as an option on them systems. I did a search, read many articles on it and then downloaded it and tried it on my own computers before I recommended it to friends and clients. I find it easy to use, extremely good at virus protection and I really like the update feature. It will check every day and as often as every three hours if you want it to and even has an "Outbreak Warning" built in that will notify you if a new wild virus is found. Norton updates itself once a week, has no automated outbreak warning and requires that you manually run Live Update for updated components. Trend will tell you after it installs that new components are detected on their server and would you like to download them. Norton won't. If you install Norton and don't do the Live Update two or three times after the install, you will not even know that your components are out of date.

REMOVAL:

With good protection you won't have to worry about removal. I have had many friends and clients that let their Antivirus expire and got nailed by the latest virus. Just last week a client called me and told me that he had let his expire and got hit by a new virus. It took hours to clean it up. If you do get a virus the best removal solution is to follow exactly what any major Antivirus company describes for removal of that specific virus. Most of the time a removal tool is available. After you are clean update your subscription, your components and your definitions. It is always best to keep your temporary files cleaned up, your Internet cache empty and if you have a virus then turn off System Restore and boot to safe mode. Then run your Antivirus program and clean up the virus. Steps to do all of this along with screen shots are available in the Adobe download on this site.

Trend Micro isn't perfect and does have a few quirks during the setup but after getting it setup (and if you have to uninstall it and reinstall it there seems to date to be no issues or problems) it will run with little intervention on your part.

Here is a good link to the COMPUTER VIRUS TIMELINE.