Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TTT Tuesday - The Importance of Antivirus Software

Hi scrappers!

Amy here, bringing you another installment of TTT Tuesday. Today I want to talk about the importance of antivirus software. File sharing sites, where a lot of digiscrap freebies are often hosted, can be vulnerable to viruses, and if your antivirus software isn't up to date, you could accidentally end up with a nasty virus or two.

What is antivirus software, you may ask? It's a program that is installed on your computer that protects you from the known viruses out there. Of course viruses are always evolving so it's very important once you choose an antivirus software to make sure you keep it up to date. Most software can be set to automatically update however often you want it to. You also want to make sure your antivirus software is scheduled to do a virus check every so often. Personally mine is set to update for new virus protection every day, and I also have it set to run a virus scan every night while I am sleeping.

What are some of your options for virus protection?

The popular paid versions are Norton Antivirus and McAfee Antivirus. When you buy a new computer, it usually comes with a free trial of one or the other of these two. A few other paid versions that are recommended are Kaspersky Antivirus, WebRoot and Trend Micro. Any of these are great programs to choose from.

You can't afford or don't really want to shell out a lot of money for virus protection? No problem, there are several free versions as well. I personally use AVG Free, and I have used it for years. For a free program it works wonderfully. Avast is another really good free antivirus. Trixie and her Geek Squad hubby swear by it.

Mac computers are slightly different. They don't run on Windows, so they usually aren't vulnerable to viruses, but as Macs gain in popularity that may change. They don't come with virus protection installed but Norton does make a Mac version that will run on an Intel machine.

As you surf the web, you should always err on the side of caution and common sense. No antivirus program is 100% foolproof. It's up to the end user to be careful and use caution when clicking and surfing. Obviously, the standard rules apply... if you receive an email that asks you to visit an account with a certain company and log in to perform a specific action, it is best not to utilize the link in the email. Instead, navigate to that site on your own, then log into your account and perform the necessary task requested in the email, if there is truly action necessary. Often, these emails are "spoof" or "phishing" emails that are nothing more than an attempt to collect your information, and then exploit it.

Use common sense when enjoying social networking sites like Facebook. If something seems "sensational" or "too good to be true," it probably is! Avoid liking or clicking on such links or ads because you could end up with a virus or with a hacked account.

If you do get infected, use common sense and do not give your credit card information to any pop-up application that requests payment or promises removal of the virus! These pop-up applications are nearly always a virus in disguise that is attempting to mine your financial information and can even be a form of identity theft.

In short - be careful out there!! Protect yourself with a good antivirus program, use common sense and caution when surfing... and when all else fails and you end up with an infection, take your computer to a qualified professional to seek help in removing it.

As long as you keep up with updating and scanning your computer, you should be able to avoid most viruses. Most antivirus software today also has real time blocking of sites that have virus threats. If you try to go to a page where there is a known virus threat, the software stops you from entering the site to protect you. All of this helps in keeping your computer, and your scrapbooking files safe.

All Trixie Scraps Designs products can be found in the following online stores:

Trixie Scraps Shop * Gotta Pixel * Scrapbook Bytes * Funky Playground
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