If you've worked on your computer for any length of time you've surely run into a computer virus. Nasty things. What is a computer virus? Obviously not a virus but a program written by someone with nothing better to do than screw up your computer. These programs replicate themselves and find a home in your computer, taking over other programs and what you can and cannot do on your computer. They can make changes to your operating system and alter code. They can also steal information from your computer, personal information including things you don't want anyone else to know like bank account numbers or logins.
How frustrating is it when you can't get on the Internet or you keep getting those ridiculous pop-up messages and can do nothing else? Of course the term 'virus' is used to include malware and spyware and any number of threats. All of these things seem to 'spread' by themselves. You open what appears to be a harmless email and the next time you click on something your computer is out of control. The virus attaches itself to another program or email and once you click you're doomed. Or you're surfing on the Internet and wham, pop-ups keep appearing and no matter what you do or how many times you click, they keep coming back. Rule number one, NEVER open email from someone you don't know.
Believe it or not the term computer virus started in 1949 when a gent named John Von Neumann published a work about the theory of computer programs replicating themselves. Who would've thought? In 1972 Vieth Risak went further and described a virus written in the assembler language. Wikipedia tells us the term 'virus' originated in a short story by David Gerrold in Galaxy magazine in 1969. Viruses as we know them now probably started in the 1980s with personal computers. But, enough about it's history, the computer virus is definitely here to stay.
So what to do about them (computer viruses)? Learn about computer virus removal or better yet, computer virus protection! Easier said than done. It's hard to run a program when the virus has taken over. So removal is usually out of the question. What you need is protection! It's best to stop it before it starts.
There are tons of computer virus protection programs. Each may have its own method of removing viruses or protecting against them. The important thing is that they work. The most well known of course are Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus and MacAfee. AOL has been offereing MacAfee free for some time now. Norton, trying to get on the bandwagon is also offering a free version. Of course there are others you may or may not have heard of including Zone Alarm, Kaspersky, AVG Anti-Virus, Comodo, PC Tools Internet Security and more. I didn't mention Avast! yet as that is what this hub is all about.
In addition to the protection offered you are looking at the price, a friendly user interface, and whether or not this software will slow your system down. PC Magazine gives Norton Anti-Virus five stars, its highest rating. I ran into problems when I was running Norton, problems Norton couldn't fix and generally speaking it's not cheap. No matter what program you are using a good program to have on hand for clean up is Malwarebytes. There is free version and a paid version. I mention it here because I have used it in the past to clean up messes my other anti-virus software did not. I haven't used it since using Avast! but keep it on my computer for security sake. The free addition needs to run manually. I'm not sure if running Malwarebytes with Avast! would be a conflict. I leave that to the greater minds.
What about Avast! Avast! has two different versions, a free version and one you can purchase for a yearly price of $19.99. While free programs don't offer you support, Avast! does have email support, unheard of? Happening and it could be happening with other free software soon but for the time being Avast! is the only one offering support for their free software.
I'm not a computer expert but neither am I a computer illiterate, so you can take my information for what it's worth. As I said earlier I didn't have a lot of luck with Norton or MacAfee for that matter. It seems impossible but I've had more luck with Avast! In the twelve months I've had it I haven't had one intrusion of any kind! Avast! updates very frequently. A little green box pops up in the bottom right hand corner of my screen and a lovely lady says, "Avast virus database has been updated." Very occasionally I'll get a message that I need to do a manual update and I just follow the directions and I'm updated. My problem with other anti-virus softwares was they didn't update automatically OR they didn't update frequently enough. While they were waiting to write solutions I already had the new virus. So far, this hasn't happened with Avast! and in the new free version of Avast! you can also get a free script blocker.
As of October 2011 there were over 165 million users of Avast!...that many users can't be all wrong. Avast! offers a user friendly interface so it's not hard to work with. It protects in real time which means it's always on and ready to go, you don't have to worry about removal if your software is stopping viruses before they start.
It scans URLs, shared programs, and Instant Messages. It checks webpages for malicious scripts and disables them when found, reports suspicious behavior, prevents Malware from stopping Avast! or changing it (this is a really big plus. If your protection software is stopped or changed, you're pretty much out of luck), updates both the program and virus database, and the list goes on.
C/Net reviews the newest version of Avast! and says, "Make no mistake; Avast 6 adds features both big and small. Some that had previously only been available to paid upgrade users are now free for all versions, and newer features have been seamlessly added to the interface experience." Read more: Avast Free Antivirus - Download.com http://download.cnet.com/Avast-Free-Antivirus/3000-2239_4-10019223.html#ixzz1ml8NXd7H
Avast! offers several layers of protection to your computer. Of course I would imagine the Pro Version, which you have to pay for, is even better but as I said, to date I've had no problems. It's worked so well for me I really wanted to share it with you. It's an easy download, doesn't take up too much space or slow down your computer and is an all 'round good product. Take it into consideration when you're looking for new anti-virus software.
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